it ends, and it begins
Our last few days in Huaraz, Peru, the family and I explored up the Quebrada Honda, a high-altitude valley with some active and lot of abandoned silver and zinc mines that the tourists can't normally access. We were stopped at a gate, and the guards forbade us entry. I was content to do something else, but our driver insisted that we were Christians and not tourists and that we only wanted to see the beautiful valley and share the Gospel. After some discussion amongst themselves, they said, "Ok, you can go up there, just be out by 6:00pm." Never, never, never in the United States would some official grant special permission to someone because they are a Christian who loves to share the Gospel. I was reminded of what the prophet said to the people of Israel in Isaiah 65:1:
I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
And before we Gentiles shake our heads concerning the nation of Israel's rebellion and rejection of her Messiah, let us remember the Israel had God's Word and rejected it. We here in America have God's Word AND Israel's example to teach us, and we have rejected BOTH. Like Israel of old, we boast, "Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou" (Isaiah 65:1). We, too, are a smoke in the Almighty's nose; and He will recompense even unto the bosom. You can never Make America Great Again unless you Make America REPENT Anew!
There was another time in our history when America was just as divided as it is today. After war broke out, President Lincoln overheard a man remark: "I hope that the Lord is on the side of the Union." Like our President today, Lincoln was accustomed to give straightforward replies, and he immediately rejoined:
I am not at all concerned about that, for I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side.
God is always right: right in what He says to Israel; right in what He says to the Gentiles; right in what He says about homosexuality; right in what He says about hell and judgment; right in what He says concerning life, the unborn, and murder; right in what He says about repentance; right in what He says about nations; and right in what He says about His Messiah being the only way to salvation. In many such things, even the right side of the political spectrum in America IS NOT on the side of God. And, if this nation will not repent, it will surely prove more tolerable for Sodom & Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment (Mark 6:11) . . .
. . . Not far past that gate, we stumbled upon a gorgeous waterfall with a full rainbow gracing its curtain. Thoughts of impending judgment bridged into thoughts of the opportunity that yet remains in these dark days to preach repentance toward God and faith in Jesus the Messiah "to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16). And where one season down in Peru has now come to an end, another season begins. That day in the Honda, we climbed up to a beautiful azure lake, summited a hidden 15,000 ft. peak, poked around an abandoned mine, shared a yerba mate, and milled about a herd of llamas. As the week petered out, we gave out a few more Spanish Gospel tracts and a few more copies of the Hebrew Scriptures to Israeli backpackers.
Waiting for the van to take us back to Lima on a lazy Saturday afternoon, we shared a mate in our apartment living room with a Jewish girl we had met months before and many miles south down in Argentina. Thankfully, that driver ended up two hours late, just enough extra time to speak plain about the Time of Jacob’s Trouble and the false Messiah soon coming to deceive Israel. I spoke of the way of Cain versus the faith of Abel. I spoke of the purpose of the Church, the Body of Christ, and the ultimate salvation of the nation of Israel when it finally wakes up amidst tribulation the world has never seen and calls for its true Messiah. Then, He will come and sit upon His throne, the Throne of David (Hosea 5:15). I spoke of the faithfulness of Messiah versus the lies and hypocrisies of the rabbis. I spoke of how only the blood can make atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11), and how God has blood and shed it for us (Acts 20:28). It was a glorious way to bring a season to an end. The young lady left THIS TIME with a Hebrew-Spanish New Testament and promised to give the Hebrew NT she received back in Bariloche to her friend that I had briefly spoken to on a street corner a couple of days before. She helped us load our bags in the van when the driver finally did show up, and we bade her and Huaraz farewell. Several days later, we returned home to the United States.
History teaches that Abraham Lincoln visited Ford's Theater in Washington, DC with his wife just five days after Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House. He was shot in his seat by John Wilkes Booth (a Roman Catholic who was aided and abetted by a slough of Roman Catholics, one of many Jesuit plots across the ages) and died the following morning in the house across the street. Very few are aware of his last conversation with his wife before he lost consciousness and never regained it in this earthly life. Mary Todd Lincoln recalled:
He said he wanted to visit the Holy Land and see those places hallowed by the footprints of the Saviour. He was saying there was no city so much desired to see as Jerusalem. And with the words half spoken on his tongue, the bullet of the assassin entered the brain, and the soul of the great and good President was carried by the angels to the New Jerusalem above.
Many have desired to see Jerusalem and to walk where the Saviour walked, and many, like President Lincoln, never had the opportunity. I have been blessed to do so on multiple occasions, and yet more than this, blessed to preach the Messiah to the people of Israel both in the land and around the world. As you ponder the certain impending judgment coming to our nation, a nation that has rejected God's Word and has not learned from Israel's example, consider also the opportunity that yet remains in these dark days to preach repentance toward God and faith in Jesus the Messiah "to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16). A season for us just ended in Peru. Another must shortly begin. It's time to hit the shopping malls and the kiosks selling hair straighteners and Dead Sea products. Undoubtedly, we will find lost sheep willing to receive a copy of God's Word.
Your continued prayers and financial support for this work are greatly appreciated. A season ends after a myriad of encounters with Israeli backpackers in Argentina, Chile, and Peru as well as opportunities with Gentiles from 40 different nations. To God be the glory! Another season now begins; and here we are talking about Jesus the Messiah just the same.
Jesse Boyd, Colporter