Tag Archives: Salvation

Divine Appointments

Sometimes we set appointments in our lives to keep us on schedule. Yet, it is in the changing of these appointments of ours that God sets His appointments. Our lives are pretty scheduled and we try to stay on schedule, but sometimes our schedules change. Especially during these changes we need to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. When something pops into your mind out of nowhere, it might just be God trying to change your mind or direction.

This week we were once again reminded of how God works! We attended a special preaching service in Ji-Paraná, where Bro. Greg Smith from Southwest Baptist Church was preaching. We did not have to be at this meeting, but had decided to attend so we could hear the preaching and meet the Smiths. We were invited to join them afterwards at a restauruant for continued fellowship over dinner. Since we had already eaten and we still had a 40 minute drive back home, we decided against staying. After saying goodbye, we all entered the car and began the drive home.

A few blocks away, I suddenly remembered a conversation that night about internet connections with Bro. Brian Lawson. I have had a radio internet system at my house for over two years now. It was used for about a week, and I never was able to sell it. Thinking specifically of this, I turned the car around and headed back to ask Bro. Lawson if it would be useful for them.

We drove directly to the Lawson’s house. He invited us in, but we kindly declined wanting to make our way home.

As we were saying goodbye, a lady walked up and asked if we would pray for her. I agreed to pray, but wanted to know more specifically what she wanted prayer for. She began telling of her difficulties. These seemed possibly to involve some demonic activity in her life, though I am not sure. The descriptions of events made me think of similar events in the Bible. She looked somewhat tired, though she did not look quite like so many of the beggars we see.

As I began addressing her problem, I spoke of the Gospel and how Jesus could save her. She wanted to pray and ask Christ to be her Savior. Praise the Lord! Right there in front of Bro. Brian Lawson’s house, she prayed and asked the Lord to be her Savior. Please pray for her. She told me she has a husband and two children in her home. Her husband has threatened to leave her because of her problems.

She gave us her address and Bro. Sam Rogers will be making a visit there. Lord willing, we will be able to continue helping her and also help her family. Please pray for her. Her name is Marineide.

In all of this, I was reminded that God directs our steps. He began working out the details of this specific appointment years ago. I remember the frustration when I bought this internet radio equipment and only used it for a week. I paid several hundred dollars for internet that month! The internet radio is slow and we wanted something faster. The DSL company told us they would put us on a waiting list. They said there was not internet available in our area at the time and they did not know when it would be available. While waiting we decided to go with the radio equipment. Two days after the equipment was installed the company called and wanted to install the DSL. Ha!

Well, if nothing else, I can look back and say that God allowed me to buy that equipment, keep it for several years, think of it that night, and meet this woman who was desperately in need of the Lord Jesus Christ. So when things go wrong, remember that we have a promise… “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28.

Another Profession of Faith in Christ

Every week we are going soul-winning. John and I normally try to go out several times a week. We also work on contacting people by phone, by email, through Facebook, stopping by their work places, or however we can get in touch with people during the week. It is interesting to see how God is working.

Just a few weeks ago we started another Bible study not far from the Kokenzie’s house. We had been knocking the doors on that particular street and a lady said she wanted us to do a Bible study at her house. John and Julie began the Bible study and are teaching this lady, Fabiola, every week.

Just this last Tuesday, we tried to make some house calls because it had been raining. When everyone we contacted was not available and the rain died down some, we decided to go ahead and go out to knock some doors. Because we had not yet finished knocking all the doors, we decided to go ahead and finish the road where the Bible study was started.

The first person we found at home was a young lady with a six month old child. Her name is Dayelle. She showed some interest, then when we asked her about her salvation, she admitted that she was not saved. She said she did not know if she would go to heaven.

Even though it began sprinkling and she was holding her baby out in that damp weather, she wanted to hear what the Bible had to say. We showed her some verses and showed her how she could be saved. I prayed for the Lord to work in her heart while she was praying that the Lord would save her! How exciting!

Because there is such religious confusion in our area, this is not a common thing. Few people ever admit that they are not saved, even though they say they don’t know if they are going to heaven, they almost always say they have been saved and Jesus is the only means of salvation. However, being a Christian is in style here, especially in this part of the country. That means most people know the lingo, but hardly ever trust Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. They always have their own thoughts about who God is and how to be saved without having Bible to back them up.

After praying with Dayelle, she told us that they had just moved into the area because her and her husband had been sent away to seminary. They later found out that they were used as part of a scam and were mistreated. The pastors that sent them away were removed by the church. It is amazing, that people like this who know very little if anything about God or the Bible are sent to get seminary training.

Please pray for her husband. We have not yet met him, but are praying that the Lord will work in his heart also. She has been invited to the Bible study tonight on her street. Pray she will come, her husband would come, and we would be able to help them spiritually. Pray for John and Julie as head up this small Bible study this evening.

The Lord is working in many lives around us and we are very happy to be a part of it! Keep praying!


Results of Soul-Winning

Recently we have started reaching out by going house to house. John Kokenzie and I have been going out once or twice a week to get to know people and take the love of Jesus to those around us.

Early this week we went out in the early evening to talk to a few people. We were able to find someone at every house we went to. We chose this specific time of day to go out because it was cooler, and we thought we might find more people at home. So far, it has worked.

After talking to several people, we came to a certain house where a young man nineteen years old came out to talk to us. He said he was from the First Baptist Church, but when I mentioned the pastor’s name he did not recognize it. So, he ran into the house to call his mother to ask her what his name was.

When his mother came out, she quickly confirmed that she attended the First Baptist Church and invited us into the house. Their house was very simple and the walls were nothing more than brick and mortar. No finished walls, no paint, and nothing fancy at all in the house.

After a little more casual conversation, I asked the mother, Andréia, when she trusted Christ as her Savior. After receiving an answer from her, I asked Ricardo, her son, if he had ever put his faith in Jesus as his personal Savior. He responded, letting us know that he had never been saved.

His heart was ready and after a little explanation we bowed our heads and prayed. Yes, he asked the Lord to save him! What a thrill it is to see people give their hearts to Christ.

Please pray for Ricardo and his mother, Andréia. They have been through many difficult times, but the Lord has something special for them. Pray that we will be able to help them and encourage them to move forward in their relationships with Christ.

— Jeremy

One more member in the Family of God

This past Sunday we were in Limeira. We had a wonderful time with the people and were excited about what God has done in their lives. The work there needs much prayer as people halt between two opinions. Yet, the Lord is working in the hearts of many people there.

We arrived on Friday evening just before the women met at one of the members houses to discuss modesty in dress. Meanwhile, the men gathered at another house for a good time of fellowship and eating (those may be considered synonyms).

On Saturday a few people stopped by to spend just a bit of time with us. It was a great joy to see some of my friends from my days as a child. Though many of them have strayed from the Lord, He is still doing a great work in their lives and drawing them to His side.

Saturday evening I was asked to speak to the young people about music. We had a good time with them in the service. Several seemed sensitive to what God was doing in their lives. I tried to bring them to the place where they would desire to do the correct thing. Many times we beat people over the head with right and wrongs, and they never understand why things are wrong. I used the passage in Matthew which speaks of the Pharisees and their “whited sepulchres” hoping they would see the importance of being clean in their innermost being.

On Sunday morning, I preached about knowing the Scriptures and how a lack of knowing the Scriptures caused doubt and even discouragement. This I got from several passages after the resurrection where Jesus opened their understanding because they knew not the Scriptures.


During the invitation several people came to the front. Also, one young boy raised his hand acknowledging the fact that he had never been saved. After the service I spoke to his father, who was a very close friend of mine years ago. He said that his son, Ramon, was coming close to salvation, but was not sure how much he understood.

In the evening service I preached on the passage in I Kings 18 where Elijah prayed and fire came down from Heaven. Especially here in Brazil people tend to abuse this passage. The influence from the Pentecostal churches has changed the way many people look at the Bible. This lead me to preach on this passage. Everyone wants the power of God, but few people want the power of God for the right reason.

At the end of the message once again I extended an invitation for people to come forward. Several people came forward again in the evening service. I also asked again about salvation. Once again, Ramon raised his hand and said he was not saved. As the invitation progressed, he walked back to his dad, whispered something to him, then returned to his seat.

A few seconds later he walked right up to the front and said, “I want to trust Jesus as my Savior.” I called one of the men near the front to help and asked him to take him back with his father. Shortly afterward, his father lead him to the Lord in a back room. After the service ended I had an opportunity to pray with him, ask him some questions, and find out what had happened. Ramon told me he was sure he was saved. Jesus had forgiven his sin and he was going to Heaven. AMEN!

This was very exciting. Nothing is more exciting than to see the Lord work in the lives of sinners to bring them to repentance and salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.


Praise the Lord for a wonderful weekend with people who are growing in the Lord and seeking His guidance in the establishment of this new church. Please pray for the people of the Igreja Batista Emanuel in Limeira.

— Jeremy

Josiah and Jonathan Get Baptized

A few weeks ago Josiah and Jonathan asked me if they could be baptized. This situation came up because they had just seen one of their friends get baptized. We made it a point to wait a few weeks and see what the real motive behind it was.

About a year ago, Josiah spoke to me at church one night and said he wanted to be saved. He had previously said he was saved, but did not know when he trusted Christ. He was reluctant to even admit that he was a sinner, so we did not believe that he was truly saved. However, after hearing Bro. Jimmy Rose preach at a mission conference, he came home and trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior.

This was a pretty clear decision and you could tell that it was from his heart. Jonathan, on the other hand, was a different situation. He was always saying that he had trusted Jesus as his Savior. We did not put much trust in his decision because of the way he prayed. Of course the way you pray does not affect your salvation. I had asked Jonathan to pray before the boys went to sleep one night. In that prayer he quickly said, “Please forgive me of my sins and save me.” That was it! With children, who pray for dogs and other unconventional things, we did not think he was serious. The tone of his voice was very playful.

However, after a year or more of putting it off, he still insists that he was saved that night. We clearly remember the day, but did not believe he was saved. I questioned him quite thoroughly on this matter and he did not give in. He was confident of his salvation! AMEN! I am glad when a person cannot be shaken on the matter of their salvation.

The Lord gave us peace about the whole situation and we scheduled the baptism. Please watch the video to see our two precious boys being baptized. This was also my first time to baptize. I must express with the apostle John, that, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 

Here is the video…

— Jeremy

God is at Work!

About a month ago, I was answering some emails that I had received through the website. One particular one that had come through the website was puzzling to me. Someone had written and asked if I would like to receive their weekly email. Though I get a lot of these kinds of things, never had someone actually written me to ask if I wanted it.

Not knowing the exact source of the email, I put it off for a few days. However, the Lord laid on my heart to go ahead and respond. I basically said that it would be ok if they sent me the email, but trying to reason why they wanted me to receive it I told them that I would not necessarily use their material.  My thoughts were headed in a specific direction making me think they wanted me to post their entries on our Gospel website.

I received an email in return with a thank you. Writing back one more time I was curious to know more about this man. I asked him about his salvation and what he was trusting in to get to heaven. Soon he wrote back with a reply, letting us know that he believed in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ plus works. This set me on a mission to tell him what we believed and why. I took about three hours and wrote him back a very long email explaining why we believe salvation is not by works.

Meanwhile, he was signing up on our website to receive Beams Bibles. A missionary friend Dave Whitmore responded to him that Beams would not accept their request because they were not Baptists. This got Bro. Whitmore corresponding with him.

About four days later I figured I would never hear from him again, but I was wrong. I received an e-mail stating that he had talked to his father about what the verses that I sent him. He said, “I am sorry, I was wrong. I read the verses you sent and talked to my father and you are right. I learned something from you.” Wow! That was a very unexpected surprise. Praise the Lord! This man just admitted that salvation by works was incorrect.

After a few weeks of communication between this man and several of us missionaries (by email), he was invited to a service at our church. He and his wife both came for one night of our recent missions conference. This was a great blessing!

I wrote to him afterwards to thank him for his visit. He expressed much appreciation for the invitation and the welcome at the church. He said, “Should you have any other special services there, please let me know and count me in on them.”

Praise the Lord! He works in peoples lives even by means of email. There are other stories that we could tell of people we have had contact with and the Lord has worked in their lives. We are now able to help pastors on a regular basis in Portugal, Venezuela, and Australia as well as the US and Brazil.

Please continue to pray for this man, his family, and other that we are in contact with at this time.

— Jeremy