EL PADRE DE LAS MISERICORDIAS Y CONSOLADOR EN NUESTRAS AFLICCIONES

Seamos realistas, todos tenemos problemas con los que lidiamos. Y puede ser difícil, muy difícil. Ya sea una mala noticia sobre tu salud, un diagnóstico terminal o de alguien muy cercano a ti. Podrían ser problemas de conducta de un niño pequeño o un adolescente rebelde, conflictos maritales, pérdida de empleo o alguna otra crisis financiera que puede agravar y empeorar cualquiera de estos problemas. Ciertamente, puede suceder en los entornos aparentemente más seguros. ¿Cuánto más ocurrirá en el campo misionero, en un contexto diferente al tuyo, lejos de todo lo que una vez fue querido y familiar? Donde el estrés y los peligros se multiplican y la dificultad se convierte en un estilo de vida. Simplemente, viene con el territorio.

Estas dificultades a veces pueden tener su raíz en nuestro propio pecado, descuido o irresponsabilidad. O podríamos encontrarnos atrapados en el fuego cruzado del pecado de otra persona. O puede ser simplemente los efectos de un mundo caído sobre quienes más los amamos. Aun así puede afectarnos profundamente.

Puede ser suficiente para llevar a alguien a una espiral de depresión o algún otro estado mental perjudicial o un bajón espiritual que se siente como un oscuro e inescapable valle de desesperación. Durante esos momentos, Dios puede parecer distante y nuestras oraciones y gemidos de angustia hacia el cielo pueden incluso sentir que no son escuchadas. ¡Gracias a Dios que no es así! Pero si somos honestos, puede sentirse así a veces. Como creyentes, podemos confiar verdaderamente en el Señor durante la tormenta, pero eso no siempre lo hace más fácil, humanamente hablando. Incluso podemos encontrarnos en nuestro límite, gritando de miedo como los discípulos en el bote “¡Señor, sálvanos! ¡Nos vamos a morir!”

Aunque una temporada de paz y tranquilidad pueda llegar después (tal vez), en ese momento puede sentirse abrumador y casi demasiado difícil de soportar. Algunos sufren por una temporada, otros lidian con ello toda la vida.

“Aún cuando yo camine por el valle de sombra de muerte, No temeré mal alguno, Porque tú estás conmigo; Tu vara y tu cayado me infundirán aliento.” – Salmo 23:4

Muchas “tormentas” en la vida causan estragos y dejan un camino de destrucción a su paso, al igual que las tormentas reales. Y al igual que en una tormenta real, por lo general se necesita tiempo para “reconstruir” después de que se ha producido el daño. Algunas tormentas pueden cambiar la vida y para algunas, incluso acabar con ella. Muchos se encuentran en shock y conmocionados hasta la médula, solo pueden llorar por su situación y recoger los pedazos mientras avanzan cojeando de la experiencia traumática y dolorosa. Esto le sucede todos los días a algunas personas, durante diferentes períodos de tiempo, en algún lugar. No debemos sorprendernos. De hecho, deberíamos aprender a esperarlo eventualmente si entendemos lo que dice la Escritura sobre la naturaleza caída del mundo en el que vivimos y los efectos del pecado mientras vivamos aquí.

Dios, de hecho, nos da más de lo que podemos manejar. Por favor, no seas una de esas personas que dicen que no lo hace, o que solo lo hace porque sabe que podemos manejarlo (como si en realidad fuéramos tan fuertes por nosotros mismos). Si pudiéramos hacerlo por nuestra cuenta y con nuestras propias fuerzas, no lo necesitaríamos. La historia de Gedeón viene a la mente. (Y permíteme decir brevemente, el popular, pero a menudo mal citado versículo en 1 Corintios no significa lo que piensas que significa).

El Señor trae sufrimiento a nuestras vidas más a menudo de lo que nos gustaría. Pero Él tiene Sus razones, y debemos confiar en Él a través de ello. Debemos hacerlo. Claro, podemos conocer el plan y la voluntad de Dios en general, pero muchas veces Sus planes para nosotros como individuos en los detalles de nuestra vida diaria no son tan fáciles de ver o entender. Los planes de Dios para nosotros a menudo son muy diferentes a los nuestros.

Pero si nos encontramos realmente luchando mientras sufrimos, debemos preguntarnos esto. Cuando las cosas se ponen difíciles, ¿adónde más podemos ir realmente? ¿De dónde viene realmente nuestra ayuda? Seguro que el Señor usará a las personas como medio para consolarnos y ayudarnos, pero en última instancia, solo Él puede darnos paz. Verdadera paz. ¿Dónde encontraremos nuestra fuerza para soportar, sino en la naturaleza inmutable de nuestro Señor, las promesas fieles en Cristo y el cuidado amoroso?

El Señor es mi pastor; nada me falta. – Salmo 23:1

Él es nuestra Torre Fuerte, nuestra Roca, nuestro Escudo y Fortaleza a la que acudimos para buscar consuelo, refugio y paz. Solo en Cristo estamos verdaderamente seguros, y separados de Cristo no podemos hacer nada.

Me recuerda un himno moderno muy conocido que dice bellamente:

“Solo en Cristo está mi esperanza

Él es mi luz, mi fuerza, mi canción

Esta piedra angular, este terreno sólido

Firme a través de la sequía y la tormenta más feroces

Qué alturas de amor, qué profundidades de paz

Cuando los temores se calman, cuando los esfuerzos cesan

Mi Consolador, mi Todo en Todo

Aquí en el amor de Cristo estoy”

Hermosas palabras conmovedoras, ¿verdad? Pero la pregunta es,

¿lo creemos? ¿Realmente le creemos?

¿Realmente confiamos en Él?

¿Realmente creemos que Él es bueno?

¿Realmente creemos que Él está obrando todas las cosas para bien de los que lo aman, incluso cuando no podemos verlo?

Es importante recordar que independientemente de lo que creamos, Él será glorificado. Incluso en las circunstancias aparentemente más terribles. Pero también podemos descansar al recordar que Él es un Padre bondadoso, compasivo, inmutable y fiel, y acercarnos a Él. Debemos aprender a permanecer en Cristo. Su mano soberana y su amor por su pueblo serán la almohada sobre la que reposemos nuestras cabezas cansadas.

El Señor es mi fortaleza y mi escudo; mi corazón confía en él, y soy socorrido. Por tanto, mi corazón se regocija y le doy gracias con mi canto. – Salmo 28:7

La naturaleza inmutable de Dios es un ancla que nos mantiene aferrados a la Roca que nunca nos fallará ni nos expulsará en esos momentos difíciles, ni jamás si estás en Cristo. Mientras escribo esto, me vienen a la mente muchas personas queridas. Familiares cercanos y familia en la fe que están actualmente lidiando con algunas de las cosas que mencioné al principio, o incluso peor en este mismo momento. Oren por mí y por otros misioneros que conocen estas tormentas demasiado bien. Pero también oren por los que sufren en su iglesia. Un vecino, un amigo, o tal vez incluso alguien en su propio hogar.

Bendito sea el Dios y Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, Padre de misericordias y Dios de todo consuelo. Él nos consuela en todas nuestras tribulaciones, para que podamos consolar a los que están en cualquier tipo de tribulación, por medio del consuelo que nosotros mismos recibimos de Dios. – 2 Corintios 1:3-4

A ellos solo puedo decirles que confíen en Él, lo alaben, se queden a solas con Él y Su Palabra y oren. Él es el Padre de misericordias y el Dios de todo consuelo, que nos consuela en nuestra aflicción. El Señor es nuestro Pastor, tenemos lo que necesitamos. Si perseveramos, seremos más como Jesús cuando termine. Y aunque no lo crea, incluso estaremos agradecidos por esas tormentas difíciles pero transformadoras en nuestras vidas. Oren.

He aprendido a besar la ola que me arroja contra la Roca de los Siglos. – Charles Spurgeon

Escrito por Antonio Salgado

Please pray for our BCMS workers serving faithfully in hard places. May the Gospel continue to go forth, to God be the glory.

“I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” – Philippians 1:3-5

If the Lord so lies on your heart to give back to Him by supporting this ministry, you can easily donate online through PayPal. Click the donate button below to send support of any amount directly to the ministry. This is the fastest option to get funds to the mission field.

Also,

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

You may begin sending your support to BCMS/Antonio Salgado at any time at the address above. (Checks should be made payable to Central Missionary Clearinghouse or C.M.C.)

You can also now give to the ministry online through the new giving solution called “click and give” at the CMC website. To get started, you just need to click on the link below and register the first time. Just a simple click on the donate button on their page (see link below), and then click the “click and give icon/button”.

https://www.cmcmissions.org/donate

For tax exemption, you must send your donation through Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) at the address above. PayPal option is the fastest way to get funds directly to the field in case of emergencies. We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated, so you can be sure that your gift goes directly to the mission field. Whatever you decide, thank you so much for praying for us. Grace and peace.

THE FREEDOM OF FORGIVENESS

 

“bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.” – Colossians 3:13

 

The Gospel isn’t just for unbelievers; it’s a constant reminder and source of freedom for us believers too. We tend to forget, so preaching the Gospel to ourselves is vital. We need to marvel at the cross, at the depths of God’s forgiveness for us, just as Charles Spurgeon said: 

 

“I have to lie humbly at the foot of Christ’s cross & marvel that I am saved at all.”

 

This pardon humbles us, but it also liberates us. The Gospel reminds us of God’s immense grace through Christ’s sacrifice and the depth of our own sin, far greater than any offense another can commit. Our sin is against a Holy, infinitely Worthy Creator. So, as we contemplate the Gospel, we are disarmed and find ourselves without an argument. It frees us from self-importance and opens our eyes to the slow but sure self poisoning of unforgiveness, often rooted in our pride. We are then humbled by the cross’s grace, which empowers us to forgive others. Struggle is natural, especially with deep hurts or loved ones involved. We might stumble, but the Holy Spirit fosters a desire for forgiveness, which should eventually lead us to true reconciliation.

 

As Christians, forgiveness is a hallmark. When we struggle, meditating on God’s grace towards us and our own sin’s depth helps us forgive. Christ’s sacrifice paid for all our sin, leaving no condemnation for those in Him, including those we struggle to forgive. We‘ve been shown such incredible grace and love.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!”- Ephesians 2:4-5

 

So pray, forgive, and release the bitterness. Heal and grow from the experience. “Be imitators of God,” showing grace and forgiveness to others, just as God has done so to us in Christ. Because at the end of the day, we too should lie humbly at the foot of Christ’s cross & marvel that any of us are saved at all.

 

We need to hear the Gospel every day, because we forget it every day. – Martin Luther

 

Written by Antonio Salgado

 

Please pray for our BCMS workers serving faithfully in hard places. May the Gospel continue to go forth, to God be the glory.

“I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” – Philippians 1:3-5

If the Lord so lies on your heart to give back to Him by supporting this ministry, you can easily donate online through PayPal. Click the donate button below to send support of any amount directly to the ministry. This is the fastest option to get funds to the mission field.

 

 

Also,

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

You may begin sending your support to BCMS/Antonio Salgado at any time at the address above. (Checks should be made payable to Central Missionary Clearinghouse or C.M.C.)

You can also now give to the ministry online through the new giving solution called “click and give” at the CMC website. To get started, you just need to click on the link below and register the first time. Just a simple click on the donate button on their page (see link below), and then click the “click and give icon/button”.

https://www.cmcmissions.org/donate

For tax exemption, you must send your donation through Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) at the address above. PayPal option is the fastest way to get funds directly to the field in case of emergencies. We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated, so you can be sure that your gift goes directly to the mission field. Whatever you decide, thank you so much for praying for us. Grace and peace.

THE FATHER OF MERCIES AND COMFORTER IN OUR AFFLICTIONS

Let’s face it, everyone has problems they are dealing with. And it can be hard, very hard. Whether it be some bad news about your health, a life changing or terminal diagnosis, or of someone very close to you. It could be behavioral issues of a small child or a rebellious teen, marital strife, loss of employment or some other financial crisis that can seriously compound and worsen any of these issues. To be sure, it can happen in the seemingly safest of environments. How much more will it happen on the mission field, in a different context than your own, far from all that was once dear and familiar. Where stress and dangers are multiplied and difficulty becomes a way of life. It just comes with the territory. These difficulties at times can be rooted in our own sin, neglect or irresponsibility. Or we could find ourselves caught in the crossfire of someone else’s sin. Or it may just be the effects of a fallen world on those closest to us. It can still affect us deeply.

It can be enough to send someone spiraling into depression or some other unhealthy state of mind or spiritual low that feels like an inescapable, dark valley of despair. During those moments, God can seem distant and our prayers and groans of anguish towards heaven can even feel to us as if they go unheard. Thank God that is not the case! But if we are honest, it can feel that way sometimes. As believers, we can be truly trusting the Lord through the storm, but it doesn’t always make it easier, humanly speaking. We may even find ourselves at our wits end, crying out in fear like the disciples did on the boat “Lord save us! We are going to die!”

Even though a season of peace and tranquility may be coming afterward (maybe), at the moment, it can feel crushing and almost too much to bear. Some suffer for a season, some deal with it for a lifetime.

“Even when I go through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4

Many “storms” in life wreak havoc and leave a path of destruction in their wake, just like real storms. And just like in a real storm, it usually takes time to “rebuild” after the damage has been done. Some storms can be life changing and for some, even life ending. Many find themselves in shock and rattled to the core, left only to mourn over their situation and pick up the pieces as they move forward limping from the traumatic and hurtful experience. This happens every day to some people, for different periods of time, somewhere. We should not be surprised. We should actually learn to expect it eventually if we understand what Scripture says about the fallen nature of the world in which we live and the effects of sin as long as we live here.

God does in fact give us more than we can handle. Please don’t be one of those people who say that He doesn’t, or that He only does so because He knows we can handle it (as if were actually so strong in and of ourselves). If we could do it on our own and in our own strength, we wouldn’t need Him. Gideon comes to mind. (And may I briefly say, the popular but often misquoted verse in 1 Corinthians does not mean what you may think it means.)

The Lord brings suffering to our lives more often than we like. But He has His reasons, and we must trust Him through it. We must. Sure, we can know God’s plan and will in general, but oftentimes His plans for us as individuals in the details of our daily lives are not so easy to see or understand. God’s plans for us are often quite different from ours.

But if we find ourselves really struggling while suffering, we should ask ourselves this.  When things get hard, where else can we really go? Where does our help really come from? Sure the Lord will use people as a means to comfort us and help us, but ultimately only He can give us peace. True peace. Where will we find our strength to endure other than in our Lord’s unchanging nature, faithful promises in Christ and loving care?

He is our Strong Tower, our Rock, our Shield and Fortress to which we run to for comfort, shelter and peace. Only in Christ are we truly safe, and apart from Christ we can do nothing.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have what I need.- Psalm 23:1

I’m reminded of a well known modern hymn that beautifully says:

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

Beautiful moving words right? But the question is, do we believe it?

Do we really believe Him?

Do we really trust Him?

Do we really believe that He is good?

Do we really believe that He is working out all things for good for those who love Him, even when we can’t see it?

It is important to remember that regardless of what we believe, He will be glorified. Even through the seemingly most terrible of circumstances. But we can also rest as we remember that He is a kind, compassionate, unchanging and faithful Father and draw near to Him. We must learn to abide in Christ. His Sovereign hand and love for his people will be the pillow we rest our weary heads on.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart celebrates, and I give thanks to him with my song. – Psalm 28:7

The unchanging nature of God is an anchor that keeps us clinging to the Rock that shall never fail us or cast us out during those difficult moments, or ever for that matter if you are in Christ. As I write this, many people who are dear to me come to mind. Close family members and family in the faith who are presently dealing with some of the very things I mentioned at the beginning, or even worse at this very moment. Pray for me and for other missionaries that know of these storms all too well. But also pray for those in your church who are suffering. A neighbor, a friend, or maybe even someone in your own household.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

To them, I can only say trust Him, praise Him, get alone with Him and His Word and pray. He is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our affliction. The Lord is our Shepherd, we have what we need. If we persevere, we will be more like Jesus when it’s over. And believe it or not, we will even be thankful for those difficult but transforming storms in our lives. Pray.

I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.- Charles Spurgeon

Written by Antonio Salgado

WHERE ARE OUR MISSIONARIES? (ENGLISH VERSION)

Where Are Our Missionaries? (The Latin American church and the lack of outward missionary efforts)

The Command is to Send Missionaries, Not Just Receive Them

Is your church a missionary church? Are you committed to praying for, giving to, or possibly preparing a brother or sister from your church to go on a mission trip? Do you have a desire to work in missions?

In many Latin American countries, we have seen great missionary efforts from groups and individuals from various foreign organizations. Many churches have received groups of “missionaries” or have met missionaries personally who work in their town or even in their local church. Many of the people I have met here in the Dominican Republic have been the fruit of these missionary efforts. Of course, what has been done in Latin America has happened despite the problems of the region. In addition, we cannot deny that God has used them despite these many difficulties. But by God’s grace, at the end of the day, the church arrived, and for this reason today we have worshippers of Jesus Christ in Latin America. Does it have its problems? Yes. Is there work to be done? Very much! But we give thanks and glory to God first for that.

However, there is something worrying that happened with the “passing of the torch of the gospel.” The vision fell short in many places, or perhaps the mission was not communicated well in its fullness. When a people recognizes their responsibility to reach their population with the gospel, they are headed in the right direction. But it must be understood that within the mandate remains the element of going beyond, and we cannot ignore it. So we must define the terms.

What happened after the transfer of that sacred truth that is the gospel, when it passed from one distant land to another? Why does it seem that many countries receive missionaries, but generally very few in Latin America have sent missionaries to other places? Many believe that evangelizing their own people is enough and bringing the gospel to other places in their own country is enough to participate in the Great Commission. For many, this is missions.

I have persoanlly witnessed entire “mission” campaigns on a national level of a certain baptist denomination that focused its entire month of missions on trying to get people to go out and share the gospel in their neighborhoods. Where most of their neighbors were exactly like them. I applaud the effort, but it was am emphasis on evangelism, not missions. I was asked to speak at a church who was participating. I was the only missionary there. I was gentle and loving. But I was clear that what was going on that day was much more evangelism than actual missions and that we just shouldn’t stop there. I remember receiving many blank stares after saying that. Their concept of missions was actually evangelism. We must define the terms.

Let’s see what the gospel of Matthew 28:18-20 says:

“Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.  Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Some brief observations:

* Jesus declares his supreme authority before His disciples.
* Based on that authority, Jesus gives orders to his disciples that include:
* Going to other places
* Making disciples of all nations (πάντα τὰ ἔθνη)
(groups with ethnolinguistic and cultural differences, within any nation, and outside in other nations as well).
* Baptizing believers.
* Teaching them to obey Jesus.
* Jesus promises to be with us always.

Generally, any biblical church understands the importance of evangelizing, understands the concept of making disciples by teaching new believers how to follow Christ. And many understand the ordinance of baptism and the importance of growing in knowledge and obedience to the teachings of our Lord.

But for one reason or another, we have failed greatly in a vitally important element of the Great Commission. The mandate includes going beyond, to people different from us. I am referring to an intentionally transcultural ministry, crossing ethnolinguistic and even geographical barriers, intentionally bringing the gospel to people different from us and starting the same process with them as was done when the gospel came to our context. There are some churches that, yes, have managed to send some, but if we are honest in view of the big picture, there are very few.

Where do we begin?

First, the most practical and natural thing is to reach out to people in our families, neighbors, coworkers, etc. But that’s really just evangelism. We need to have a plan to reach out to foreigners and make disciples of them as well. Maybe your church doesn’t have the resources to go, or support sending someone to a faraway land. But have you ever thought about the foreigners who live in your community, in your city? Groups that are usually looked down upon. They need the gospel too. And that would be a perfect example of participating in missions locally.

What would you think if I told you, with great sadness, that I have heard a pastor with my own ears say that he is not interested in reaching out to “those people”? This man then said that, “They can come to my church if they want, but I will not make an effort to reach out to them beyond that.”

“Those people!” At that moment, my heart was broken. This pastor was contradicting part of the mandate of Jesus. The most ironic thing is that if it were not for missionaries from other countries who brought the gospel to his country, he would not have the hope he has now either. Thank God that the brothers who reached this man’s country did not think the same way.

Why it is important to define the terms?

If we do not understand that the Great Commission carries with it the intention of propelling outward and reaching people different from us where we live, and even further to other ethnicities outside our borders as well, we do not understand the concept of missions.

In short, evangelizing is bringing the gospel to our own people and of course evangelism is very important. But, according to the biblical pattern, missions could be better defined as the “intentional way of crossing cultural barriers to evangelize and disciple.”

We are wrong when we only evangelize people of our own culture and think that we are fulfilling the mission, when in reality, it is only a part of the mission. The text does not present us with the luxury of only working here or there, one group or another. It is both things. The Lord with all authority in heaven and on earth said to “all nations, to all the world.” And I repeat, that was a command, not a suggestion. The King of kings has given His orders; period. I agree with John Piper when speaking about missions he says: “We only have three options, to go, to send, or to disobey.” It is key that we can understand this, that missions should not be optional for the church.

Below, I present some evidences that may show that many churches have lost focus, and then you will be able to see some practical suggestions to start taking the Great Commission more seriously in our local churches, even with the few resources that many churches have.

Evidences that we have lost focus of the mission

Churches with growth invest their resources (and sometimes even go into debt) with secondary matters; such as better equipment, larger temples, a multitude of fun activities, etc. But in order not to be misinterpreted, I must clarify that these are good things and none of them are a sin in themselves. I would never say something like that. But, if I ask you to honestly examine our priorities. The budgets of each church reveal a lot about the true priorities of any ministry. If we take the words of the Lord seriously, the Great Commission should be one of those priorities.

Evidences that we have lost focus of the mission:

  • Receiving and thanking missionaries from other countries who come and help, but without having any urgency to understand the need to imitate that kind of sacrifice and dedication for others. What we have received was never only for us.
  • No long-term plan to prepare and send missionaries from local churches.
  • -No funds allocated in the church budget to support some people who are already working in the mission field.
  • No place on your prayer list for missionaries in other countries, or for the Lord to raise up missionaries from your congregation to give their lives in the mission field in another country.

It is time for us to learn to obey the Lord and step outside our comfort zones, my brothers. This is God’s plan, and we should not give ourselves the luxury of ignoring the most difficult parts of following Christ. Let us remember that in the book of Acts, the disciples had to suffer persecution in order to spread the gospel to other cities and nations. We should not expect anything different for us.

Some suggestions for adjusting our focus and beginning to participate in the Great Commission:

  • Firstly, we must pray. Let us pray for missionaries in other countries. Brothers and sisters who give or put their lives in contexts much more difficult than ours.
  • Let us pray that the Lord will put a passion in the hearts of the members of his church to present the gospel in other nations.
  • Let us pray for provision so that we can support missionaries and eventually send others. Faithfulness is more important than quantity, and the people who give offerings and pray for missions play a role of equal importance to that of the missionary in the field.
  • Let us pray and choose a country for which to pray frequently, for the missions and the church of that country. Praying for missions in other nations is participating in those missions. We depend on the Lord, and we cannot do it in our own strength.
  • Let us pray that the Lord will raise up one of his own church to the mission field, possibly it could be you. Would you be willing?**
  • Be intentional in preparing leaders. This should always be a priority in any church. If you have faithful men working in the ministry, who know the Word of Truth, they will be the best candidates. If they are to be effective as missionaries, they must be good theologians.
  • Above all, do the work of an evangelist. Preach to everyone. But you must be intentional in seeking opportunities to build relationships with people from other cultures as well (even if it is with translators), take the time to learn things about them and their culture, with the goal of preaching the gospel to them. This is also participating in missions.

If you open your eyes you will realize that God brings a mission field to your own doorstep. Opportunities abound, Christ has all authority and thank God He promised to be with us. What else do we need? What stops us?

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations… – Jesus

(This article was originally written in Spanish. The context is of the Latin American church and the lack of outward missionary efforts. Written and translated by Antonio Salgado.)

If the Lord so lies on your heart to give back to Him by supporting this ministry:

You can donate to this ministry online with PayPal. Click the donate button below to send support of any amount directly to the ministry. This is the fastest option to get funds to us. Click the link below for that option.

Also,

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

The ministry of (CMC) serves hundreds of missionaries, but they ONLY receive the funds for us and in no way have control over how the funds are to be spent or what we are to do as a ministry, which gives room to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and the liberty in making needed adjustments.

You may begin sending your support to the BCMS (Antonio Salgado) at any time at the address above. (Checks should be made payable to Central Missionary Clearinghouse or C.M.C.)

You can also now give to the ministry here in the DR online through the new giving solution called “click and give” at the CMC website.

To get started, you just need to click on the link below and register the first time. Just a simple click on the donate button on their page (see link below), and then click the “click and give icon/button”.

https://www.cmcmissions.org/donate

For tax exemption, you must send your donation through Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) at the address above. But the PayPal option is the fastest way to get funds directly to the field.

We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated, so you can be sure that your gift goes directly to the mission field.

Whatever you decide, thank you so much for praying for us. Grace and peace.

¿DÓNDE ESTÁN NUESTROS MISIONEROS?

¿DÓNDE ESTÁN NUESTROS MISIONEROS?

El Mandato Es Enviar Misioneros, No Solo Recibirlos

¿Es su iglesia una iglesia misionera? ¿Tienes un compromiso con orar, dar o posiblemente preparar un hermano de su iglesia para ir de misión? ¿Tiene deseo de trabajar en misiones?

En muchos países de Latinoamérica se ha visto un gran esfuerzo misionero de grupos e individuos de varias organizaciones extranjeras. Muchas iglesias han recibido grupos de “misioneros” o han conocido misioneros personalmente que trabajan en su pueblo o aun en su iglesia local. Muchas de las personas que he conocido aquí en R.D. han sido fruto de estos esfuerzos misioneros. Por supuesto, lo que se ha hecho en Latinoamérica ha sucedido a pesar de los problemas de la región. además, no podemos negar que Dios los ha usado a pesar de estas muchas dificultades. Pero por la gracia de Dios, al final del día, la iglesia llegó y por esta razón hoy en día tenemos adoradores de Jesucristo en Latinoamérica. ¿Tiene sus problemas? Si; ¿Hay trabajo que hacer? Mucho; Pero damos gracias y gloria a Dios primero por eso.

Sin embargo, hay algo preocupante que sucedió con la “transferencia de la antorcha del evangelio” La visión quedó corta en muchos lugares, o quizás no se comunicó bien la misión en su plenitud. Cuando un pueblo reconoce su responsabilidad de alcanzar a su población con el evangelio, van en una buena dirección. Pero hay que entender que dentro del mandato permanece el elemento de ir más allá y no lo podemos ignorar. Entonces debemos definir los términos.

¿Qué pasó después de la transferencia de esa sagrada verdad que es el evangelio, cuando se pasó de una tierra lejana a otra? ¿Porque parece que muchos países reciben a misioneros, pero por lo general muy pocos en América Latina han enviado misioneros a otros lugares? Muchos creen que con evangelizar su propio pueblo basta y en llevar el evangelio a otros lugares de su propio país es suficiente para participar en la Gran Comisión. Para muchos, esto es misiones. Y en un sentido lo es, en parte. Pero no podemos detenernos allí.

¿Qué pasó después de la transferencia de esa sagrada verdad que es el evangelio, cuando se pasó de una tierra lejana a otra? ¿Porque parece que muchos países reciben a misioneros, pero por lo general muy pocos en América Latina han enviado misioneros a otros lugares? Muchos creen que con evangelizar su propio pueblo basta y en llevar el evangelio a otros lugares de su propio país es suficiente para participar en la Gran Comisión. Para muchos, esto es misiones. Y en un sentido lo es, en parte. Pero no podemos detenernos allí.

Veamos que dice el evangelio de Mateo 28:18-20 NBL dice:

“Acercándose Jesús, les dijo: Toda autoridad me ha sido dada en el cielo y en la tierra.  Vayan, pues, y hagan discípulos de todas las naciones, bautizándolos en el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo, enseñándoles a guardar todo lo que les he mandado; y ¡recuerden! Yo estoy con ustedes todos los días, hasta el fin del mundo.”

Algunas breves observaciones

Jesús declara su autoridad suprema delante de Sus discípulos.
Basado en esa autoridad Jesús da órdenes a sus discípulos que incluyen:

  • Salir a otros lugares
  • Hacer discípulos de todas las naciones (πάντα τὰ ἔθνη)
    (grupos con diferencias etnolingüísticas y culturales, dentro de cualquier nación, y fuera en otras naciones también).
  • Bautizando creyentes.
  • Enseñándoles obedecer a Jesús.
  • Jesús promete estar con nosotros siempre

Por lo general, cualquier iglesia bíblica entiende la importancia de evangelizar, entiende el concepto de hacer discípulos por medio de la enseñanza a los nuevos creyentes sobre como seguir a Cristo. Y muchos entienden la ordenanza de bautismo y la importancia de crecer en conocimiento y obediencia a las enseñanzas de nuestro Señor.

Pero por una razón u otra, hemos fallado grandemente en un elemento sumamente importante de la gran comisión. El mandato incluye ir más allá, a personas diferentes de nosotros. Me refiero a un ministerio intencionalmente transcultural, cruzando barreras etnolingüísticas y aun geográficas, intencionalmente llevando el evangelio a personas diferente de nosotros y comenzando el mismo proceso con ellos que se hizo cuando el evangelio llego a nuestro contexto. Hay algunas iglesias que, si lo han hecho, han logrado enviar algunos, pero si somos honestos en vista del gran panorama, son muy pocos.

¿DÓNDE COMENZAMOS?

En primer lugar, lo mas practico y natural es alcanzar personas en nuestras familias, vecinos, compañeros de trabajo, etc. Pero realmente eso es solo evangelizar. Debemos de tener un plan para acercarnos a los extranjeros y hacer discípulos de ellos también. Tal vez, su iglesia no tiene los recursos para ir, o apoyar enviando a alguien para vaya a una tierra lejana. ¿Pero en un momento has pensado en los extranjeros que viven en tu comunidad, en tu ciudad? Grupos que usualmente son menospreciados. Ellos también necesitan el evangelio. Y eso será un perfecto ejemplo de participar en misiones a nivel local.

Que pensarías si te cuento con una gran tristeza, que he escuché un pastor con mis propios oídos decir que no le interesa alcanzar “esa gente” Este señor luego dijo que, “Pueden venir a mi iglesia si quieren, pero yo no hare un esfuerzo para alcanzarlos a ellos aparte de eso.” ¡¿Esa gente!? En ese momento mi corazón fue quebrantado. Este pastor estaba contradiciendo parte del mismo mandato de Jesús. Lo mas irónico es que si no fuera por misioneros de otros países que trajeron el evangelio a su país, él tampoco tuviera la esperanza que tiene ahora. Gracias a Dios que los hermanos que alcanzaron el país de este hombre no pensaron de esa misma manera.

Pero por eso es importante definir los términos. Si no entendemos que la gran comisión lleva consigo la intención de propulsar hacia a fuera y alcanzar personas diferentes a nosotros donde vivimos, y aun mas allá a otras etnias diferentes fuera de nuestras fronteras también, no entendemos el concepto de misiones. En pocas palabras, evangelizar es llevar el evangelio a nuestra propia gente y por supuesto el evangelismo es una importante parte de misiones. Pero misiones se podría definir mejor como la manera intencional de cruzar barreras culturales para evangelizar y discipular.

Nos equivocamos cuando solo evangelizamos gente de nuestra misma cultura y pensamos que estamos cumpliendo con la misión, cuando en realidad, es solo una parte de la misión. El texto no nos presenta el lujo de solo trabajar aquí o allá, un grupo u otro. Son las dos cosas. El Señor con toda autoridad en el cielo y en la tierra dijo a “todas las naciones, a todo el mundo. Y repito, eso fue un mandato, no una sugerencia. El Rey de reyes ha dado Sus órdenes; Punto. Estoy de acuerdo con John Piper cuando hablando respecto a las misiones dice: “Solo tenemos tres opciones, ir, enviar, o desobedecer.” Es clave que podamos entender esto, que las misiones no deben ser opcional para la iglesia.

A continuación, presento unas evidencias que pueden mostrar que muchas iglesias han perdido el enfoque, y después podrán ver algunas sugerencias prácticas para comenzar a tomar la gran comisión con mas seriedad en nuestras iglesias locales, aun con los pocos recursos que muchas iglesias cuentan.

Evidencias de que hemos perdido en enfoque de la misión:

Iglesias con crecimiento invierten sus recursos (y aun a veces se ponen en deuda) con asuntos secundarios; como mejores equipos, templos más amplios, una multitud de actividades divertidas, etc. Pero para no ser malinterpretado debo aclarar que estas son cosas buenas y ninguna es pecado en sí. Jamás diría algo así. Pero, si les pido que examinemos de manera honesta nuestras prioridades. Los presupuestos de cada iglesia revelan mucho acerca de las verdaderas prioridades de cualquier ministerio. Si tomamos en serio las palabras del Señor, la gran comisión debe ser una de esas prioridades.

El recibir y agradecer por misioneros de otros países que vienen y ayudan, pero sin tener ninguna urgencia en entender la necesidad de imitar ese tipo de sacrificio y entrega para otros. Lo que hemos recibido nunca era solo para nosotros.

Ningún plan de largo plazo para preparar y enviar misioneros desde las iglesias locales.

Ningún fondo asignado en el presupuesto de la iglesia para apoyar algunas personas que ya están trabajando en el campo misionero.

Ningún lugar en su lista de oraciones por misioneros en otros países, o para que el Señor levante misioneros de su congregación para dar su vida en el campo misionero en otro país.

Es tiempo que aprendamos a obedecer al Señor y salir de nuestras zonas de confort mis hermanos. Esto es el plan de Dios y no debemos darnos el lujo de ignorar las partes más difíciles de seguir a Cristo, recordemos que en el libro de los hechos los discípulos debieron recibir una persecución para poder expandir el evangelio a las demás ciudades y naciones, no debemos esperar que a nosotros nos suceda igual.

Sugerencias para ajustar nuestros enfoques y comenzar a participar en la gran comisión:
En primer lugar, debemos orar. Oremos por misioneros en otros países. Hermanos y hermanas que dan o ponen sus vidas en contextos mucho más difíciles que la nuestra.

Oremos para que el Señor ponga la pasión en los corazones de los miembros de su iglesia para presentar el evangelio en las demás naciones.
Oremos por provisión para poder apoyar a los misioneros y eventualmente enviar a otros. La fidelidad es más importante que cantidad, y las personas que dan ofrendas y oran por las misiones que cumplen un papel con la misma importancia que el del misionero en el campo.

Oremos y elijan un país por el cual orar frecuentemente, por las misiones y la iglesia de dicho país. Orar por las misiones en otras naciones es participar en dichas misiones. Dependemos del Señor y no podemos hacerlo en nuestras propias fuerzas.

Oremos para que el Señor levante uno de su propia iglesia al campo misionero, posiblemente podría ser usted. ¿Estarías dispuesto?

Ser intencional en preparar líderes. Esto siempre debe ser una prioridad en cualquier iglesia. Si tienes hombres fieles trabajando en el ministerio, que conocen la Palabra de Verdad, ellos serán los mejores candidatos. Si va ser eficaz como misionero, debe ser un buen teólogo.

Sobre todo, haga el trabajo de un evangelista. Predícale a todo el mundo. Pero debes ser intencional en buscar oportunidades de establecer relaciones con personas de otras culturas también (aunque sea con traductores), toma el tiempo de aprender cosas de ellos y de su cultura, con la meta de predicarle el evangelio. Esto también es participar en misiones.

Si abres los ojos te darás cuenta de que Dios trae un campo misionero a tu propia puerta. Las oportunidades abundan, Cristo tiene toda autoridad y gracias a Dios Él prometió estar con nosotros. ¿Qué más necesitamos? ¿Qué nos detiene?

Vayan, pues, y hagan discípulos de todas las naciones… – Jesús

Please pray for our BCMS workers serving faithfully in hard places. May the Gospel continue to go forth, to God be the glory.

“I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” – Philippians 1:3-5

If the Lord so lies on your heart to give back to Him by supporting this ministry:

You can donate to this ministry online with PayPal. Click the donate button below to send support of any amount directly to the ministry. This is the fastest option to get funds to us. Click the link below for that option.

Also,

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

The ministry of (CMC) serves hundreds of missionaries, but they ONLY receive the funds for us and in no way have control over how the funds are to be spent or what we are to do as a ministry, which gives room to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and the liberty in making needed adjustments.

You may begin sending your support to the BCMS (Antonio Salgado) at any time at the address above. (Checks should be made payable to Central Missionary Clearinghouse or C.M.C.)

You can also now give to the ministry here in the DR online through the new giving solution called “click and give” at the CMC website.

To get started, you just need to click on the link below and register the first time. Just a simple click on the donate button on their page (see link below), and then click the “click and give icon/button”.

https://www.cmcmissions.org/donate

For tax exemption, you must send your donation through Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) at the address above. But the PayPal option is the fastest way to get funds directly to the field.

We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated, so you can be sure that your gift goes directly to the mission field.

Whatever you decide, thank you so much for praying for us. Grace and peace.

¿QUE SIGNIFICA CRISTO CÉNTRICO?

“Entonces él les dijo: —¡Insensatos y tardos de corazón para creer todo lo que los profetas han dicho! ¿No era necesario que el Cristo padeciera estas cosas y que entrara en su gloria? Y comenzando desde Moisés y siguiendo por todos los profetas, les declaraba en todas las Escrituras lo que de él decían.” San Lucas‬ 24:25-27‬ RVR95‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“porque si creyerais a Moisés, me creeríais a mí, porque de mí escribió él.” San Juan‬ 5:46‬ RVR95‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Hay mucho en las redes sociales entre los cristianos que usan este término, muchos libros, sermones, canciones. ¿Pero qué significa y exactamente, y porque se usa? ¿Por qué tanto énfasis? ¿Tal vez la pregunta más importante será, es bíblico darle tanto énfasis a la persona y obra de Cristo? Este tema es uno cuál es simple, pero a la vez muy profundo y tiene que ver con la teología del “cumplimiento” y es un tema que el mismo Antiguo Testamento da prioridad. Es el mensaje que Juan el Bautista predicó, Jesús y los apóstoles predicaron, y es el tema que llega al mismo corazón del evangelio. 

El Apóstol Pablo declaró que Jesús vino cuando el tiempo fue cumplido. Por lo menos esto implica que hubo un tiempo de preparación. Preparación de algo grande anticipado. En el plan de Dios progresivo, todo de lo que había sucedido tenía su propósito y meta de señalar, y exaltar a Cristo.  La era de Moisés apuntaba a este momento de cumplimiento y dio énfasis a ese momento venidero. La llegada del Hijo de Dios indicaba la culminación de ese tiempo. Hasta este punto en la historia, esto había sido la meta de TODO que había sucedido en el pasado.

El Señor prometió en varias ocasiones un Redentor, Salvador, el Mesías, el mejor y mayor profeta y dador de ley. Todos los tipos y sombras en el Antiguo Testamento eran solamente sombras del que ha de venir.  Se puede decir que nunca ha existido un verdadero rey, un verdadero, profeta, un verdadero juez, un verdadero maestro. ¡Porque en un sentido todos del pasado eran nada más que sombras del Verdadero, el Señor Jesucristo!

¡Desde Génesis a Malaquías hay algunos 353 profecías acerca de Cristo cumplidas en el Nuevo Testamento! 

La Biblia fue escrita y preservada para nosotros, ¡pero no es acerca de nosotros, las Escrituras dan testimonio de Cristo! Todas las promesas son a Él, a Cristo, y somos herederos de esas promesas por fe en Él.

“Porque todas las promesas de Dios son en él «sí», y en él «Amén», por medio de nosotros, para la gloria de Dios.” 2 Corintios‬ 1:20‬ RVR95‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

San Agustín es que está acreditado con decir, “el antiguo está en el nuevo revelado, y el nuevo está en el antiguo ocultado”.

Desde Génesis vemos en el protoevangelio, la primera promesa de redención, que se cumplió en la cruz.

“Pondré enemistad entre ti y la mujer, y entre tu simiente y la simiente suya; esta te herirá en la cabeza, y tú la herirás en el talón.” Génesis‬ 3:15‬ RVR95‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

En Deuteronomio vemos la promesa de un profeta como Moisés… Pero mejor, mayor.

“»Un profeta como yo te levantará Jehová, tu Dios, de en medio de ti, de tus hermanos; a él oiréis.” Deuteronomio‬ 18:15‬ RVR95‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

En el Nuevo Testamento vemos El Padre decir lo mismo de una nube de gloria en la transfiguración.

“Y se les aparecieron Moisés y Elías, que hablaban con él. Entonces Pedro dijo a Jesús: «Señor, bueno, es para nosotros que estemos aquí; si quieres, haremos aquí tres enramadas: una para ti, otra para Moisés y otra para Elías.» Mientras él aún hablaba, una nube de luz los cubrió y se oyó una voz desde la nube, que decía: «Este es mi Hijo amado, en quien tengo complacencia; a él oíd.» Al oír esto, los discípulos se postraron sobre sus rostros y sintieron gran temor. Entonces Jesús se acercó y los tocó, y dijo: «Levantaos y no temáis.» Cuando ellos alzaron los ojos, no vieron a nadie, sino a Jesús solo.” San Mateo‬ 17:3-8‬ RVR95‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Moisés y Elías, quienes siempre han representado a la ley y los profetas, en este instante muy significante, desaparecen y el texto dice que alzaron los ojos ¡y no vieron a nadie, sino a Jesús solo! ¡A él oíd! Esto es el mensaje de la Biblia. ¡Jesús es el verdadero Profeta, el verdadero, Rey, el verdadero Maestro, el verdadero Juez, el Sumo sacerdote del mejor y nuevo pacto basado en mejores promesas, y el verdadero y mayor dador de la ley, Su ley!

Todo punta hacia Cristo, los sacrificios, el templo, el tabernáculo, el sábado, y podemos escribir ejemplos innumerables de los tipos y sombras de Cristo en el Antiguo Testamento. Pero el Nuevo lo declara con más claridad.

Cristo está..

“sobre todo principado y autoridad, poder y señorío, y sobre todo nombre que se nombra, no solo en este siglo, sino también en el venidero.” Efesios‬ 1:21‬ RVR95‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Cristo es..

“Él, que es el resplandor de su (Dios) gloria, la imagen misma de su sustancia y quien sustenta todas las cosas con la palabra de su poder…” Hebreos‬ 1:3‬ RVR95‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

¡Es Cristo que sostiene todo en la creación!

En Cristo-

 “fueron creadas todas las cosas, las que hay en los cielos y las que hay en la tierra, visibles e invisibles; sean tronos, sean dominios, sean principados, sean potestades; todo fue creado por medio de él y para él. Y él es antes que todas las cosas, y todas las cosas en él subsisten.” Colosenses‬ 1:16-17‬ RVR95‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Todas las cosas por medio de él fueron hechas, y sin él nada de lo que ha sido hecho fue hecho.”  San Juan‬ 1:3‬ RVR95‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

¡Cristo es todo! Y en la infinita sabiduría de Dios el Padre, Él lo decretó así y El Espíritu lo glorifica y nos guía hacia Él.

Como cristianos, debemos también ser Cristo céntricos, porque Cristo es el centro de todo, y en la Palabra de Dios es así.  Y si Cristo es el centro de la Biblia (Y el universo) entonces debe ser el centro de nuestras vidas también. Nuestra nueva identidad está en Él y en todo momento debemos adorar y dar gracias que por la fe, y con un corazón humilde podemos acercarnos a este Rey de Reyes y Señor de Señores, a quien merece toda honra y gloria y poder por los siglos de los siglos, amén.

El gran misterio en todo esto es esta hermosa verdad:

Pero Dios demuestra su amor para con nosotros, en que siendo aún pecadores, Cristo murió por nosotros. -Romanos 5:8

Arrepiéntete de tu pecado y de confiar en ti mismo.  Ven a Cristo, crea en Cristo, confía en Cristo.  Tendrás paz con Dios, perdón de tus pecados, descanso para tu alma. Centre tu vida en Cristo, porque Él verdaderamente es el centro de todas las cosas.

Escrito por Antonio Salgado, misionero en la República Dominicana

Doy gracias a mi Dios cada vez que me acuerdo de ustedes.  En todas mis oraciones por todos ustedes siempre oro con alegría,  porque han participado en el evangelio desde el primer día hasta ahora.

– Filipenses 1:3 – 5

If the Lord so lies on your heart to give back to Him by supporting this ministry:

You can donate to this ministry online with PayPal. Click the donate button below to send support of any amount directly to the ministry. This is the fastest option to get funds to us. Click the link below for that option.

Also,

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

The ministry of (CMC) serves hundreds of missionaries, but they ONLY receive the funds for us and in no way have control over how the funds are to be spent or what we are to do as a ministry, which gives room to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and the liberty in making needed adjustments.

You may begin sending your support to the BCMS (Antonio Salgado) at any time at the address above. (Checks should be made payable to Central Missionary Clearinghouse or C.M.C.)

You can also now give to the ministry here in the DR online through the new giving solution called “click and give” at the CMC website.

To get started, you just need to click on the link below and register the first time. Just a simple click on the donate button on their page (see link below), and then click the “click and give icon/button”.

https://www.cmcmissions.org/donate

For tax exemption, you must send your donation through Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) at the address above. But the PayPal option is the fastest way to get funds directly to the field.

We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated, so you can be sure that your gift goes directly to the mission field.

Whatever you decide, thank you so much for praying for us. Grace and peace.

WHAT DOES “CHRIST CENTERED” MEAN?

“Then he said to them, ‘Oh, foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Luke 24:25-27 ESV

“For if you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.”
John 5:46 ESV

There is a lot on social media among Christians who use the term “Christ centered”, many books, sermons, and songs. But what does it mean exactly, and why is it used? Why so much emphasis? Perhaps the most important question will be, is it biblical to give so much emphasis to the person and work of Christ? This topic is one that is simple but at the same time very profound and has to do with the theology of “fulfillment” and it is a topic that the Old Testament itself gives priority to. It is the message that John the Baptist preached, Jesus and the apostles preached, and it is the theme that reaches the very heart of the gospel.

The Apostle Paul declared that Jesus came when the time was fulfilled. At the very least, this implies that there was a time of preparation. Preparation for something great anticipated. In the progressive plan of God, everything that had happened had its purpose and goal of pointing to, and exalting Christ.

The era of Moses pointed to this moment of fulfillment and gave emphasis to that coming moment. The arrival of the Son of God indicated the culmination of that time. Up to this point in history, this had been the goal of EVERYTHING that had happened in the past.

The Lord promised on several occasions a Redeemer, Savior, the Messiah, the best and greatest prophet and giver of the law. All the types and shadows in the Old Testament were only shadows of the one who is to come. It can be said that there has never been a true king, a true prophet, a true judge, a true teacher. Because in a sense, all the past were nothing more than shadows of the True One, the Lord Jesus Christ!

From Genesis to Malachi, there are some 353 prophecies about Christ fulfilled in the New Testament!

The Bible was written and preserved for us, but it is not about us, the Scriptures testify of Christ! All the promises are to Him, to Christ, and we are heirs of those promises by faith in Him.

“for all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter the Amen to the glory of God through us.”
2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV

Saint Augustine is credited with saying, “the old is in the new revealed, and the new is in the old hidden.”

From Genesis, we see in the ‘protoevangelium’, the first promise of redemption, which was fulfilled on the cross.

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Genesis 3:15 ESV

In Deuteronomy, we see the promise of a prophet like Moses… But better, greater.

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You shall listen to him.”
Deuteronomy 18:15 ESV

In the New Testament, we see The Father say the same thing from a cloud of glory at the transfiguration.

“And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself.”
Matthew 17:3-8 ESV

Moses and Elijah, who have always represented the law and the prophets, at this very significant moment, disappear and the text says that they looked up, and saw no one, except Jesus alone! To him, give ear! This is the message of the Bible. Jesus is the true Prophet, the true King, the true Teacher, the true Judge, the High Priest of the better and new covenant based on better promises, and the true and greater giver of the law, His law!

Everything points to Christ, the sacrifices, the temple, the tabernacle, the Sabbath, and we can write countless examples of the types and shadows of Christ in the Old Testament. But the New Testament declares it with more clarity.

Christ is..

“above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”
Ephesians 1:21 ESV

Christ is..

“the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”
Hebrews 1:3 ESV

It is Christ who sustains everything in creation!

In Christ..

“all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”Colossians 1:16-17 ESV

“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
John 1:3 ESV

Christ is everything! And in the infinite wisdom of God the Father, He decreed it so and the Spirit glorifies Him and guides us to Him.

As Christians, we must also be Christ centered because Christ is the center of everything, including the Word of God. And if Christ is the center of the Bible (and the universe) then He must be the center of our lives as well. Our new identity is in Him and at all times we must worship and give thanks that by faith, and with a humble heart we can approach this King of Kings and Lord of Lords to whom is due all honor and glory and power forever and ever amen.

The great mystery in all this is this beautiful truth:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 ESV

Repent of your sin and of trusting in yourself. Come to Christ, believe in Christ, trust in Christ. You will have peace with God, forgiveness of your sins, and rest for your soul. Center your life in Christ, because He truly is the center of all things.

Written by Antonio Salgado serving in the Dominican Republic

“I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” – Philippians 1:3-5

If the Lord so lies on your heart to give back to Him by supporting this ministry:

You can donate to this ministry online with PayPal. Click the donate button below to send support of any amount directly to the ministry. This is the fastest option to get funds to us. Click the link below for that option.

Also,

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

The ministry of (CMC) serves hundreds of missionaries, but they ONLY receive the funds for us and in no way have control over how the funds are to be spent or what we are to do as a ministry, which gives room to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and the liberty in making needed adjustments.

You may begin sending your support to the BCMS (Antonio Salgado) at any time at the address above. (Checks should be made payable to Central Missionary Clearinghouse or C.M.C.)

You can also now give to the ministry here in the DR online through the new giving solution called “click and give” at the CMC website.

To get started, you just need to click on the link below and register the first time. Just a simple click on the donate button on their page (see link below), and then click the “click and give icon/button”.

https://www.cmcmissions.org/donate

For tax exemption, you must send your donation through Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) at the address above. But the PayPal option is the fastest way to get funds directly to the field.

We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated, so you can be sure that your gift goes directly to the mission field.

Whatever you decide, thank you so much for praying for us. Grace and peace.

The Biblical Model Part 1 The Actual Mission of Missions

The Actual Mission of “Missions”

What are missions? What is mission work?

It can be a buzz word of sorts in Christian circles. Local missions, foreign missions, “mission minded”, “mission trips”, etc. I, for one, am someone who likes to define the terms when getting into explaining things, anything. We live in a world of so much information that the waters have certainly been muddied.

This makes communication in a postmodern world difficult and unprofitable sometimes, actually many times. There should be a clear understanding of what we mean by our use of any given word, but, someone else may use the VERY SAME word, but mean something else by it. So, let’s define the terms upfront as we think about the topic of “missions.”

What exactly is “the mission” or what are “missions?”

As we think about the New Testament, who do we speak of most, or think about first when we think of missions? Who is the first to pop into your mind? Is it Peter, James or John? Maybe, but I’d have to say probably not. Most people would automatically think. Paul of course. Why is this?

We know that Paul is most remembered as “the missionary” because there is much in the NT about his missionary journeys. But it is important that we remember that he was also the Apostle to the gentiles. The other Apostles pretty much stayed ministering to the Jews, their same people group. While Paul went out to the Gentiles, people different from himself, in places away from his own home, to places where people looked different and spoke different languages and believed different things. They had a different worldview and culture.

The other Apostles pretty much stayed around people who were like themselves, believed the same things, shared the same culture and language. We have to admit that there is definitely a different element about Paul’s mission to the Gentiles, in comparison to the way the Gospel was preached to the Jews in Jerulsalem. Paul crosses cultural lines with the Gospel. He went to the “ethnos” he went to the nations, to other people who were not like him.

In what is known as the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18 – 20, Jesus says the following:

“Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations (ethnos), baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the ἔθνος…
Original Word: ἔθνος
Transliteration: ethnos
Phonetic Spelling: (eth’-nos)
Definition: a race, a nation, the nations
This word can mean:
a race, people, nation; the nations, Gentiles (non Jews).

The Great Commission, in this text, is the “mission” that we as Christians refer to when we talk about “missions.” But in light of the clear command of Christ here, are we using this term correctly? Oftentimes I think we don’t. I must say first of all that I believe that most people have the best of intentions, and I certainly commend their willingness to serve. Nothing but love and respect for them there.

But the mission is to literally take the Gospel and make disciples of people from other nations. Ours too, of course, but not just ours. I don’t think the Scriptures give us the luxury of an “either or” approach when it comes to missions. Each local church should strive to be involved in Gospel proclamation at home and overseas. Whether it be in going, sending, supporting, praying, whatever. But involved and committed, in both local ministry and foreign missions to the best of their ability. Understanding that He who has all authority in heaven and on earth was not just giving a suggestion. It wasn’t a beggar’s plea, but a King’s command to His people!

In foreign missions, the call is to reach and make Christ followers of people who are unlike ourselves. Crossing geographical, ethnolinguistic and cultural boundaries. It could be said that what many call “local missions” is actually evangelism, and/or some other type of ministry. But according to the command, actual missions would be evangelism and discipleship in a different cultural context than your own.

That definition could certainly be broadened, but for now let’s say that at a minimum, missions, as we see in Scripture, is crossing cultural barriers with the Gospel. Some may not see that as significant. But I would argue that it is very important that we make such a distinction. We must define the terms.

I say this only because when we use terms like local missions, we refer to activities that aren’t really missional. We actually are only doing “local missions” if we are crosssing those cultural barriers in your own area or hometown. If you are in a predominantly white church or community, and are reaching nearby populations of Hispanics, Indians, Asians etc., I’d consider that actually doing “local missions.” But anything else …is, well, something else.

It may be benevolence…. good. We must show mercy and help the needy, as we ourselves have been shown mercy.

It may be evangelism…..absolutely essential. We must preach the Gospel everywhere. But this usually plays out most naturally where we live and in the surrounding area with people that are involved in our daily life.

Disaster relief…amen. We should come to the rescue of those in need and suffering. This is not only the right thing to do, but it also opens us up to new opportunities to share the Gospel with people who are not in our immediate circle of influence and are in need of hope.
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In no way am I trying to downplay the importance of these ministries, and important acts of Christian service. But this is not local missions, it’s another kind of good and necessary local ministry.

If we don’t make this distinction, we can fail in at least this area of our calling as Christians. Because if we call something missions that is not missions, we will THINK we are doing what we are called to do, when in fact we are only doing part of what we should be doing (commanded to do). Why? Because we have been calling it something else that it really is not. That’s why defining the terms is so important here.

We are called to evangelize the surrounding community. But the church is also called to the nations (ethos). We can do that through equipping or through going ourselves. We may do that through sending and that means commitment, funding and communication. But when the church does that, and a person takes the gospel across cultural lines, for the purpose of making disciples….then the church has participated in “missions” in the most biblical sense.

What we do know is that mission work is definitely the work of the local church, it is the will of God, and it is the way that God has ordained to call people from every tribe, tongue and nation unto Himself while making His name great among the nations! God is calling a people unto Himself, Christ is building His church, preparing His bride and has invited us into this work. All who name the name of Christ. What an honor it is to serve our King in this way! What kindness, to bring former rebels into His family as sons and daughters, allow us to serve Him in this holy work. Let us understand it not as a sacrifice, but a privilege.

This idea of missions overseas also necessitates a support system. An important partnership between the local church (and other supporting churches), the missionary and the “Epaphroditus.” That fellow soldier and worker, that messenger and minister to the missionary’s need.

I will unpack some of what that partnership looks like in the next article using an example from the book of Philippians.

Grace and peace.
Written by Antonio Salgado Jr.

“I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” – Philippians 1:3-5

If the Lord so lies on your heart to give back to Him by supporting this ministry:

You can donate to this ministry online with PayPal. Click the donate button below to send support of any amount directly to the ministry. This is the fastest option to get funds to us. Click the link below for that option.

Also,

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

The ministry of (CMC) serves hundreds of missionaries, but they ONLY receive the funds for us and in no way have control over how the funds are to be spent or what we are to do as a ministry, which gives room to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and the liberty in making needed adjustments.

You may begin sending your support to the BCMS (Antonio Salgado) at any time at the address above. (Checks should be made payable to Central Missionary Clearinghouse or C.M.C.)

You can also now give to the ministry here in the DR online through the new giving solution called “click and give” at the CMC website.

To get started, you just need to click on the link below and register the first time. Just a simple click on the donate button on their page (see link below), and then click the “click and give icon/button”.

https://www.cmcmissions.org/donate

For tax exemption, you must send your donation through Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) at the address above. But the PayPal option is the fastest way to get funds directly to the field.

We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated, so you can be sure that your gift goes directly to the mission field.

Whatever you decide, thank you so much for praying for us. Grace and peace.

LA CENTRALIDAD DE CRISTO EN TODAS LAS COSAS

“Entonces él les dijo: —¡Insensatos y tardos de corazón para creer todo lo que los profetas han dicho! ¿No era necesario que el Cristo padeciera estas cosas y que entrara en su gloria? Y comenzando desde Moisés y siguiendo por todos los profetas, les declaraba en todas las Escrituras lo que de él decían.”

“porque si creyerais a Moisés, me creeríais a mí, porque de mí escribió él.”

Por que Cristocentrico? Hay mucho en las redes sociales entre los cristianos que usan este termino, muchos libros, sermones,  canciones. Pero que significa y exactamente, y porque se usa? Por que tanta enfasis? Tal vez la pregunta mas importante será,es bíblico darle tanta enfasis a la persona y obra de Cristo? Este tema es uno cual es simple pero a la vez muy profundo y tiene que ver con la teología del “cumplimiento” y es un tema que el mismo Antiguo Testamento da prioridad. Es el mensaje que Juan el Bautista predicó,Jesus y los apostoles predicaron, y es el tema que llega al mismo corazon del evangelio.

El Apostol Pablo declaro que Jesus vino cuando el tiempo fue cumplido. Por lo menos esto implica que hubo un tiempo de preparación. Preparación de algo grande anticipado. En el plan de Dios progresivo, todo de lo que había sucedido tenía su proposito y meta de señalar hacia, y exaltar a Cristo. La era de Moises puntaba a este momento de cumplimiento y dio enfasis a ese momento venidero. El envío del Hijo de Dios indicaba la culminación de ese tiempo. Hasta este punto en la historia, esto había sido la meta de TODO que había sucedido en el pasado. Hablando de las promesas de Dios, todos eran de, y son para Cristo.

El Señor prometió en varias ocasiones un Redentor, Salvador, el Mesias, el mejor y mayor profeta y dador de ley. Todos los tipos y sombras en el Antiguo Testamento eran solo sombras De el que ha de venir.  Se puede decir que nunca ha existido un verdadero rey, un verdadero,  profeta,un verdadero juez, un verdadero maestro. Por que en un sentido todos del pasado eran nada mas que sombras del Verdadero, el Señor Jesucristo!

Desde Genesis a Malaqúias hay algunos 353 profecias acerca de Cristo cumplidas en el Nuevo Testamento!

La Biblia fue escrita y preservada para nosotros, pero no es acerca de nosotros, las Escrituras dan testimonio de Cristo! Todas las promesas son a Él, a Cristo, y somos herederos de esas promesas por fe en Él.

“porque todas las promesas de Dios son en él «sí», y en él «Amén», por medio de nosotros, para la gloria de Dios.”

Agustín es que está acreditado con decir, “el antiguo está en el nuevo revelado, y el nuevo está en el antiguo ocultado”.

Desde Genesis vemos en el ‘protoevangelio”, la primera promesa de redención, que se cumplio en la cruz.

“Pondré enemistad entre ti y la mujer, y entre tu simiente y la simiente suya; ésta te herirá en la cabeza, y tú la herirás en el talón.”

En Deutoronomio vemos la promesa de un profeta como Moises… Pero mejor, mayor.

“»Un profeta como yo te levantará Jehová, tu Dios, de en medio de ti, de tus hermanos; a él oiréis.” Deuteronomio‬  18:15

En el Nuevo vemos El Padre decir lo mismo de una nube de gloria en la transfiguración.

“Y se les aparecieron Moisés y Elías, que hablaban con él. Entonces Pedro dijo a Jesús: «Señor, bueno es para nosotros que estemos aquí; si quieres, haremos aquí tres enramadas: una para ti, otra para Moisés y otra para Elías.» Mientras él aún hablaba, una nube de luz los cubrió y se oyó una voz desde la nube, que decía: «Éste es mi Hijo amado, en quien tengo complacencia; a él oíd.» Al oír esto, los discípulos se postraron sobre sus rostros y sintieron gran temor. Entonces Jesús se acercó y los tocó, y dijo: «Levantaos y no temáis.» Cuando ellos alzaron los ojos, no vieron a nadie, sino a Jesús solo.”

Moises y Elias, quienes siempre han representado a la ley y los profetas, en este instante muy significante, desaparecen y el texto dice que alzaron los ojos, y no vieron a nadie, sino a Jesus solo! ¡A él oíd! Esto es el mensaje de la Biblia. Jesus es el verdadero Profeta, el verdadero, Rey, el verdadero Maestro, el verdadero Juez, el Sumosacerdote de el mejor y nuevo pacto basado en mejores promesas, y el verdadero y mayor dador de la ley, Su ley, ¡la ley de Cristo!

Todo punta a Cristo, los sacrificios, el templo, el tabernaculo, el Sabado, y podemos escribir ejemplos inumerables de los tipos y sombras de Cristo en el Antiguo Testamento. Pero el Nuevo lo declara con mas claridad.

Cristo está-

“sobre todo principado y autoridad, poder y señorío, y sobre todo nombre que se nombra, no solo en este siglo, sino también en el venidero.”

Cristo es-

“Él, que es el resplandor de su (Dios) gloria, la imagen misma de su sustancia y quien sustenta todas las cosas con la palabra de su poder…”

¡Es Cristo que sustiene todo en la creación!

En Cristo-

fueron creadas todas las cosas, las que hay en los cielos y las que hay en la tierra, visibles e invisibles; sean tronos, sean dominios, sean principados, sean potestades; todo fue creado por medio de él y para él. Y él es antes que todas las cosas, y todas las cosas en él subsisten.”

Todas las cosas por medio de él fueron hechas, y sin él nada de lo que ha sido hecho fue hecho.”  San Juan‬

¡Cristo es todo! Y en la infinita sabiduria de Dios el Padre, el lo decretó asi y El Espiritú lo glorifica y nos guia hacia Él.

Como critianos, debemos tambien ser Cristocentricos por queCristo es el centro y en la Palabra de Dios es asi.  Y si Cristo es el centro de la Biblia (Y el universo) entonces debe ser el centro de nuestras vidas tambien. Nuestra nueva identidad está en él y en todo momento debemos adorar y dar gracias que por fe, y con un corazon humilde podemos acercarnos a este Rey de Reyes y Señor de Señores a quien merece toda honra y gloria y poder por los siglos de los siglos amen.

El gran misterio en todo esto es esta hermosa verdad:

Pero Dios demuestra su amor para con nosotros, en que siendo aún pecadores, Cristo murió por nosotros.Romanso 5:8

Arrepientate de tu pecado y de confiar en ti mismo.  Venga a Cristo, crea en Cristo, confia en Cristo.  Tendras paz para con Dios, perdon de tus pecados,  descanso para tu alma. Centre su vida en Cristo, porque él verdaderamente es el centro de todas las cosas.

 

Antonio Salgado Jr.

Fundador de Sociedad Misionera Cristiano Bíblico,