People often ask about what GES is doing in other countries. We certainly don’t want to keep the message of grace all to ourselves in the United States! Recently, a few of us went to the country of Moldova to conduct a Bible conference for pastors and others involved in various Christian ministries. Most of the attendees were first exposed to Free Grace theology through the ministry of Bob Bryant–a long-time supporter of GES–and Cypress Valley Bible Church in Marshall, TX.
The conference was held Jan 17-20 in the capital city of Chisinau. There were about forty in attendance. On the first day, Mike Lii, Kathryn Wright, and I talked about the free offer of eternal life through faith in Christ alone. The remainder of the conference dealt with various passages that seem to contradict that free offer.
There was ample time to ask questions, and those questions were outstanding. Most of the attendees understood English, but we used translators to make sure they understood all that was being said. We were able to bring a number of Free Grace books. Moldova is located on the western border of Ukraine and is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Because of generous donors to GES, we were able to give the books out for free. We had a wide variety of books available, including works by Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin. We also had gospel tracts in their native language available.
The comments after the conference were overwhelmingly positive. Many commented that it was great to hear others, besides Bob Bryant, teach Free Grace. Two pastors said that they were already Free Grace but had some questions about certain passages. Specifically, they said they struggled with how to teach James 2. They both said that the Reformed way of understanding James is obviously wrong and that they are now confident when they teach that James 2 is not talking about how a person knows they have eternal life. They said the chapter has completely opened up to them.
These conferences are very important in the lives of these men and their wives. When they go to school for theological training, they very rarely are exposed to Free Grace teaching. One man told me that he learned more about the Bible in the four-day conference than he did in the three years he was in seminary. Those who conducted the conference made it clear that they wanted to do it again in the future if the Lord delays His coming.
Moldova is a country with many Orthodox churches, as well as Protestant churches that are not friendly towards Free Grace teaching. This has led many of those at the conference to start home churches. Mike was asked to speak on Romans 7 at one of these homes. I was asked to speak on Rom 12:9-14 at another home.
I think this trip was great. It shows how we as believers work together to get the message of grace out to as many people as we can. Many are not able to go on such trips, but GES has a number of supporters who make it all possible. It is so heartwarming to spread the message of grace to people who live in a country where the churches almost universally teach works salvation.
Everybody associated with GES can feel good about the role they play in what we do. Thanks.