For most people in the US, the southern border is an area of grave concern. There is a sharp increase in human trafficking in our country. A flood of deadly drugs is pouring across the border, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans each year. With eight million people coming into the US from the south in the last few years, cities are being overrun, stretching municipal budgets to the breaking point. With the war in Israel, there is the added fear that terrorists from other countries have come through the border and established sleeper cells throughout the States. It is difficult to find anything good about the situation.
But there is a silver lining. In Acts 7, Stephen, a godly leader in the early Church, is put to death because he spoke the truth. It was a great loss for the Church. His death resulted in persecution. The Church had to flee Jerusalem. Luke tells us that they were scattered “everywhere.” We could say that they left the borders of Jerusalem and even Judea. But they didn’t just leave. As they went, they preached “the word” (Acts 8:4). That message would have certainly included the message of grace–that eternal life that life can never be lost is given as a free gift by faith alone in Christ. Many people heard that wonderful news for the first time because of the tragedy of Stephen’s death and the persecution that followed.
The number of Spanish-speaking people in the US is growing by the hour due to illegal immigration. It will probably not surprise the readers of this blog that they come from areas where the message of grace is relatively unknown. Many are Catholic. The Protestants among them are weighed down with a works righteousness gospel. Assurance of salvation is practically non-existent among them. They need to hear “the word.”
We run into them all the time. Many churches in our country sponsor Spanish services. If the Lord tarries, we all will have more and more opportunities to speak with people from Central and South America. But while some of these people speak English, many do not. That is where grace resources in Spanish are so helpful, whether we ourselves speak Spanish or not.
In addition to tracts in Spanish (e.g., Grandiosas Noticias, Puedes Estar Seguro!, Agua Vivai), GES has three great Spanish books to give out to these folks who need the message of grace. Zane Hodges’ book, The Gospel Under Siege, has been translated into Spanish. So has my book about the life and death of my daughter, Elisabeth. Recently, a book by Ken White, Seguridad Eterna (“Eternal Security”), has also been published. All are available on the GES website.ii All three resources give a clear message of eternal life that can never be lost, and that assurance is part of the saving message. They also touch on eternal rewards.
If we can get these resources into the hands of Spanish speakers, including the many pastors with whom we have contact, we will share a message the vast majority of them have never heard. We can be like the Jewish believers in Acts 8. Many people came to faith because of those events. I wanted you all to know these resources are available.
The events in the south are troubling. I am sure that the Jews in Acts 8 were troubled as well. But we should not live in fear. God can use those circumstances, as well as those of us who know the message of grace, to accomplish great things for Him.
i This Spanish publication is more than a tract. It is a 67-page perfect bound booklet. It is the Gospel of John (Reina-Valera 1960) with notes in Spanish from Zane Hodges, Art Farstad, Ed Underwood, and Bob Wilkin. GES does not carry this booklet. It is available for free (though donations are greatly appreciated) at livingwater.org (see here).
ii Two are also available on Amazon.com, including Amazon.com in Mexico and Amazon.com in Spain (where they are printed locally, and shipping is free for Amazon Prime members). We plan to get the Spanish version of The Gospel Under Siege on Amazon within six months.