For those who follow our blogs, you probably know that my dad, Ken Yates, and I were scheduled to go to Kenya at the end of July. We were going to meet our friend Kristina, who was coming from Italy, and do a week of outreach and a pastors’ conference. We are partnering with Acres of Mercy, a Free Grace ministry located outside of Nairobi. Ken made it safely to Kenya. He spoke Sunday at a church and Monday through Wednesday to a group of over a hundred pastors and their wives. It is going very well. He will finish up speaking at the pastors’ conference Thursday and Friday, take his COVID test on Saturday, speak at a church on Sunday, and then hopefully fly back Sunday evening.
Unfortunately, Kristina and I were not able to make it due to COVID travel restrictions. Neither of us has been vaccinated against COVID. But that has not been an issue before, and it was not supposed to be now. In the course of 48 hours, we were told upwards of eight different requirements for travel to Kenya.
I cannot begin to tell you the hours, resources, and sleep lost because of not being able to fly to Kenya. To say the least, this was not only disappointing, but frustrating and defeating. All our hard work, planning, PCR tests, packing, visas, and more were derailed. It not only impacted us, but the team in Kenya. All the outreach plans scheduled for Kristina and me had to be canceled, and half of our books didn’t make it. To put it mildly, it was a bummer!
We didn’t know the truth. With all the confusion and mixed messages, we didn’t know whom or what to believe. Who was the real authority? Who had the truth? It struck me over the weekend that this is how most people feel about their salvation. When it comes to salvation, the world is full of mixed messages. Whom do you believe?
Should we believe the Catholics, who say that salvation is through the sacraments? The Mormons, who say it’s through works and special underwear? Perhaps the Lordship proponents who say that a lifetime of good works is needed to prove your salvation? Or Arminians who say you must persevere to keep it? And these are just a few of the options you can find within Christendom alone. All seem to know what they are talking about, and all have some sense of authority. Yet no one agrees with one another.
This has left many people feeling as I did on Friday—anxious, frustrated, and ultimately defeated.
Sadly, this is how many people feel about instructions concerning salvation. They give up. Whom can we trust? Just this week, I was made aware of a group on social media dedicated to those who grew up in the church but are leaving because of all the confusion.
While my trust in airlines and travel guides has taken a major hit, I am more thankful today than I was a week ago for knowing where the true authority lies. We can trust the Word of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of John, we are told repeatedly, that we are saved by simply believing in Jesus for eternal life (John 3:16; 4:10,14; 5:24; 6:40, 47; 11:25-27). The Lord never mixes it up. He doesn’t give us eight different requirements from eight different sources. He is the source. He never contradicts Himself. He is consistent.
It is the undeniable truth that one is saved simply by faith in Jesus for eternal life. He is the authority: “the witness of God is greater [than the witness of men]” (1 John 5:9). His witness is that He gives everlasting life to all who believe in the Lord Jesus (1 John 5:11).
Thank God we can have assurance in His testimony. While I may not know when I will be allowed entrance into Kenya again, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I never have to worry about my entrance into the coming kingdom. I don’t need a QR code, visa, vaccine, booster, PCR test, or passport to get into that kingdom.
I have His Word, and it is consistent and true.