Scott & Sharon MacLean
Serving with Crossworld in Northern Italy

 

A bit of Background
(or Why we do what we do.)

Some background on what we believe and why should help you understand a bit better what we are doing. So the help out here are the answers to three questions:

Why are you working in Italy?

What is church planting?

Aren't you being a little narrow minded?

The answers make the most sense when read in order.

So, why exactly are we working in Italy?

We are working in Italy to carry the most important, life changing message that anyone can hear! That is the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Let me explain exactly what that good news is.

First, we must realize that everyone, that includes you and me, are sinners. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." - Romans 3:23* That is to say we have broken God's law. God, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, is perfect and completely holy. He has set down His perfect and holy law in a book called the Bible. It says things like "Do not lie", "Do not covet", "Love your neighbor as yourself" and "Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength."

From just this small sample we can see that all of us have broken God's laws, and since we have, we stand legally guilty before God and deserving of the penalty He has set for sin. That penalty is death - eternal separation from God in a terrible place called hell. "The wages (or penalty) for sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" - Romans 6:23* There is nothing we can do to redeem ourselves from this punishment. We have sinned. We are guilty. God's holiness demands a punishment. That is very bad news. But there is GOOD news.

God sent His only Son - Jesus Christ - who is fully God and fully man. As God he lived a perfect life. He was completely holy and without sin. As man, he was able to take the punishment we deserved. Jesus became the perfect substitute for us when He died on the cross, shedding His blood to pay the penalty for our sins. "But God showed His love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8* God placed the punishment for our sin on Jesus, so that we could be pardoned and restored to a right relationship with a perfect, holy God. "For God hath made Him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.." 2 Corinthians 5:21* Jesus did not stay dead. Three days later He rose from the dead; God's seal of approval, and evidence that God will raise from the dead all who believe in Jesus.

Now the decision rests with us. We can not earn or deserve God's favor, not by going to church, not by receiving communion, not by being baptized, not by praying, not by any good thing that we do. "Not by works of righteousness [good deeds] which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, … through Jesus Christ our Savior;" Titus 3:5* We must come to God through Jesus Christ. You, like I, must admit to God that you are a sinner, that you have broken His law; that He is right and you (and I) are wrong. You must place our full trust in Jesus Christ, and His death in our place to cover your sins. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes [trusts] in Him [Jesus] should not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16*

Through Jesus you can have forgiveness for all of your sins, a restored relationship with God, and the promise of forever in Heaven with God after death. Won't you trust Jesus today? If you would like to do this - just tell God right now. He can hear you where you are! Then please, send me a message and let me know as well. I'd love to tell you more about how you can follow your new Lord and Savior Jesus!

If you have any questions about this, please contact me and I will be glad to answer whatever questions I can from the Bible.

What is Church Planting?

We are taking the message above to Italy and proclaiming it through many ways (Bible Studies, books, preaching, discussions). As people decide to believe, we will teach them about the Bible. We will train them in how to serve the Lord. They will come together to meet and learn more about God and encourage each other. This gathering is called a church. It is the people who are the church, not the building. Finally, after much teaching and training, the believers in Jesus will be able to run the church in their own, They will be telling other people this good news. We will then move to another community that has no church and begin again.

Aren't you being a little narrow minded?

We clearly say that Jesus is the only way to heaven. No other way will work. Every other way is doomed to failure. Yes, we are narrow minded. But it is not our decision to be that way. The Bible is narrow minded. John 14:6* says "I [Jesus] am THE way, THE truth and THE life. NO ONE comes to the Father [God the Father], BUT THROUGH ME."  We are only faithfully reporting what the Bible says.

But then, the truth is always narrow minded. 2 + 2 ALWAYS equals 4.  Pure water ALWAYS freezes at 32 degrees. Sit next to an exploding grenade and you will ALWAYS be injured or worse. The world is full of narrow minded truth, why should the truth about God be any different?

The good news is that we can know the truth about God, and have time now to get on "the right side" of that truth.

 

* I have listed these verses from the Bible so that you know I am not just presenting my ideas, but rather what God has to say in His Word. I can make mistakes, God never does.

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