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Orem, UT – When you give to your state missions offering, do you sometimes wonder if your money is actually making a difference? To the students at Utah Valley University, it certainly is. UVU is located in Orem, UT and Utah County, the number one most unreached county in North America. Aaron Marshall is a college ministry leader for Gospel Grace Church in Salt Lake City. Last month, he made a trip up to the UVU student union to look for an opportunity to connect with students and possibly open the door to a gospel conversation. Here is his testimony of how that went:
We were tabling at Utah Valley University a few weeks ago. When we table we set up a table with all kinds of Christian literature and information that people can take. We also have a whiteboard that we write a question on to try and get students to engage with us. On this day the question was, “Could you be wrong in your religious views?” We had some good conversations but one in particular stood out. *Arthur is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He actually said that “he could be wrong in what he believed” which I appreciated. “Because of the kinds of claims we are making, religious claims are either true or false for all people, at all times and in all places. They are not just my personal truth.” I responded. He agreed. So then we started talking about ways that we could investigate to determine if our religious views were correct.
We talked about how we needed to have objective, external evidence that we could look at that could give us more confidence that our position was true. We also agreed that if there was good external evidence that went against our position that would mean that there would be good reasons to not hold our current position. So I challenged him with two Biblical tests regarding his faith position. The first test was from Galatians 1 where Paul says that there is only one Gospel and any other Gospel is false. Arthur and I agreed that the gospel that I was sharing with him (the Biblical gospel of salvation by grace through faith alone for eternal life) is different from the Latter Day Saint gospel. We agreed that both of us could not be right. I then challenged him with the Biblical test for a prophet in Deuteronomy 18 and whether Joseph Smith met that test. I gave him two prophecies of Joseph Smith to look at:
(1) the prophecy that a Temple would be built in Independence, Missouri in his lifetime and
(2) the Civil War prophecy.
I challenged him to read those prophecies and determine if they came true. We had a great conversation and he said he wanted to keep talking. Please be praying for Arthur that I can continue to challenge him with the truth claims of Biblical Christianity and the lies of the LDS church.
(*name of the student has been changed to protect his identity)
Plans are currently in place to bring noted apologist, Dr. Frank Turek to the campus of UVU later this month. He will share his message to UVU students titled “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist”. A similar event to this one was hosted on the UofU campus last year. The event takes place on Tuesday, October 18. Please pray for students to hear and respond.
Stories like these happen on a weekly basis across Utah and Idaho campuses, and the leaders who have those conversations are funded in a small way through money you give to the state missions offering. 10% of every dollar given to the State Missions Offering is designated to start, maintain, and facilitate ministry on college campuses across our two states. Our Convention Collegiate Network Coordinator, Ben Neiser, maintains direct connections with these volunteers and missionaries serving on these campuses. He uses these funds to fund free lunches for students, outreach events on the campuses, and retreats that disciple and equip future campus leaders from the students they serve.
I hope you pray about what your church will give towards the State Missions Offering this year. It is not too late to participate in this transformative work happening to reach the next generation of our church leaders studying on our Utah and Idaho campuses right now.
If you want more information about how you can partner to reach a college campus in your area, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. He would love to connect with you and your church.
KELLER, TX- First Baptist Church of Keller, TX hosted a presidential forum on May 4th. Three of the candidates who will be nominated for SBC president at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention when it gathers in Anaheim in June made themselves available on the platform. This forum was livestreamed on ACTS2 Network via their app, but you can also view it here by clicking the link to FBC Keller’s website.
Hear the candidates’ answers on how to encourage evangelism and missions, what they would prioritize, and how best to navigate denominational and cultural challenges in coming months. This event was hosted by Joe Wooddell and Tony Richmond of First Baptist Church Keller.
In addition to the on-demand option to view this forum, Baptist Press published three articles (linked below) that contain specific interviews with each candidate. The order these articles were published were alphabetical and are not, in any way an endorsement or priority ranking of each candidate. Neither Baptist Press, nor Utah Idaho Southern Baptist Convention, nor any member of their respective staffs will take a position on any of the men who have made their names available to be nominated for president of the SBC or any other leadership office within the convention. We make these resources available simply to educate and inform churches and leaders in our convention to help them make the most informed decision they can when it comes time to vote at our 2022 Annual Meeting in Anaheim.
Tom Ascol, senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida
Bart Barber, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Farmersville, Texas
Robin Hadaway, senior professor of missions at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary