“For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 117:2
Coming into the church broken has not been easy. But going against the Bible’s warnings can incur judgment and delay our growth. The purpose of this video is to share lessons I have learned the hard way to spare you the pain of making the same mistakes:
“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” 1 Peter 4:19
1) Respect your elders.
Tough… popular culture says no. The Word of God says Yes.
“Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.”
1 Timothy 5:1
2) Submit to authority.
Don’t touch (rebuke) the Lord’s anointed (1 Chronicles 16:22).
Advice to my younger self: Do not sign on to work within a ministry or organization unless you are aligned with the leadership and willing to follow the rules. If you sign on and later realize it was not what you expected, follow the rules as best you can until you are able to move on. Respectfully asking questions is ok.
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
3) Don’t judge.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”
4) Don’t envy. (compare yourself to others)
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
5) Trust the sovereignty of God.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
6) The Lord will avenge.
“Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
7) Forgive. It’s in your best interest.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
The Lord chastises those He loves. If you have erred similarly, apologize, repent (Matthew 5:24- first make it right with the person, then with the Lord) and move on.
“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.”
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:16, 36
“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'” John 1:29
Message for the church regarding those who struggle with same-sex attraction and gender identity. Also contains tips for those who struggle and those who would like to reach out.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
We are all sinners, called to repentance and new life in Christ.
There is a way out. Do not allow temptation to define you.
“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” Matthew 4:18-20
“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.'” Mark 16:15
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
“…’Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'” – The Lord Jesus (Matthew 18:3)
“Jesus answered… ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'” John 3:3
Have you repented and been born again into the family of God? => How to give your life to Jesus and know peace.
“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
“Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,”
“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Hebrews 11:7
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Do you have faith like Noah?
Thank you for your faithful support. 2018 was an interesting year.
As much as we have tried to focus primarily on evangelizing LGBT+ adults, the Lord seems to redirect us to children’s ministries. Although baffling at first, we now view children’s ministries as early stage prevention.
The Lord is the driver. Summarizing what we see in the rear view mirror and telling you what we think we see ahead, this update is written from a passenger’s perspective.
Rebekah and I are back in Cambodia, where I was originally called. Praise the Lord.
We were saddened by the loss of Rebekah’s mother but rejoice in her legacy. She stood for Christ against fierce opposition and raised three children in the Lord.
If terms of time investment, teaching was 2018’s primary ministry focus. A number of students prayed to receive Christ. Born into deeply rooted Buddhist homes, they have uphill battles ahead of them. Children’s Bible storybooks were given to those who showed genuine interest in going forward to serve the Lord. Please pray that no weapon formed against these kids would prosper, that they would fight to follow and grow up to be bold witnesses.
“But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’” – Matthew 19:14
Sometimes we feel like we have not had time to do much intentional in-person witnessing to those who struggle with same-sex attraction and gender identity. About that time, we go to the market and end up sharing with a someone who identifies as transgender or go to get a haircut and end up sharing Christ with a same-sex couple. The Lord leads.
During teaching breaks, we continued to explore our region and witnessed along the way.
“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.’” – Mark 16:15
“For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.” – 1 Corinthians 9:16
A doctoral candidate at a Christian university in the U.S. included our testimony as part of her research for a thesis advocating repentance and following Christ as a healthy alternative to a homosexual lifestyle. We are thankful to be counted as soldiers in this war. Are you?
Online we continue to post Scripture, typically daily in English and weekly in several other languages. Men who struggle with same-sex attraction continue to reach out for encouragement toward following Christ.
Though we were not able to get home to the U.S. or Philippines for Christmas, we returned to my former home in Kandal Province. We sang, “God, Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen” as a family at Mercy Baptist Church.
On your behalf, we took Christmas gifts to the kids that I used to teach on the porch. Rebekah picked out ‘sport shirt and shorts’ sets and wrapped each with a tract inside. Some were given Bible storybooks. They were thrilled. Thank you for your support!
Quick to scurry off, the kids were encouraged to hunker down to pray and thank Jesus. Anticipating that none of them would be there when I looked up, I was overjoyed to see them all knelt down. It was another unforgettable moment in Christ.
The Lord delivered me from a life of guttural sin. Like the commission of the demon possessed man, my primary ministry goal has been to witness for Him wherever I go.
“(Jesus)…said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.” – Mark 5:19-20
Nothing is more important than sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Across Asia, we were blessed with opportunities to share in churches. I share, and then typically my wife and I sing. Upon request, we have offered guidance to church leaders in evangelizing the LGBT+. We strive to lead by example in sharing the gospel- including the requirement for repentance and warning of coming judgment.
“For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” – Acts 20:27
“But my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” – Hebrews 10:38-39
At our home base in Siem Reap, we have been blessed with opportunities to serve under Independent Baptist Church of Siem Reap (a largely Filipino church that preaches in English and also has a Cambodian service) and Siem Reap Ministry (a primarily Cambodian church). We admire Pastor Joel Madlangawa at IBCSR for his sound doctrine and courage; and Pastor Tieng Tan at SRM for his humility and perseverance in sharing the gospel.
At the end of nearly a year at Westgate International School in Siem Reap, I chose to resign after being reprimanded for Christian teaching and giving children’s Bible storybooks (which were confiscated from many of the children).
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” – Matthew 6:24
The Lord provides. We have looked into several options, such as running a guesthouse with space for teaching and an outreach in the countryside. Please pray toward this.
A missionary on our first short term mission to Cambodia in 2010 shared, ‘English is the best way to get the gospel through. Everybody wants to learn English.’ Recently we began teaching about Jesus and English in our neighborhood.
In looking toward a more established ministry center, we have begun talks with local pastors, missionaries and folks who have embarked down similar paths. Most began with a small school or education center which culminated in a church plant.
Please continue to pray for us as we trust the Lord for the son that He promised eight years ago.
Praise the Lord for all He has done and continues to do as we fight to follow down this narrow, difficult path that leads to eternal life! May the Lord bless you for your support!
Contend for the faith!
Victory and Peace in Christ,
Matthew & Rebekah Karchner
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”- Philippians 4:13
Apart from Him, I can do nothing. (John 15:5)