Why I Am Getting Covid Vaccinated

Jab 1 of 2, Sinopharm

Disclaimer: This is not an effort to convince anyone to get vaccinated, only an expression of my personal convictions.

July of 2021, vaccines made it to our town in Cambodia, available (and free) to foreigners. Chinese-produced Sinopharm was the option. Beggars can’t be choosers; I was thankful to get a vaccine.

Unexpected byproduct of the shot: I stood up and went on a five-minute rant in full-blown Mandarin Chinese. A bystander was able to translate, said that I dedicated my life to the Chinese Communist Party in honor of the late Chairman Mao Zedong. It was the strangest thing! Just kidding. Like many, I felt tired and had a headache for a couple of days.

In the spirit of cost-benefit analysis, here are my convictions regarding why I opted to vaccinate:

  1. Refusing vaccination negatively impacts evangelism. COVID has thrown a wet blanket on face-to-face evangelism. Because one of the first major outbreaks in Cambodia came through delegates visiting from Hungary, some tend to distance themselves from a Westerner who wants to have an extended conversation. ‘Your country has a lot of COVID, right? When was the last time you were in your country? You get vaccine yet??’ (steps back)
  2. Refusing vaccination negatively impacts discipleship. A Christian’s choices reflect Christ to unbelievers. For example, we have a youth ministry in a nation that is 95%+ Buddhist. The community examines what Christians do – ex. putting their kids and by extension, families at risk for COVID. Trying to prove some political or fear-based conspiracy theory across a cultural and spiritual divide would likely be viewed as selfishness and significantly distract from the gospel.
  3. What about Pfizer or another non-Chinese vaccine? Traveling abroad to get shots (2-week quarantine, then jab #1 + 2-4 weeks wait for jab #2, the Visa process during Covid, etc.) would be a difficult, costly undertaking.
  4. Conspiracy theories. Earlier in my walk, the enemy was successful at convincing me of a variety of conspiracy theories. He used them to manipulate and make a fool of me… and by extension, the message I am called to preach (John 10:10; Eph 6:12; 1 Pet 5:8). Though I certainly do not trust the world system (2 Cor 4:4), most notably China, I try to err on the side of Scripture, caution and reason when it comes to conspiracy theories. Granted, this COVID situation has been a foreshadowing of what is to come. But unless it matches what the Bible says about the mark of the beast, then it’s not the mark of the beast (Rev 13:16-18). Irrational fear proves the Christian is not really trusting the Lord (2 Tim 1:7).
  5. Follow the Lord or His wayward bride? At 43 years old, I should have by now outgrown peer pressure. The church is essential for worship, fellowship and growth. We are commanded to worship together (Heb 10:25). Having learned the hard way, I am thoroughly convinced that we cannot allow our relationship with the church to replace or supersede our personal relationship with Christ. The Lord put church leaders in charge. We are to submit to their authority (Heb 13:17), as long as their directives align with the inspired, inerrant Word of God (Acts 5:27-29; 2 Tim 3:16); Acts 17:11). As Paul prophesied, in these last days, many foundational doctrines, designed to protect us, have been exchanged for fables that appease popular culture (2 Tim 4:3-5; Rev 3:20). Running in fear of the full counsel of God, she fights useless distractions. Please God, not the world or His wayward bride (Gal 1:10; 2 Tim 2:4).
  6. Can world governments kill me? When a Christian gives his life to Christ, he gives his life to Christ (Phil 1:21). I am ready to go. A pastor once preached that the Lord will not take a man until his work on earth is finished (Jer 29:11; John 17:4). In my past life, I ingested enough toxins to kill a herd of cattle. By His grace, I am still here and saved… not to sit wondering why but to seek Him (Heb 11:6) and carry out assigned duties (Rom 10:14, 1:16; Eph 2:10). The Lord has a plan for me (and you), and I trust that I (we) will be here until He is finished using me (us). The Lord has guided me around a lot of dangerous situations. Making this decision prayerfully, I trust that He would have halted it, if it were not His will.

We certainly live in the last days: “…the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:3-8

Any of us could die at any moment. CLICK HERE to find out how you can know enduring peace, God’s purpose for your life and be sure you will go to heaven when your brief time on earth is up.

The Lord is… longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

Praise the Lord for salvation by God’s undeserved grace alone through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone!

“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38

How to Reach out to the LGBT (universal message created for Filipino churches)

ExGay Testimony & Suggestions re: How to Reach out to the LGBT.

Requested by Preacher Jong Madlang-awa with a Filipino (church) audience in mind. The message is universal.

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Praise the Lord!

Perseverance

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 1:7

Praise the Lord!

Missional Adventure through the Jungle (Cambodia)- Follow-up

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:7-9

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

Missional Adventure through the Jungle (Cambodia)- Part 3 of 3

Mission accomplished. Praise the Lord!

Simple Evangelism:

Pray. Build the relationship (earn the right to be heard). Share the gospel when the Lord opens the door.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

Missional Adventure through the Jungle (Cambodia)- Part 2 of 3

Praise the Lord.

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

Missional Adventure through the Jungle (Cambodia)- Part 1 of 3

Praise the Lord for getting me through!

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.'” Matthew 19:26

Should Christians Drink Alcohol?

Born-again Christians should not drink alcohol. Nine years ago, the Lord delivered me from near death addiction. My situation was extreme. Am I saying that yours will be the same if you have a beer? No, but for some, especially when times get tough, it could go there.

1) It’s a slippery slope.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12

If you and I are saved, why are we here?

Our primary duty is to evangelize.

2) For the sake of testimony- so that others can know Christ.

“Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

“You are the light of the world…” Matthew 5:14

Christ living within us, we are light of the world. When a hopeless unbeliever walks into a restaurant, he should immediately notice a stark contrast between the other tables and ours.

The difference should be like black and white. Our joy and peace should be evident through countenance, conversation and actions. Others are watching. We all have influence over people. Take your influence seriously. It’s responsibility. We are called to a higher standard.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1

3) But we are free!

Well-intentioned: “I want to show everyone how fun it is to follow Christ!”

– We are not selling worldly fun; we are selling peace through forgiveness and freedom from sin.

Jesus turned water to wine to prove His deity.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” Galatians 5:13‭-‬14

“All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” 1 Corinthians 10:23‭-‬24

“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Romans 15:1

“The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Romans 14:22‭-‬23

4) Alcohol impairs judgment.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 2 Peter 5:8

It’s difficult enough to follow Christ, all the more with impaired judgment.

We make ourselves sitting ducks for the enemy.

“Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1

“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12

What is the reason you drink?

“Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4

Do you long to be “part of”? Are we adults caving to peer pressure like a high school student?

Are you terrified to walk alone?

Are you not finding comfort in the Great Comforter?

Does He live inside you?

Do you start every day with Him?

When trials of life come, we should find comfort in the Father, not the bottle. Christ is enough.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

5) Christ is enough. Praise the Lord!