Sunday, March 29, 2009

Home From Malta!

I have arrived home from the Island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. I went there with elder Chris Brady and my son Bob III. The purpose of this trip was to visit pastor Paul Mizzi, who is a Reformed Baptist pastor of Trinity Evangelical Church in Malta. We had a delightful time with Pastor Mizzi and the people of his church. Paul and his brother Joe have come to faith in Christ and were once Roman Catholics. Malta is at the center of the Mediterranean Sea. On a pap Malta is just below Sicily. Malta was the sight of two great sieges in the past. First, in 1565 the Muslim army and navy attacked the Island in the Great Siege of Malta. That battle had tremendous significance as all of Europe held its breath. The outcome of that battle would shape Europe for the next 400 years. The Island held out and the advance of Islam in Europe was prevented. Then second great siege was during WWII. The Germans bombed Malta but could not break the spirit of these courageous people.

Today the Island of Malta is strategically positioned between Islamic northern Africa and Europe. The country of Malta is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic and stands in need of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The ministry of pastor Paul Mizzi is greatly needed for the gospel of Christ to be given to the people of Malta. This is a great mission field and is wide open for the preaching of the great doctrines of grace, especially Justification by faith alone. We are hoping to establish a good relationship with these dear brothers and sisters in Christ to help them in their ministry on this beautiful and historic Island.

Ken Link, a dear brother in Christ from England, made his 100th visit to the Island to show us around and to be our host. I am deeply grateful for his help, service, and friendship that we developed during this visit. I trust that we will be able to see Ken in the future and to enjoy fellowship in Christ once again.

Paul's brother Joe wrote a wonderful Little book on Catholicism titled Test All Things. I am going to order a number of these books and would encourage all of you at Berean to read it. This book will not just help you to understand the Roman Catholic faith and its many errors, it will also help you to understand true historic gospel of God's sovereign grace. After reading this book on the flight home from Malta I found that these were the main questions that need to be answered by those who would witness to their Catholic friends.

1. Is the Bible alone our guide to salvation, or do we need the traditions of the Church to teach and guide us as well?

2. Who is the foundation of the Church, Jesus or Peter?

3. Does the Bible distinguish between mortal sin and venial sin?

4. How is a sinner justified before a holy God?

5. Does baptism play a part in a sinners salvation and regeneration.

6. Do earthly priests have power to forgive men of their sins?
7. Is the doctrine of purgatory taught in the Bible?
8. Is the sacrifice of Christ complete and final, or do we need a weekly sacrifice at Mass to save us from our sins?
9. Does the Bible teach us to pray to Mary or to worship Mary?
These questions are at the heart of the debate between Roman Catholicism and the true gospel of Jesus Christ. To be wrong on these questions and issues is to put one's soul in grave and serious danger. The book by Joe Mizzi will answer these questions and give us wonderful insights into the gospel of the New Testament. I highly encourage all of you to read this book. I will try to have copies at the church as soon as possible.

I want to thank all of you for praying for us while we were gone, and I would like to thank Pastor Eric, the elders, deacons, and staff at Berean who kept the ministry moving as we were gone. Next week I plan to have Chris Brady give a brief report of our trip.

God bless all of you!

Pastor Dickie


Brent Campau said...

As a former Catholic, I know first hand that Catholics don't ever really think about what they believe. They kind of just go along with the whole ritual and never really point to scripture for the proof. I was never once encouraged to read the bible as a Catholic. Usually when I ask these questions to my family, they don't really have an answer.

Anonymous said...

So, what was the outcome? Did anything further come of your visit to Malta? I moved to Malta and was looking for a church to go to. Is that church a good one?

In terms of Christianity, Malta is the edge of the world. One of the world's foremost spiritual deserts. If you go any further you'll fall off.