Archive for October, 2011

Friends Along the Way

Posted on October 31, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

We are home following our last extended road trip this fall and almost constant travel in September and October. We are looking forward to week days at home in Mississippi though weekends will find us continuing to fill engagements promoting the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Tuesday I will be speaking in chapel at Belhaven University in Jackson; Wednesday morning Bobbye will be speaking for the WMU at FBC Clinton, and that night we will be at First Baptist Madison.

Last week was another trip to Richmond for training of new missionaries at the IMBʼs learning center. It was an ideal time for enjoying the fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway and in the North Georgia mountains. …

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Wars and Earthquakes

Posted on October 26, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Another massive earthquake has occurred, this time in Eastern Turkey, only to be followed by one in Northern India. In spite of these isolated locations in restricted access countries, Baptist Global Response is there. BGR serves the International Mission Board and Southern Baptists as a humanitarian organization, recognized by governments around the world. With the donations of Southern Baptists BGR is able to mobilize workers and volunteers to make an immediate impact on relief efforts. Check it out at

It seems earthquakes are becoming more frequent and more destructive. The greatest national disaster in modern history occurred in 2004 when an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in Indonesia triggered a tsunami that claimed 230,000 lives in eight …

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Honeymoon and Homecoming

Posted on October 24, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Okay, so it has been a long time since our actual honeymoon, but speaking engagements last week in Northwest Arkansas did provide the opportunity to spend a couple of nights at Petit Jean State Park where we spent our honeymoon many, many years ago. To say we are still honeymooning after almost 46 years of marriage would not be too much of an exaggeration.

We arrived home in time to join the homecoming festivities at Mississippi College. I can remember as a student watching the 40 and 50-year reunion classes, an impression of old codgers hobbling around campus. I thought, “Iʼm not going to be that guy!” But my image has changed now that I am one of them, and …

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Living for His Glory

Posted on October 21, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

There are many impressive characteristics of the Apostle Paul that are worth emulating–his passion, his bold witness, his persuasive wisdom, his compelling vision, etc. But one trait that has always amazed me is his phlegmatic personality. He had such a sense of Godʼs providence that nothing could shake his confidence or deter his commitment to his purpose and calling.

If I live or die, it doesnʼt really matter; if I die I get to be with Christ, but if I go on living I can be profitable to others. Never mind if the door is closed to Galatia and Bithynia; Iʼll go to Troas and trust God to lead me. So what if I get arrested or beaten, at least …

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Distorting Acts 1:8

Posted on October 19, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

We invoke several “Great Commission” passages of Scripture to challenge and motivate churches and individuals to give priority to our mission task. I say, “our mission task” as it is something that has been relegated to us as Godʼs people. In reality, however, it is Godʼs mission. God is actively pursuing redeeming a lost world and His ultimate purpose of the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdom of our Lord. “Missions” is the activity of Godʼs people to fulfill Godʼs “mission.”

Most prominent in our awareness are Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8, different perspectives on the mandate Jesus gave to His disciples before He ascended to the Father, having completed His earthly ministry. These are not two different interpretations …

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Mission Networking

Posted on October 17, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

We are in Northwest Arkansas this week spending a couple of days at Petit Jean State Park where we spent our honeymoon almost 46 years ago. This is between leading a spiritual warfare seminar over the weekend at Clarksville and speaking at the annual Associational Meeting on Tuesday. More about that later. Meanwhile Bobbye celebrated her 67th birthday–amazingly youthful, beautiful, vibrant and elegant as ever–while I traveled to Texas for mission networking. We donʼt have a pattern of being together for significant family days, but always make up for it!

The primary occasion was to speak at the biennial conference of Wycliffeʼs Seed Company staff meeting in Galveston. It was a privilege to be the speaker throughout the week for …

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Finishing the Course

Posted on October 14, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

It would be surprising to find a Southern Baptist who has not heard of Lottie Moon, a 19th century missionary to China for whom the annual mission offering is named. She served for more than 40 years, adopting an austere lifestyle, and died of starvation when she shared her meager rations with the Chinese during a time of famine. She often referred to her life verse, Acts 20:24, which reflected the compelling passion of her life–”But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God (ASV).”


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Embracing the Nations

Posted on October 12, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

The fact that many peoples of the world have yet to hear the gospel is absolutely unacceptable. More than two thousand years ago our Lord sent out His followers to make disciples of all nations. The word He used did not refer to geo-political countries on our map but the multitudinous ethnic-linguistic races and cultures that populate our globe–more than 11,000 distinct people groups.

How can it be that 3,800 of these peoples, some with a population in the millions, have yet to be engaged with a Christian witness? Obviously there are factors such as rugged, isolated terrain in desert and mountainous regions that defy accessibility. Many represent places closed to foreigners or where there are government restrictions and even

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CIU and the Zwemer Center

Posted on October 10, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Columbia International University in South Carolina has been quietly making a kingdom impact for 80 years. Originally founded as Columbia Biblical College and Seminary, more than a thousand students are currently enrolled in the various undergraduate, graduate and seminary courses with a passion for living out the schoolʼs theme, “To know Christ and make Him known.”I have been serving on the board of trustees for CIU for ten years; it has been a blessing to see this institution leading students to a deeper spiritual walk and then sending them out to the nations. I had the privilege of speaking at the spring commencement this year; of the 356 graduates, 40% were headed overseas to the mission field, 30% were
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Why Go?

Posted on October 7, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Why did Jesus tell us to go? After all there are many ways to take the gospel to the nations without actually going. We can send money to support national evangelists to reach their own people and near-neighbor cultures. We can send Bibles and literature to be distributed or sponsor radio broadcasts and other forms of media. In a modern age of technology and communication there are an abundance of strategies through which the Great Commission can be fulfilled without actually going.

However, God continues to call out people from churches in the West to go. He compels them to leave comfortable homes and successful vocations and ministries to plant their lives among the lost peoples of the world who …

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