Friday, April 7, 2017

By God's grace, I had the privilege of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the East Bloc, former Soviet Union (1989-1995). We will carry more of this powerful book on this blog. May God bless you as you read. - Pastor Max Solbrekken

      By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.     
Dr. Max preaching in Soviet Union, 1989

"Tell me the story of Jesus
Write on my heart every word
Tell me the story most precious
Sweetest that ever was heard.

"Tell how the angels in chorus
Sang as they welcomed His birth
Glory to God in the Highest
Peace and good tidings to earth.

"Tell of the cross where they nailed Him
Writhing in anguish & pain
Tell of the tomb where they laid Him
Tell how He liveth again.

"Love in that story so tender
Sweetest that ever I see
Stay, let me hear while you whisper
Love paid the ransom for me.

"Tell me the story of Jesus
Write on my heart every word
Tell me the story most precious
Sweetest that ever I heard."
In summing up my worldly achievements in more than 60 years of life, I am at a loss to find anything worthwhile to report, except that which I have done to make Jesus Christ known, pointing people to the World's ONLY Saviour, Healer and Deliverer!
I am convinced that all else - higher learning, social standing, wealth, political aspirations and good deeds - pale into insignificance when compared with the "cross-work" of Jesus!
Like St. Paul, I am persuaded that all else is "dung" and that life's most important accomplishment is to believe, accept and propagate the Gospel of Christ to "fallen man", for the glory of God.
To be a "vessel of honor" and a channel of God's blessing ministering His grace, goodness and power to a lost, sick and suffering world is mankind's greatest achievement!
All else is vain and for naught, when examined under the scrutiny of God's Word and in the light of eternity!
Taking into consideration the many things I have seen and experienced, people I have met, together with all the books and journals I have read during 30 years of "world evangelism", I still wonder at the grace of God to me.
I join the hymn writer in humbling myself - in His presence - with this confession:

"Nothing in my hands I bring
Simply to Thy cross I cling
Oh, take me as I am
My only plea, Christ died for me
Oh, take me as I am."

There is no one as wonderful as Jesus. Everyone who hears His gospel and is impacted by His power, must realize that He was, is and always shall be WONDERFUL!
We stand in awe as we consider His supernatural conception, birth, life, death and resurrection. As well as the outpouring of the Blessed Holy Spirit upon His Church for the past two thousand years!
The words of the prophet - uttered 700 years before His birth at Bethlehem - under the inspiration of God - should not surprise us.
"His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace..." (Isaiah. 9:4)

Max Solbrekken
Edmonton, 1995


"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life". (John 3:16)
The story of God's great redemptive plan is without equivocation, the greatest love story ever told.
No human drama - ever so tender, touching and grand - could even begin to compare with God's love for mankind.
As a child I heard a gospel song that made a profound impact upon my young heart. Here are the words:

Into a tent where a gypsy boy lay,
Dying alone at the close of the day
News of salvation we carried. Said he,
Nobody ever has told it to me!

Tell it again! Tell it again!
Salvation's story repeat o'er and o'er
Till none can say of the children of men
Nobody ever has told me before.

Did He so love me a poor little boy
Send unto me the good tidings of joy?
Need I not perish-my hand will He hold?
Nobody ever the story has told!

Bending, we caught the last words of his breath
Just as he entered the valley of death
God sent His Son-Whosoever said He
Then I am sure that He sent Him for me.
Smiling, he said as his last sigh was spent
I am so glad that for me He was sent
Whispered, while low sank the sun in the west,
Lord I believe! Tell it now to the rest."

Tell it again! Tell it again!
Salvation's story repeat o'er and o'er
Till none can say of the children of men,
Nobody ever has told it before.

The urgency conveyed by that song, which I learned at Daily Vacation Bible School - at our Lutheran Church in rural Saskatchewan - made a profound impact upon my young heart.
I remember weeping as we children drove our horse and buggy home from church that summer day, so many years ago.
Even then, I secretly hoped that one day, I would be able to preach the gospel to other little gypsy boys.
Throughout the years, it has been my great privilege to proclaim the glad story of Jesus to this world's unfortunates, gypsies included. And presently (1992), I am preaching in Russia, Ukraine, Latvia and other Eastern European countries.
How I thank God!
The world was hopelessly doomed and condemned to an eternity without God. Then, Jesus came to “seek and to save” that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
The Bible says, "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved". (John 3:17)
Only the great love of The Eternal, and Jesus Christ's sacrifice on Calvary was able to free us from Satan's grasp. There was no other way!
Isaiah made it so clear: "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes are we healed." (Isaiah 53:5)
Messiah Jesus died upon Golgotha's hill - between two thieves as a common criminal - just like Jewish preachers had prophesied centuries and even millennia earlier.
No wonder Zechariah ben Joseph (John the Baptist) cried out, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world", when he saw Him. (John 1:29)
Just like the sacrificial lambs which had been slaughtered on Jewish altars for centuries - a type of the coming Lamb of God - Jesus died on the cross, for the sins of the entire world.
This classic song tells it like it is:

"Oh love of God, so rich and pure
So measureless and strong
It shall forever more endure
The saints and angels song.

"Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the sky of parchment made
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
And could the scroll contain the whole
It would stretch from sky to sky.

"When hoary time shall pass away
And tongue and pen of men shall fall
When wicked men refuse to pray
Upon the rocks and mountains call
God's love so pure shall still endure
The saints and angels song."

It's hard to fathom God's love. It is past finding out. His grace is unlimited and His mercy reaches out to all men everywhere...even to those who hate and despise Him and His gospel. It encompasses the entire world!
His great love engulfs even those who persecute His emissaries and blaspheme His great, holy and lovely Name. It encompasses the entire world.
It is no wonder we sing songs like:

"This is why I love Him
He gave Himself for me
To purchase my salvation
They nailed Him to the tree
At last He cried 'Tis finished'
He bowed His head and died
Oh, what a sight for sinners
My Jesus crucified.

"What an awful price He paid
To pardon you and me
When in death He fully paid the cost,
O Soul so far astray, Come & plunge today
In the blood that stained the old
rugged cross."

It is small wonder that St. John, overcome by the goodness of God, exclaimed, "We love Him because He first loved us". (1 John 4:19). AMEN.
NOTE: This is the first chapter of the book, written in 1995. We will share more in this blog. m.s.