Missions of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America

Reformed Witness Hour Messages for April 2021

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First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for April 2021 on the RWH radio/Internet program.

This month Rev. R. Kleyn, pastor of Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA, delivers a special Easter message and then continues his series on the Gospel according to Mark and the life and work of the Savior Jesus Christ. Be sure to tune in for these important messages. The schedule for this month is laid out below and also attached in pdf form.

RKleyn 2020

April 4, 2021 - "Fear Not, for He Is Risen," Matthew 28:5,6

April 11, 2021 - The Cleansing of the Leper, Mark 1:40-45

April 18, 2021 - Jesus' Authority to Forgive Sins, Mark 2:1-12

April 25, 2021 - "I Came to Call Sinners," Mark 2:13-17

You are encouraged to listen to these important messages and to let others know about them too. Help spread the word about the Reformed Witness Hour, now in its 80th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

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The Reformed Witness Hour Committee wishes to remind everyone that you can receive their bi-monthly newsletter via email by simply signing up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL .  Each newsletter contains information about places around our globe where the RWH is downloaded; news about the RWH’s witness on the radio and via the internet, printed booklet, and CD and links to many popular and relevant RWH messages.

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Use the attached flyer (pdf) to spread the news of these important gospel messages!

PO Box 1230, Grand Rapids MI, 49501 | reformedwitnesshour.org | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list to receive the printed booklet of the messages each month, send an email to Judi Doezema at doezema at prca.org.

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PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for April 4, 2021 (Updated)

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, April 4, the fourteenth Lord's Day of this year 2021.

John 11 25Today is Resurrection Sunday, the day we mark and celebrate the glorious resurrection from the dead of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The One who was crucified for us sinners on Friday is now risen from the dead. Hallelujah, what a Savior! May our worship be in the power of His new life in us and in accordance with the glory He now has as our exalted Lord.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. ...O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Cor.15:20-22; 55-58

  • If you are visiting this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.

  • Today Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC, IA) declined the call from Byron Center PRC.

  • Last Sunday Hudsonville PRC voted to extend a call to Rev. C. Griess (First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI).

  • The Consistory of Kalamazoo PRC announces a new trio from which to call a pastor: Revs. Dennis Lee (Bethel PRC, Roselle, IL); Stephan Regnerus (Lynden PRC, Lynden, WA); and Ronald VanOverloop (Grace PRC, Standale, MI). The congregation plans to call today. UPDATE: Rev. R. Van Overloop has received this call.
  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Prof. D.Kuiper and Rev. D.Noorman in Byron Center PRC; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. J.Maatman in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. J.Holstege in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. J.Smidstra in Providence PRC. We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation to help one another in this need.

    May we also continue to pray for all the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, which cannot receive pulpit supply from the U.S. at this time (pandemic travel restrictions), though she has resumed in-person worship services.

  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

  • Did you know that...
    • there are a couple of Easter singspirations this evening in the PRC? Immanuel PRC in Lacombe has one tonight and First PRC Holland has one planned for this evening as well. A wonderful way to rejoice in our risen Savior!
    • there a couple of regional young people "conventions" being planned and prepared for after the main Federation Board one was cancelled for the second year in a row? Here are the details - reasons for rejoicing with our young people who need their Christian fellowship:
      • With thankfulness, the committee for the Midwest YP Retreat to be held at Inspiration Hills in IA on August 9-11 announces that we have had an overwhelming response to registration and are currently full. Any registrations received after March 31st, will be added to a waiting list, and alerted if space opens up. Thank you to those who have registered, we look forward to seeing you this fall.
      • Because the regular large convention was cancelled recently, a committee of Grace Church Adults is working to put together a smaller convention that includes Grandville, Pittsburgh, Byron Center, Spokane, and Lynden PRC church’s young people. We are planning to have it from August 9-13 at a camp in Indiana called Quaker Haven, which is about 6 hours from Pittsburgh. More details will come out in April once we are more organized and have more information etc. If anyone has questions, please contact Nick Kleyn This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. call 616-291-4647.The following is a link to a quick review of the camp:https://youtu.be/hXqWPiLSk1E

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

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PRC Seminary Notices:

  • The seminary has now completed eleven weeks of its second semester. This week is Spring break week, so there are no classes; but seminary will still be open daily from 8-5 (M-F). Continue to remember the seminary's faculty, students, and staff in your prayers as we approach the final third of the semester.
  • The second round of Practice Preaching began on March 29, with Sems. J.Tan and M.Wee delivering their sermons. On Monday, April 12, Sems. M.Koerner and I.Peters will deliver theirs.
  • The print version of the Fall 2020 issue of the PRTS Journal is now available. The digital copies (pdf & epub) have been posted on the seminary website. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please call or email the seminary.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

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Read the latest Covenant Reformed News - March 2021 - just out this past week!

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore: 
    • From the "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin today: This week we eagerly anticipated the long-awaited announcement of further relaxing of the circuit breaker measures in relation to the worship services. With effect from 5th April 2021, congregational singing is allowed during the worship service. However, face mask must be worn at all times even during singing and the total times for singing must not exceed 30 minutes. We are thankful to God for the latest provision and as we went through the limitation of not able to sing aloud in the past, we hope that this will stir in us the earnest desire to sing and praise God not only from our heart but also with our lips.“My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth will praisedthee with joyful lips” – Psalm 63:5
    • A new issue of Salt Shakers is out - February 2021, #64! Be sure to read the varied and profitable articles - especially the young people!
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland and her Limerick, Ireland mission:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word to the saints in Ballymena.
    • Read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" - March 2021! - just our this past week
    • Rev. M.McGeown continues to minister the Word in Limerick until he is able to come to the U.S. to serve Providence PRC. In today's bulletin he provides this update: The Irish government recently announced some changes to the COVID-19 restrictions, but nothing very significant. From 12 April we may travel within our own county and we may meet with one other household outdoors but not in a private garden. On 4 May the government will review the current ban on in-person religious services.  “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:4).
  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • A new Philippine Newsletter was recently released! Read it at the link provided here.
    • From Berean PRC in Manila: Rev. R.Smit led her in-person services today. Rev. Ibe is scheduled to visit the saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija on Saturday (April 3, 2021). He will lead them in their Bible study on the book of Ephesians 1. Ptr. Ibe will also give a Word of edification on Sunday at 9:00 A.M., all the Lord willing.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: "Rev. D. Kleyn is scheduled to preach for us today. The services are being live streamed on the “PPRC and Friends” Facebook page."
    • PRCP Seminary News: Classes resumed on March 23, following midterm exams and Spring break.
    • The Classis of the PRCP was unable to meet this past week because of the increased quarantine level (ECQ). If possible, Classis plans to meet on Friday, April 9, here in Provident, the Lord willing.

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Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

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  • Rev. R.Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA) is currently doing a series on the Gospel according to Mark. Today's message is a special Easter one based on Matthew 28:5,6 and titled "Fear Not, for He Is Risen."
  • Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Music, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program. Have you listened lately?
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet (see the attachment to this news post for the latest one - March 2021). These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Commitee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM:

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Check out the Reformed Free Publishing Association's latest offerings - in store (Jenison, near 20th and Baldwin) or online!

  • Want to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

  • Reformed Book Outlet news:

    The Reformed Book Outlet has reopened and you are welcome to shop the store in downtown Hudsonville (MI). If you have any needs during this time, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This Week's Thought for Contemplation:

Q. 45.  What doth the resurrection of Christ profit us?

A.  First, by His resurrection He has overcome death, that He might make us partakers of that righteousness which He had purchased for us by His death; secondly, we are also by His power raised up to a new life; and lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection.

Lord's Day 17 of the Heidelberg Catechism

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Covenant Reformed News - March 2021

Covenant Reformed News


March 2021 • Volume XVIII, Issue 11



The Source and Purpose of Apostolic Authority

Two articles in the previous two issues of the News took their cue from II Corinthians 10:8, “For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed.” These instalments explained the right of the apostles to serve God in three spheres: teaching, ruling and showing mercy. Now, finally, we shall treat the source and purpose of the authority exercised by the twelve apostles and the apostle Paul, drawing out vital lessons for the church in our day.

Jesus Christ is the origin or source of apostolic authority: “our authority, which the Lord hath given us” (8). The Triune God has granted to His incarnate, obedient and glorified Son the right to reign over the entire universe, and He exercises His authority in the church in part through the apostles. Thus our risen Saviour declared to the Eleven, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:18-20). Christ Jesus is “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession” (Heb. 3:1); the supreme One whom God sent later commissioned His apostles.

For the sake of completeness, we should add from Ephesians 4:11 that our ascended Head also gave and gives others to instruct His church: “prophets” and “evangelists” (extraordinary and temporary office-bearers), and “pastors” who are “teachers” (ordinary and permanent office-bearers). Christ also equips and appoints elders and deacons to serve His congregations (I Tim. 3).

Since the Lord Jesus is the origin of apostolic authority, Paul and the Twelve possessed a derived authority, a ministerial authority and a circumscribed authority. Likewise, the authority of all the lower office-bearers in the New Testament church (prophets, evangelists, teaching pastors, ruling elders and deacons) is derived and ministerial, and circumscribed or limited to their respective spheres.

Christ told the twelve disciples, “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:25-28). If this is true regarding the awesome authority of apostles, how much more regarding pastors, elders and deacons, the church’s ordinary and permanent office-bearers? Thus Chapter 18 of the Second Helvetic Confession (1566) describes the authority of ministers as “more like a service than a dominion.”

Having seen that the Lord Jesus is the source of apostolic authority and that, therefore, the authority of the apostles (and all church office-bearers) is circumscribed and ministerial, we now turn to the purpose of apostolic authority. Paul states that it is “for edification, and not for your destruction” (II Cor. 10:8).

The goal or purpose of the apostolic authority, office and labours is to build up the church and certainly not to destroy the people of God. Jehovah’s punishment of the reprobate on the legal basis of their sin is subservient to the apostles’ glorious primary desire and purpose: the salvation of the elect by the cross and Spirit of Jesus Christ.

It is in this context that Paul speaks of the power and efficacy of preaching and church discipline to bring God’s true people to repentance and faith: “the weapons of our warfare are … mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds [by] casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (4-5).

The apostle explains that his armaments are not fleshly, carnal or worldly, appealing to earthly or base motives. His arsenal of the preaching of the Word and church discipline—exercised prayerfully and to the glory of God—is spiritual, addressing man’s mind or soul or conscience: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal … bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (3-4, 5).

A heartfelt understanding of the source of apostolic authority guides the church and its office-bearers to an exercise of ecclesiastical authority that is ministerial not lordly (I Pet. 5:3) and circumscribed by God’s Word. Likewise, a true appreciation of the purpose of apostolic authority (the salvation of the elect, not their destruction) commits a faithful church to the prayerful use of the spiritual means appointed by God (preaching, sacraments and discipline), trusting that His grace alone will make them effectual for the calling and sanctification of those eternally chosen in Christ (Eph. 1:4).

The crucial importance of really believing and rightly exercising ecclesiastical authority is underscored by Belgic Confession 29’s description of its sinful abuse: “As for the false church, she ascribes more power and authority to herself and her ordinances than to the Word of God, and will not submit herself to the yoke of Christ. Neither does she administer the sacraments as appointed by Christ in His Word, but adds to and takes from them as she thinks proper; she relieth more upon men than upon Christ; and persecutes those who live holily according to the Word of God, and rebuke her for her errors, covetousness, and idolatry.” Rev. Angus Stewart

 

Satan’s Everlasting Punishment

We will now answer a second question about the devil: “Since Satan and demons are pure spirits, how can we conceive of their suffering eternal punishment in the lake of fire without bodies? Presumably it will reflect the spiritual suffering of all the damned, a real sense of confinement, misery and God’s wrath?” I believe the questioner has answered his own question in speaking of “the spiritual suffering of all the damned, a real sense of confinement, misery and God’s wrath,” but I would like to elaborate in this article.

It is impossible to believe that the suffering of hell, whether of Satan or of the ungodly and unbelieving, is in a literal lake of fire so the question raises one of the difficulties with that kind of literalism. Even though unbelievers are resurrected (John 5:28-29) before being cast into eternal suffering, it is difficult to imagine that they could endure eternal fire without being consumed, i.e., it is hard to understand how any kind of body could endure that kind of suffering. As spirits, Satan and his demons are not at all subject to the torments of fire.

The clearest argument against a literal lake of fire, however, is the fact that Scripture does not always describe hell in those terms. It is described as the pit (Isa. 14:15), as the worm that never dies (Mark 9:43-48), as weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 13:42), as a furnace of fire (Matt. 13:42, 50), as outer darkness (Matt. 22:13), as chains of darkness (II Pet. 2:4) and as drinking the wine of the wrath of God (Rev. 14:10).

Hell cannot literally be all of these things and the obvious conclusion, therefore, is that they are figures of speech used to emphasize its horrible torments. Anyone who has suffered severe burns knows that agony and why it is used as a description of hell. The torment of being eaten by worms, as Herod was (Acts 12:23), may be even worse. Darkness, the kind of darkness one experiences in a deep cave or the kind of darkness that came on Egypt as the ninth plague (Ex. 10:21-23), is horrifying as well. All of these only hint at the far greater terror and torment of hell.

What, then, is the horror of hell, the “spiritual suffering” referred to by the questioner? It is the horror and torment of being forever separated from God. II Thessalonians 1:9 describes this: “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” This was the first punishment for sin and will be sin’s final punishment. God is the source of all blessing, life, peace, light and hope, and to be cut off from Him is to be forever separated from all that is good (James 1:17). This is the reason, too, why hell is described as darkness in Scripture and as death. Those who do not believe cannot have fellowship with God who is light (I John 1:5-6) and “to live apart from God is death.”

Eternal punishment in hell is a matter of exquisite justice. Those who separated themselves from God, and rejected and despised Him, will be given by God Himself what they themselves have wanted and chosen, and they will be given it for eternity.

Heaven is the opposite. The glory of heaven is not literal harps and streets of gold. It is not only the blessedness of no more tears and suffering, but also the glory and blessedness of being with the living God forever. Revelation 21 and 22 teach this repeatedly. “They shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (21:3). “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (22-23). “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads” (22:4).

Heaven is enjoying the love and favour of God forever, while hell is suffering the wrath of God for eternity. As with God’s love, His wrath is not an empty emotion, but something powerful and effective that forever burns against sinners, driving them from His gracious and loving presence. He is a “consuming fire” against those who turn away from Him. For this reason, too, hell is death, not dissolution but the eternal dying of those who will never see life (John 3:36). This is God’s curse, the powerful and effective Word of His anger, that drives someone forever from His presence. This is why hell is no different for Satan and his minions than for unbelieving men and women.

This is what Christ suffered on behalf of those whom the Father had given Him. He experienced that separation from God and His divine wrath when, during the three hours of darkness on the cross, He cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” This is His descent into hell. There was no need for Him to go to the actual place of eternal torment, because He suffered the “inexpressible anguish, pains, terrors, and hellish agonies” of being under the wrath of God against sin (Heidelberg Catechism, A. 44).

Our Lord’s Supper form states, “that He assumed our flesh and blood; that He bore for us the wrath of God (under which we should have perished everlastingly) from the beginning of His incarnation to the end of His life upon earth; and that He hath fulfilled for us all obedience to the divine law and righteousness; especially when the weight of our sins and the wrath of God pressed out of Him the bloody sweat in the garden, where He was bound that we might be freed from our sins; that He afterwards suffered innumerable reproaches, that we might never be confounded; that He was innocently condemned to death, that we might be acquitted at the judgment-seat of God; yea, that He suffered His blessed body to be nailed on the cross, that He might fix thereon the handwriting of our sins; and hath also taken upon Himself the curse due to us, that He might fill us with His blessings; and hath humbled Himself unto the deepest reproach and pains of hell, both in body and soul, on the tree of the cross, when He cried out with a loud voice, My God, my God! why hast thou forsaken me? (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34) that we might be accepted of God and never be forsaken of Him; and finally confirmed with His death and shedding of His blood the new and eternal testament, that covenant of grace and reconciliation, when He said: It is finished (John 19:30).”

That He suffered the wrath of God and separation from God is a mystery too deep to fathom. He who took on Himself the curse due to us was God’s beloved Son in whom God was well pleased. Nor is it necessary for us to comprehend what He endured. It is ours to believe that He did, and so to be saved from the wrath to come and to have the hope of seeing God face to face in Jesus Christ. Rev. Ron Hanko

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for March 28, 2021 (Updated)

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, March 28, the thirteenth Lord's Day of this year 2021.

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  • Today is Palm Sunday, when we recall the royal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, symbolizing His lowly Kingship as He came to save His people and bring them into His kingdom through His suffering and death. May we humble ourselves before Him and worship Him, lifting up our thankful Hosannas to the now exalted King of kings.

And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass (Matt.21:8,9; 4,5).

  • This Friday, April 2, the PRC congregations will observe Good Friday with a special service of worship in remembrance of our Savior's atoning sacrifice for us sinners. Most service times are in the evening; check the church's website for details. "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom.5:6-8)

    If you are visiting this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.

  • Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC, IA) is considering the call from Byron Center PRC (received March 7). He plans to answer on or before April 4.

  • The Council of Hudsonville PRC has formed a new trio from which to call a pastor: Revs. C. Griess (First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI), E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC, WI), and R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA). The congregational meeting to call one of these men is planned for today, after the evening service. UPDATE: Rev. C.Griess has received this call.

  • The Consistory of Kalamazoo PRC announces a new trio from which to call a pastor: Revs. Dennis Lee (Bethel PRC, Roselle, IL); Stephan Regnerus (Lynden PRC, Lynden, WA); and Ronald VanOverloop (Grace PRC, Standale, MI). The congregation plans to vote Sunday, April 4.

  • Tonight Rev. D. Holstege plans to give another Philippine mission/church presentation in the west Michigan area.
    Here are the details from Grandville PRC's bulletin: Rev. Holstege will be giving a short presentation on the work in the Philippines next Sunday, March 28, beginning at approximately 7:15 pm. All are invited to attend.
  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Prof. D.Kuiper and Rev. D.Noorman in Byron Center PRC; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. C.Spronk in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. G.Eriks in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. J.Maatman in Providence PRC. We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation to help one another in this need.

    May we also continue to pray for all the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, which cannot receive pulpit supply from the U.S. at this time (pandemic travel restrictions), though she has resumed in-person worship services.

  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

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PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • Classis West met March 3-4, in Peace PRC, Dyer, IN. For a summary of the decisions, visit this news report. May the Lord be pleased to use these decisions for the good of the churches and the glory of His name.

  • From the Consistory of Bethel PRC: It is with sadness that we announce to the churches that we will be disbanding in the near future, with our final worship services scheduled for Sunday June 27. We also inform you that our pastor, Rev. Dennis Lee, is presently available for a call to any one of our sister-churches.

  • Need for Ministers of the Word: For several years our synods have asked the congregations to remember the need for young men to pursue the calling to serve as ministers of the gospel.  Consistories and parents are urged to encourage young men in whom they see the beginning of the gifts necessary for the ministry. The greatness of the message of the gospel and the greatness of the need for that gospel to be proclaimed makes the need urgent. Also, there is an urgent need for young men because of the number of vacant congregations and the number of current ministers retiring because of increasing weariness of age. Cease not to ask the King of the church to provide.

  • Future Teachers and Ministers: Information for the 2021 PR Scholarship Fund essay competition is now available. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive the essay topics and submission requirements. Completed essays must be submitted by May 31st. 

Sem front March 2021

PRC Seminary Notices:

  • The seminary has now completed ten weeks of its second semester, and things continue to go well, for which we praise our faithful God. The schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website here. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, we are not allowing class auditors/visitors again this semester, which we deeply regret. Continue to remember the seminary's faculty, students, and staff in your prayers.
  • The second round of Practice Preaching will begin tomorrow, March 29, with Sems. J.Tan and M.Wee delivering their sermons.
  • Rev. R. VanOverloop (Grace PRC) spoke for the Wednesday chapel this past week and will do so again this week. On the other days the students take turns leading in devotions.
  • The print version of the Fall 2020 issue of the PRTS Journal is now available. The digital copies (pdf & epub) have been posted on the seminary website. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please call or email the seminary.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

moldy shoes

What do moldy shoes have to say to us today? Read the latest Philippine mission newsletter to find out!

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore: 
    • From the "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin today: In the past week, we learned that the Lord has granted us the approval for the employment and dependent passes for Reverend and Mrs Justin Smidstra. This means that, the Lord willing, we will continue to have pulpit supply for another 4 months after the departure of Professor and Mrs Dykstra! What a marvelous work God has done! “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings” - Ps 9:10 & 11
    • A new issue of Salt Shakers is out - February 2021, #64! Be sure to read the varied and profitable articles - especially the young people!
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland and her Limerick, Ireland mission:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word to the saints in Ballymena.
    • Read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" - February 2021!
    • Rev. M.McGeown continues to minister the Word in Limerick until he is able to come to the U.S. to serve Providence PRC.
    • Sadly, because of COVID uncertainty, the British Reformed Fellowship Family Conference has been rescheduled from this summer (2021) to July 9-16, 2022. Profs. David Engelsma and Brian Huizinga will develop the glorious truth of "Union With Christ" at Castlewellan Castle, N. Ireland. More details are online (http://brfconference.weebly.com).
  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • A new Philippine Newsletter was released this past week! Read it here - and discover the mystery of moldy shoes!
    • From Berean PRC in Manila: Rev. V.Ibe led her in-person services today. The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija will join us in our worship services via livestreaming at Facebook live, the Lord willing.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: "Rev. D. Kleyn is scheduled to preach for us today. The services are being live streamed on the “PPRC and Friends” Facebook page."
    • PRCP Seminary News: Classes resumed on March 23, following midterm exams and Spring break.
    • The Classis of the PRCP plans to meet again in Provident PRC on April 1, D.V.

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Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

RKleyn RWH

  • Rev. R.Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA) is currently doing a series on the Gospel according to Mark. Today's message is based on Mark 1:35-39 and titled "Therefore Came I Forth."
  • Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Music, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program. Have you listened lately?
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet (*see the attachment to this news post for the latest one). These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Commitee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM:

RBO front March 2021
Check out the Reformed Book Outlet's latest offerings - in store (downtown Hudsonville) or online!

  • Want to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

  • Reformed Book Outlet news:

    The Reformed Book Outlet has reopened and you are welcome to shop the store in downtown Hudsonville (MI). If you have any needs during this time, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This Week's Thought for Contemplation:

We believe that Jesus Christ is ordained with an oath to be an everlasting High Priest, after the order of Melchisedec; and that He hath presented Himself in our behalf before the Father, to appease His wrath by His full satisfaction, by offering Himself on the tree of the cross, and pouring out His precious blood to purge away our sins; as the prophets had foretold. For it is written: He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and numbered with the transgressors, and condemned by Pontius Pilate as a malefactor, though he had first declared Him innocent. Therefore: He restored that which He took not away, and suffered, the just for the unjust, as well in His body as in His soul, feeling the terrible punishment which our sins had merited; insomuch that His sweat became like unto drops of blood falling on the ground. He called out, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? and hath suffered all this for the remission of our sins. Wherefore we justly say with the apostle Paul: that we know nothing, but Jesus Christ, and Him crucified; we count all things but loss and dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, in whose wounds we find all manner of consolation. Neither is it necessary to seek or invent any other means of being reconciled to God, than this only sacrifice, once offered, by which believers are made perfect forever. This is also the reason why He was called by the angel of God, Jesus, that is to say, Savior, because He should save His people from their sins.

Article 21 of The Belgic Confession, "Of the Satisfaction of Christ, Our Only High Priest, for Us"

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Philippines Mission Newsletter - March 2021

philmap2PROTESTANT REFORMED FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES

MARCH 2021 NEWSLETTER

Greetings

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of the harvest, to all of our PRCA congregations!

Here is an update regarding our labors and lives here in service to the Lord, our sister churches of the PRCP in the metro Manila area, and in our mission work in Southern Negros Occidental (SNO).

"Mold on Our Shoes!"

moldy shoesIn a tropical climate of constantly high humidity here, things that are made of leather, which has a porous surface, are susceptible to developing mold when left unused for any substantial length of time. Especially during the rainy season (June to November), shoes, wrist-watch bands, handbags, belts, wallets, and any other such itemscan quickly develop a layer of mold if left alone.

Because of the quarantine restrictions of last year, our Sunday shoes have been stored in their usual spots, but, of course, left unused for many weeks. In fact, they sat unused forweeks because the quarantine restrictions prevented us from attending the PRCP congregations for Lord's Day worship from mid-March to September 2020. As a result, and sadly so, a layer of mold began quietly to flourish on some of our Sunday shoes. Then, deep into the quarantine, someone shouted, "There is mold on our shoes!" I never expected to see a day when we would need to wipe mold off of our Sunday shoes because we were hindered from using them in God's providence for public worship.

Pondering our discovery, it struck me that it was an accurate metaphor of the poor condition of sabbath observance in this country, even before the quarantine. I would imagine that the same would generally apply to the spiritual condition of many professing Christians in North America, too. The analogy certainly warns us personally about our spiritual proneness with regard to Lord's Day worship, sabbath observance, and spiritual faithfulness to the Lord. Left unattended and neglected, our sinful and straying hearts and minds will surely and quickly develop a thick layer of unbelieving mold: complacency, slothfulness, a disinterest in Christ's doctrine, selfishness, resistance to daily conversion, neglect of proper worship, neglect of Scripture reading and study, and neglect of prayer, and even the temptation to redefine public, face-to-face, corporate worship of the church to include online services. May such unbelieving mold never grow on our Sunday shoes!

If it has, then may the Spirit wipe away the layer of unbelieving mold by leading us to confess and to repent of our spiritual neglect. By His grace through faith, may we maintain the marks of a true Christian, and delight in the weekly privilege to go up to the house of God and worship there with our fellow saints and faithfully bow face-to-face at God's throne of grace by faith alone through our Lord Jesus Christ, our only righteousness and our everlasting life. May we be willing to sacrifice health for faithful obedience to the Lord, rather than in disobedience have our health serve as a witness unto our unbelief.

Challenges of Sabbath Observance in Quarantine

I think that you would agree that sabbath observance during our respective quarantine periods has been a major challenge and trial for individuals and families without the regular routine of public worship. Iincluded in my August 2020 report to the Doon Council and FMC anobservation about the challenges of sabbath observance during quarantine. I share with you what I mentioned to them.

"As a general observation of PRCP members by watching and listening over the past five months, I have noticed through the quarantine both negative and positive spiritual developments. For some, sabbath observance has declined with a slide into involvement in Sunday business and other spiritually, unedifying activities. Of course, at our house, we are not above reproach. We similarly know and work to resist the temptations in mind and heart against proper sabbath observance to the Lord during the quarantine. For example, since the family has not been going to church worship in Valenzuela or Antipolo for about five months, we have been tempted to wonder why we should even bother with formal dresses, pants, barongs, or shirt and tie for the livestream church services since nobody will see us listening and singing in our faded shorts, comfortable t-shirts, or more casual clothing.

However, there is the matter of the willingness, the attitude, the effort, and the understanding of faith to do our utmost to devote ourselves to the Lord on His day, unlike our activity of the other days of the week. Although the type of clothing we wear on Sunday at home is not in itself the issue and I'm not about to stumble into any legalism regarding Sunday clothing, yet our clothing and the accompanying and underlying effort for Sunday clothes does have its way of reflecting how seriously we and our little ones devote ourselves in will and thought to the fear of the Lord and show our love for Him on His Day, even during the quarantine that He has placed upon us.

In that regard, I overheard recently that some members have recognized and are laboring to resist various Sunday temptations. A family mentioned that it has learned to take the livestream broadcasts very seriously as the only opportunity left for them and their children for worship and spiritual food on Sunday. So, without anyone looking over their shoulders and by their own initiative, they have become carefully punctual for the start of the Sunday morning broadcasts, even putting forth the effort to have their little ones properly [dressed and prepared] for worship through the livestream at home.

In the midst of the disappointments and the weariness of the quarantine, I found this positive observation of the renewing grace of God in the life of a young covenant family both humbling and encouraging. I trust that you will, too."

PRCP Theological School

With thanksgiving to God, we can report that our first semester of classes was completed on December 4, and final exams were finished on December 11. An interim course was given to the students from January 5to 14 by recorded lectures from Prof. R. Cammenga's interim course at the PRCA Seminary on "The Life and Theology of John Calvin.". The second semester began on January 19 and mid-term exams will be given in the week of March 7.

As with the last semester, so the second semester of instruction will be given by means of Zoom. Although this method is certainly not the official norm of face-to-face training of future preachers, it is what the Theological School Committee (PRCP) has determined is the best available for the current quarantine situation.

We are currently training three men: Bro. Jeremiah ("Jhem") Pascual (2nd year), Bro. Emmanuel ("Emman")Jasojaso (1st year), and Bro. Jethro ("Ace") Flores (1st year).

Classes are held in the mornings on Tuesdays through Fridays. We are currently teaching the men Homiletics, Hermeneutics, Hebrew Grammar, Church History, NT Greek, NT Exegesis, and Dogmatics (Soteriology).

A seminary library continues to grow in its temporary location in one of the rooms of the guest house on the Kleyns' property. The library, thus far, has been helpful already to the students for their research papers.

PRCP News

The Berean PRC announced that it was renovating their church building. Their parsonage was sold and the money from that sale was used to finance the addition of a third floor to the church building. As a result and because of the quarantine rules,Pastor Ibe and family moved in July to a house in San Fernando, Pampanga, which is about a 2-hour drive north of Antipolo.

The Classis of the PRCP met on October 31 and November 30. Classis approved the emeritation of Rev. Leovino Trinidad, which will be effective on February 28, 2021. He was ordained as a minister of the Word on March 28, 1976, in his former denomination in Cebu City, the Philippines. After several years of instruction under the PRCA missionaries, he and the Maranatha congregation joined the PRCP in 2015.

Classis PRCP will meet again on February 25.

Maranatha PRCP has announced recently that it will be disbanding on March 1 due to the lack of men to serve as elders and deacons. Members are being advised by the Maranatha consistory to transfer their church membership to the Provident PRC (Marikina).

PRCA Missions

Rev. Kleyn and I, who have been assigned for now by the Doon Council and FMC to do mission work in the Inayauan-Sipalay area in SNO, were not able to get to do our work there during the lengthy quarantine. Also, in my August 2020 monthly missionary report to the Doon Council and FMC I reported my reflection on the disappointing situation. I share the same with you.

"[The] principle of the Lord's sovereign guidance in missions is an important principle to remember. The good foreign mission desires that we may have, regarding the spread of the Reformed faith into new and hard to reach places, may not come to pass when and for how long we have desired or envisioned. We are reminded that the Lord of the harvest directs and fulfils His work of missions through His servants according to God's good pleasure and eternal counsel by various means. Even in missions, not our will, but the Lord's will must be done. All of our planning, praying, preaching, and pouring out of our souls in the work remain always subject to His sovereign direction and good pleasure.

...I am well reminded through the quarantine that missionaries are only limited, dependent servants in the Lord's work of the gathering and preservation of His church over the earth. I am sure that the Apostle Paul faced the same truth as he sat in prison in Caesarea for a few years or under house arrest in Rome, wishing and waiting for the time, subject to the Lord's will, that he could freely go about his labors throughout the Roman Empire among the established churches and in areas not visited yet."

Pray that the Lord will grant us in His time both the opportunity and the ability to resume faithful, face-to-face preaching and clear instruction in the service of a Reformed church (Inayauan), its mission outreach (Si-alay), a reforming church (Canturay), and other contacts in SNO.

Foreign Tourist Ban

In order to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Philippine government has continued to ban the entry of foreign national visitors. This ban does not prevent permanent residents, such as the Kleyns and Smits, from re-entry. However, the ban prevents visits from delegations (the Contact Committee, FMC, and Doon Council), family, and friends.There is no concrete information yet regarding when this ban may be lifted.

Holsteges' 2021 Furlough

The Holstege family departed on December 16, and they will be living in Grandville, Michigan. Rev. Holstege has done some field presentations during furlough about the work done here in the last two years.

The return of the Holstege family is scheduled for July 1 as approved by the Council and FMC. However, since immigration restrictions on the entry of foreigners, including the Holstege family, still remain unclear, we will need to be patient regarding their actual return date.

Finally, farewell, brethren. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11)

In His service,
Rev. Richard J.Smit

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