Missions of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for December 27, 2020

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, December 27, 2020, the fifty-second and final Lord's Day of this year.

Ps90 12

  • The PRC congregations will be holding Old Year and New Year services this week Thursday evening (Dec.31) and Friday morning (Jan.1). Visitors are welcome to join us in worship as we reflect on the passing of another year and look to our faithful Father for His saving help and hope in 2021. Visit this page for the worship times of the various PRCs.

    O God, our help in ages past,
    Our hope for years to come,
    Our shelter from the stormy blast,
    And our eternal home.

    Under the shadow of Thy throne
    Thy saints have dwelt secure;
    Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
    And our defense is sure.

    Psalter 247, st.1,2 (based on Psalm 90)

  • Last Sunday (Dec.20) Rev. A.Spriensma (PRC home missionary) accepted the call to Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN). We rejoice with this congregation in God's goodness in providing a pastor to serve them once again.

  • Last Sunday Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) declined the call to Wingham PRC and Rev. D.Holstege (PRC missionary to the Philippines) declined the call to Kalamazoo PRC. Let us remember these vacant congregations as they seek pastors to lead and feed them.

  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. R.Barnhill and Rev. D.Noorman in Cornerstone PRC; Prof. D.Kuiper and Rev. C.Haak in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. R.Van Overloop 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. And may we also remember to pray for the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, which cannot have pulpit supply from the U.S. at this time (pandemic travel restrictions). In fact, in her bulletin today, the Wingham Consistory informed the congregation that with the new COVID-19 lockdown orders in Ontario, they are suspending services until the congregation can gather again. Let's remember them in prayer with regard to this too.

  • 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 is a Christmas Singspiration in Faith PRC tonight, which will also be livestreamed? Here's the notice that was sent out to the congregation: We will be hosting a singspiration tomorrow [Sunday] after the evening service. It will be led by Voices of Victory. The congregation is invited to stay and sing. ...This will be streamed online, so please let your family and friends know that around 7:15 we hope to start singing.
      P.S. For those listening online, have your Psalters and hymnals ready for classic Christmas songs!
    • With the busy holiday preaching schedule many of our pastors are exchanging pulpits in both Classis East and Classis West today and next Sunday (just read the bulletins today!)? And, of course, our emeritus ministers are keeping busy helping out as well.
    • there is a special resource page just for officebearers on this website? Especially for the newly elected men and those serving for the first time, the materials available here may be invaluable to you. Check it out, and reference it as often as needed!

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • Prof. R. Dykstra and his wife Carol await results from a new COVID-19 test after their two-week quarantine in Singapore. If the tests are negative, they may leave their temporary quarters and move into a condo this Wednesday (Dec.30). For now he is preaching and teaching online as he assists our sister church there, Covenant ERC.
  • Missionary-pastor D. Holstege (the Philippines), along with his wife and children, are settling into their temporary residence in Grandville, MI for their six-month missionary furlough in the U.S. (until June 30, 2021). According to a recent bulletin of Doon PRC (calling church), "During this time they plan to live in the Grand Rapids, MI area while Rev. Holstege spends the bulk of his time preparing for future seminary courses he will teach." May the Lord also grant them safe travels and a time of refreshment while here.
  • Rev. J. Marcus continues to stay busy with preaching and teaching assignments as he awaits a call to one of our churches.

Dec 2020 snow seminary
A snowy Christmas Eve was experienced in West Michigan this past week.

Special PRC Seminary Notices:

  • Seminary has now completed its first semester and is enjoying its Christmas/New year break (Dec.19-Jan.3). Continue to remember the seminary's faculty, students, and staff in your prayers. The seminary, including the library and bookstore, remains open daily for any needs (except the holidays thmselves).
  • Sem. Josiah Tan (senior) completes his internship this week at First PRC under Rev. C. Griess. First's bulletin today included this note about that: This evening after the service, Seminarian Josiah Tan will give a presentation on our sister church in Singapore.  This will be followed by a farewell to the Tans as Seminarian Tan completes his internship this coming week.
  • Prof. R. Dykstra and his wife Carol are currently in Singapore for an extended stay to serve our sister church there (mid-December into May 2021). The other professors will pick up his classes to assist him while he is gone.
  • Prof. R. Cammenga will be teaching the special Interim course in January 2021 (4-13). It will once again be on the Life and Theology of John Calvin. Regretfully, the seminary will not be allowing auditors for this course this year.
  • Notice of Licensure: The faculty has licensed student Marcus Wee to speak a word of edification in our churches.  Brother Wee is a member of our sister church, Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore.  We rejoice at this milestone in the brother’s preparation for the ministry of the gospel.  Any scheduling of him to lead worship services will be through the seminary faculty.  This also provides us with an opportunity to impress upon our churches and sister churches the great need that we have for students for the ministry.  Let us pray the Lord of the harvest to raise up laborers in His vineyard, Matthew 9:37-38.  For the faculty, Prof. Ron Cammenga, Rector.
  • The Fall issue of the PRTS Journal is being completed and prepared for printing. In the meantime the Spring issue may be found at the link provided, with plenty of good reading material in it.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

EPC Australia logo
Let's not forget our brothers and sister "down under"! We pray for them too in the present distresses.

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSIONS NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore: 
    • From this week's "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin (concerning her annual special gospel meeting on Christmas day): This past Christmas, many homes were opened to receive guest and friends, gathered to listen to the Gospel message and singing carols in smaller groups due the pandemic. Several homes have invited members whom they usually do not get to meet or rarely get to talk to in church. This occasion is used to get to know other members better. Thanks to the Evangelism Committee who organized this year’s event.
    • The October 2020 issue of "Reformed News Asia" was recently published (#62). Read that issue here.
    • A new issue of Salt Shakers magazine (for young people) is also out - read the October 2020 at this link.
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A. Stewart and Rev. M.McGeown are doing a pulpit exchange today, with the former preaching in Limerick and the latter in Ballymena.
    • Rev.McGeown has penned a December 2020 newsletter for his fellow saints. You may find that here.
    • Rev. Stewart has produced a new newsletter on life and labors in CPRC. You may find that November issue here.
    • Be sure to read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" - December 2020!
  • PRC in the Philippines:
    • Berean PRC bulletin today: Rev. V.Ibe is leading the services, as they are allowed to meet in person (up to 50%). The saints in the Lord Jesus Christ in Gabaldon Nueva Ecija, will join us today in the hearing of the preaching of God’ s Word via live streaming at Facebook live.
    • From Maranatha PRC bulletin today: The government put Metro Manila and nearby provinces under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) up to December 31, 2020. At the moment, we are postponing our corporate gathering on January 3, 2021 and we are moving the date on January 17, 2021 due to the recent news that the Covid-19 patients are increasing in our area. Let us continue to pray that our heavenly Father will bring us back to our normal corporate worship. D.V. In the meantime, Rev. L. Trinidad ministers the word online to the congregation.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. D.Kleyn is bringing the gospel there today, as they meet in person.

    • PRCP Seminary News: The seminary is on holiday break at present. Online classes will resume in January.

RWH Logo 2019
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

WBruinsma 2

  • Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) is delivering the messages on the program at present (Oct.2020 - Jan 2021). Today he brings a special end-of-year message,"The Changeless Jehovah," based on Malachi 3:6.
  • 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. 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:

Communion with God
Looking for some good devotional reading in the year to come? Or a gift to bless someone else? Check out this title at the RFPA website, as well as others!

  • 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.

  • Be sure to check out the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI and online!

    *The Reformed Book Outlet is running a 25% sale during the month of December! We will also have the store open from 5-8 PM on December 10 for our annual Winter Shopping event, that will include a gift card giveaway and some other sales!

    As a reminder, their hours of business are currently Tuesday 10-1, Wednesday 1-5, and Saturday 10-1, or send your order to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • 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.

This Week's Thought for Contemplation:

Such is the Word of God.

It is a light in darkness.

It is a strong assurance of salvation in the midst of the sufferings of this present time.

A mighty consolation in the time of trouble!

The faithfulness of this Word the poet had experienced. And of it he sings: Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Lord, according unto thy word!

Let us not misunderstand this confession, and give it an erroneous application. The psalmist does not have in mind any temporal or material good the Lord had bestowed on him. When he acknowledges here that the Lord had dealt well with him, he does precisely not mean that his pathway through this present life had been bright and rosy hitherto, and that he had been spared, suffering and affliction. The very contrary is true. His way had not been characterized by material prosperity. Emphatically he speaks of his affliction. But in and through that affliction the Lord had dealt well with him. Nor does this well-dealing of the Lord refer to the fact that the affliction which the psalmist experienced belongs to the past, and the Lord had delivered him out of all his troubles, so that for the present, at least, his way was one of joy and prosperity. On the contrary, he regards his affliction, the sufferings he had endured, as the Lord’s dealing with him. Even though it were true, that the enemies of the Lord had inflicted this suffering upon him, he now realizes that through the enemies it was the Lord that was dealing with him and so, the affliction itself was a good to him. In the tribulation the Lord dealt well with him.

Abundantly evident this becomes in the rest of the section.

Does he not clearly express that he regards the affliction itself as a good? Before he was afflicted he went astray, but now he had kept the Word of God. It was good for him to be afflicted, that he might learn the statutes of the Lord.

The well-dealing of the Lord, of which the psalmist speaks, does not have reference to all, therefore to any natural, earthly, material, temporal good, but to the spiritual heavenly, eternal blessings of the kingdom and covenant of God, as they will ultimately be realized in all their fullness in the final glory of God’s heavenly house, the heavenly perfection of His eternal covenant of friendship.

And thus is the promise of the Word of God throughout.

Not that His people will be excused from, will be spared the sufferings of this present time, is the promise of God to them. On the contrary, not only do they lie in the midst of death with all the world, and must they, therefore, endure with the world the sufferings of this present time in general; but they must also expect that special tribulation which is the fulfillment of the sufferings of Christ. “In the world ye shall have tribulation!”

And ahead still looms the great tribulation that shall leave no room in the world for the faithful. . . .

But be of good cheer!

The Lord deals well with His servants!

Such is His Word!

And that Word is the revelation of His eternal counsel concerning our salvation.

In that counsel He has so willed and arranged all things, even all the sufferings of this present time, even all the powers of darkness that rave and rage furiously against the ‘Church, that they must all work together for the final salvation of them that love Him, who are the called according to His purpose.

That counsel He reveals and realizes in time, so that all things are made subservient to the purpose of our final glory.

And always it is true: The Lord deals well with His servants.

According to His Word!

Taken from the Meditation "Thou Hast Dealt Well"based on Psalm 119:65,66 and penned by Rev. Herman Hoeksema (back in October, 1944)

Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for December 20, 2020

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, December 20, 2020, the fifty-first Lord's Day of this year.

luke 2 14

  • The PRC congregations will be holding Christmas Day services this week Friday morning, Dec.25. Visitors are welcome to join us as we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Visit this page for morning worship times. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10,11)

  • Today Rev. A.Spriensma (PRC home missionary) accepted the call to Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN). We rejoice with this congregation in God's goodness in providing a pastor to serve them once again.

  • Today Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) declined the call to Wingham PRC.

  • Today Rev. D.Holstege (PRC missionary to the Philippines) declined the call to Kalamazoo PRC. Let us remember these vacant congregations as they seek pastors to lead and feed them.

  • JKorteringLate this afternoon Rev. J. Kortering (emeritus, Grandville PRC) passed from this life of sin and suffering into glory with his Savior Christ Jesus. He was recently hospitalized, and then placed under hospice care at home this past week as he suffered from various infirmities and his condition weakened. We pray for grace, comfort, and peace for his wife Jeannette and their family as they grieve their earthly loss. Rev. Kortering served the congregations of Hull IA (twice), Hope PRC (Walker), Hope PRC (Redlands, CA), Loveland CO, Grandville MI, and as minister-on-loan to Singapore before becoming emeritus in 2002. We thank the Lord for the faithful service of this minister of the Word and for granting him now the everlasting reward of grace.
    Funeral information: A walk-by visitation for Jean and their children is planned for Wednesday, December 23, 11:30-12:30 PM, at Grandville Protestant Reformed Church, 4320 40th Street, Grandville. Funeral services will follow at 1:00 PM, with live-stream available on Grandville PRC website. Private interment will be in Georgetown Cemetery.

  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. J.Mahtani in Cornerstone PRC; Prof. D.Kuiper and Rev. G.Eriks in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. J.Smidstra in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. A.Spriensma in Providence PRC. We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation to help one another in this need. And may we also remember to pray for the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, which cannot have pulpit supply from the U.S. at this time (pandemic travel restrictions).

  • 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 is a Christmas Singspiration in Edgerton PRC tonight? Here's the notice in their bulletin today: We will have a Christmas singspiration tonight led by the Young People's Society. A collection will be taken to help the young people attend the Young People's Convention. Afterwards, refreshments will be served in the basement.
    • there is a special resource page just for officebearers on this website? Especially for the newly elected men and those serving for the first time, the materials available here may be invaluable to you. Check it out, and reference it often as needed!

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • Prof. R. Dykstra and his wife Carol arrived safely in Singapore this past week and are in quarantine for the first two weeks. But he will be preaching and teaching online for now as he assists our sister church there, Covenant ERC.
  • Missionary-pastor D. Holstege, along with his wife and children, arrived safely this past week from the Philippines for their six-month missionary furlough in the U.S. (until June 30, 2021). According to Doon's bulletin last week (calling church), "During this time they plan to live in the Grand Rapids, MI area while Rev. Holstege spends the bulk of his time preparing for future seminary courses he will teach." May the Lord also grant them safe travels and a time of refreshment while here.
  • Rev. J. Marcus continues to stay busy with preaching and teaching assignments as he awaits a call to one of our churches.

sem front Nov 2019 1

Special PRC Seminary Notices:

  • Seminary has now completed its fifteen weeks of the first semester, with exams held this past week. Christmas/New years' break will be from Dec.19-Jan.3. Continue to remember the seminary's faculty, students, and staff in your prayers.
  • Prof. R. Dykstra and his wife Carol arrived safely in Singapore this past week for an extended stay to serve our sister church there (into May 2021). The other professors will pick up his classes to assist him while he is gone.
  • Prof. R. Cammenga will be teaching the special Interim course in January 2021 (4-13). It will once again be on the Life and Theology of John Calvin. Regretfully, the seminary will not be allowing auditors for this course this year.
  • Notice of Licensure: The faculty has licensed student Marcus Wee to speak a word of edification in our churches.  Brother Wee is a member of our sister church, Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore.  We rejoice at this milestone in the brother’s preparation for the ministry of the gospel.  Any scheduling of him to lead worship services will be through the seminary faculty.  This also provides us with an opportunity to impress upon our churches and sister churches the great need that we have for students for the ministry.  Let us pray the Lord of the harvest to raise up laborers in His vineyard, Matthew 9:37-38.  For the faculty, Prof. Ron Cammenga, Rector.
  • The Fall issue of the PRTS Journal is being planned and prepared. In the meantime the Spring issue may be found at the link provided, with plenty of good reading material in it.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

MMcGeown livestream preach Nov 2020
Rev. M.McGeown set up for livestream service at home during the recent lockdown in Ireland.

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSIONS NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore: 
    • From this week's "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin: December 25 is around the corner. It’s not too late to gather in members’ home of groups of five to witness that Jesus came to call the spiritually sick to repentance of sin (Mark. 2:17). Prof Dykstra will be preaching to us via online platform. ...During this season, in the midst of fear and paranoia, may we possess and experience real and genuine peace with the Prince of Peace. Let’s not forget to speak to others that He is the Prince of Peace.
    • The October 2020 issue of "Reformed News Asia" was recently published (#62). Read that issue here.
    • A new issue of Salt Shakers magazine (for young people) is also out - read the October 2020 at this link.
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word to the saints in Ballymena after another recent lockdown. They are back to worshiping in person, for which they and we thank the Lord!
    • Missionary-pastor M. McGeown continues to bring the gospel to the saints in Limerick.
    • Rev.McGeown also penned a December 2020 newsletter for his fellow saints. You may find that here.
    • Rev. Stewart has produced a new newsletter on life and labors in CPRC. You may find that November issue here.
    • Be sure to read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" - December 2020!
  • PRC in the Philippines:
    • Berean PRC bulletin today: Rev. V.Ibe is leading the services, as they are allowed to meet in person. The saints in the Lord Jesus Christ in Gabaldon Nueva Ecija, will join us today in the hearing of the preaching of God’ s Word via live streaming at face book live.
    • From Maranatha PRC bulletin today: The government put Metro Manila and nearby provinces under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) up to December 31, 2020. We are praying that the Lord will lead us to resume our public worship services on January 3, 2021. D. V. In the meantime, Rev. L. Trinidad ministers the word online to the congregation.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. Holstege and Sis. Leah and family arrived in Michigan this past Thursday for the start of their furlough. We thank the Lord for His safekeeping and pray He may bless them during the time of furlough. Rev. D.Kleyn is bringing the gospel there today.

    • PRCP Seminary News: Let us continue to pray for our seminary instructors and students. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). [Provident PRC bulletin]

Pics Myanmar Report December2020

  • Myanmar - Report from Hope PRC Myanmar Commitee:

The Council of Hope PRC (Grand Rapids) is honored once again to report to the denomination on the work of our Lord in Myanmar. This update is going to be mostly pictures of three items of special importance from the past six months.

First, the Hope Literary Society is a self-formed committee of the Hope PRCM congregation whose purpose is to print and distribute the translated material of Rev. Titus into Burmese and Lord willing other material in the future. The formation of this committee was inspired by the work of the RFPA. Rev. Titus has completed the full KJV translation of the New Testament,Psalms, and Proverbs. Rev. Titus has printed several copies for his congregation and various other men to serve as final editors before it will be sent to be printed in bookform. The intention is for the bound printing to be completed as soon as business lockdowns are lifted.

There were a few weeks this summer that the congregation could assemble together for worship. Two notable events occurred during that time. A marriage in the congregation between young man, Naw Taung & young lady, WineLay. This was the first marriage conducted by Rev. Titus since his affiliation with the PRCA and his first opportunity to use our marriage form that he translated into Burmese. Also, for the first time in the history of this small congregation, the Lord gave to it the gift of its first transition of officebearers. Soe Thine served as elder and Timothy served as deacon for the past 12 years. Taking their place, is the newly married Naw Taung as elder and Joseph as deacon. Both of these young men were raised by Rev. Titus’ sister-in-law from childhood in the orphanage consisting of several displaced children. These men grew up in the church and were trained by Rev. Titus in specific classes in the past year on being officebearers in the church of Jesus Christ. We give abundance of thanks to God for this evidence of growth in His church.

We along with saints in Myanmar covet your prayers and are grateful for all your demonstrations of support.

Sincerely as fellow heirs of the grace of Jesus Christ,

The Myanmar Committee (Hope PRC–Grand Rapids)

RWH Logo 2019
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

WBruinsma 2

  • Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) is delivering the messages on the program at present (Oct.2020 - Jan 2021). During December he will deliver some Advent messages as well as an end-of-the-year message. Today he speaks on"The Good Tidings of the Angel" - based on Luke 2:10,11.
  • 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. 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:

preparing for dating marriage griess 2020
Looking for some good devotional reading in the year to come? Or a gift to bless someone else? Check out this title at the RFPA website, as well as others!

  • 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.

  • Be sure to check out the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI and online!

    *The Reformed Book Outlet is running a 25% sale during the month of December! We will also have the store open from 5-8 PM on December 10 for our annual Winter Shopping event, that will include a gift card giveaway and some other sales!

    As a reminder, their hours of business are currently Tuesday 10-1, Wednesday 1-5, and Saturday 10-1, or send your order to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • 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.

This Week's Thought for Contemplation:

A noise like the rumblings of thunder comes from the Holy City, Jerusalem.

More specifically, the noise comes from the temple.

For those who have ears to hear, it is the powerful voice of Jehovah, the Almighty God of all glory.

As the people, filled with amazement, hasten into God’s house, they discover that a woman is sitting there, thankful and rejoicing. She has just given birth to a man child.

But that is not the end of the vision. Before the wondering gaze of these witnesses another child is born, and another, even a large number, a whole nation, ultimately a multitude that is innumerable, like the sands on the seashore.

In holy awe the prophet cries out: “Who has ever heard such a thing? Who has ever seen such things?”

Jehovah is the God of the impossible, who performs wonder upon wonder!

A man child is born.

Zion is His mother.

Zion is the church of the old dispensation, the woman of Revelation 12. Actually, you may include in that all the women of the old dispensation who brought forth children in the hope of the coming of the promised Seed, culminating in Mary.

The vision takes us to the cattle stall in Bethlehem, where Mary brings forth her firstborn Son, wraps Him in swaddling clothes, and lays Him in a manger.

Taken from the Meditation "Zion Delivered of a Man Child," based on Isaiah 66:5-8 and penned by Rev. C. Hanko

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Philippines Mission Newsletter - November 2020

PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
NOVEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ in the PRCA,

Another update from your missionaries in the Philippines. While many of you enjoyed the warm fall colors, crisp cool air, and sweet apple cider, we enjoyed rain, rain, and more rain! This rainy season, one particular typhoon (hurricane) was quite remarkable, to say the least. I will come back to that.

Missionary Labors

Last August, we missionaries began our second year of training men for the ministry of the gospel on behalf of the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines (PRCP). I am teaching Biblical Hermeneutics again and have added OT History. Rev. Kleyn is teaching Homiletics and Church History again and has added Reformed Symbols (the study of the creeds). Rev. Smit is teaching Dogmatics and has added Greek Reading and NT Exegesis. We are teaching a total of 3 seminary students. A few visitors have also been attending or watching our online lectures on Zoom, Skype, or YouTube. It has been a very different format for teaching, sitting in front of our computers in our studies at home and teaching through a webcam. But it is working well enough. We expect to finish the first semester in early December when the students will take their final exams.

3 missionaries 2020

Although the Philippine government has been very strict throughout this pandemic, there have been some happy developments recently. In their quarantine guidelines, mass gatherings, including religious services, are now allowed up to 50% of the venue capacity. So, with much thanksgiving to God, the churches of the PRCP are gradually returning to normalcy in terms of their Sunday worship services.

Phil sem students 2020

First year seminarians Jethro Flores (left) and Emmanuel Jasojaso (right) taking a midterm exam.

In other labors, I have continued to pastor the Provident PRC with preaching on Sundays in their sanctuary and teaching during the week on Zoom. We recently completed a very enjoyable and very relevant Bible study on the book of Revelation on Wednesday nights from April through October. I am currently teaching OT Bible stories to the children and Essentials of Reformed Doctrine to the youth. We rejoiced greatly when three of the young women in the Essentials class came before the Council to profess their faith and to ask for approval to make public confession.This they will do, Lord willing, on December 13. I also attend (as advisor) the meetings of the Mission/Contact Committee and Translation Committee of the PRCP. However, Provident’s outreach work to two Brethren churches north of Manilawas put on hold because the congregations were not gathering during the quarantine. The work will continue, Lord willing, in January. In the meantime, the pastor of one of the churches (Pastor Ronil Domingo) has been attending many of our seminary classes as a visitor.

Rev. Kleyn, in addition to his full-timeload of preparation and teachingat the seminary, also continues to preach regularly on Sundays when requested by area churchesof the PRCP. He also attends(as advisor) themeetings of the very busy Finance Committee of the PRCP (on Zoom). However, the mission work in Southern Negros Occidental, which is primarily the workof Rev. Kleyn and Rev. Smit,has been put on hold due to the tight travel restrictions between the islands.

Rev. Smit, in addition to his full-time load of preparation and teaching at the seminary, continues to preach regularly on Sundays mainly for the Maranatha PRC through their Facebook page. He also attends the meetings of the Theological School Committee of the PRCP (as advisor) and devotes a lot of time to theological studies (reading and writing) for a program he is taking at a local Presbyterian seminary.

All three of us attended the Classis of the PRCP (as advisors) on October 31 which is currently recessed and scheduled to continue on November 30.

Typhoon!

On November 1 (a Sunday), a super typhoon passed through the Philippines. Due to the potentially strong winds and heavy rain, Provident’s Council decided to cancel the worship services. In the end, though, the storm did not hit Manila very hard or result in much damage. The experience was like so many before. A typhoon comes. It looks menacing on the radar. Then it breaks apart, at least in our area. And we are thankful.

typhoon 2020

But then came the typhoon of the evening of November 11. The Philippines called it Typhoon Ulysses (the rest of the world named it Typhoon Vamco). At midnight, we lost our electricity. Our fans turned off. Our kids’ night lights went dark and they woke up. The mighty hurricane wind rushed over our house like a freight trainin gust after gust. Having grown up in Michigan, far from hurricane territory, I had rarely heard the wind blow like that before. After a night of little sleep, we discovered the results the next morning. A large branch had fallen from a tree in our front yard. One of our neighbor’s mango trees fell down. More trees were down in the streets.

But the worst damage was not in our neighborhood, which is up in the mountains east of Manila. The worst, we soon discovered, was down in Metro Manila, in the city of Marikina where Provident PRC is located. The Marikina River overflowed the dike around Provident Village and filled the village with muddy water. The flood waters rose higher and higher, submerging the first story of all buildings and rising into the second story of many, including Provident’s church building. Perhaps you saw the bulletin announcement from the Contact Committee of the PRCA regarding this flood. Although all thel ibrary books were lost, as well as the sanctuary Bibles and Psalters, much equipment was destroyed, and there was even some structural damage... Although personal property was also lost by some of the five families of the church who live in that area... Yet the congregation is thankful to God for sparing all their lives and comforting them with the precious Reformed faith that they have come to know and love: the truth of the sovereignty of God over rain and drought, riches and poverty, and all things, and His eternal love for His elect and beloved people in Christ, using our light and momentary afflictions to work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

typhoon flooding 2020

As of this writing, the church building is still being cleaned and repaired from the flood damage, but our heavenly Father is meeting the needs of the congregation. Please remember our Filipino brethrenin Christ and us missionaries in your prayers. We the Holsteges look forward to seeing many of you on our furlough from December 16-June 30, the Lord willing.

In Christ,
Rev. Dan Holstege

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Covenant Reformed News - December 2020

Covenant Reformed News


December 2020 • Volume XVIII, Issue 8



Adam’s Federal Headship and Common Grace?

A friend forwarded the following to me from one of his theological opponents: “You believe in creation ordinances. Don’t you also believe that Adam was the federal head of humanity (of the reprobate as well as the elect)? Yet Genesis 1:28 says that God ‘blessed’ that federal head of all men, implying that all mankind in him (including the reprobate) partook of that blessing and favour of God. The rest of this verse mentions the privileges of (1) marriage, (2) having children and (3) exercising dominion over the earth as part of this general blessing upon the federal head.”

Right at the start of our response, we need to consider the significance of Adam’s federal or covenant headship, as the first man and one who represented the human race. What does Adam’s federal headship include and what does it not include?

Like the animals and birds before the fall, Adam did not eat meat (29-30). Since he is the covenant head of humanity, should everyone be vegetarian? The first and representative man was commanded to cultivate the Garden of Eden (2:15). Does this require or imply that all work as gardeners? Prior to his sin, Adam, our federal head, did not wear clothes (25). Ought everybody be a nudist, therefore?

I would anticipate that you, dear reader, are somewhat puzzled by the (specious) reasoning of the previous paragraph. You sense that the answer to all three of the questions is, “No!” However, you may not be sure why this is the correct response, though you probably think that, with some time, you could come up with the proper explanation.

This underscores the point that the Bible itself must tell us what is, and so what is not, included in Adam’s covenant headship. The answer is at hand, for Scripture treats this topic definitively and at some length in Romans 5:12-21.

“One” man (12, 15, 16, 17, 19), namely, Adam (14), was constituted by God as a federal head—over against Christ, the other federal head (14-19), whom he typifies (14). More specifically, the one man, Adam, represented us in his one and singular act, referred to as his “transgression” (14), “offence” (15, 17, 18) or “disobedience” (19), namely, his eating the forbidden fruit and not any of the subsequent sins he committed during his long life of 930 years (Gen. 5:5). All of humanity, Christ only excepted, “sinned” in Adam (Rom. 5:12), and have thus fallen under God’s judgment (16) and condemnation (16, 18), causing us to be totally depraved by nature (Ps. 51:5). This is the unique, astounding and humbling Christian doctrine of original sin.

There is a second biblical passage that presents Adam’s covenant headship, again contrasted, as to its results, with Christ as the federal representative of His own: “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” (I Cor. 15:21-22).

One might think, at first blush, that mankind receives two (unrelated) things through Adam’s headship, with Romans 5 teaching that we sinned in Adam and I Corinthians 15 declaring that we died in him. However, sin and death are intrinsically linked, for “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23), a point made repeatedly in Romans 5 regarding Adam’s sin and our death (14, 15, 17, 21), and stated most famously in the key text in that passage: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (12).

In short, Adam’s federal headship means that sin has come upon mankind and, therefore, judgment, condemnation and death. Thus my friend’s correspondent has it all wrong. Instead of humanity being “blessed” through Adam, our covenant representative, the human race is cursed in him (cf. Gal. 3:10; Rev. 22:3)!

Now we come to the creation ordinances. First, to those who are in Adam and, therefore, “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1), marriage, though a good thing and a privilege, is not a blessing. Potiphar’s wife, Maacah, Jezebel, Athaliah and Herodias were not signs or bearers of God’s love to their ungodly husbands!

Second, being “the children of disobedience” (Col. 3:6) in Adam, having children is not a proof or manifestation of divine favour either. Idolatrous Sennacherib was murdered by his two wicked sons (II Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38)! Regarding unbelieving parents and children, God declares, “Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field … Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body” (Deut. 28:16, 18).

What about, third, the earthly dominion of the ungodly? Think of profane Esau (Heb. 12:16) to whom God in His providence gave Mount Seir with much wealth and livestock (Gen. 36:6-8). Yet Jehovah “hated” him (Mal. 1:2-5), something which is true of all who are reprobate (Rom. 9:13). The Antichrist will be powerful and popular throughout the whole world (Rev. 13), being worshipped by absolutely everyone on earth, except the elect (8). But surely it is a terrible blasphemy to claim that God loves the “man of sin” and “son of perdition” (II Thess. 2:3)!

The truth is that all of Jehovah’s blessings are found alone in Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:3), “the last Adam” (I Cor. 15:45), the other and far greater covenant head! By His sacrifice on the cross, He “redeemed us from the curse,” which came through the sin of the first Adam, so that God blesses all who believe His gracious promise (Gal. 3:13-14).

As those who receive Christ’s imputed righteousness and not Adam’s sin (Rom. 5:16-19), and so will be gloriously resurrected (I Cor. 15:21-22), marriage and children (Ps. 128), and whatever land and possessions we may have (Deut. 28:1-14), are to us a blessing through faith and in the way of thankful obedience. This clear Christian doctrine is opposed to the anti-biblical philosophy that things are or convey God’s blessing to those who are in unbelief in Adam and outside of the Lord Jesus (cf. Ps. 73; Mal. 3:15).

The quotation with which this article began shows how the theory of common grace—a temporal, changeable (and unrighteous) divine love for the ungodly reprobate apart from the Saviour and His cross—leads to a side-lining and corrupting of the biblical and confessional truth regarding the federal headship of Adam (and, therefore, also of Christ), original sin and the creation ordinances. False principles work through! Using ingenious (but fallacious) arguments, common grace claims that the reprobate wicked are cursed and blessed in Adam, and so are blessed in all their activities—despite their being enemies of God and Christ (Gen. 3:15)! Rev. Angus Stewart

 

 

The Church and Israel (2)

In the previous issue of the News, focusing on Acts 7:38, we showed that Old Testament Israel and the church of the New Testament are one people, one body. Israel, according to Acts 7:38, was “the church in the wilderness” and the New Testament church is the true Israel of God (Gal. 6:15-16). Coming in the New Testament to the general assembly and church of the Firstborn is the same as coming to Mount Sion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22-23). When the angel shows John “the bride, the Lamb’s wife,” he has a vision of the new Jerusalem “descending out of heaven from God” (Rev. 21:9-10).

We should remember, as we consider the biblical identity of the two, that not all who were of Old Testament Israel were the true Israel of God (Rom. 9:6). There were those who were Jews only outwardly. Really, they were not Jews at all, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (2:28-29).

The same is true of the New Testament church. There are those who are members of the church in name, who receive the sacraments and hear the preaching, but who are merely tares among the wheat, as those sown by Satan, the arch-enemy of the church (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43). “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us” (I John 2:19). All of which is to say that the identity of the elect, redeemed and regenerated people of God in both testaments is that of the true Israel of God and “the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23).

This is of immense importance as far as the promises of the Word are concerned. If Old Testament Israel is not the church, then the promises God made to Israel are not for the church. Then, though the Old Testament may be a matter of curiosity to me, it has no application to me as a New Testament Gentile member of the church. Then the Psalms, those precious melodies, may be sweet music to my ears but the words are of no real value to me. Then my singing them or reciting them is little different from the poetry of John Keats or William Wordsworth. The rhythms may tickle my ears but they speak a different spiritual language.

It is this truth, that Israel and the church are one, that makes the promise of God concerning children applicable to New Testament Christians. Then, and only then, are the words of God to Abraham, “I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee” (Gen. 17:7), the promise not of an Old Testament covenant that does not include New Testament believers, but the promise of one everlasting covenant sealed by the circumcision of infants in the Old Testament and the baptism of infants in the New Testament.

“But,” someone will say, “these two signs are so different in appearance that they cannot be the same.” Nevertheless, they are fundamentally the same. Both signify the removal of sin by the shedding of blood, though in the New Testament that blood must be symbolized, for no actual blood may ever be shed again, since the Lamb of God has died. Colossians 2:11-12 identifies the two for the reality of circumcision, the circumcision made without hands (from which no female is excluded), is the same as being buried and raised with Him in baptism through the faith of the operation of God.

The identity of Israel and the church means that I, a Gentile, am a true child and a descendant of Abraham, not by fleshly generation but by spiritual descent, by the same faith in Christ that Abraham had: “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham” (Gal. 3:7). As a child of Abraham, all God promised him is mine also, not those earthly things, for they were only shadows, but the true spiritual realities: Canaan, really Messiah’s land (Rom. 4:13); a city (Heb. 11:16); a seed (Gal 3:16) and all the rest. The identity of Israel and the church means that I am justified, as Abraham was, by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law (Rom. 4). There is only one way of salvation, and that is the way of free and sovereign grace.

The identity of Israel and the church means, too, that there is but one future home for both. As we have seen, to come to the true and heavenly Jerusalem, the city of God, is to come to the general assembly and church of the Firstborn (Heb. 12:22-23). Abraham, who never received the inheritance of the earthly land of Canaan, “not so much as to set his foot on” (Acts 7:5), though God had said, “to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever” (Gen. 13:15), was content for he “desire[d] a better country, that is, an heavenly” (Heb. 11:16). All those who go to that heavenly country will rest in the bosom of Abraham as Lazarus did (Luke 16:22).

The Heidelberg Catechism’s teaching on the unity of the church is both true and comforting: “What believest thou concerning the ‘holy catholic church’ of Christ? That the Son of God, from the beginning to the end of the world, gathers, defends, and preserves to Himself by His Spirit and Word, out of the whole human race, a [or one] church chosen to everlasting lifeagreeing in true faith; and that I am, and for ever shall remain, a living member thereof” (Q. & A. 54). 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 December 13, 2020

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, December 13, 2020, the fiftieth Lord's Day of this year.

Jer 23 5

  • Last Sunday (Dec.6) Rev. C.Spronk declined the call to Hudsonville PRC.

  • Rev. D.Holstege (PRC missionary to the Philippines) is considering the call to Kalamazoo PRC (received Nov.29). He plans to answer by Dec.20.

  • Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) is considering the call to Wingham PRC (received Nov.25). He plans to answer by Dec.20.

  • Rev. A.Spriensma (PRC home missionary) is considering the call to Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN). He plans to answer by Dec.20.

  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. J.Maatman in Cornerstone PRC; Prof. D.Kuiper and Rev. N.Decker in Hudsonville PRC; Prof.R. Dykstra and Rev. D.Noorman in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. W.Langerak in Providence PRC. We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation to help one another in this need. And may we also remember to pray for the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, which cannot have pulpit supply from the U.S. at this time (pandemic travel restrictions).
  • 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:
    This is the time of year that most of our congregations hold their annual meetings to elect officebearers, adopt budgets, and consider other special proposals? But did you know there is a special resource page just for officebearers on this website? Especially for the newly elected men and those serving for the first time, the materials available here may be invaluable to you. Check it out, and reference it often as needed!

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • Prof. R. Dykstra and his wife Carol leave tomorrow for their extended stay in Singapore to assist our sister church there, Covenant ERC. After arrival, they must quarantine for two weeks. We pray for safe travels for them and to be used of the Lord for the good of our sister church.
  • Rev. D. Holstege, along with his wife and children, will be leaving the Philippines this week Wednesday, Dec.16, for his missionary furlough in the U.S (until June 30, 2021). According to Doon's bulletin today (calling church), "During this time they plan to live in the Grand Rapids, MI area while Rev. Holstege spends the bulk of his time preparing for future seminary courses he will teach." May the Lord also grant them safe travels and a time of refreshment while here.
  • Rev. J. Marcus continues to stay busy with preaching and teaching assignments as he awaits a call to one of our churches.

library archives jan 2020 1

Special PRC Seminary Notices:

  • Seminary has now completed its fifteen weeks of the first semester. Exams will be held this week. Continue to remember the seminary in prayer as they finish this aspect of the first semester. Christmas/New years' break will be from Dec.19-Jan.3.
  • Prof. R. Dykstra and his wife Carol will be leaving for Singapore the week of Dec.14 for an extended stay to serve our sister church there (into May 2021). The other professors will pick up his classes to assist him while he is gone.
  • Prof. R. Cammenga will be teaching the special Interim course in January 2021 (4-13). It will once again be on the Life and Theology of John Calvin. Regretfully, the seminary will not be allowing auditors for this course this year.
  • Notice of Licensure: The faculty has licensed student Marcus Wee to speak a word of edification in our churches.  Brother Wee is a member of our sister church, Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore.  We rejoice at this milestone in the brother’s preparation for the ministry of the gospel.  Any scheduling of him to lead worship services will be through the seminary faculty.  This also provides us with an opportunity to impress upon our churches and sister churches the great need that we have for students for the ministry.  Let us pray the Lord of the harvest to raise up laborers in His vineyard, Matthew 9:37-38.  For the faculty, Prof. Ron Cammenga, Rector.
  • The Fall issue of the PRTS Journal is being planned and prepared. In the meantime the Spring issue may be found at the link provided, with plenty of good reading material in it.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

Myanmar map 2
Let us not forget the work of Rev. Titus with the saints in Myanmar.

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSIONS NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore: 
    • From this week's "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin: We are thankful to God that this coming Wednesday, 16th December we can receive Prof and Mrs Dykstra into our midst. We are again thankful for their willingness to come here to assist us for Pulpit supplies and other labors in our midst. They will have to serve a 14 days Stay Home Notice (SHN) upon their arrival. Pray that the Lord will keep them in good health as they take the trip to Singapore and serving the SHN. The two Sundays which they are serving the SHN, Prof will lead us in the morning and afternoon worship services and preached the word of God through on-line means. Do pray for our Audio Team as they work this out with Prof to make all the necessary technical arrangements.
    • The October 2020 issue of "Reformed News Asia" was recently published (#62). Read that issue here.
    • A new issue of Salt Shakers magazine (for young people) is also out - read the October 2020 at this link.
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word to the saints in Ballymena after another recent lockdown.
    • Missionary-pastor M. McGeown continues to bring the gospel to the saints in Limerick. After a two-week lockdown, he reports on a happy development in last week's bulletin: The Irish government has relaxed some of the COVID-19 restrictions so that for the next five Sundays we are permitted to gather for public worship with a review in January. We are thankful to our heavenly Father for this development and pray for our brethren still under restrictions.
    • Rev.McGeown also penned a December 2020 newsletter for his fellow saints. You may find that here.
    • Rev. Stewart has produced a new newsletter on life and labors in CPRC. You may find that November issue here.
    • Be sure to read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" - November 2020!
  • PRC in the Philippines:
    • From Maranatha PRC bulletin today: The government put Metro Manila and nearby provinces under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) up to December 31, 2020. We are praying that the Lord will lead us to resume our public worship services on January 3, 2021. D. V.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. Holstege and his family plan to leave for their furlough on December 16 and to return on July 1, D.V.

    • PRCP "Classis met last Monday in the building of the PRC in Bulacan and finished their agenda. We thank God for the brotherly cooperation and love shown by the delegates."
    • PRCP Seminary News: Let us continue to pray for our seminary instructors and students. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). [Provident PRC bulletin]

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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!

WBruinsma 2

  • Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) is delivering the messages on the program at present (Oct.2020 - Jan 2021). During December he will deliver some Advent messages as well as an end-of-the-year message. Today he speaks on "Doubting Zacharias" - based on Luke 1:18-20.
  • 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. 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:

Mystery Bethlehem HHoeksema
Looking for some good Christmas devotional reading this month? Or a gift to bless someone else? Check out this title at the RFPA website,, as well as others!

  • 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.

  • Be sure to check out the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI and online!

    *The Reformed Book Outlet is running a 25% sale during the month of December! We will also have the store open from 5-8 PM on December 10 for our annual Winter Shopping event, that will include a gift card giveaway and some other sales!

    As a reminder, their hours of business are currently Tuesday 10-1, Wednesday 1-5, and Saturday 10-1, or send your order to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • 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.

This Week's Thought for Contemplation:

What did the Apostle Paul ask for God’s family? Let me list them briefly in this meditation.

First, it is that believers may be strengthened internally through the Holy Spirit. Paul had been talking about suffering for God’s cause. It is in suffering that the grace of God is manifested. But who has strength for suffering? We certainly do not choose suffering. We shrink from it. But it is not only in times of suffering that we need to be strengthened. We need strength every day of our lives and in every circumstance. Is it in temptations, the needed strength to resist it and be victorious? Is it in tough moral choices at work, that you need the strength to do the right thing, so that Jesus is honored? What about the strength that the busy wife and mother needs to do all the chores around the house without complaining or becoming weary is well-doing? Do not we all need strength to be powerful and faithful witnesses, speaking and living the truth?

Second, Paul prayed that believers may be indwelt with Christ by faith. Oh, may Christ abide mightily in our hearts and lives! Do you see here the concept of the covenant? Christ not only dwelling with us, but He dwells in us! The result will be that as believers, we will be rooted and grounded in love. There are two figures used here, one from agriculture and the other from architecture. Love is pictured as something that nourishes us and then also is pictured as a solid foundation.

Third, Paul prayed that believers may be able to grasp the fullest dimensions of Christ’s love, a love that surpasses our full knowledge. It is a prayer that we may know the breadth and length and depth and height. May we grow in our awareness of that love, particularly through the routine hardships, sufferings, and persecutions of our lives.

Fourth, Paul prayed that believers may “be filled with all the fullness of God.” This is the climax, the top of the ladder in the prayer. In other words, the knowledge just described is transforming in character. We, beholding as it were in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit (II Cor. 3:18). Contemplating the love of Christ’s love means that we are increasingly transformed into that image!

What a prayer! How I need that prayer! How God’s family needs that prayer! May God give us pastors that are in prayer, praying these things for us!

From Rev. A. Spriensma's meditation on Ephesians 3:14-19, "A Pastor's Prayer for God's People"

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