Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 8, 1962
NUMBER 27, PAGE 6,11c

"Into All The World" - How About Norway?

Robert G. Tuten

The last words of Jesus to his little band of disciples were to have a momentous effect upon all who name the name of Christ. Jesus had said, "go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15) As Christ was taken into heaven the perplexed apostles, with His comforting promise, "and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world," still ringing in their ears, made their way down the slopes of Mount Olivet to await the "promise of the Father." Mark tells us "and they went forth and preached everywhere...." (Mark 16:20) So conscientiously did they carry out the command of their Lord and Master, that by Acts 8:1,4, the Bible says, "and there arose on that day a great persecution against the church which was in Jerusalem and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.... they therefore that were scattered abroad went about (everywhere, K. J. V.) preaching the word. And by Acts 11:19, we are informed, "They therefore that were scattered abroad upon the tribulation that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word...." To the Thessalonians the apostles said, "and ye became imitators of us, ...and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit; so that ye became an ensample to all that believed in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you bath sounded forth the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith to God-ward is gone forth." (1 Thess. 1:6-8) Not only did the apostles "go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation," but those whom the apostles taught and baptized as well. The church, says Paul, "is the pillar and ground of the Truth." (1 Timothy 3:15) Therefore, as Timothy labored in Ephesus, Paul exhorted him to "commit unto faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" the things he had heard from Paul.

Jesus had said, "every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away" (John 152), "and they gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned" (v. 6), and "herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and so shall ye be my disciples." (v.8) When Christ gave the great commission to the apostles, He placed upon every Christian the great responsibility of trying to save others. For "God would have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth." (1 Tim. 2:3-5)

Our responsibility does not end with a discussion over the back fence or with the next door neighbor, but, as Jesus said, "into all the world." God's word has gone forth and "was preached in all creation under heaven" (Col. 1:23) in that the Bible is available to all humanity. For in Rom. 10:18 we read, "but I say, did they not hear? Yea, verily, their sounds went out into all the earth, and their words unto the end of the world." Yet in many communities in our land, and more so in foreign countries, a New Testament church cannot be found! There are many souls who, in effect, cry "how can I except someone shall guide me." (Acts 8:31) NORWAY IS SUCH A PLACE!

Norway, the land of the fjords, is a country of over three and one half million people. There are fewer New Testament Christians there than in the small town of Warner Robins, Georgia. The Evangelical Lutheran Church is the National church of Norway. There is, however, complete freedom of religion, enabling all members of dissenting churches to worship after their fashion. About 96% of the population belong to the state church. "The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of harvest, that he would send forth labourers unto his harvest." (Luke 10:2)

Do we sustain an obligation to this country? Yea, verily! If there is a need here at home, that need is ten times greater in Norway. If we sustain any obligation to alienated humanity here, how much more in Norway! In our effort to fortify the home-front against a tidal wave of digression, let us not forget the need for sowing the seed abroad. Obviously, we can't go literally into all the world. Yet, those who love the Lord and the souls of men; those who are interested in building up the cause of Christ will want to make the necessary sacrifices to help sound forth the word into all the world. There is a vacant place for every Christian in the Lord's vineyard. Find your place and fill it! While you are looking, look also in foreign lands. Let every loyal preacher choose a country that interests him and determine to spend a few years there teaching New Testament Christianity. Some day the church in that foreign land will thus be strong spiritually and numerically as it is here at home.

My wife and I are now making plans to move to Bergen, Norway, in the spring of 1963. We plan to join the Joe Pruett family and work with them in Bergen, then carry on when they return to the states in 1964. We do not ask for thousands of dollars to build them a fabulous meeting house, etc., but we do need and ask for enough support and travel expenses to help build up the cause of Christ in Norway. Someday the Norwegian brethren will be able to carry on without help from abroad. "And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who shall go for us? Then 1 said, Here am I; send me." (Isaiah 6:8) Where is the church or Christian individual who will sacrifice with us and help support us to this end? I assure you, any small amount will help!

Brother Pruett has told me I will need $500.00 per month support and about $3,000.00 travel expenses round trip for a family of four. And if possible, I hope to raise $200.00 per month as a working fund for the church. My family and I are now studying Norsk and hope to be able to speak it fluently by next spring. We are now being supported by Riverside Drive and Franklin Road churches in Nashville, Tennessee, and by the church here in Warner Robins. The church in Haynesville, Louisiana, is helping in my support for one year. Any of these may be contacted for recommendations. How much will you help?

— 109 Marilyn Drive, Warner Robins, Georgia