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November 18, 2020 1:00 am
Stu chats with Pastor John Glass, author of "John Calvin's Geneva - A Walking Guide: Following the Footsteps of the Great Reformer," and a sent Christian worker from Grace Community Church in California. Today, he is one of the leading Bible expositors in the frankophone world, preaching and giving Reformation tours in Geneva, Switzerland.
Hello this is Matt slick from the match looked like podcast right defend the Christian faith and lay out our foundation of the truth of God's word for chosen Truth Network podcasts starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing The Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network have you ever been to John Calvin's Geneva organ to go there right now on truth.I'm Stu Epperson I am in a spot I'm in office. It's called the office of mobilization. Only vanilla that is meaningful.
What is mobilization Rob Provost, a longtime friend and mentor of mine is just love Jesus and he introduced me to a guy named John Glass.
Rob can you set this up. Who is John Glass and why is this significant immobilization.
John Glass is a sent Christian worker from Grace Community Church in California.
He's been in the French-speaking world all his life born in Paris raised by two American ex-pats in Geneva French as his first language got saved, not in Geneva, even though he was raised in Geneva never heard the gospel there.
Never heard the gospel at all until he was backpacking across India as a university student can imagine from Geneva to India heard the gospel in India went back finish University became a flight attendant with Pan Am Airlines met his wife, who is doing the Japanese route they got married, moved to California became car party. Grace community went to seminary, learn to preach and Grace community sent him Paris, planted the church 10 years there and then the Lord allowed him to go back to the city of his youth. Geneva now with the gospel and with an appreciation of John Calvin. So today John Glass is one of the leading Bible expositors in the Francophone world. There are a few others like him being back in Geneva now. He does a lot of tours people come through the pastor there planted church there, but he does a lot of tour reformation tours.
His passion is not just to show people the old stuff around the city, but to mobilize them in order to understand what happened in Geneva, so that might be replicated around the world.
So grab this guide and walk down the cobblestone streets of Geneva's old town and gaze upon the multiple historic sites link to John Calvin. Wait a second. John Glass you've written this book. John Calvin's Geneva. A walking guide following the footsteps of the great reformer, I saw those guys were sending people out you know to us to the rest the world to bring the gospel what you're there preaching the gospel what's going on with that how how the rules that happen yeah think of the footprint just a little bit slow not under Calvin the reformers I'm in the gospel just just completely spread all around the world. The effects are still felt around the world today. But then, over the last 11 years. A lot of unfortunate things happened, and of the gospel became very weak, and so today what you know it's it's interesting how America was a really colonized by bye-bye these Puritans in a way many of them were French French Huguenots coming over here that way today. I feel we almost have to the French Huguenots debt to John Calvin and we need to bring the gospel back to those who brought the gospel to us just kind of a weird deal. That's actually fact chose your passion with all this and what what is it that what is it that really makes you feel alive and come alive as your writing this book is your taken people on these tours as your preaching the gospel. That's a great question. I John Calvin II what what what I think I like the most. I give the tour is when were sitting under John Calvin's pulpit and have everyone sit down right there in the Cathedral and I suggest you stare up at that pulpit books for the 25 years. John Calvin preached no preach sermon after sermon every day and he preached every day every other week and he was a preaching machine and what's really cool is that she preach so much. He was such a expositor that imagine this just for the book of Isaiah.
He preached 353 sermons in Isaiah. I mean, I preached, or listen to that many sermons up so that's really what happened.
You see, as he preach the word the gospel completely spread from there around the world is all because of a preacher so I just really excited to be able be there to okay in this book is on Amazon, I guess, and were butcher soul yesterday and we sold for copy so far. Just notice congratulations divide by four copies of a double your sales just in a minute right. Why is this book so amino Inc. and Dr. Irwin Lucier, who by the way he endorsed her book he he. He's very excited. He said that he said I've had a number of different guises either but none like John Glass, John is done extensive research to help us understand the important events that went on during the Reformation and these are reflected in his guides with this all in your book. My family was there.
We were we happy to be there for the 500 year anniversary reformation, which was very messy with Pat past each other in traffic or something, but unduly what your name was a pop up everywhere and in it was in hindsight, we try to get some mutual friends try to get us connected with you was too late, but were we need to go back in deftly go through Geneva with you.
The Geneva Meister himself. But what's fasting blue trim books as an introduction rescuing the gospel cheerfully with he says which I read on the way over there which was very helpful because it's like one book that has everything in it, you know, Calvin and Luther, and the whole Zwingli and the whole process a lot history without having to read in ovary, but powerful, and then of course I'm excited about reading your book.
Butcher says that most Christians think that the Christianity started at the first Billy Graham Crusade, you know, why is it so important to have a context for this this note so a firm foundation for our faith. Isaac, my guess two things come to mind. First of all I think we go back in the history we understand why Calvin was in Geneva and why his ministry had such an impact is because of the persecutions of the Huguenots in France. We forget the context is that people were dying for the gospel for owning the Bible for be able to be free in the Catholic Church was scared about the evangelicals because the Catholic Church relate to the Kings so therefore was a political threat of the kings, and so the only way to get rid of this growing group of people were loving Christ was to persecute them and so people have to flee in the flat all around the world, but the closest free city was Geneva. And that's why Calvin fled there and he became a pastor there and so that was the number one spot were people could free to something from that standpoint, it's important understand history know we live, especially here in America and Europe in a land where there's little persecutions we forget that you don't be a Christian.
Then, I mean it was it was your life was at stake. The second thing this is really the positive thing I like about Calvin is just the impact of his preaching around the world get a whole section about my book got give you one example is a great example. Calvin preached the 10 Commandments. For example, boot with you like to do was to preach the opposite.
For example, if you take the eighth commandment says thou shall not steal what he said okay so that's fine. We know enough closest to what what with the opposite of an asbestos steel. That means I'm supposed to have and I'm able to keep what I have. How do I get what I have by working by working hard welcome to the present work ethic. He says take the fourth commandment, you know, keep the Sabbath keep the Sabbath okay so so so that one day a week when I do the other six days a week, work and work hard and work to the glory of God and so suddenly this is really cool. I always carry in my pocket a little item called Woody Sweezy Swiss Army knife okay so why is a Swiss Army knife such a cool light is survival but also quality. It's interesting that this little teeny tiny country called Switzerland just is known for its quality. You got Swiss Nigel Gottschalk was either the elf watches Bank 71 to 17 tiny country where they'll come from the Protestant work ethic where that come from. I think John Calvin preacher cites a preacher keep preaching.
We can change the world. While in this is where it all started. You go there you can you can see it but it's also tragically in areas it your preaching the gospel now is Calvin did 500 years ago or or or however long ago, but you're also seeing deadness since is is it a very it's very Dragon heartbreaking. Now we were at the wall. We got her picture taken by one of our relatives were of Huguenot dissent and are you to okay Rob my mentors to what that's worth. This, and there were no wonder we you had such an impact on me is this deep going here generation centuries right will that the effort on his on that wall recently with him and always we took a picture with them but but anyway I'm sure you know the I love how your book illustrates these pictures of of the reformers. What would you say is for people that are looking to getting your book and I'm Stu Epperson and I am with John Glass. He and his wife Meg live in France they serve in Switzerland under the. The really the commission of Grace Community Church in Southern California.
John MacArthur may be a flare with him and what a powerful story or test we heard about earlier in this broadcast but your book. I want to get this book. What's the biggest impact this can have on someone. What was the biggest thing that you want people when they did it to take away. Maybe they've never been made have been many times but would you say about John Calvin's Geneva walking guide is a really good question.
I think that the book will first of all, just the tourist who comes who's interested by by Calvin will just get a full-fledged understanding of Geneva, of every site link to John Calvin so the learn about John Calvin, but I think what to me is the most important thing is really what put Calvin on the map. He's a preacher he was a preacher.
So as pastors come, maybe a little small church in 100 hundred 20 people think the big but it doesn't matter because if we pastors realize the power of the word of God. We enter a little context can preach the word and begin to see the impact of the gospel in those people's lives, they began to emanate that the true character of Christ will of all the churches started doing this where to be able to see a new Reformation take place but is negative.
One person's good take thousands upon thousands upon thousands little guys like me who are you doing that faithfully the purchaser to meet cerebral arena encouragement pastor keep going keep preaching the Lord's unfinished okay that's a voice of John Glass I'm Stu Epperson this is true talk.
Also week we spoke earlier with one of my mentors and longtime friend Rob Provost Don glasses website is Calvin tours.com Ellis dispel a myth here yes or yeah that'll be open about a week or two. It's actually not even opening in the book is just out in the book is open, you go to Amazon and get it. It's called John Calvin's Geneva walking guide, let's just dispel a room or a myth here. A lot of folks here the word Calvin named Calvin it's in a can be a lightning rod for all these people here I am in a in the office of the church at a big conference were having a vision conference often carry North Carolina that's being hosted by this awesome church pastor Davey the pastor colonial Baptist Church of great expositor. The word really a modern day Calvin and we have all these pastor 600 some pastors in the quarters behind us hearing from Erwin lutes are hearing from these wonderful speakers were in office. It is the office of mobilization. Now people that some people have this this misguided notion that Calvin, if your Calvinists if you're or if you have any affinity Calvin that you don't localize you don't evangelize. But tell us how the antithesis is true. Can you tell can you talk about can you take on that argument from silence as well. If you have if you wrote a book about Calvin's Geneva. Surely you don't want to share the gospel. Will you talk about the importance of sharing the gospel and how that was a priority to Calvin or or was it not to help us with that. That's a great question to me. Also, we believe in the sovereignty of God in the election. True, does that mean that we don't evangelize Alyssa to Calvin's example okay Calvin himself started the Academy school 5059 that he funded to be able to train first of all, children, because I was a first in the entire world where education was made compulsory for children but then to train pastors. And what's interesting is it pastors came in her students came from around Europe to be trained in the school and they came from France, but what happened is that not only did they come and get train from France, but then they would be sent right back to France and many of them ended up being persecuted and delete is being called the school of death. So what I don't understand is is is or what I do understand is that Calvin absolutely was an endless.
Yes, God is sovereign salvation. But we do have responsibly to preach the gospel so that those who are called can be saved and that's that's the dilemma here right so yes she was evangelist and he sent them out as fast as he could.
Once between them. So what are your Europe, whether most socially know what Calvinism truly is nightly.
We get into that, but what whether Europe fan of Calvinism, or even know who he is. It was some of these folks these great reformers. These great guys are Tyndale and these other guys it did lot John Knox that Nino gave their life for the gospel that that that were burned at the stake it were executed were killed and their families for the crime of proclaiming the gospel in the language Luther got all kinds of heat because he can't, you know, because he know those theses you know we just selling a couple years. It was a 500 universe.
The Reformation, your challenge first folks listing in terms of the importance of preaching the gospel and the greatest kind of lesson. The law will you take away from from this book. John Glass this is a lifetime work really John Calvert your book John Calvin's Geneva walking guide following the footsteps of the great reformer which are kinda challenged to people out there in terms of being vigilant to God's word and in terms of taking Gus was to 2.5 billion people on planet Earth have never heard the gospel. We have a lot of problems in the West just asked me how I'm doing. I can just give you a laundry list of my problems my pain my eggs. I came early walkabout you got these basketball injuries. You know, but one of my problems is not that I'm on way to hell to burn forever in pitch black darkness were the warm dies not that's not where my problems, but that was the problem of billions on our planet who Western Christians are soft and work where we don't even realize a here.
I heard that over 90% of Christians have never let someone to Christ.
What we do and so take us away with your passion for that and how that ties in with this book yelling. I think that that's the whole lesson with the Reformation right and there was a corrupt church people were buying indulgences, thinking that buying an indulgence, a piece of paper would allow them to have a shorter time in purgatory will be able to pop right into heaven, and as Calvin and many others. Read the word of God. Luther of course had no there is just no way that is not with the gospel is the gospel is your saved bite by grace through faith alone and that becomes the preceding gospel that we must pertain around the world and the reformers did that at the cost of their lives in me. I want to think that in my tours I someone gave me a six to a Geneva Bible is in perfect condition. I taken on my tours and that the wow moment of the tour were steady. The Reformation fall wall right in front of the America Mayflower writing over there in the states and I and there's a guy holding the Geneva Bible and point out I said I will show you the incredible things like pull this ancient Bible out right in front of everyone. So they're like wow and I go I want you take this touch it, open the pages look at look at the spots in the wax in there that could read this by candle in a safe, remember that if you live 500 years ago you had this Bible you that the issue in the issue today is our what do we have we have that stamina, the desire to preach the gospel. No matter what they did that. The history lesson to me so can the Geneva and get plucked for the gospel. You know it all came from.
Take a field trip over there. The word of God, quick, and powerful, and this is the that this is the culture this is. These are the fat of the really the reformers skin of Calvin's wing is great guys love them like and hate to lose him. Whatever.
But these guys shed blood, tears and sweat to give us the word of God. So you have a Bible there's people in the world by where they don't have Bibles or Bibles you gave him a black mark.
In some countries and Russia you go parts of China were people would literally give a year's wages just to have a Bible or a chapter of the Bible. And so we have such a great face, and we have this because of godly men.
So thank you John Glass for this book. Everyone get it. John Calvin's Geneva walking guide following the footsteps of the great reformer and thank you Rob Provost for introducing me to this man of God in the next time I talk you.
I want to be in Geneva on the cobblestone streets is beautiful, we gotta do it. I can't know I can't wait. God bless you and were praying for this book to do well to touch a lot of people in a take a lot of people to the one who gives us life, the Lord Jesus Christ who said heaven were worth a pass away, but my words will not pass away. This is the Truth Network