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Utah Mission Trip

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson
The Truth Network Radio
October 6, 2023 7:00 pm

Utah Mission Trip

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson

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October 6, 2023 7:00 pm

Stu travels with Pastor Allan Wright, and Russ East to the lovely state of Utah. Listen as they share powerful stories of God's grace and providence for the people in the community.


This is Hans Schile from the Finishing Well Podcast. On Finishing Well, we help you make godly choices about Medicare, long-term care, and your money. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network.

The famous preacher, pastor, author, Alan Wright. Stu, I tell ya, I appreciate you furnishing me with snacks and drinks throughout the entire trip. I had snacks from the attendants on the plane, but yours were much better. I will not tell you which one of us had the upgrade, so we're not going to talk about that, but why would you come all the way out here to Utah, and then we're going to introduce our star here. Why would you come all the way here to Utah, pastor? I'm out here because I love Russ East, and I love what is happening through Utah Partnership for Christ and what is happening through the Truth Network here, and I also have just been really taken with a great heart to share the gospel in every way we can with Mormons, people who have left the Mormon Church, people who are just seeking, people who are just looking to really discover the truth of the gospel of grace, and so I love being here, and I can't wait to be with some of the people. So we just landed, Russ, and this is kind of what happens. Teams flying from all over to do a missions trip to Utah. That's what UPFC has been doing for years now.

You have this kind of like massive microphone called AMA20, 95.3, 103.9, these three big signals across Utah to bring the gospel to put programs on like Sharing the Light with Pastor Alan Wright. What's it like when you saw us guys walk up here in the airport? Well, I'm just so grateful because going back to 2008, 2006. When was it? 2008.

2008. That's when you guys came on the air here in Utah, and both of you were led by the Lord to have a presence here, and so praise God for how God has been faithful, and just keeping us right there in the thick of evangelism and discipleship through the airwaves, and then the additional signals, and the app, and everything, and Truth Network, and now we're having a banquet. We're having people to get together and be encouraged, and so excited that Alan has come back a second time now, and just sharing about seeing as Jesus sees, and how to give over our anxiety over to God. Pastor Alan Wright, we're here in Utah, and God has led you to write a new book.

What a blessing it has been. Your last book was a blessing, The Power of Blessing, but now you're blessing everyone. Talk a little bit about this new book, and the first people to put their hands on a copy are Utahns, people right out here that listen to this great station.

They hear your program on there. Well, it's a great honor, and it's really fun to actually have the very first of these books here in Utah. It's not even released yet, coming out on October the 10th, and you know, I think so often we think that the Christian life and Christian growth has to do with what we do, and it's noble to want to do what Jesus would do, but that doesn't necessarily empower us, and so some time ago, a friend said, I wish there were a book about what Jesus sees, about how he sees things, and I not only couldn't find such a book, but I realized I'd neglected such an important question. How does Jesus see things? And so, Stu, for several years now, I've been praying a little prayer, just a simple little prayer.

It's brief enough for a single breath, but I think it's deep enough to change your whole life. I just pray, Jesus, how do you see this? Just pause, just connect with the Lord, and ask him, you know, if you're confused, if you're frustrated, if you're wondering, or if you're just longing to see beauty in the midst of this world, Jesus, what do you see?

How do you see this? And I think he just loves to answer that, because after all, he's the light of the world, and we're like Paul, who just prays that the eyes of our heart would be enlightened. Well, when you see the truth, it changes everything. So it's a book, Stu, about the power of the gospel to change us by connecting us to Jesus for a more spirit-led life. The author just spoke, Pastor Alan Wright, he's got a radio program, he's got many other books, Pastor Wright, the name of the book, and how people can pre-order it and get it when it comes out. Seeing as Jesus Sees, it releases October 10, and the pre-order is happening now at your favorite book sellers. And if someone pre-orders, if they'll let us know at, we have some other, we have a bundle of other things to give you, just our way of saying thank you for helping this book launch.

But get it at your favorite book seller, get the pre-order, and you'll get it as soon as it comes out, October 10. Seeing as Jesus Sees, as we came flying into these beautiful mountains, this beautiful Wasatch Front, I think is what they call it, Russ, you can correct me on that. We saw the mountains and we walked the airport asking God that, didn't we, Pastor Wright? Lord, help us to see these people, these people from Utah, as Jesus Sees them. Russ, you've been praying that for quite some time. How refreshing is it to hear his message about that, Russ, and set the weekend up for us?

What's going to be happening these next few days? Well, we're having a free lunch for those who want to attend at the ministry house for Utah Partnerships for Christ. We have a little Bible museum.

It's small, but it's potent, it's strong, powerful, it's got some great things there to help us understand the reliability and trustworthiness of the Bible. We're just going to have a time of encouragement together for lunch, and then in the evening, we're going to be meeting for a banquet. We have some music, a good music artist who's going to be leading some worship songs and bless us with songs that I have to do about seeing as Jesus Sees. And then Alan's going to share, and Stu's going to share a bit about the history of Truth Network in Utah, and I'll share a little bit about how we're just trusting God and just pointing people to him.

So we want to invite everyone to come to Utah. Pastor Wright, it's a beautiful place to come, but every time you've come here, it's been a blessing, hasn't it? It is such a blessing to be here, and it's just a tremendous blessing to be with Russ and his family in this ministry, and I just really, every time I land here and I begin to, I feel and sense the Lord's great love for the people here.

The Lord came to us when we were stumbling in the darkness, and there's a lot of darkness in the religion of this area, and there's a lot of law rather than grace. And so I just feel it. I sense it as soon as I'm here. I just begin praying and longing for people to see the truth.

So thank God for the Truth Network. Amen. Well, we're so, I'm honored to be here, and we're tickled to death that the Lord led us to buy a station, 50,000 watts AM 820, mighty 820 KUTR. Back, many people said, what are you thinking?

Are you crazy? Why would anyone do a Christian radio station in Utah, but some big tall fella, six foot five, 290 pounds at least, size 16 shoes, blonde hair, blue eyes. Fourth generation Mormon got radically saved. Went to Bible college and happened to bump into me one day. We became fast friends. We would evangelize together in college at Masters in California.

He's been beating my door down and bugging me and calling me weekly since college saying, Stu, do a Christian radio station out here. Russ, did I misrepresent anything there? Talk to me. What has been going on? Well, of course I wanted, I wanted that to happen. I didn't know how it was all going to come together.

And so you may have, you may have accentuated some of that a little bit. I don't know about it every week, but every time when you would call and we'd talk, I'd be on Truth Talk Live. You know, of course I was, uh, I was excited, you know, to hear about these possibilities, you know, of buying a station and so how it all came about was a miracle and we just, I want to give a quick shout out of praising God also for Randy Finch because he's been a faithful engineer for all these years and we couldn't do it without him. He's, he's been an amazing part of this ministry. I mean, his, his expertise in fixing things and making things better.

Um, I really appreciate him. Praise the Lord for Randy. So many people, so many people at corporate that get things done that, you know, the team behind the team, Randy, other great volunteers here in Utah that could come alongside Randy and help them. People like Melanie and Jamie and Mike and, you know, Grace and other folks back, Christian, other folks back home that are the Christian car guy, Robbie that are making this possible.

Russ, we're grateful for UPFC. We are going to catch up with everyone and give updates and hopefully tomorrow I'll interview you guys maybe as we get closer to the banquet is that we see the sunrise over this beautiful mountainous, just gorgeous region. Some of these mountains I believe are snow capped or they're going to be soon. If they're not, look at that full moon. Look at that full moon. Wow. And then we're going to, we're going to talk, maybe, maybe interview when we on our way back.

What did God do? So stay with us, folks. We're going to chronicle this whole trip and we're grateful. And Russ, close out of here. How can we pray for you and the ministry in Utah? People listening, they want to get involved. Some of the least Christian cities in America are right here.

I'm looking at them and look at these areas. How can our heart break this year? How can we pray for you? Well, just pray for us as we try to reach the Mormon people that are leaving Mormonism, but they're not coming to Christ and they're becoming agnostics. And so that's why the Lord put on my heart to make this little Bible museum that can be duplicated amongst Christian churches. If I can do it, then maybe God will put on the hearts of other churches, leaders to do a little room about, you know, it can help that maybe a select number of people that want that tangible, you know, something like I've got a coin that was minted at the time of Pontius Pilate. It's things like that that give more evidence to the message of the Bible. Not that the Bible isn't sufficient in and of itself, but some people just need a little bit of other things, too.

So pray that we are able to trust God with getting the word out about the Bible Museum and help people trust the Bible. I love it. He's Russ East. He's the founder and president of UPFC. He's the host of passion for Christ here in Utah.

And then that show is now on all over the country. He runs the whole Truth Network here on the Wasatch Front, and he's in a big blue house across the street from Weber State University up in Ogden. Go by and see his amazing new scriptorium.

It's beautiful, great relics, and it's a great tool. Come by and help us lead people to Jesus. Alan Wright, your closing word. You just wrote this new book, Seeing as Jesus Sees. What a powerful title.

Congratulations on that, by the way. What's your word as we get out of here? Pause, connect, just ask him, Jesus, how do you see? And when you're in a community where there are people that don't know Christ and you can be frustrated or you can be anxious, just pause and say, Jesus, how do you see this person? And what will happen is the authentic compassion of the Holy Spirit, the real leading of the Spirit, Christ's own Spirit, begins to fill your heart. And you don't have to try to calm your frustrations or your anxieties or you begin to see as Jesus sees. And that changes you.

That changes everything. All right. I'm Stu Everson.

That was Pastor Alan Wright. We're in the car with Russ East, who's our driver who picked us up from the airport in his big red San Francisco 49ers jersey. I'll put a picture up on the Facebook. And we're on Highway 15 in beautiful Utah. Pray for us. Join us out here and stay tuned for more Truth Talk after this quick break.

You're listening to the Truth Network and We continue our journey together in Utah on this wonderful missions trip. It's so good to have you along for the ride. We're in the car with Pastor Alan Wright and Russ East and the conversation continues. Keep it right here and we'll have more coming up after this segment as well. Thank you and please share this podcast broadcast with others so they can be encouraged as well. And join us in reaching many more with the good news of Jesus Christ.

We're driving through the beauty mountains. The locus story is basically the crops were being eaten by the crickets and the locusts and everything. And so they prayed and then the seagulls came and they ate up the crickets. But sadly, down at Temple Square, they've got a statue made of a gold seagulls.

And I don't think that's what God wants us to do. He doesn't want us to idolize the seagulls. You know, they wouldn't say they worship the seagulls, but still you don't make a big tall statue. It reminds you of something from the Old Testament in the bad direction there. Why all the statues, all the ornaments all over the place? You got the worship center, you got the temple, you got Temple Mount. What's going on in Salt Lake, Russ?

Where does all that come from? If you look at sadly, a lot of exoneration of man, you know, of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, you know, and you don't see a cross, you don't see, you see, you know, they have a version of Jesus, but he's the brother of Lucifer. And he's, he's just an example. And he's not God the Son. And so we need to share grace and truth and love to the Mormon people to help them see who Jesus is.

We want to point them to Jesus. Allen Wright, you see these beautiful snow-capped mountains. You're in Utah. You're a pastor from North Carolina. You've written some amazing books.

You're on the radio here on AMH1 and KUTR. All the little FM's there, sharing the light. Your heart as you see this, what goes in your mind as you see Russ here ministering to these sweet people? Well, I just so love Russ's heart because anything that is not of the gospel, anything that is competing against the gospel of the grace of the Lord Jesus, that is anti-gospel, that is anti-Christ. And so there is a big spiritual battle. And a lot of people think that the big spiritual battle is just to try to make people do immoral things and be bad people. But it's just, it's equally a battle that is around trying to make people think they need to be good people on their own. And this is what Jesus battled against.

Hypocrisy, legalism, Pharisaism. And so that religious spirit was always attacking Jesus. And so ministries like Russ has here and what we're doing on the radio here is actually in the middle of one of the biggest spiritual battles that you could find anywhere in the world.

And people in our own country wouldn't think that way. And many Christians don't think that way, unaware of just how much darkness there is in a religion that is rooted in what human beings need to do to get themselves to heaven and distorts the purity and the simplicity of the gospel. So it's a spiritual battle and love compels us and moves us to do all that we can to share the truth. And that's why we're here and that's what it's all about. Russ, you see the successful industry.

Salt Lake is a mecca. The economy is really good. It's done really well. You see so many folks successful. These are some industrious people out here.

They build beautiful edifices and structures and buildings. Yet how could they be off spiritually? How do you explain that to people? How could they be wrong and how could you be right? Well, you know, we just have to go back to the Bible to see how it reflects reality. And we need to test it with other notions of what is reality. And I think when you do that, by many different ways, you can go to our little Bible museum and we can see how God has preserved his word and the message and the people and the cultures and the pottery and the coins and everything matches up.

You can find example after example. And sadly, when we have the Mormon narrative, the Mormon story, it just doesn't hold up. There's nothing to substantiate it from a biblical standpoint, from a historical standpoint.

It's just not there. And so what happens, though, is people, they get sucked into some of the false, empty promises of becoming a God someday. And there's that sense of the flesh thinking, well, hey, this sounds kind of great, you know.

And of course, you look at Greek mythology and things like that and there's some nuances there and some Gnostic teachings and things that kind of gets interwoven in there. And so it appeals to the flesh. And so that's why, you know, you have a generational deception and things and you don't want to buck the family. You don't want to, you know, go against what the family is doing, everything.

So people stay in it. And there's threats. If you leave it, then you're ostracized. So who wants to be ostracized from your family? You know, for leaving the club, you know, the the thing that everybody's a part of.

Many, many people are. So, yeah, we're trying to help people there to help them find a community in Christian churches, find their identity in Christ. What part of town are we in?

And tell everyone where we're going right now. What's significant about this new signal? Well, we're just out here in the west side of Ogden and we're about maybe an hour north of Salt Lake City. But this this signal does reach more of the kind of the western side of Ogden. And and so it hits a certain area, clear field. And and it's a it's a good signal. It's a good signal. I'm glad we're we're able to use it. We're going to walk out there. One of three point nine FM, beautiful mountains, beautiful hiking. So we're going to see. We have Pastor Alan Wright in tow.

We're here on a short term missions trip. He's speaking of the big banquet about his brand new book, Seeing is Jesus. He's such an encouraging book. Pastor Alan Wright, real quick, you wrote another book called Shame Off You. The last thing we want to do is shame people in any religion. And sadly, a lot of religious stuff does cause shame. You see this this the scribes and Pharisees shame the people in Jesus day to talk about that. Talk about the beauty of grace and the message of the gospel and really what are people listening? If you're a Mormon, what we're trying to communicate.

Absolutely. Well, shame is very simply the feeling that I don't measure up. And in order to be accepted, I need to make myself better somehow. I need to do something, perform better, be better, do more if I'm really going to be accepted and really going to be loved.

That's what shame is. And it's a lie from the pit of hell because there's only one way that we can ever know for sure that we're loved and accepted. And that is to know the love of God and the love of God has come to us in the person of Jesus, not according to any of our own merits. But when we were still in our sin, when we were enemies of God, he came, he loved us.

He proved his love for us in this, that he laid down his life for us and he's given us the deposit of the Holy Spirit. So what religion does, what religion of every type does, including Mormonism, is it essentially says you don't measure up now. And here are all the rules, here are all the guidelines and here are all the things that you need to do if you're going to be accepted. You got to give this amount of money, you got to eat this or not drink this hot drink or you need to go through this ceremony at the temple. In other words, it gives an outline of all of the things you must do to measure up. And there is no end to it. That's the problem with, Stu, that's the problem with shame is that there's no end to it.

It's a vaporous, diabolical lie from hell. And no matter how much you try, no matter how hard you run, no matter how high you jump, it'll never be high enough. So shame is like dangling a carrot of love and acceptance and saying, here, run after this and eventually you'll get it.

But you never get it. And with God and Jesus Christ and everything that makes the Gospel so wonderful is that God loves us not because we have proven ourselves, but just because he loves us because God is love. And in Jesus Christ you don't measure up, he measured up for you. And so what Mormons need, what every person needs is the same. If we're going to be delivered from our shame, we won't do it by becoming better.

We'll do it by becoming more and more in love with Jesus who was perfect on our behalf. Hey, I was a Baptist. I knew scripture.

I could quote scripture as an early teenager and I was on my way to hell. So I can say, oh, those Mormons, oh, they're riding bikes. Well, hey, there's more Mormons more fervent than Christians in their zeal.

Yet, sadly, it's all, you know, it's the same thing. Hell will be full of people from all different religions and even from religions that follow the true Jesus if they're putting their basis on their righteousness. I mean, Russ on their own righteousness, not on the righteousness of Jesus Christ, who came to do what we could not do. Who came to die in our place, Russ East, Utah Partnerships for Christ. You're the host of this amazing radio show, Passion for Christ. Isn't it a breath of fresh air to have Alan right out here?

And what do you think about it as you think about it? You're out here with these folks all the time, some dear folks, but you're trying to point them to grace. You know, it wasn't too long ago when the church where Alan pastors Ronaldo Church, they brought a team out and they brought a couple teams out, maybe even three.

I think there are about three out. And so just for the episode of Passion for Christ that's airing this weekend, it's with a lady who was a Mormon. And boy, what a story she has. And she and her husband moved from the Winston area, but they were a part of the mission trips and she shared her testimony and just the amazing transformation that she had out of the LDS Church. And we love these LDS people. Oh, I can't wait to show my neighbor our little Bible Museum next week. Lord willing, he said on Friday he wants to come and visit it.

So I just look forward to all these privileges God's given us. All right, more on the anatomy of a missions trip to Utah. I'm with Pastor Alan. If you're going on a missions trip, go with this guy. He's so full of joy, the Holy Spirit.

And join up with Russ East. He's six foot five, wears a size 16 shoe, loves Jesus, and he loves these folks in Utah. He's sharing Christ with the big blue house. We're going to go by the scriptorium in just a minute.

I'm going to shoot a brief video there so folks can see this amazing collection you've amassed. And also, they want to contribute to it, but people may want to come out here on a missions trip. What's the website, Russ, for folks to find your ministry and come out here on a missions trip? So it's the acronym for Utah Partnerships for Christ, But you don't take donations here, right?

No financial support. What? You can.

Pray about it. We really appreciate it, and we'll try to help you best we can to reach your Mormon friends and neighbors. We'd be glad to help you any way we can.

We're about to pull off to see this tower, 103.9, a station that is a Truth Network station, one of our great affiliates of Truth Talk. We have hundreds of affiliates that are brave enough to carry this program. But hey, short-term missions trips are powerful, and you can go all over the world, and you should. But imagine going someplace that's as beautiful as this, that's got some of the least, least percentage of Christians in the whole United States.

You don't have to get a passport. You can go hiking like we're about to do, and you can have a huge impact. You can come alongside a guy like Russ and Tammy and UPFC and Ben and their whole family and really be a blessing. So learn more and stay tuned for more Truth Talk coming up.

You're listening to the Truth Network and We are entering the Big Blue House with Russ East, manager of KUTR, host of Passion for Christ. Pastor Alan Wright is in tow. Pastor Alan Wright, we pulled up this place.

What did you think? I love it. I have great memories here of mission trips that we've had have been centered here, and I remember lives that were changed and conversations that were had.

What a beautiful place. You met a guy that you're going to be spending eternity with, a brother in Christ. You never met him before. What's your name, sir?

Lee McPeak. And you listen to what? Tell us about your listening experience at 820 Highlands. Hearing Pastor Wright has been a blessing. Well, he's been a blessing. My sister is Lutheran. She's saved, but we've had discussions about some of his messages. I've actually sent her copies. Wow.

Lee was waiting for us, talking about how much the station has touched his life. The Big Blue House is now a scriptorium. Russ East, tell us what you've done up here. Absolutely amazing.

Relics, videos, everything. Real quick, what is this? What's happening? You're going to tell them anyway, so tell us all the radio audience. All right.

We'll tell everybody right here as they come in. Well, this is just a room. See, this is an example of papyrus that New Testament letters were written on, and this room is just dedicated to talking, studying through the manuscripts that we have.

Wow. And we can go to a website like, and we can bring up digitized pictures of scripture that are in museums all over Europe. And so this is a great website,, and you can see all kinds of pages from the Chester Beatty Museum in Dublin, Ireland, and it just gives us an account of all the manuscripts that have been used to put the Bible into Latin, into English, to languages all across the world. Why is this important? We're in Utah. A lot of folks are Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a popular book here, but Pastor Allen, there's more New Testament manuscript evidence in circulation than Cicero, than Plato, than Aristotle, their works. No one ever stops to say, oh, did Aristotle really write that? Talk about why it's important. The manuscript of the New Testament stands against any book, even false books, like the Book of Mormon.

Well, truth matters. And so anybody who is going to have an honest inquiry into sacred text should look and go, is there actual historical validity to these texts? And how have they been transmitted? How have they been passed down?

With what sort of academic rigor have they been passed down? And there is no, literally, whether you believe that it's inspired or not, there is no historian, there's no one that would disagree that there is no book like the Bible in terms of how much attention to every detail has been given. And the manuscripts that we have, as you were saying, so far exceed other historic texts that there's not even any real comparison. So it's a beautiful thing to study the history of the Bible and compare it to other sacred texts. And you'd be amazed.

So the Museum of the Bible Washington, D.C. has really set a high bar. It's amazing. Most of us have been to that. It'll blow you away. I was there with Jeremiah at Christmas watching his movie and seeing that script you're in.

But Russ, you've done that here across from Weber State University and the Big Blue House. You have a passion for this. I'm hoping that churches might try to duplicate something that they see here and implement it into one room in their church. Because this room has books like our friend Kelly has here.

It's a third century papyrus, codex of the Epistles of Paul. And we can have a classroom in here. We can have a little study and we can go through what Lee has here. And it's like the three different families of the most popular Greek texts. And we can appreciate this and learn about it. You don't have to necessarily go to seminary if you can. Great.

But if you can't. Hey, we want you to come here and learn a little bit about this. I just I just got out my blue letter Bible and I found Philippians Chapter three and I just copied it word for word in the Greek. And this is real papyrus here in my hand. And so this gives us an idea of what what the New Testament would have been written on originally. And so it's been preserved. And so this room is just dedicated to talk about people like Erasmus, Stephanus in the fifteen hundreds and the Gutenberg Bible. And just to see how God has preserved his word and how we can watch movies here about the Tyndale and Wycliffe and all these people.

So we'll move on to the next room. It's the best selling book in the world. Let's talk and talk. It's the best selling book in the world.

It's the it's illegal in thirty five countries, by the way. We talked about that earlier with a believer from there that's in prison for having a Bible and being connected with. Hey, how are you doing, man? Good to see you.

What's your name? Ben. Ben, we're here doing this tour of this amazing script. What do you think of this place? I just walked in. I just walked in. OK, well, you're in for a treat. Awesome.

Good to see you. We'll join the tour. Pastor Allen, why is the Bible so attacked and why are believers like, come attack the Bible? Show us what's wrong with it. Well, I was out street witnessing once and the evangelist said, show me one error in my Bible and I'll eat my Bible. But, Pastor, why is this Bible a book we can stand on that is completely truth and completely trustworthy bedrock? Well, for us who know and love the Lord, the Bible is the inspired word of God.

And so it means it's God breathed. It means that it has God's own life and it is God's word. And so for that, we love his word and we love it. But for people who are just exploring, the thing you need to know about the Bible is that it all points in one big story to a historical person beyond dispute, Jesus of Nazareth. And that the Bible itself, then, that has been written Old Testament and New Testament over different eras of time, all ties together in a miraculous way.

And so it's worth believing it's worth studying the Bible. We're going to join Russ and Phil Stride. He's describing this room.

Keep going, Russ. What's in this room? This is a picture of King David from a church in the Netherlands, very old, not sure how old it is, but this here is from 1549. This is from the Matthews Bible.

He was a friend of William Tyndale. So this is from Psalm one. And so if you read this in Old English, you know, you can make it out. It's, it's some, some of the letters are used a little differently and all, but this is a picture of King David right there. And this is blessed is the man who goeth not in the, in the council, council of the ungodly. And it's right there. His delight is in the law of the Lord. In his law, he meditates day and night. And so, so now that we understand this historically, that this was true, this was real, you know, then we can start to look at some of the other things we have in this room, which would be the Roman Empire.

Okay. And how, like, for instance, you have this picture of, of places in the Holy Land where Paul Karp, who was a disciple of the apostle John, he, he wrote a letter to the Philippians. It wasn't considered scripture. He was not an apostle of Christ, but he was a disciple of John.

But this picture here is a picture of his tomb in, in, let's see, in Smyrna, in Smyrna. And so it's interesting if you read about this, he was martyred under Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. So when we're trying to, to see, do we have any evidence for the Christian message? We can go to things like this that, that, that couple up with the Bible. Not that the Bible wouldn't stand alone by itself, but it's great that we can go over here to over here to this little case and we can see here, we can pass this around.

Here's a coin of Lucius Verus under the reign of Marcus Aurelius. So here's a little book by Marcus Aurelius that he wrote some of his, his thoughts and things which are not Christian, but it does, it does give you that sense of, well, isn't this interesting? You know, we've got, we've got some real things here in history that point to, to John and his disciple and, and the martyrdom and just the things that, for instance, like, Tacitus, he was a Roman historian and in his book, accounting about things about Nero, he says this on page 216 in this book, he says, Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations called Christians by the populace. Now this is a Roman historian, so he's not going to speak highly of the Christians.

Okay. And then it says by the, by the populace, Christus from whom the name had its origin. So Christ he's, he's, he's mentioning Christ suffered the extreme penalty under the reign of Tiberius. And that's a, that's an emperor of Rome. And so that all matches up Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus and the most mischievous superstition thus checked for the moment again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular accordingly. And arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty. Then upon their information and immense multitude was convicted not so much of the crime of fiery in the city as of hatred against mankind.

So sometimes we hear today that Christians are haters, you know, we get that. Well, it was going on back in around 150 AD. I mean, this was going on in the Roman Empire. And so, sadly, you know, this is a an account by Tacitus, but it's it's it's real nonetheless, and we can we can use this as and what you have in your hand there. This is a first century spike from the from the Ukraine. That could have been something used like in the sense of a of a crucifixion.

So this was a common way that people like Nero and other other emperors would would use, you know, of course, to punish the lawbreakers of Rome. And first, before we go to the other room rush real quick, just just I'm going to end this segment of truth talk. We're recording truth talk right now. All you guys are on national radio.

You look so good. I'll get it still. I'll get a picture of y'all. We're in the scriptorium. This amazing little Bible Museum in the big blue house across the street from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, our Truth Network Ministry and Passion Utah, Utah Partisans of Christ. You're the host of Passion for Christ.

Final question. Why would people why is there so much blood connected to the Bible? Why would people die for this book for the truth of the Bible quickly as we wrap up this segment? Then we'll keep the tour going because, you know, the Lord would he'd open our eyes, open our hearts to see that it's not all just about the temporal. It's a eternal and we can we can know that God has a plan for us eternally because of what Christ did for us on the cross. And so the afflictions that we experience now are anything to be compared to the glory of being in heaven with him.

So that's why they could handle the torture and the hardships. You're listening to the Truth Network and The anatomy of a missions trip we we picked up with our hero when we landed in Utah. We're looking at these beautiful mountains on a missions trip to Utah. We are now leaving.

We're in the car. I'm with Russ East, the founder president of Utah Partnerships for Christ, the host of national radio show The Passion for the Christ. We just had some awesome time in Utah sharing the gospel. And Pastor Alan Wright came because he was the keynote speaker at the big celebration banquet. Pastor Alan, what just happened? It's all like a blur.

It's almost like a blur. But, you know, as soon as we landed to, you know, begin to have a sense of expectancy, of being able to be an encouragement to Christians here and hope to be able to have conversations also with Mormons as we talk about the distinctions of the gospel from Mormonism. And just wanted to come and be a support to this radio station, this radio ministry and to all that Russ East and his team do here in Utah Partnerships for Christ. Because not only are we on the radio here for over a decade, but we are aligned with this ministry.

And two or three times our own church has sent teams out here for mission trips that have been fruitful and life altering. Russ, you're going to drop us off. We're going to get on a plane and fly back to North Carolina. You're still going to be here.

I mean, this is true of a lot of missions trips. We get a quick view. We parachute in.

Talk about the impact maybe this has had on you and talk about what happens next in Utah, if you would. And maybe talk about how you were blessed, you know, over the last little bit of time while we were here. Well, let me just say that the idea of parachuting in has its place. It's it's it's never I've never considered it as a negative thing whatsoever, even though it's true.

I'd love to have you out here long term. But God has you guys in North Carolina and God kind of like if you want to look at it like D-Day. I mean, those guys that parachuted in, they had a place, didn't they, in World War Two to have battle. I mean, had those those guys not had that that that distinct moment where to land in, what to do to carry out a certain part of the battle.

Well, life would be a lot different for a lot of people. And so so by God's grace, bringing you guys here, you know, or even other other brothers and sisters that want to come here for a weekend, a week, a month, an internship or something. You know, just we just talked to somebody from University of Georgia the day that you guys flew in. My wife and I talked to this young lady and she's talking to Mormon missionaries on campus there in the University of Georgia in Athens. And and so so she had a meeting with three Mormon missionary girls. I said, are you going to go with anybody else?

She's like, no, no. I was going to talk to them. And so I'll just say that it's been a blessing for you guys to come out here. And it's been encouraging because there's just something about that. You know, it's like Jesus, he set up those 12 disciples, you know, and and so we have to have that mentality of community with other brothers and stuff because it provides accountability.

It provides encouragement. And it's a lot of good, just good time, some good laughs and times of just, you know, having some meals together and meeting with other Christians at the at the banquet, you know, and the music. We had we had some great food and we had great fellowship. And Alan brought the message from the book Seen as Jesus Sees.

And I just I'm really grateful. Alan, how would you color this trip? How would you commentate? I mean, so many things happening from prayer walks to attacks of mosquitoes to to long drawn out debates with Mormon friends. I mean, and then this banquet where I walk in, you're moving chairs and tables and greeting folks, signing books. Talk about give us a little recap from your perspective of a pastor who came in just to love and serve and see what God could do. Well, I feel like we've been here two weeks because sometimes the Lord just packs in that much. And first and foremost is it's just a delight to be with our good friends, Russ and Tammy East, and to see what God's doing in this ministry that we value so much and to.

Yeah, maybe you parachute in, but this is in the in the in the area of the Salt Lake and throughout Utah, so many areas, if it really does feel like a spiritual desert because the claims of Mormonism are anti gospel. And so we want we just the first place. It's just a joy to be an encouragement to be with other Christians here who want to see the true gospel proclaimed and want to share good news.

And so that's first and foremost. But our time together with people that support this ministry or learning about this ministry, the Vision Banquet was such a powerful time of encouragement. I just I just feel so encouraged.

I just really do. And I just Russ is here on the front line and and I just want him and I want this ministry to be encouraged. But I just felt so encouraged by the the the just the you know, the applause we kept hearing at the banquet over every announcement of good news, every testimony told people would just they break into applause.

They break into applause in the middle of my message where I tell some good news story. And so that's just profoundly encouraging. And it was also a tremendous delight to have a book that's not even yet in the bookstores. And I got permission from the publisher to bring some copies here and to begin to share it and to share this message of how it is that Jesus came to open the eyes of the blind. He doesn't want us stumbling about in the darkness and seeing things incorrectly. And so what happens if we start just saying, Jesus, how do you see this? And really for the first time to talk about that message with a group of people and to see that they they like I realize that this can really be a life altering spiritual discipline to pause throughout the day and ask him for his eyes. So that was also a tremendous encouragement for a message that's dear to my heart.

Praise the Lord. Well, you know, and we had this lunch in and you were you were we had Mormon friends in the room and other Christian friends as far as mission room and they just came at Pastor Alan Wright. And he's like, Stu, where'd you go?

I look I looked around for reinforcements and Stu's gone over to Weber State. He thinks it's easier to win people to Christ walking around the college campus than it is sitting in there. And and Russ, who is is a renowned expert on all these things, left me over there. But no, seriously, it was a tremendous delight. And honestly, that's part of the reason we're here is to be able to have honest and open and more nuanced conversation with Mormons and to help them see what the distinctions are. And it is so convoluted and so complicated. Spiritual darkness, spiritual warfare.

It's just spiritual warfare. And so but I did. Did I have an hour and a half of conversation with them?

Probably a good hour, a good hour at least. And that's something that that's part of the reason we came out for it. And I saw you after that. And we had to go to the banquet for the big event, the big gala. And that kind of wiped us all out. But God sustained us. And Russ, another. This happens again. Pastor Allen, I believe, will be a testimony to this. I'm Stu Everson. This is Truth Talk, our final episode leaving Utah.

Amazing missions trip. But Pastor Allen, we came to give and yet we got. I mean, how does this happen, Russ?

We came to pour out and we were leaving full. Yeah. And we feel we feel the more blessed by it, as he said. Russ, explain it to me with these missions trips, man.

Well, it's definitely a mutual situation. And I think when you're carrying out the Great Commission and you are faithful to what God calls you to do to go and go somewhere that God has you to go to, then there's blessings all over the place. Amen. And Russ, I want to talk about, as we wrap up here, your challenge to people that are considering a missions trip. Your challenge to people that are considering supporting, reaching people in Utah and anywhere they go. You're the host of Passion for Christ.

What is that program, by the way, real quick? Well, we we interview people who have come to Christ out of the Mormon Church. That's that's what the main essence of that show is all about. So and then we give some tips on on how to relate to Mormons, how to speak Mormonese and how to understand the nuances of what they talk about and how they define words. But the Lord's called us to start this Bible History Museum, and it's in its infancy right now.

But I feel like it's got it's got the life to it. It's got the essence of it that's really going to be a blessing. And I've got an appointment with a neighbor of ours who's going to come, Lord willing, on Friday of this week. So just pray for me for that to learn more, to be a good curator, a docent, however you want to call that, and to be able to listen to the questions that they have. I'm hoping that it will perk up the ears of people, whether they're Mormon or atheist or Christian, and just let people like start to cultivate their thirst for for appreciating how we got the Bible, how it's been transmitted, why it's reliable and trustworthy.

And so what a privilege for me to be able to do this. And hopefully the churches will duplicate our little Bible Museum and maybe consider about having something like that in their church building. Just just take one wall and have it be a church history wall and let people see the amazing history of God preserving his word. That's the voice of Russ East. And, you know, he started his ministry years ago, bringing missions trips to Utah, still bringing these trips. Your college class, your senior adults of your church, your school groups come out to Utah.

Russ will set you up in the big blue house. And now he's not doing just mission trips. He has this big blasting radio station, AMA20, and a couple of FM stations blasting all over Utah with the good news of Christ. And he has this scriptorium, this Bible Museum right across the street from Weber State University.

We invited a bunch of people yesterday on the campus there to come over and check it out. And we'll give you a Bible. We'll bless you. Russ, your legacy and your challenge to everyone to get involved in missions.

What is your challenge as we wrap up? Just ask the Lord if he would want you to come out to Utah for for a weekend, for a week and and see what this place is like. It's a it's a kind of a foreign country where where the people here follow after a kind of a Mohammed, kind of a prophet in a false prophet. They have their own scripture and they have certain promises.

If you perform really well and you have different levels of heaven, kind of like a gold, silver, bronze, metal kind of concoction that's that's twisted and demented. And and it's demonic and it's sad. But we love these Mormon people there. They're not the they're not the enemy.

They're the victims of the enemy. And so that's my that's my encouragement to use. Come on out. We'll help you reach the Mormons that are in your area.

Subscribe to this podcast and you can download the entire trip from when we landed to when we left. Pastor Alan Wright, we cannot leave our missionary without praying for him. We're getting on a plane. We're heading back to God's country, North Carolina. But look at God's country out here.

I mean, look at those mountains, doc. I mean, unbelievable. Pastor Al Wright came out. He preached a powerful message on this brand new book. Bless a lot of people. We got a lot of hugs from people who says your radio program changed my life. I mean, Pastor Al Wright, how blessed is that?

Say a final word about all this and then close in a prayer for Russ, will you? Well, we thank God for the radio ministry and we thank God for Utah Partnerships for Christ. And most of all, we leave our blessing here, Lord, in the mighty name of Jesus, though there is much anti-gospel and anti-Christ and at times feels like a spiritual desert here. We're so few people really know Jesus.

We believe the best is yet to come. We believe, Father, that you are on your throne and you're pouring out grace and your Holy Spirit through this ministry. And we bless Russ and Tammy and we bless this ministry. And we pray, Father, for the new Bible Museum to bear much fruit and for conversations about the historicity and validity of the scriptures as compared to false texts of another religion. And we pray, Father, that you'd bring refreshing and encouragement to this ministry and many more partners. And we pray it all in Jesus name. Amen. Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-06 21:22:28 / 2023-10-06 21:42:51 / 20

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