Mbuma Zending Mission of East Africa
In The Free Presbyterian Magazine of October 2007 the following report of the address given by the Rev. S. Khumalo at the recent annual meeting of this mission was published and is reproduced here by permission.
It was very kind of the Mbuma Zending Board to invite me and my wife to attend this important event and to give me the opportunity of addressing you. I used to hear about Mbuma Zending when I was a schoolboy at Mbuma and today I am privileged to be part of this Mbuma Zending Mission Day. I feel humbled when I think of how much I have benefited personally, both spiritually and materially, because of your unwavering support of our Mission in Africa. I wish to convey to you the greetings and thanks of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland in Scotland, Zimbabwe and elsewhere for your continued support of our Mission work in Africa; without it, our activities in Africa would be greatly curtailed. Most of all we value your prayers.
I would like to address you briefly from these words in Luke 24:47: ‘And that repentance and remission of sin should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem’. This was a commandment from the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to His Apostles, who were chosen by Him. He sent them with this great gospel message after His work had been completed – especially the heaviest part of it, in His suffering the cursed death of the cross – and He had risen from the dead.
(1) We notice that they were instructed to preach in the name of Christ. The work of Christ, the only redeemer of God’s elect, who came into this world – ‘who, being the Son of God, became Man, and so was and continueth to be God and man, in two distinct natures and one person, for ever’. He humbled Himself even to the death of the cross and was buried, but rose from the dead on the first day of the week, as was witnessed by those who came to the sepulchre. It was said to them: ‘Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen’ [Luke 24:5,6]. They were to make known the gospel truth concerning Christ, that salvation has been purchased, that the sacrifice for sin has been accepted. This is what we try to do by the grace of God as the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland – wherever we are – to lift up Christ crucified, to preach in His name.
(2) The gospel duty of repentance. This must be preached in the name of Christ. It is a duty set before sinners in the gospel of Christ. This was emphasised by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. ‘From that time Jesus began to preach and to say: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ [<iMatt. 4:7]. This repentance is unto life, turning to God with a true sense of sin and an apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ. So the sinner, with grief and hatred of his sin, turns from it unto God. This must be preached to all people, as was emphasised by the apostle Paul in Athens: ‘But now (God) commandeth all men everywhere to repent’. This gospel duty is what is emphasised and witnessed to by the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland in all her pulpits; thus is what the Lord Jesus Christ commanded. It must be done in Christ’s name, by His authority.
(3) The great gospel privilege, the remission of sin. Guilty sinners of the race of Adam are condemned by the law of God but they cannot help themselves. But those guilty sinners who turn to God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, depending upon His blood, shall receive remission of sins. By the blood of animal sacrifices, there could be no remission of sin. It is only through the blood of Christ, which was shed on Calvary’s cross, that remission of sin is received by those who come by faith to Christ. So it is said: ‘Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin’, but ‘when I see blood, I will pass over you’.
These are the riches of Christ, which are to be preached to poor sinners. This is the good news of the gospel which needs to be heard by all. And those that believe shall receive the benefits of the covenant of grace and be made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, when it is effectually applied to them by the Holy Spirit. The price of the redemption was the blood of Christ. Through His blood, remission of sin is received and the preaching of the gospel is seen to be the wisdom and power of God. This is the message to be proclaimed to our own people, our nations and the world at large, as the Lord commanded ‘that repentance and remission of sin should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem’. ‘And ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth’ [Acts 1:8].
The Work of the Mission Today
In our Zimbabwe Mission we have churches, schools, a hospital and a children’s home. In our churches, the trumpet of the gospel is sounded every Sabbath and at weekday prayer meetings – and in our schools, where pupils receive knowledge for this life. No effort is spared to give them the spiritual knowledge which makes one wise unto salvation. In our hospital, excellent service is rendered to the sick. Every effort is made to warn all patients, and others who come in contact with the hospital, about the spiritual disease of sin and to point them to the great Physician, who is Christ, and to the great remedy, which is His blood. It is so also in our home for children; all endeavours are made to mould them by the Word of God. The work done in all our institutions is very much admired by the communities and by Government authorities. Our prayer is that our witness as the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and our institutions as handmaids of the gospel, may by the grace of God bring about the desired end: that sinners may come to a saving knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I believe that the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland is used in some measure in Africa, both in Zimbabwe and Kenya, to this end, and that it has its part to play in the glorious purpose of the Most High to save a multitude which no man can number. Thus it pleased the Most High to put it in the hearts of our friends in Holland to support the work of the Mission in Africa by supplying funds which God is pleased to use in spreading the Word. This is what you, our friends in Holland, have in God’s providence been engaged in for many years; so by God’s grace you are contributing to His great and ever-merciful purpose of gathering in His elect from the four corners of the earth. How wonderful are the Lord’s doings! He has put in your minds to go beyond the boundaries of your country to support, financially and materially, the Mission work in Zimbabwe and Kenya. Most of all we value your prayers at the throne of grace for the success of the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
‘Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one; and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God’ [1 Cor. 3:8-9]. ‘We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain’ [2 Cor. 6:1]. What a great honour the Lord bestows upon His people in engaging them in this work, when they are called ‘labourers together with God’, ‘workers together with Him’, in bringing sinners unto Himself. These scriptures should assure us that our labour is not in vain.
We are living in times when the enemy seems to be powerful, when the cloud of darkness is drawing closer, when the world has become so wicked. This must not discourage the people of God; they must take encouragement from the Word of God and its promises. ‘And lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen’ [Matt. 28:20]. Moses was encouraged by the Lord Himself: ‘Wherefore criest thou unto Me? Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward’ [Exod. 14:15].
Finally, we have accepted with sorrow and regret the retirement of Rev P Mzamo, due to bodily infirmities, but we also thank the Lord for giving him to us for the work of the gospel. In faithfulness to his Master, he has preached Christ and Him crucified up to his retirement from Mbuma and continues to do so when his health allows him. We are also thankful that Mr Nopel Sibanda was received by the Zimbabwe Presbytery as a student for the ministry. We are very thankful to the Most High for His goodness and His never-failing promises. May the blessing of the Lord be on you for time and eternity!
Rev S Khumalo is Minister of the Bulawayo congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland which meets in Lobengula Township, Zimbabwe.
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