Now, Contending for the Faith. In this regular feature, Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here’s this week’s question: “Dear Dave and Tom, I’ve been getting The Berean Call for nearly a decade now, and listening to your radio program for a couple of years. First of all, I want to thank you for all of your diligent work. I wonder how you do it, especially since I don’t remember you ever making fund appeals. I also wonder why you do it, because much of what you communicate is at odds with what the world and far too many Christians believe. I know you guys must take a lot of heat for what you say. So I’d like to know why you do, what you do.”
Tom: Well, Dave, why do we do what we do? I know why I do what I do: to help you do what you do.
Dave: [chuckles] Well, Tom, I have said to the Lord literally hundreds of times, “Lord, You know my heart. All I want is to be able to help people to know You, to know Your Word, to get to heaven. I don’t want anything for it, Lord, because I’m not worthy of anything, You know? I don’t deserve anything. I do a lousy job. Lord, I’m doing my best; I’m trying. Help me to be more articulate. Help to be able to say things in a way that will communicate so that people can understand it, so that it is accurate. And, Lord, as long as You can keep me alive, that’s all I want to do. I don’t know of anything else that’s worthwhile. I’m sure there are other things that people would feel are worthwhile for them, but that’s all I want. Why would I want anything else?” There’s nothing more important, Tom, than one’s eternal destiny. You’re going to be in heaven, you’re going to be in hell. Does God exist? Is the Bible the truth? Tom, you couldn’t ask more basic and important questions for eternity. Well, that’s what I want to deal with and I want to help people. I just spent several hours, I’ll confess to you—you know I’m leaving in less than forty-eight hours for a six-week trip to Australia and New Zealand. And I get back one day and I’m off to another conference in Minneapolis, and I’m back I think two days, we’re off to another conference in Winnipeg, then off to South America and so forth. I don’t have any time. But these people needed some help on some biblical questions and I spent several hours writing it out and getting it to them by fax so that they would have it before I leave, because I think it is important! I give my life for that. So we don’t ask someone [to] help us monetarily—we need help monetarily—but we trust God for that because we’re trying to serve him and as you know Tom, we often say it in the board meeting, “Where the Lord guides, the Lord provides.”
So we’re trusting to Him, and who’s heart He moves to support us. But that’s not the main point. That’s not what we’re after. I don’t get any salary out of this. You know that.
What we want to do is try to help people because eternity is a long time, and it comes on you faster than you realize. That’s all I want, Tom, nothing else.
Tom: And, Dave, the point you make, I think about it all the time. I’ll be sixty this year. And I’m so thankful that God has me doing something—helping you to do what God has called you to do—but doing something that is so worthwhile. This is not academic, all right? This is not philosophy. This is reality. This is trying to encourage people to seek Him, because they’re either going to spend eternity with Him forever, or they’re going to spend eternity without Him, which I can’t even imagine. So these are issues that are important. And I agree with you, you know, we don’t do everything all that well. But still, if we’re willing and available for the Lord, we see Him work from time to time. We just—it’s like, “Put on your seatbelt, Tom, here’s the Lord working.” And to be a part of that, to experience that is at this point in my life—at any point in my life…You know, I came to the Lord in my thirties and the last thirty years have just been—well, not quite thirty yet—but have just been amazing.
Dave: Well, Tom, it’s just a matter of simple objectivity and logic—rationality like everything else. I was in the business world at one time. I had a very responsible job. I was general manager of some corporations, getting a very good income—that was thirty years ago, forty years ago almost. And I can honestly say I was never interested in that sort of thing. There had to be something more worthwhile than chasing a dollar. And, in fact, there is. And we were in a large home in those days. We had more meetings in our home than most churches have. We saw numbers of people come to Christ every week, literally. Young people mostly. We were working with college students and it was thrilling. And we used to have foreign students in. I recommend to people that if you have a home, probably there are universities in your area, foreign students would love to come in your home—bring them in. Give them dinner and talk with them. Get acquainted and you will be able to give them the gospel. We had discussions; we had atheists, we had agnostics, we had people that just hated Christ. We opened the door to them and we’d feed them and “let’s sit down and discuss this together.” We had great times. I tell you Tom, look, I’m not afraid of my faith being exposed as false. If it is false, please expose it.
Tom: Right. Save yourself a delusion.
Dave: Right and you can have some wonderful, exciting discussions. Now, it doesn’t mean you’re an expert. I’m certainly not the expert yet. I know a little bit more than I knew then and I can tell you many times I went back to my room on my knees and licked my wounds. “God, I didn’t have the answer that! The guy really stumped me.”
Well, but then I got the answer to that one and the next time they came up with that one, they didn’t stump me. And it takes time. There is no stumping the Bible, it’s just that I don’t know the Bible well enough or I’m not thinking accurately enough or clearly enough. But it’s really thrilling, Tom, to serve the Lord and I’ve said it many times—I get off of an airplane and I say, “God you did it again!” It’s just incredible who He sits me next to. I don’t know of a more wonderful life than to let the Lord just simply guide my path and direct me. As you’ve said, Tom, and I say it, I do a pretty poor job of it, but still He opens the doors and He does work through us. And that is wonderful!
Tom: And Dave, it is exciting. It’s a taste of heaven. We’re going to have this for all eternity. Wow!