Cancel

When I became a Christian in 1977, I did not understand clearly the great doctrines of grace. I remember how passionately I espoused Arminian principles and the times I confronted Presbyterian pastors to argue against the doctrine of predestination. It was by reading the works of Charles Spurgeon that I became Reformed shortly before entering seminary to prepare myself for the ministry. During my master’s studies in New Testament and later during my doctoral work in biblical interpretation, I came to know the works of Dr. R.C. Sproul. Books such as The Holiness of God, Chosen by God, and Knowing Scripture helped me strengthen my understanding of Reformed doctrines and clarified my thinking on difficult and controversial points. Dr. Sproul impressed me with his clarity of thought, his power of synthesis, his ability to logically command complex themes, the simplicity of his language, and especially his commitment to the authority and infallibility of the Scriptures. I began to recommend his books to my students and to members of my church. At that time, more and more of his books were being translated into Portuguese, influencing generations of Brazilian pastors and their churches.

Another way I was blessed by Dr. Sproul’s ministry was through his Renewing Your Mind podcasts. For ten years, I served as chancellor of the Mackenzie Presbyterian University in the city of São Paulo. I lived sixteen miles away from the university. Every day, I made that trip on my Harley-Davidson listening to Dr. Sproul’s podcasts via the headphones of my helmet. Dr. Sproul was my companion on that motorcycle daily, as he blessed my life with his messages, responses, and comments. Often during those journeys, I prayed and thanked God for R.C. and for the truths that he taught.

Dr. Sproul impressed me with his clarity of thought, his power of synthesis, his ability to logically command complex themes, the simplicity of his language, and especially his commitment to the authority and infallibility of the Scriptures.

The highlight of my relationship with R.C. Sproul was when I was invited to be one of the main speakers at the Ligonier Ministries National Conference in 2017 on the theme Semper Reformanda and to talk about Christ’s sufficiency in one of the workshops. I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Sproul and talking to him. He was very weak at that time, but in his electric wheelchair he moved everywhere, talked to everyone, and spent some time talking to me. I was very grateful to God.

The Sunday after the conference, I had the privilege of preaching at Saint Andrew’s Chapel. I expounded John 14 from the same pulpit where R.C. Sproul had ministered the Word of God to thousands of people for many years. Unfortunately, he was not feeling well during the last days of the conference, and he could not be present for worship that Sunday. I regretted not being able to say goodbye to him and returned to Brazil the next day.

R.C. Sproul was an instrument of God in my life as a Christian, pastor, and teacher of theology. His books, podcasts, sermons, and videos have also blessed hundreds and hundreds of pastors and churches in Brazil. May our God raise up more pastors and teachers like Dr. Sproul for the good of His church.