Charis instructor Arthur Meintjes doesn’t just preach the word of God’s grace—he lives it.
Years ago, while still living in South Africa with his wife, Cathy, Arthur encountered God in an amazing way.
After training at Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas, Arthur and Cathy returned to South Africa to start a church. During their nine-year pastorate, the church grew and prospered, but Arthur did not. “I didn’t understand God’s grace. I preached the Word, but I got caught in the vicious cycle of legalism.”
Trying to please God through holy living, Bible reading, prayer, and all the other “dos” of Christianity, Arthur became discouraged. “It wasn’t so much that I was discouraged with ministry—we were doing all the right things and experiencing success—but I was burnt out with Christian life. I simply couldn’t do all I thought was required of me. I couldn’t answer the questions within myself: How can I ever repay my debt for Jesus’ sacrifice? Have I done enough for God? At one point, I remember feeling obligated to read twenty-five chapters of the Bible every day. And what you feel obligated to do, you eventually begin to hate.”
Arthur battled those feelings of hopelessness and despair until it nearly killed him.
“Although God never required those things of me, my conscience did. I became so discouraged and depressed that I went into my office, picked up my loaded pistol, and cocked it, ready to take my life. The thought of committing suicide didn’t bother me; I already felt like I was going to hell because I just couldn’t measure up. I couldn’t please God.”
With his mind made up, Arthur decided to have one last “conversation” with God. “I was so mad. I screamed at the rafters. I cussed God out. I ranted and raved. I threw my Bibles on the floor. I stomped all over them. I picked one up and threw it across the room. I desperately wanted God to respond to my temper tantrum. I thought it would be fitting for lightning to strike me down—at least it would have shown me that God heard me.”
When Arthur came to the end of himself and his emotions subsided, God whispered to his heart, Arthur, you need to enter My rest.
As a Word of Faith preacher, Arthur did not appreciate God’s wisdom. “I was insulted. I kept remembering the passage in Hebrews that said the people of God could not enter His rest because of unbelief (Heb. 3:19). I thought, God, how can You say that to me? I’m a Word of Faith preacher! I know all the Scriptures. I have faith!”
But the Spirit of the Lord told him, “Unbelief is not the inability to believe; it is when what you believe is un.”
All his life, he had believed in God, but that night, Arthur discovered he’d believed the wrong things about God, just like the children of Israel. After God rescued the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians, their belief faltered in the wilderness. Even though they saw His awesome power displayed over and over again, when the time came for the Israelites to move into the Promised Land, what they truly believed about God—that He was an unbearable taskmaster looking for a reason to punish them—kept them from entering His rest.
Arthur’s misconception of God had kept him from experiencing the benefits of relationship as well.
That experience was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I finally realized that relationship with God—Christianity—wasn’t about how much I knew God; it was about experiencing Him. It changed my life.”
Now Arthur travels the world, preaching the Gospel to everyone who will listen. His message does not point out what’s wrong with us but teaches people to look at themselves in light of the finished work of the cross. “The Gospel is about what is RIGHT with you!” Arthur often says. “Grace doesn’t give us permission to sin; it empowers us to live godly lives.”