Translator - Northern Ostrobotnia, Finland
Daniel is a native Swede, who lives in Kronoby, Finland. His ministry is predominately to translate Gospel centered materials into Swedish. This includes books, internet articles, subtitled videos, and sermons. He is also working as an administrator for evangeliecentrerat.se, which means “Gospel Centered.” Daniel works with the non-profit organization, Reformedia (http://www.reformedia.se). He has been part of the church plant, Gothenburg International Baptist Church (http://gibk.se), where he served by teaching, preaching, and doing evangelism, together with Daniel Norén. Now, he is part of Agape International Baptist Church, with HeartCry supported pastor Kyle McCartan.
Testimony of Conversion
I was brought up in a professing Christian family in Gothenburg, Sweden, where my parents are members of a large Pentecostal Church. As a boy I went to Sunday school, and later as a young teen, I attended what they called "Christianity school," which is similar to Confirmation in the Lutheran Church. Growing up in this environment, I cannot say that I ever heard a clear Gospel presentation. The various pastors, children’s teachers, and youth pastors talked about God's love, but never about His wrath and hatred for sin. It seemed, according to them, quite okay to sin freely and be forgiven without any real repentance. The cross was not explained.
I didn't really buy what they were saying, as I personally read my Bible and saw a lot of differences between what the Bible said and what they said about God. Through the Bible and other ways, I began to be more convicted of my sins during my teenage years. I had a lot of things in my life that I knew were wrong. My life revolved around video games and computer games, which occupied all my thoughts and my time. I did and said a lot of vile things as well. Deep inside I felt I had sinned so much and thought that God would hardly forgive me, especially when I kept on sinning after asking for forgiveness again and again. I was very afraid for several years that I would end up in Hell.
When I was 19 years old I got into a one-year Bible school at the Pentecostal Church. Amidst all the unsound teaching, I do believe they did teach many good things. I committed to read through the whole Bible throughout that year, and began to discover a growing ability to study and understand the Bible. By the end of that year God was working a lot in me, and as I was reading through the Bible I started to understand the Gospel and what God's grace really meant. There was actually one class where the "penal substitutionary atonement" view was discussed as one of many possible theories to understand the cross. But I knew that this was it – the Gospel!
At the same time, I had come to Romans in my Bible reading. I read Romans 5:20– "where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" – and finally understood why God would actually forgive me. Not because of myself, but for His Son’s and His abounding grace’s sake. He wants to forgive great sinners because it will show how great His grace is. His Son took the punishment for my sins, God's wrath, in my place. My eyes were opened and my life started to change. I think this is when I came to true repentance and faith. The Gospel became the power unto salvation, and I became more zealous for the Gospel.
I started to understand the importance of teaching about sin, so people will see why they need the Savior and how great God's grace is – so they can repent and believe. I saw a lot of "seeker-friendliness" going on and knew that it was wrong. They never wanted to talk about the gravity of sin or the real need of repentance and salvation. In Bible school we had services where the students either preached or arranged the services, and we traveled to different churches. When it was my time to preach at a youth meeting in a small town north of Gothenburg, I preached about sin, hell, the Gospel, and repentance. The youth pastors and my classmates actually appreciated it, glory to God.
Daniel’s Call to Ministry
Ever since my eyes were opened to the Gospel, I have had a strong love for God and a zeal to make His Gospel known. I have a great burden for Sweden, with all its various forms of ungodliness and ignorance, and for the Christian denominations like the one I was in, where people never hear the Gospel. We live in a dark age with false churches and false gospels, where professing Christians are being led into Hell in droves. I want to spend my life serving God in His Gospel, and to keep seeking His will by doing what I can. There seems to be a lot of hard work to be done, but the workers are few.
The last several years I have spent studying the Bible, evangelizing, translating, preaching and serving in the Church in Gothenburg. Then, God opened a wide door and brought me to Finland, where I now live with my Finnish wife, Melinda, and serve the Church here. I continue the same translation work as before, as well as exploring the landscape of Finland, and how God wants me to be useful right here. All is by God’s grace, for His glory.