He looked to see what principles guided other men. He saw that under similar circumstances, different men acted diversely. Through the study of a book on psychology, he discovered an answer. The ego controls the man. Is it a safe guide? A most vivid incident came to his mind in this connection. “A beggar came to the door, ragged and tattered. (In Russia, it is the custom to give these beggars a few kopeks.) I gave him three rubles. What generosity for I was not rich!” Motives must be examined. Professor Neprash sat down with his ego opposite him. “Why did you give that beggar so much? Was it generosity? Was it love for him?”











Dr. Ivan Neprash with his co-workers

He concluded that he gave it because of pride. He was compelled to admit, “I gave it to prove to myself and others that I was better than they were. This ego held the reins of my life.”

And now in order to make a psychological experiment, he faithfully kept a diary. Each night, he sat down and wrote his actions for the day. “This study,” says Professor Neprash, “brought me to the conclusion that there was something radically wrong.” His own verdict was that I am guilty before myself, the world and the Creator. Never again will I do these things! Days passed, and when again he took his pen to write, the first thing he recorded was another mistake.

“Suppose I have found the criterion for good and evil. Suppose I have discovered all the rules and will strictly follow them. What about the past? If I start a perfect life and continue it forever, I shall only do what is right and obligatory now. There will be nothing to atone for the past. Is this everyone's experience, or is there something that can rectify the past?” Professor Neprash came to the idea of “substitutionary” atonement by a process of logical reasoning. There was a necessity for atonement. Logic brought him to Calvary! “Jesus Christ became my substitute. He took my place on the cross. This knowledge was too wonderful for me! I could only thank and praise Him for salvation.”

Three month later, at the suggestion of a carpenter who said, “You are an educated man; you should preach the Gospel,” he started to work for the Lord. After two years of special preparation, he taught in a college, the only Protestant Evangelical College in Russia. Three years later, it was forced to close. Later, he became pastor of one of the largest churches in Petrograd, an editor of a magazine and manager of a book store. Next followed eight months of fellowship with Evan Roberts in England.

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