Thursday, May 18, 2006
The Gospel---Long and Strong
A few months ago a church member’s mother passed away, and I found myself attending a Lutheran funeral. I didn’t know what to expect, but when the elderly minister appeared on the platform in his robe and collar, I thought the service would probably consist of a few platitudes read from a liturgy, and maybe reference to one of the more pleasant Psalms.
Boy, was I wrong!
After sharing a very few kind words with the family, this Lutheran minister began to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all its glory. His sermon was long, about 45 minutes. It was strong, quoting the scriptures about sin and God’s wrath as well as those about God’s mercy and Christ’s sacrifice. It was very precise, with theological points stated accurately and biblical texts quoted appropriately and in context. He made no apologies; he did not hurry; he did not water it down; he made it very personal for the listeners. He preached the whole Gospel that day to a crowd of unbelievers. They fidgeted in their seats, they looked at their watches, they cleared their throats, but he kept preaching. He preached the Gospel.
A few weeks later, I heard that this same Lutheran minister had passed away. I wish I could have been in Paradise to hear what the Savior said to him. I’m sure it went something like this, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
I have preached one funeral since then, and you can guess what they heard from me that day. It’s the same thing any crowd of believers at a baccalaureate, and funeral, or any other gathering of unbelievers will always hear from now on if they call on me to preach. It’s the same thing I hope they will hear from each of you.
The Gospel---long and strong!
Love in Christ,
P.S. My thanks to Kevin Lancaster. He relates an experience of his that put me in mind of this incident.
Monday, May 01, 2006
A Call to Fast and Pray for IMB Trustees
The Board of Trustees of the International Mission Board has experienced an unprecedented level of conflict in the past six months. As a result, many Southern Baptists and other concerned Christians have been praying for the trustees, in addition to many prayers for the missionaries and their work.
The Board will next meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 22nd-24th, at which time this conflict may become even more severe if reconciliation does not take place before then among the trustees who are in conflict.
In hope that God will intervene miraculously to promote a peaceful and productive resolution to this conflict, Brother Wes Kenney and I are calling all Baptist bloggers and friends to fast and pray from now until May 24th.
(Acts 13:2-3) While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." (3) So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
The Bible gave the church in Antioch a word from Him about missions when they were worshiping and fasting. They responded by fasting and praying some more! Perhaps God will give our IMB trustees a word from Him about missions between now and their May meeting.
If you will join us to fast (in the method and to the extent of your choosing) and pray for the trustees during these next three weeks, feel free to say so in the comments section.
Love in Christ,
P.S. Wes and I live close to each other here in “Texoma,” and we plan to travel to the May meeting together. If we do get to make the trip, we’ll blog like crazy while we’re there and afterward. All contributions toward our expenses can be sent in the form of Exxon and McDonald’s gift cards. :)
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