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March 3, 2021 7:00 am
Greetings and welcome once again to our Wednesday night service glad to have you tuning in. This is a lifestream service from the almost empty auditorium of the beacon Baptist Church.
We do have one worshiper with us tonight were always happy for those who can come in who desire to come. We are having our teens meeting tonight in the team room along with some of our college and career. Young people so that is a people present meeting and I think that's going to be continuing on Wednesday night. Moving forward and we will be adding meetings slowly to our schedule may take a while to get back to our full schedule but we are moving in that direction as the cove would pandemic is clearly beginning to wind down. It's not gone but it's clearly beginning to wind down that we had a wonderful Sunday night service this last Lord's day the memorial service for missionary steward wall that of course was a people present service Sunday night meeting with many of our people here and were thankful for those who could come and I wanted to give you a report on the offering that we received Sunday night for the Simon war Memorial fund and Zimbabwe and we received $25 short of $3000 $2975 for the Simon wall fund and have heard from some who were watching by lifestream who said they would like to contribute to that as well so I expect will be receiving some additional amounts in the mail and so it looks like that that special offering went above $3000. Thank you for your giving.
Thank you for your concern and thank you for your very obvious interest in the gospel in the land of Zimbabwe. Our next Sunday night meeting will be on the third Sunday night in March that will be March 21 and will be gathering on Sunday night at 6 o'clock. A communion service. It has been months and months and months and months since we've had a time together around the Lord's table. We need to do that and with things opening up a little bit were encouraged to start adding some additional Sunday night services and that is one will be adding on March 21, so please keep that in mind and join us at that time.
If you are a born again baptized believer and are ready to resume obeying the Lord's command.
This do in remembrance of me. Then our next Sunday night. People present. Service will be the first Sunday night in April, which will be the first Sunday of our spring Bible conference with Mark Webb and that'll be Sunday night Monday night Tuesday night and Wednesday night.
Mark Webb has been a wonderful blessing to our church over the years I've lost track of how many times that he has been here for Bible conferences but he is coming once again. So grateful that he's still able and willing to do that in this time he's going to be bringing a series of messages from the book of Ephesians.
So were looking forward to that. The Bible conference will be Sunday morning Sunday night Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night will be say more about that in the days to come. Other than that we will continue Sunday morning people present Sunday night Wednesday night by lifestream, but you'll be hearing regular exceptions so that as we move forward and you just heard about some a moment ago also mentioned that our elders and deacons will be having our monthly meeting this coming Tuesday night March 9 at 715 in the fellowship hall. We praise the Lord that the relative of Rose Bradshaw, a US marshal who was shot in the line of duty in Baltimore some weeks ago now that we have been praying for is recovering well from that shooting incident or government official. The week is Fall River Councilman Patty Wilson.
We continue to pray for Marseilles Councilman who is recovering from her second eye surgery.
She is doing well. In fact, she was in church this last Sunday morning and she says her eye appointment today went well. The doctor said the transplant looked good, but her eyes very dry and agitated. She will be using another drop to see if it will clear up and return in a month. Pray for her.
Continue to pray for Drew Guthrie as she battles cancer were so grateful for her good spirit and also the report that she does not seem to be having anything we are praying for our pope, who has tested positive for covert and his condition. That's a very serious matter. His wife tested positive, and then he tested positive, but he has received an infusion of antibodies that are supposed to knock his culvert out in record time at the special treatment only available to people in a special situation like he is with his ski COPD.
That's the treatment I was told, and I assume is correct that the president Trump received when he got culvert in why he bounced back and seemed not to have any effects at all.
Same treatment and so were grateful for that to please pray for our pope that he will not get a serious case of covert, because in his case a serious case would be very serious. It probably would be fatal. We continue to pray for Betty Duncan who is suffering with back pain and has had some other issues but she had a better day today were glad for that. But she is now living in Greensboro with her daughter Jeannie and that has been a blessing for Betty and for Pat and Shirley Watkins is home and she says she's doing better every time that someone contacts her and asked, she always says she's doing better getting a little stronger so with grateful for that. Would ask your prayers for Ryan Kelly son-in-law of Leo Sue Vestal who will be defending his dissertation on Friday.
Pray that the Lord will give him clarity of mind.
We continue to pray for Jean Ferris, the mother of Wendy Lynch, who is recovering from hip surgery and now his hand.
Some infections are complicating things.
She seems to be allergic to a number of antibiotics and that's hindering her recovery but pray for her.
The should be able to go home soon were also praying for Keith Scheier Mott C. Shireman McCoskey I guess it is a McCaskey in Canada.
A friend of of Leslie Fanon's son who lives in Canada. David Joel calling Joel and this is a quick and acquaintance of his who has been in the hospital for a long time set along recovery has been moved to the rehab ward in the hospital is doing well is able now to walk unassisted.
There's an area of concern with his left arm and there appears to be some nerve damage. Please pray that the doctors can find the problem and offer a solution and pray that the Lord will use all of this to open his eyes to his need of Christ also had the name Joe Seymour added to our prayer sheet that is Pastor Joe Seymour of I don't remember the name of the church, but it is in Kinston, North Carolina. He comes occasionally to our tri-state fellowship even though it's a long drive for him.
He preached at our fellowship in was that in February I think it was, but he is.
He's got some health problems and he's asked us to pray for him then were praying for Karen Vestal who is a niece in law of Sue Vestal and was diagnosed recently with chronic Lyme disease so please pray for her. We know how debilitating that can be but the Lord is in control of all of these things we are continuing to pray for Laverne Waller as she is dealing with the emptiness in her life with the death of her husband, Stuart Stuart and for Mike Webster missionary to Francis. He's battling colon cancer and seems to be doing well. Praying for Don Hammond, the daughter of Eddie and Claire driver will not be having additional radiation for her cancer, and for Scott mature, a relative of Pastor Bob mature cousin actually and he will be meeting with his doctors to determine if his treatments for cancer have been effective. So those of the prayer requests that I mentioned tonight will wait till the end of the service to pray for those from the beacon pulpit. I would number of communications for missionaries. Most of the personal letters of thanks or other communications to our congregation. Specifically, this first one from David and Lynn Champlin who serve in Surinam, South America dear beacon, we are alive and kicking. Surinam is under a lot of restrictions the last two weekends.
We were locked down this weekend we celebrated both Chinese new year and Valentine's Day but no lockdown have been to expanded power outages recently two different men brought their backup generators to David to help them get it working just in case the situation becomes more frequent.
Dave also decided to work on our own backup generator for the same reason Lynn school has been online since March March 2020. Last year, as have Surinam, private schools, the public school kids do not have access to the same technology so they have lost a lot of school both this year and last, the government has decided to open the public schools, which means that due to class-size. Each class will be divided into groups a and B in a group will attend on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, the B group will attend on Tuesday and Thursday and then the next week they switch. The problem is some of the older students have been forced to drop out and find work to help support the family. Tomorrow the elementary classrooms in our school are supposed to open how many students will show up and how many will continue online is still to be seen thank you for your birthday cards and your prayers sign David and Landon Champlin, Armando and Sarah Orsini serving in Italy right, dear brothers of beacon Baptist Church. We are doing well.
Even if you're in Italy we have a partial lockdown obligation to always wear a mask when out of our home probation to go out of our region balls closed during weekends, gyms and pools closed every day.
Please pray for us that we can keep sharing the gospel in spite of all of these restrictions of the God may send other people to our church to listen to the preaching of God's word.
Sarah and I would like to thank you for your decision to increase our support. We feel that you are dear to our hearts were so thankful for the love you have for us. Please let us know how you and your families church are doing to greet everyone of you with warm love in Christ, Armando and Sarah Orsini, this one from Timothy and verse Bixby in France and they are particularly giving us an update on their building project, which we have been involved in and continue to be involved in and concern for and so they write since you members of beacon Baptist Church are big part of this process. Process I wanted to give you the latest news last meeting with the proprietors of the building that trying to buy was a bit stressful. However, God intervened. They went from asking for €180,000 to be placed on their own account to agreeing to a €100,000 down payment to be paid to our property lawyer and Celt until the actual sale we were insisting that all money passed to the property lawyer and they accepted this in the mail just yesterday the amounts below include $100,000 that is promised will be given only after we signed the purchase agreement does not include a $15,000 gift we heard about today and here's the information. After adding the taxes and fees.
We will need to pay about €660,000. We presently have about €360,000 which puts us over the halfway mark.
We have an additional €90,000 offered in personal loans that makes our total financing presently available to around €450,000 we saw in the euro is worth a little bit more than the American dollars. So you could close is not exactly 1 to 1, but you can adjust that in your thinking, but we saw our own internal giving rise last year in spite of being shut down for several months due to covert restrictions that was encouraging and shows the motivation of our people. We never sat down before trying to figure out the percentage but when we did some rough calculations tonight we found out that when considering the giving between 2018, 20, 20 more than 40% of our receipts came from internal giving that is from their own church shows that God has blessed us with a very with very generous outside donations at the other 60%. We received gifts from Luxembourg, Switzerland, Scotland, Martinique, French Guiana and the United States, but also shows us what a motivation and desire there is to give within our small assembly and so he continues on about the purchase of the building. The actual details and timeline them up to go into those details now, but suffice it to say they are moving forward. They are convinced that it is God's will for them to move forward and they reached the place where now they are committed and they they've also received an additional four months before the verbal agreement was that it should all be finalized by the end of this year.
By the end of December, 20, 21 but now they been given additional four months will need to be finalized by the end of April, 20, 22, which gives him some additional time to raise this enormous amount of financing for the purchase of the building, but they receive so much encouragement they really believe that the Lord is directing them to move forward and I can announce that here recently that just I think either today or yesterday received a $5000 designation for this person purpose from someone outside our church. You wanted to have a part in this project and so this is the way it moves forward and if others will do the same. Other individuals, other churches, we believe that the Lord is going to supply this need. My next letter is from the Webster's who are serving in France and Mike is on appreciate battling cancer, but they write dear friends of beacon Baptist Church. Thank you so much for your Christmas gift of $275 is no way that we can adequately express how encouraging this is to us in the wonderful ministry that God has granted us here in France.
Generous gift will help us through these challenging times. Thank you also for your steadfastness and regular giving throughout 2020 we could not remain here without it we began 20, 21, with thankful hearts for God's protection of our children and grandchildren, three of our four families. Therefore, Mary children, three of our four families had covert, but are all fine now. It has been wonderful to watch them grow in grace throughout this difficult year. We are also very thankful for all the God has done to solidify identify the flock here in France during the ever-changing covert restrictions this year should be the year that the church will vote biblically qualified men into leadership positions would you pray for wisdom as we seek to go forward to this very important step in these times of limited gatherings. Also, we ask you to pray for two Christian immigrant families, both of which left their native countries of Pakistan and Syria because of persecution. Pray that we may know how to best encourage them that they may become instruments for reaching others in their respective languages we are ever whatever thankful for your prayerful support. Signed Mike and Melanie Webster and two other letters.
One is from Jesse and Hannah Green and I have to do some black outing on their letter because of the sensitive nature of the country they're going to would not want that to go out over the Internet. Have you seen letters that may be reclassified material that were released with their certain places that were blocked, blacked out so you couldn't read them, but it's not blacked out in this letter, but I'm going to have to block it out.
As I read so here we go the right.
I pray that you are doing well. We have some exciting new information regarding the country that we asked you to pray about to give context for this information might be helpful to give a quick summary the situation we apply for visas to this country in this country is not the one that they're going to permanently because right now the country to go to permanently is closed they going to a neighboring country to learn the language and so that's the country they're headed to initially waiting while they learn the language and waiting to get into the country of their destination. We applied for visas to neighboring country in December of last year but in January they change their policy to allow only foreigners who already had residency visas to enter. That's because of covert.
This derailed our timeline for when we thought we would able be able to leave for neighboring country. However, today, March 1 neighboring country has changed their policy back to what it was pre-January. We are hoping this means that they will finish processing our visas and send us our passports. Click here to read an article that outlines that just in case you are interested I will keep you posted and how everything progresses. May God bless and keep you in Christ, Jesse and Hannah Green. Finally, one more, this is a letter that we received from Brazil and it has been translated initially came to us in Portuguese. I cannot report that I was blessed by that letter because I couldn't read that letter.
However, a day or two later it was swallowed up by the translation into English and this is from one of the two pastors young pastors and training generally that are that we support a missionary budget in Brazil.
In this think the exact name of it sponsor a pastor project that's not quite the exact name but it enables these pastors to receive a subscription to a good solid biblical magazine comes to the monthly filled with good teaching. It allows them to receive good books several times a year that have been either written in Portuguese, or most cases translated into Portuguese from English or some other language and it also supplies the funds for them to be able to attend an annual conference and all of these things are to strengthen them in their preparation for ministry or the case of some who are already pastoring to help them in their work. Here is the letter translated March 1 two Pastor Greg Barkman and this is sign pastor Michael Santos okay I will write a little about my ministry life my wife and son and I are all well thank the Lord, the Lord is kept us from all evil and contagion from this pandemic that has plagued the nation's is provided all our needs in Christ and that's a wonderful testimony because Brazil has been hit particularly hard by covert you may have known that from reading national and international news in February. I finished the course. Counseling the depressed from the field leadership courses. That's the sponsoring organization for the conference and for these adoptive pastor projects and so forth and about taking counseling. The suffering from the same course, we are experiencing one of the most difficult of decisive times in our ministry. As I said in my previous letter leaders are moving in a direction contrary to the vocation.
With regard to members of Christ's body, causing threats to the unity of the flock and progress of the work.
This attitude together with other factors, has caused great interest instability in the commitment of many leaders and workers and many are leaving the ministry. Praise God.
They are going quietly without unnecessary quarrels. I recognize that it is my responsibility as a leader and pastor to focus wholeheartedly on the Lord with fasting and prayer and brokenness that he will change the situation.
We are now experiencing. I do not want to blame anyone else consider myself a victim to the contrary want to examine my own heart of the light of the Lord so that he will show me what needs to be corrected by hope is in the text of second Chronicles 15 seven but you be strong and do not lose courage, for there's reward for your work faster. Barkman extremely grateful for you and your ministry for this wonderful project of the field ministry and being sensitive to the needs of and equipping pastors and ministries. My prayer is that God will can continue blessing you richly, thank you for your vision of God's kingdom and they he pour out his grace abundantly upon you, your family and church. I urgently ask for your help in prayer the Lord will strengthen us and grant us all the resources necessary with the spiritual or material to get through this tempestuous time attentively. Pastor Michael Santos saw this brother is in need of prayer. Let's not fail to pray for him at this time.
So let's go to the Lord now in prayer. Father, we thank you for the grace of salvation and for the mercy switch to shower upon us day by day.
We live and move and have our being.
By your power by your sustaining power in our life by your grace extended to us day by day by your mercies, which are new every morning. We are concerned about this dear pastor brother and Brazil the whom we've never met, but who has been assigned to us in this program that we have been involved with for many years and he's now going through a very difficult time and we pray for him and pray for the church. Pray that you give them wisdom pray that you will increase his faith pray that you will keep him steadfast and unmovable in these times of difficulty, pray that this may be a time of growth for him and for the church as it apparently is going through a time of transition and perhaps a time. The purifying.
It sounds like perhaps a time when there is some tearing down that is necessary before there can be some building up the pray Lord that you will under taken all of these things we pray for Jesse and Hannah green that you will guide them as they seek to get to the place where they can learn the language that they need to learn. Pray that you will open the door for that allow that to happen soon. We pray for the Webster's in France and pray that their church might be enabled to elect qualified biblical leadership, which would be the step that brings them. I would say very close to full autonomy and independence and perhaps beyond the need of an American missionary longer pray for Michael Webster's.
He combats cancer that he will be strengthened by your might pray for the Bixby's.
Also in France that you will help them with this enormous building project. We are amazed at how much has been supplied so far. Such an enormous sum, yet it is not the total that is needed and so we pray all Lord, you who owned the cattle on a thousand hills you who own all the wealth that all the world will channel the resources to the church in France that is needed at this time. We pray for Armando and Sarah porcini in Italy. We ask that you might help them in these times of covert pray that you will send people to their church to hear the gospel of Christ that you will use your word to convert souls, and I pray that you will help Armando in his main work of translation so that good sound commentaries and other sound books can be made available to Italian Christians and unbelievers in the work that needs to be strengthened. They are the foundation which needs to be laid across the country and finally we pray for David and Lynn trampled pray that you might help them in Surinam. During these times of covert and as Lynn's school opens back up.
I pray that you make this a wonderful avenue of ministry for her and I pray that you will open things up in the churches in Surinam as well. We ask these things now in Christ's name and now if you open your Bible, please to John chapter 1 we started into this first chapter of the Gospel of John a couple of weeks ago on a Wednesday night going to come back to the same portion again as we talk about the God sent Redeemer, the revelation of the Redeemer in verse nine, the rejection of the Redeemer. In verses 10, 11, and the reception of the Redeemer. In verses 12 and 13 now were going to come to verse nine, that's where were going to begin our study tonight which says that was the true light which gives light to every man coming into the world, that of course breaks into a thought which goes before and so previously in the first several verses of the chapter, we have the identity of the Redeemer.
Verses one through five. That familiar passage in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. It identifies with this one is as one who by physical appearance looked like any other man when he walked upon the earth, and yet he was so much more than what he appeared to be. He was eternal God, who took upon him human flesh. He was in the beginning with the father and with the Holy Spirit. He is the word the communication of God to mankind.
In fact, in this passage, she is identified as the word he's done it identified as the life he is done of identified as the light is the word he communicates revelation about God as life he quickens to life. Those who are dead and in need of life and as light illuminates the souls the minds of those who need understanding, so the identity of the Redeemer in verses one through five and then the testimony to the Redeemer. In verses six, seven, eight, that refers to John the Baptist and his mission of pointing man to the Christ of preparing men for the Christ. We read there was a man sent from God whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all through him might believe he was not that light was sent to bear witness of that light.
That was the true light is brings is now to verse nine that was the true light which gives light to every man coming into the world knows we were dealing with this a couple weeks ago we were talking about John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ and how in this passage we have to read on further in the chapter to get this but how in this passage. There were some who thought that John might be the Christ. They questioned him about that and he denied that he was the Christ, for he was not, but it is clear that they were some cool esteemed John more greatly than Jesus. That's the problem isn't because John didn't come to exalt himself. He came to exalt Jesus. He said he must increase but I must decrease. He came to point to that light. He was not that life as we just read, but he came to bear witness of that light. That was the true light which light is every man who comes into the world so we have this rather common phenomena and that we all have to be aware of and and to guard against. And that is when it comes to human messengers who are used by God to communicate God's truth. John was a wonderful human messenger who was prepared especially to bear testimony to the light of the world, namely Jesus Christ, but there always to dangers when it comes to the messengers of God to human messengers danger number one is to esteem them to likely danger number two is to esteem them to highly we can make a mistake on either side of the equation And there were some who esteemed John to highly esteemed him higher than Jesus.
I think I told you a couple weeks ago that the first several apostles of Christ had previously been disciples of John and they got there first.
Information about the coming Messiah from John a wonderful messenger of God, and they were disciples of John. They follow job they listened to John they learned from John, but when John pointed to Jesus and said of him, behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world and he pointed his disciples to Christ, then many of his disciples went to Christ, but not all of his disciples did some stayed with John, why didn't they go to Christ well because they were enamored with this human messenger. John they liked him for some reason they esteemed him more highly than Jesus. And even though the one they esteemed and held in high honor, namely John the Baptist told them the base.
He basically said leave me now and go to Jesus.
He's the Christ.
I'm not some of them would do that.
They stayed with John, why did they do that were not told why they did that, but I'm sure the sun just like John style his personality which was very different from that of Jesus.
They were contrasts of study. In contrast, and yet they both were here for the same reason was to highlight Christ to appointment the Christ to prepare amended Christ to call mentor repentance. They work they were here for the same reason, but nevertheless their styles were very different than Jesus himself points that out. He says when John came and he would not eat at your face.
He would not join you in eating and drinking your critical of him. It was a he was a bit antisocial. He was a recluse. He grew up in the wilderness. He preferred to be on the wilderness she didn't like to be in stayed in the city. He didn't like to be in the company of others even like to to go to the houses into the dinner parties and into the very social events that were available to him in the city. He didn't wear fashionable clothes work at all. Garment of Cabell Sayer and he just looked rough something like that. He's my kind of guy I like this rough look. I I like his style. I like the way he sounds. I like the way that he thumbs his nose at social norms and some people said were just going to stick with John we like him where Jesus gladly went into homes where he was invited he went into the homes of tax collectors. He went into the homes of Pharisees.
He went to the homes where he was invited he went to their dinners. He ate their food. He joined them and what they were doing and yet he was just as criticized for what he did his job was for what he did want to criticize John for not doing this criticized Jesus for doing this. Which goes to show us when people have a heart that's not right with God. There always good to find something to criticize their eyes and find something that's wrong there always get a jump on something and blow it out of context and make an issue out of it. That isn't even genuine that they don't understand it all, but something to justify their unbelief. There justification for not listening to John was that he was so rough and antisocial and he wouldn't mix with people and that is right and so were not will not pay attention to him and there justification for not listening to Jesus was why he eats with centers. He inks with tax collectors see he mixes in mingles with these people, who, though they may be wealthy in society we don't approve of them. And so, since we don't approve of them and he associates with them, then we don't approve of him so we don't listen to Jesus because he does eat with with the sinners and we don't approve of John because he doesn't. How does that work see the sinful heart of man, you were all made of the same stuff were all descendents of Adam.
We all have these deceitful hearts that we have to be on guard about.
We need to realize that there are reasons not good reasons, but there are reasons why some become followers of men. Sometimes it's admiration for somebody who's life exemplifies some aspects of Christianity that you admire and because he exemplifies those things is zeal. His knowledge of success, whatever it may be to become a follower of that man.
Sometimes it's because it's easier to follow someone else and to develop your own vital relationship with Christ in your own independent study of God's word. Just listen to what he says have you ever heard anybody say when they were asked what he believe about this livelihood purchase also believes I don't know what it is. Whatever.
And yes, I believe that I I follow him. I listen to him. I believe in him. Whatever he says.
That's what I believe you lazy like a secret strip who will study on your own and come to your own conclusions about things. God sends his teachers to help us understand God's word open up God's word to to show us how to study God's word. We need to make it our own. Don't believe something because preacher so-and-so says that believe it because the Bible says it.
And you know where in the Bible it says that you can go to the Bible and find some people become followers of men because that's the lazy man's way to deal with Christian Christian doctrine Christian issues, some desired to be identified with something that is respected and successful. I get if I preacher so-and-so because he's got a picture got a big ministry. Watch out.
Those are reasons, there may be others why people sometimes become followers, Amanda.
Let me mention a few of the dangers of becoming a follower of men there's a danger of not developing your own convictions regarding God's word is I just pointed out secondhand religion secondhand understanding of Scripture which is not very good understanding at all. Is it just like children who grow up in a Christian home and call themselves Christians but it turns out they got a secondhand religion is not personal is not the road it's not the new birth is not the work of the Holy Spirit in their heart. It's just adopting what they have grown up in it secondhand to them. It's not their own, and that's a danger of becoming a follower of men there's a danger of magnifying and multiplying the idiosyncrasies and weaknesses of men. When you become a follower of man then sometimes you follow the things in them that are weak and are erroneous because nobody sinless, Jesus Christ.
There is a danger eventual disillusionment. How many people were shaken by the revelation that Ravi Zacharias turned out not to be a man of moral integrity. He was so effective, so clear in his preaching so winsome, so powerful, so admired. And yet he clearly has been a hypocrite for many many years and decades. I don't know how long that'll fiscal back all the way to the beginning is been that way all along.
Or if he's stepped off the path of righteousness.
Somewhere along the way but he's had hidden things in his life that have been going on undetected unknown on covered for many many years until they didn't come to light until after his death. He's gone and now it's coming out the immorality that he was involved in that has shaken some people, but shouldn't shake us overly much it should sadness.
It should sober us, it should remind us that we are not followers of men were followers of Christ, we thank the Lord for man who teaches God's word. We thank the Lord for men who are genuine, real, and faithful. And sometimes we don't know because the case of the one I just mentioned. He seemed to be that way until after his death. Some of these things started to come out that he had been involved with, but we are followers of men were followers of Christ, we have to learn that lesson at some point and it's a hard lesson to learn, and if you are overly discombobulated. That's a good Greek word if you're overly discombobulated by the failure of some man then you have been following me on more than Christ.
You're making the same mistake that the disciples of John the Baptist made when they were willing to leave John to become followers of Christ. We've all had unfortunate side and wrenching experiences with people that we thought were faithful Christians, faithful Christian leaders who turned out to be hypocritical.
We've all had that happened, it's if it hasn't happened to you yet.
It's going to happen to I will. I pray that it wouldn't be better if it didn't many ways and yet it will happen at some point I can promise you that. So you better be holding onto Christ is recognized that he's the only sinless one. He's the only 100% dependable one, and that your faith is in Christ not admit I don't know if I told you this before, I probably have when I was in training for ministry. I was involved in a church about 80 miles from my school that I want to on weekends and served as a weekend youth pastor wonderful wonderful training for me.
It's one thing to to learn in the classroom.
The formal classroom but it's another thing to learn in the classroom of of life that was so helpful to me I would go down on Saturday night and hold a youth meeting every Saturday night and we had a youth group of 25 to 30, 35 young people good strong youth group that small church and I also led the congregational singing on Sunday and directed the choir had a choir rehearsal on Sunday afternoon.
Busy, busy time.
I I did that for several years to between two and three years during my time, but after I had been there for a couple of years and had gone straight on through the school year summer school. Your summer. I decided that it would be beneficial to get experience in another church under another pastor's another mentoring some other experience and training in self. I made arrangements one summer to go to a church in Memphis Tennessee and spend the summer there and do whatever that pastor assigned me to do, which primarily to knock on doors.
I knocked on literally thousands of doors throughout 12 weeks of that summer.
Many times people were home.
I believe literature and going to the next. When I did I did have thousands and thousands of conversations but I knocked on thousands of doors and I had hundreds of conversations that was very very helpful to me.
I had some really interesting conversations which I will now about halfway through that summer I got a phone call from my father back in South Carolina and he said Greg I wanted to be the first one to tell you this, he said I did want you to read about in the newspaper. I thought that might be too shocking. He said the pastor so-and-so the pastor the church that I had been going to on weekends for two years is in jail and he told me what he'd been charged with while he was in jail. My father was very concerned less that would shake me up, shake my faith is a man I've been learning from then mentored by was learning might say the ropes of practical ministry under his leadership, who I've been hearing preaching set preach Sunday after Sunday and laboring with him and obviously considered him to be a faithful man of God and here he was in jail something that was a genuine crime. I can tell you by the grace of God that, though it was a very shocking and sobering phone call.
He did not shatter my faith is my father was afraid that it might because I had already learned that I'm a follower of Christ not of man finished up my summer in Memphis Tennessee and had some wonderful experiences there came right back to school for my next year of schooling and returned to that church.
On weekends that they needed me know more than before, though they needed me know. We had I had young people.
The remote youth group were very shaken and I counseled a lot of those young people who wanted to talk to me about what happened.
They were concerned about whether they could really be saved because they traced their salvation to the ministry of this man and since he turned out to be evidently a hypocrite was in the same amount of all, they began to wonder can I really be saved if I if I came to Christ under the ministry when Maddie wasn't saved. Does that indicate that I'm not saved and they had questions like that so I was able to assure them that no one is saved by trusting in a man were saved by trusting in Christ, if he preach the true gospel and you believe the true gospel and you believed in Jesus Christ, then you are saved, regardless of who you heard it from God has all kinds of ways of proclaiming his gospel and sometimes he uses instruments that are even themselves servants of Christ. They pretend to be, but they're not think of Judas Judas preach the gospel. Judas perform miracles.
Judas I would've soon saw some people come to faith in Christ under his preaching ministry.
When Christ sent the 12 out to go to the villages into preach the gospel call upon people to repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Judas did that just like all the others. Some people heard him.
Some people believed him. The fact that Judas was a hypocrite. The fact that Judas was a traitor.
The fact that Judas was a messenger of Satan not a messenger of the Lord Jesus Christ did that mean that the message that he preach was wrong know he preach the right message. People who believe the word came to faith in Christ through the message that was preached by hypocrite, but that's the danger you see if you elevate men to highly, then you are in danger of a number of things including being very shaken, very disillusioned when those men proved to be unfaithful man. And here's the greatest danger of all some cases, what that means is you miss Christ because what you been doing is holding on to a profession that relates to a another human being. You call it profession of faith in Christ. But if it shakes you that much so that you don't know if you still have faith in Christ because of what somewhat what some person did that indicates that your faith was in Christ.
It wasn't because of what was in Christ, would make any difference. Christ failed Christ as the sand Christ hasn't done wrong. If you're reality is, on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. Then is sad as it is, it makes no difference what those who call themselves Christians may do and may fail around you. It will not destroy your faith. If your faith is real, but if your faith is in a person instead of in Christ, then it can be destroyed and you can miss Christ because you became a follower of men instead of Christ to let that happen to you to let that happen to you who to John, to elevate to reveal to appointment to Jesus Christ. He, John, was not that light was sent to bear witness of that light. That was the true light which gives light to every man coming into God to us. Show mercy and bless us in thy grace because now to shine upon us. The brightness of thy face so the highway most holy on earth may soon be known, and unto every people, like saving grace be shown. God let peoples praise the Lord all the people saying let nations now. Be joyful at songs of gladness ring for that will judge the peoples in truth and righteousness and or the earth shall nations die leadership confess all God let peoples praise the let all the people say or earth in rich abundance to us her fruit will bring God our own God will bless us. Yeah, God will blessing sand and all the earth shall fear him to its remotest, shall we pray to heavenly father, help us.
Every one of us to be followers of Christ more than anyone else to be believers in Jesus Christ, not believers in a million or a movement, but in the Lord Jesus Christ, the true light who came into this world. The true word reveals to us. God Almighty father, we thank you that Rose Bradshaw's relative Baltimore who was shot is not recovering well. What a mercy that he is, and we thank you for we pray tonight for Fall River councilmember Patty Wilson that you might leader guide her director, give her wisdom that is beyond her own normal wisdom.
We thank you divorce Councilman is recovering from her recent surgeries.
We thank you she was able to be in church Sunday, but we realize she's not yet fully recovered, and we commit her to you for that healing that is needed.
Pray for Drew Guthrie as she battles cancer and for art and Angela Pope as they are battling covert, 19 we pray for Shirley Watkins that you may indeed strengthen her and for Ryan Kelly as he defends his dissertation on Friday that you might give him clarity of thought. We pray for Jean Ferris is. She's battling an infection as she recovers from hip surgery. We pray for Keith in Canada.
Thank you that he's made good progress and we pray that you may bring him to full healing by your mercy that you might minister to the needs of his soul. Pray for Pastor Joe Seymour, a blessed man of God who is faithfully pastored for decades is now facing some health issues and we committing to you and pray that in your kindness that you might be pleased to bring him through this health crisis, and to continue his ministry and we pray for Karen Vestal.
She knows battling chronic Lyme disease. We know how difficult that can be Lord help her strengthen her appeal her as you certainly have power to do that which the doctors cannot do pray for Laverne wall give her peace and comfort and joy.
Pray for Mike Webster give him healing. We pray from cancer. We pray for Dawn Hammond that you might also use the upcoming treatments to arrest the cancer in her body. Pray for Scott mature was also battling cancer and for Betty Duncan who may have suffered a stroke and is certainly struggling. We commit her to you as well no father guy Dennis direct this protectiveness wall of sin keep us oh Lord from straying off the path of obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ as we ask these things in his name. Amen