Thursday: Day 4
Opening Song: “Are you washed in the Blood”
Opening Monologue (by Shelton Smith):
– Talks about Worldly rehab efforts –v- Reformers Unanimous.
– Some one asked a county officially where they live about the success rate of the governments rehab efforts and the guy just laughed and said, “Success? We don’t care about success.” The person said then you should come to our church and check out what we have. Its not Rehab, Its not reformation but its regeneration by the power of the Blood of and the power of the risen Christ. (They got that right)
Then they had Paul Kingsbury, the Co-Founder of Reformers Unanimous; up to do the Opening Prayer.
– It was a Prayer Sermon. Thanked God for “Inventing” the local New Testament Church. I’m thankful Lord Jesus that you said that your kind of church, the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Started with a Mike Norris testimonial in prayer. ( Reinforce the idea that the man in the pulpit is speaking for God. ) More testimonial prayer for Sam Davison and his college.
Quotable Quote: “I thank you for many of the young people from our own church that have found “your will” and “their mate” and are serving you as a result of going to the wonderful college there in Oklahoma City.”
*Truth in reporting: he did lift up the name of Jesus when he prayed and made much of our Savior.
Praises the singing, the Sword conference, the New Fellowship building there at Gospel Light, Talks about how in West Virginia conferences they are used to being called from the floor.
*Ready for this one?
“This is a true story I’m getting ready to tell you.” ( As opposed to what? …the rest of what he has been saying? Wouldn’t that make the rest of what he has said and will say from that point forward seem a wee bit suspect? )
Text: Luke 13:31-35
Our text tonight will be from verse 34.
I want to draw your attention to verse 34.
Read it together with me. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! “
Notice the words “Often- Gather- Together”
Title: “Please Come Back”
*Starts off begging for validation Amens.”
-Went shopping with his wife and as she shopped he stayed in his car reading his Bible
-He observed people coming and going.
-He was taken aback by what he saw. Watched people who have little hope in this world.
-The Lord impressed on him as he read this passage that his town is full of sheep without a shepherd
-Our culture has changed
-This is not a Bible nation anymore < Anymore??? When was it in the first place )
-We have some pretty unusual people who visit our church and I’m glad they’re there and get the gospel.
-The Soul winners and the bus folks as they are knocking on doors, are coming across folks of other religions. (fancy that, so did Paul, and Silas, and Luke and Peter and Philip and just about everyone through-out church history have as well.)
-There are occult people dressed in black, with their pale faces, black dress, black fingernail polish, and pierced everything and they paint they body up.
-We don’t change our values, our principles but we change how we look at people. (I almost said an amen for this… almost)
Quotable Quote: “watching the people of my community Murfreesboro, TN …I realized that these are folks that need a shepherd, they need a church, they need a pastor.”
-As he flies around the country in an out of airports he saw what Jesus sees. I saw people wandering everywhere, worldly, hopeless and helpless. I could feel sorry for them and some of them I do. (ummm sounds vaguely familiar, he’s not been listening to Brandon Heath now has he? )
Quotable Quote: “Most Americans know better than to live the way they are living.” (This was received with a chorus of “hay-mens” )
-We lived as “One Nation Under God”
-We have Bibles laying (sic) everywhere
-He realizes there are places that need church planting and there are some cities where this is church on every corner
-Yet there are hundreds yea thousands of sheep without a shepherd
-It seems that America is comfortable waking away from the wings of protection and provision provided by Almighty God. (That assumes we were a Christian Nation. There may have been a preponderance of people who identified themselves as “Christian” through out our history but we have never been, a Christian Nation. ”)
-In the passage tonight the Pharisees said something he never wants to come from his lips, they told Jesus to get out. “How in the world can anyone with a ounce of religion in them tell the Son of God to get out?”
-Organized religion raises its ugly head and has shut the Lord Jesus Christ out
Quotable Quote: “and today that crowd says to the Lord Jesus, ‘Get out!’ By the Way, that’s why you find him in the Book of Revelation knocking on the door trying to get back in”. (I guess Jesus has his own door knocking ministry, and probably a celestial bus route ministry as well. Poor Jesus, standing out there knocking and no one letting him in. A poor god indeed.)
-Herod = the Government and the government is telling Jesus to get out , we don’t need prayer in school anymore. (+1 for revisiting 1967)
-We don’t need the Bible taught in school anymore. (funny, my twins just graduated from a public high school where the Bible was taught, a regular, for credit curriculum regarding the Bible… OH! He means one can’t go preach the 1611 King James Bible in hopes of manipulating decisions out of unsuspecting children. Ok, Yeah, I see that. )
-Organized religion has kicked Jesus out
-The Government has kicked Jesus out
-If you are a preacher of the word of God then you need to grow a backbone of steel and realize they can lay a hand on you until your numbers are in.
-Be brave and declare, “Thus sayeth the word of God!”
-Hear it in Jesus voice as he calls out Jerusalem, Jerusalem! How often I would have gathered you together and you would not.
Quotable Quote: I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried. I’ve given them everything, I’ve given them land, I’ve given them a beautiful Temple, I’ve given them everything… I would have gathered you together and you wouldn’t do it. Wouldn’t do it.”
-He declared to his disciples his passion to have his people come back to him.
-Today, I want you to understand, he is declaring to hi people who are falling away, “Please come Back… Please Come Back.”
“Ladies and gentlemen that should be the plea from our pulpits, ‘Please come back.’”
7 reasons we see people walking away
1. People will fall away. Quotes the verse about there will be a falling away. Apostasy is coming on strong (preaches a little bit of dispensationalism in this section)
2. People will err from the faith. Choosing money and comfort over Christ. Choosing commerce over Christ, Gold over God, mansions over the son of man. (+1 for the mandatory use of alliteration)
3. People’s love will wax cold. They will leave their first love. Where is the passion for Jesus Christ?? It went out the door when iniquity started to abound. (I’m guessing that was some time in the late 1950’s early 1060’s when the Beatles arrived, the Vietnam War broke out, the Student Revolution, and the Hippies popularized free love the use of drugs and listening to Rock-n-Roll music.. It probably all started with Elvis Presley singing that jungle music. Heaven knows iniquity didn’t abound before the 1950…oooup there was that whole Prohibition fiasco and two world wars. Robber Barons, Corruption in government, oh a civil war and how can we forget slavery. Dang I can’t seem to nail down when we were a Christian nation… and when iniquity began to abound in America… )
-We need more preaching on sin.
4. People forsake the assembling of themselves together. People will not go to church. How can a Born again believer not go to church? Why would a Christian not want to go to church? In theses last days we should want to go to church more not less. “Please come back, Please come back” With all the tsunamis and earthquakes and natural disasters… does anyone think that the Lord might soon be coming back? (THAT woke up the amen pew! )
5. People lack faith. When the Lord returns will he find faith on the earth? (It seems that the local Church is the end all be all of Christianity. “Why isn’t anybody coming to your church? Because you are not going out and getting them to come in.”)
6. People will not endure sound doctrine. They heap to themselves teachers having itching ears. That’s why you have some guy in a turtleneck and flip-flops come to the pulpit and say “Hi!” (in an exaggerated feminine voice) “Did you enjoy your worship today (now using a condescending baby language voice) * that got a round of laughs. I’m not preaching fables. I’m not tickling your ears (amen? ) People will not hold up under sound, truthful preaching. ( sound and truthful according to whom? ) Get away for having a conversation and get back to preaching the word of God. (why do I get the impression that this means a lot of yelling and screaming from the pulpit? )
7 People will grow tired of watching. Tired of being prepared. Being in church waiting on the Lord
-the Lord makes his plea for his people to return, “How often would I have gathered you…”
They shoved themselves away from him
We have a rallying place; it’s the local church. It’s the spout where blessings come out.
I love to go to church (like John Cleese loves Spam)
Story time: Restaurant story, waitress had tattoos and Goth clothing. His son said, “I hope she doesn’t cast a spell on us.” (more laughs) but do we see people with compassion? Do we try to get them to Jesus Christ? (or are they just “targets of Opportunity?” where we give them the old hit-n-run, Jesus is a decision , can we put you as saying yes on our card? Are we playing people just to get a decision out of them? Are we only interested in them in order to give them a tract and hit them up with a three or four point presentation of some reductionist, cheapened pseudo gospel? /end rant)
-People walk away from the church
-I want them in the house of God
-Pressure on Pastors like never before
-You cannot imagine the pressure on pastors
– Come back to
– Clean living
– Aggressive witnessing
– Never get away from old fashioned door-2-door soul winning
– Come on Back. (begging to keep the numbers up. How to beg your people to stay in church and keep the numbers up. )
-Where did the teenagers go?
-Where did the college age folks go?
at this point my eyes glazed over and my head went back and I blacked out for several moments… only to be revived with “Please come back, please come back, please come back, please come back” I thought the needle was stuck. So far he mentioned Jesus the most of any of the others.
Blah, blah blah
Then Sam Davison preached.
Text: 1 Peter 5:5-7
Title?? Casting your cares on the Lord
Let me just repost what I said on the forum:
When I accepted this mission I did so with more than a little trepidation. I knew I would be going back into that world and not just to some rural outpost but also to the mother ship. I will not lie, I was uneasy about going back even just as an observer. I will have to say I had many expectations of the fundieness I would encounter and for the most part I have not been disappointed.
Tonight, however, I ran into something that I would not have expected at a fundie fest like this. I saw God lifted up and glorified as I have seldom seen by an Independent Fundamental Baptist. I saw love and compassion without the trappings of legalistic standards. I saw grace delivered without a truncheon. I heard the love and the compassion that walks hand in hand with Jesus Christ, being preached in a way that was foreign to that pulpit so many times this week (at least so far as the evening services have gone).
I was taken aback by Sam Davison this evening. Though there are points of church governance I would disagree with him on, I never once felt the need to draw my sword and shield in a defensive posture with his preaching tonight. Of all the “Doctors” I have heard this week, Mr. Davison, who was not billed as a Doctor, has delivered the most godly sermon of the conference (evenings) so far. Mr. Davison preached the God of the Bible with freedom, a God not bound by the Independent Fundamental Baptist box, but the almighty creator God he reveals himself to be. Most of the others have preached a god they believe to be no bigger than the covers of their genuine, calfskin, black leather, King James Bible.
I have now sat through four nights of preaching but tonight I heard a message of love, grace, compassion and caring from a pulpit I did not suspect would have any this week. That has been my reward for this mission and I hold on to it as a special treasure. I do not know Sam Davison personally or professionally but if this message is indicative of the man then he exhibits godly character. He may be a fundie’s fundie once one gets to know him, I do not know, but he has earned my respect this day.