Shirley has been asked to meet with the ladies of Bible Baptist Church, Marietta, GA, on Friday evening and Saturday morning, July 21st and 22nd. This will be an informal time of fellowship.
Dr. David Cooper, pastor of Bible Baptist Church, Marietta, GA, has invited me to preach for him on Sunday, July 23rd. Shirley and I look forward to their fellowship. These folks have been dear friends for a long time.
The Bible Baptist Church of Marietta, GA, will host the Independent Baptist Fellowship of Georgia on Monday, July 24th. This is the oldest Independent Fellowship of Georgia, started by the late Dr. Verdie Edwards. Dr. David Cooper will be the hosting pastor. The specific times and details will be forth coming, but I look forward to meeting with the men of this fellowship, and I hold it a privilege to be counted among the preachers for that day.
The Bible Baptist Church of Marietta, GA, will be hosting the annual meeting of the Dean Burgon Society, beginning Wednesday, July 26th and ending on Thursday, July 27th. Dr. David Cooper has graciously invited us to stay for the meeting. Shirley and I look forward to hearing Dr. D. A. Waite, President of the Dean Burgon Society, and the men he has selected to speak throughout the meeting.
Pastor Ralph Byars has asked me to preach for him on Sunday, August 13th, at Redemption Baptist Church, Entree, SC. We look forward to the opportunity to be with them once again.
Dr. Bill Pickle, pastor of Calvary Hill Baptist Church, Pacolet, SC, has invited me to preach for him on Sunday, August 20th. We look forward to being with him and his great church for that Sunday.
We look forward to being with Pastor Tom Brookshire and the Orangeburg Baptist Tabernacle, Orangeburg, SC, on Sunday, June 4th. I will be preaching both the morning and evening services. These are very special folk to our hearts.
We look forward to fellowship with Pastor Gary Hanks and his folk at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, Gaston, SC, on Sunday, May 28th. . I have the joy of preaching in the morning service.
Shirley has been asked to speak to the Ladies of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, Gaston, SC, during a luncheon on Saturday, May 20th. We look forward to the fellowship of the Pastor and his dear wife, and his wonderful church during this weekend.
We look forward to spending the day with Pastor Freeman Weems, First Baptist Church, Atoka, TN, on Sunday, May 21st. He and his dear wife have been our friends for a long time. Shirley will speak to the ladies during the Sunday School hour; I will have the privilege of teaching a men's class and preaching during the day.
Shirley has the joy of speaking at a Ladies' Brunch on May 20th, hosted by the First Baptist Church, Atoka, TN. Their theme is Fill My Cup. It will begin at 10 a.m. Please be in prayer for her, both for a touch from God spiritually and for added strength physically. Shirley will have a cancer treatment on Wednesday, May 17th. We will travel to Tennessee on Thursday and Friday. She generally experiences a burst of strength the day after a treatment.
Shirley will be one of four speakers for a two-day Ladies' Mother/Daughter Meeting hosted by Highland Baptist Church, Vass, NC. The meal will be served on Friday evening, May 12th, followed by two speakers and resume on Saturday morning, with two other speakers. She is looking forward to seeing Mrs. Vaughn, the pastor's wife, and the other dear women of the church, along with the many ladies who will be coming in for the meeting.
Pastor Shane Hull has extended to me the privilege of preaching the Sunday services at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Greer, SC, on May 7th. Sunday school at 10 am, preaching at 11 and again at 6 pm. It is always a delight to visit with this dear man of God and with his church family.
Shirley has the privilege of speaking at a Ladies' Luncheon hosted by Emmanuel Baptist Church, Greer, SC, on May 6th. It will begin between 11 and 12. She looks forward to seeing Mrs. Tanya Hull, the pastor's wife, and all of the wonderful ladies of Emmanuel Baptist Church.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that God confirmed the promise made to Abraham by an oath, to show the immutability of his counsel unto the heirs of promise (Hebrews 6:17). God's oath was made "that we might have a strong consolation by two immutable things" (Hebrews 6:18). Those two things are described as the two things in which it was impossible for God to lie. Notice the it, which serves as an expletive to tell us the subject follows the verb. The subject is the infinitive to lie. To lie was impossible for God, especially in these two things. These two immutable things are a reference to the two covenants, two declarations of God's oath: the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Testament and the New Testament agree on the way of salvation. Early in his Roman epistle, the Apostle Paul declares that the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe is witnessed to us by the law of Moses and the prophets (Romans 3:21-22). At the close of the Roman epistle, Paul declares that the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began but is now made manifest (a reference to the New Testament) was made manifest according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith (a reference to the Old Testament). These two are not only in one accord, they are in agreement with Paul's gospel and the preaching and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 16:25-26)
Who can lay claim to God's strong consolation? All who have fled to Him for refuge, to lay hold upon the hope that is set before us (Hebrews 6:18). This hope is the anchor of our soul, both sure and stedfast. This hope is the forerunner of our faith, even Jesus, who has entered into that holy of holies for us. He has been made high priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 6:19-20). Have you fled to Christ? Have you anchored your soul?
Four passages of the New Testament use the word willing in relation to God's willingness, or the lack thereof: Luke 22:42, Romans 9:22-24, Hebrews 6:17 and 2 Peter 3:9. The first reference is in Luke. The scene is the garden, the night of Christ's arrest. Our Savior is praying, and he asks of the Father, If thou be willing, remove this cup... (the cup of his death as the sacrifice for our sin). Praise God, he was not willing to do so. Isaiah 53:10 declares, Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, and shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16)! The last reference is made by Peter. He reveals that God is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Hebrews clarifies that this repentance is repentance from dead works, and faith toward God (Hebrews 6:1). Reformation has never saved any soul! The Lord Jesus Christ saves! As the Apostle Paul testifies, ...repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). In Hebrews, God willingly confirmed the immutability of his counsel by an oath. What God promised Adam and Eve, Moses and Israel, Jew and Gentile, in saving our souls - He has and will fulfill! God promised Adam and Eve the Seed of the woman as a Saviour. He promised Moses and Israel the Passover Lamb as protection from the Death Angel. And God has promised us, Jew and Gentile alike, the forgiveness of sin and eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The last of the four passages to mention is Romans 9, where God reveals his charity toward man. Three things are revealed here that God is willing to do while He endures the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction (which we also were before we found mercy through Jesus Christ, for we were dead in trespasses and in sins). God is willing to show his wrath (Romans 9:22). He is willing to cast the unrepentant into hell. He is willing to gather the vine of the earth and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God (Revelation 14:19). God is also willing o make his power known (Romans 9:22). Men mock their Creator, they mock God's holy Word. God is willing to reveal his power as he did to Pharaoh. But he is enduring the wickedness of men because the Lord is willing to do something more: God is willing that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he hath afore prepared unto glory (Romans 9:23). Who are the vessels of mercy? All those who seek the Lord by faith (Romans 9:30-33). God declared to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion (Romans 9:15). So, who does that include? Does it include you and me? Yes! For God hath concluded them all (both Jew and Gentile) in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all (Romans 11:32). What must I believe? That you are a sinner (Romans 3:9-11), that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9-10). Why die in your sins, when you can die in the Lord, who paid for our sins?
Pastor Aaron Abreu has invited us to sing and for me to preach at the Gospel Light Baptist Church, Orangeburg, SC, on the fifth Sunday of this month, April 30th. They will hold a special morning service, beginning at 10:30 a.m., with singing and preaching, and a meal to follow on the church grounds. We look forward to being at Gospel Light Baptist Church once again and to meeting Pastor Abreu.
Pastor Darrell Wilkins, Grace Baptist Church, Orangeburg, SC, has asked me to fill-in for him on the Sunday after Easter, April 23rd. Shirley and I both look forward to fellowship with this wonderful church. I am grateful for the opportunity to be of service to the Lord, to Brother Wilkins and to his congregation. Grace Baptist Church is the home of three Christian radio stations: WPOG 710 AM, WWOS-AM 810 and WWOS-FM 91.9.
The Apostle Paul closes his Roman epistle with these words, Now, to him that is of power to stablish you...to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen (Romans 16:25-27). God has the power to establish us, that is, to put us in a position that will last for ever. In these verses, the Lord reveals the four means by which God establishes us in Christ. Each is identified by the words according to. Each is in agreement with the others. They are as follows: according to (#1.) my gospel and (#2.) the preaching of Jesus Christ; according to (#3.) the revelation of the mystery and according to (#4.) the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith by the scriptures of the prophets. The scriptures of the prophets refers to the Old Testament; the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began refers to the New Testament. Paul's preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ fills the period prior to the New Testament's completion, as does our Lord's preaching and teaching. Jesus declared to those who sought to kill him, If ye believe not his writings [the writings of Moses], how shall ye believe my words (John 5:47)? Of the saints during Christ's public ministr, the Lord testifies, I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me (John 17:8). God's great salvation has not changed: it has always been through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, God's gift of grace to sinful man.
From left to right, Pastor Robin Taylor, Harvest Baptist Church, Bessemer City, NC, and his wife, Debbie, Brother Robert Ammons and his wife, Polly, and Shirley and myself.
Wayside Baptist Tabernacle, Pelion, SC, will hold an Old Fashion Sunday on March 26th. Sunday School at 10 am, preaching at 11 am and again at 6 pm. We are looking forward to being with Pastor Williams and his dear folk. Shirley is doing better. Her cancer is at its lowest activity since it was discovered in July of 2015. We are thankful to the Lord.
We have the privilege of traveling today to Moncure, NC, and having fellowship with Pastor Ronald Humphries, his family and his church family on Sunday, March 19th. Dr. Humphries has asked me to preach for him, both services, and to teach the adult Sunday school class. I am thankful to the Lord for his friendship over the years. He and his church have been a great blessing to us. We are looking forward to Sunday. Shirley's next cancer treatment is this coming Wednesday. She is being treated through the Greenville Health System, Greenville, SC. On the weeks she has an infusion (which is every other week) our travels are limited. We are grateful to the Lord for the pastors who are willing to have us on a week-end, especially during the treatment weeks. Her gospel tract, CANCER - What it cannot do, is available, free of charge, upon request. Her colon cancer, which also touches her liver and lungs, was discovered July, 2015. We praise the Lord for each and every day; and, we praise Him for our eternal salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Pastor Leon Porter has always been a great friend over the years. I thank him for opening his pulpit to me on Wednesday evening and letting me preach. Oak Grove Baptist Church has a great choir. They love the old songs, and they sing them with the Lord in their hearts.
Tabernacle Baptist College, a ministry of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Greenville, SC, will host their Alumni Days on Tuesday, March the 14th and Wednesday the 15th. The banquet will be at 5 pm on Tuesday. Tabernacle Baptist Church will host a Bible Conference, with services each night, during the week of May 12th. Last year, we were only able to be in a portion of the Tuesday meeting, due to Shirley's cancer treatments. We look forward to being able to spend the day there on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
The 85th Psalm contains this precious prayer, Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? The Psalmist has asked God to turn us (v. 4), to shew us thy mercy (v. 7) and to grant us thy salvation (v. 7). While he awaits the revival for which he prays, he determines what he will do. Beginning with the words I will (v. 8), he declares that he will hear what God the Lord will speak (v. 8). He will fear him (v.9) by obedience to God's word. He will agree with the Lord regarding mercy, truth, righteousness and peace (vv. 10-11). He will give thanks by acknowledging that God shall give that which is good (v. 12). Finally, he will follow God in the way of his steps (v. 13). Waiting on revival? Follow the Psamist's pattern.
We praise the Lord for our dear friends who have us in their prayers. One such pastor and congregation is Pastor Terry McMillian and his church, Harvest Baptist Church, Spartanburg, SC. I thank them for their love and fellowship, and for the privilege of preaching there. We give the Lord thanks for their faithfulness to Christ.
The Sunday services at Friendship Baptist Church in Myrtle Beach, SC, were wonderful. I thank Pastor Will George for the opportunity to be with them and to preach the services. Shirley was able to attend the Sunday School and the morning worship service. Her meeting with the ladies on Monday and Tuesday has been very special. She speaks again today, March 2nd, from 10 am to noon. We praise the Lord for the strength she has felt and for the remainder of each day wherein she can rest. I will preach again tonight, the Lord willing, as the Church meets for prayer. Our thanks and appreciation for the kindness and understanding shown us by Pastor George and his dear folk.