2015 Spring Revival/Evangelistic Meetings at Heritage

Mark and Amy Herbster and their four daughters, Megan, Madison, Morgan, and Meredith along with Roland and Emily Kassales provided a week of ministry at Heritage Baptist Church.  Spring Revival/Evangelistic Meetings are a part of our annual calendar as a church.  God provides the gift of the evangelist, to edify, equip, and encourage local churches.  The Herbster Evangelistic Team fulfilled those purposes during our special week of meetings.  They also provided wonderful, God-honoring music and reading material through the week.  Below is a synopsis of each of eight messages preached.  This does not include the two chapel services covered daily for our K-12 academy, teen Sunday school, and the devotionals that Roland Kassales provided for our teens before each service on Monday – Friday.  You may find audio recordings of most of the messages on our Sermon Audio site under the series titled 2015 Spring Revival Meetings.

  1. Sunday School – The Need for an Awakening (Psalm 63):  We need an awakening to God, His grace and His glory.  Jonathan Edwards provided five distinguishing marks of a work of God:  1) Esteem for Jesus Christ is heightened; 2) Satan’s kingdom is attacked; 3) People love the Scriptures more; 4) Men are led away from falsehood toward truth; 5) There is an increase in love toward God and man.  Personal, genuine revival directly correlates with the amount of time we seek God.  Psalm 63.1 says, “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You.” We must seek God deliberately, diligently, desperately, and devotionally.  This leads to spiritual perception, power, glory, and lovingkindness.  Our response is evident in our praise, blessing, remembrance, and meditation.
  2. Sunday AM Worship – Preach the Gospel (Romans 1:15-17):  We preach the Gospel to evangelize the lost and energize the saved.  The Gospel encompasses everything Jesus is, said, and does.  We must understand four aspects of the Gospel if we are to get it right:  1) The source of the Gospel is rooted in God.  It is planned by Him and paid for by Jesus Christ, our Lord; 2) The strength of the Gospel is rooted in God.  It has power to convict of sins, cover our sins, and convert us; 3) The scope of the Gospel is universal.  It is available to all but accepted by some.  Only those who believe are saved; 4) The sorrow of the Gospel is rooted in rejection.  When the unbeliever rejects the Gospel, he suppresses the truth with the lie.
  3. Sunday PM Bible Study – Going Against the Flow (1 Peter 3:15-16):  Happiness depends upon our position in Christ.  We must stand up for God, be courageous, and be faithful until the end.  This will mean going against the flow of our culture.  There are three commands which motivate our journey upstream:  1) We must declare Jesus as Lord of our lives (upon the throne of our hearts); 2) We must defend Jesus as Lord of our lives; 3) We must demonstrate Jesus as Lord of our lives.  Setting up the Lord in our hearts will mean that we spend more time with Him, serve Him more with joy, and sacrifice for Him because He is our Master.  Doubting people are drifting people.  We must find the Bible to be absolutely reliable and sufficient.  We must understand that Jesus Christ is God.  We must not give way to evolution.  We must understand that salvation is in Christ alone, through grace alone, and by faith alone.  Our conscience must be clear and our conduct good for the glory of God.
  4. Monday Night – Triumphing Over Temptation (Genesis 39; 1 Corinthians 10:12-13; James 1:14):  All believers are tempted and struggle with besetting sins.  Joseph’s life is summarized at the end of Genesis:  “You meant it unto me for evil; God meant it for good.”  God has a plan.  How will we respond to His sovereign plan?  We must take His path, accept His plan, and enact His principles.  There are three dynamics to a temptation:  1) The Time of Temptation – temptation comes when you are strong (see 2 Chronicles 26.16; 1 Corinthians 10.12), when you are successful, when you are serving, and when you are in secret or alone (see 2 Samuel 11.2).  Two are better than one.  Enlist people to keep you accountable and make the right choice.  However, we are accountable to God who always sees.  2) The Truth of Temptation – temptation is both persistent and persuasive.  We must combat it by being honest and humble (see Romans 7.18 ff.).  3) The Triumph over Temptation – Find the escape route God provides.  There are five steps to victory over temptation:  1) Resolve in advance; 2) Refuse aggressively; 3) Recognize the effects; 4) Remember your authority; 5) Run from the attack.  See Proverbs 1.10; James 4.7; Ephesians 6.11; Psalm 66.18; Isaiah 59.2; 1 Corinthians 6.18; 2 Timothy 2.2.
  5. Tuesday Night – Practical Atheism (Psalm 139):  God has amazing and incommunicable attributes.  We must respond to the excellence of God’s character for God’s glory (cf. Daniel 11.32; Jeremiah 9.32).  It is not just about serving God, but knowing Him.  There three incommunicable attributes of God which are demonstrated in Psalm 139:  1) Omniscience (all-knowing) – God knows our actions (cf. Job 34.21; Proverbs 5.21; Jeremiah 16.17), thoughts (Ezekiel 11.5; 2 Corinthians 10.5), and words.  Don’t live as if God does not know.  This is practical atheism.  2) Omnipresence (always with you) – The fact that God is always with you is both comforting and convicting.  When we do sin, we do so in His face (see Jeremiah 3.23; Isaiah 66.1; Acts 17.27; Deuteronomy 39.24).  You cannot run from God’s presence (e.g., Jonah).  You cannot hide from God (e.g., Aachen).  3) Omnipotence – See Job 42.2; Jeremiah 32.17.  God’s power over us is demonstrated in our most secret condition (being formed in the womb) and in our most inward parts.  How shall we respond?  Our response should be of praise:  Praise for creating and praise for compassion.  Our response should be of purity (see Psalm 37.1).  Our response should be of prayer (see Psalm 139.23-24).  We ask God to search us not so that He will see what we are like.  He knows what we are like.  God must turn on the searchlight to show us what we are like!
  6. Wednesday Night – Potential Power for Christ (Romans 12.1-2):  With Christ we can do all things, without Christ we can do nothing (see Philippians 4.13).  Five Potential Powers in Christ:  1) We can be delivered by God (Romans 3.10, 23; 5.12; 6.23; 10.9-10, 13)  from sin and Satan.  2) We can be dedicated to God.  Dedicated as living, holy children of God through purity and priority.  We are acceptable to God and reasonable (logical in action of worship).  We must be willing to do what God wants us to do; where God wants us to go.  3) We can be different for God.  We must stop masquerading in the costume of the world.  The world is the system of this age.  We struggle with it; we are not satisfied by it (Colossians 2.8; 1 John 2.15-17).  The lust of the flesh is pleasure and hedonism.  The lust of the eyes is possessions and materialism.  The pride of life is popularity and humanism.  Don’t be poured or pressed into the mold of the world.  4) We can be diligent for God.  We are transformed into a new creation of God (2 Corinthians 5.17).  We are sanctified by diligently renewing our minds and by feeding upon the Word.  We move from sinner to saint, sanctification to glory.  God’s Word is the hammer that does the shaping.  (Hebrews 4.12; Psalm119.9-11; Jeremiah 15.16; 2 Timothy 3.16).  We do what we do because we believe what we believe (Colossians 3.16).  5) We can be discerning for God.  True discernment makes the unclear clear.  Many believers never get discernment because they do not feed on the Word and depend upon the Spirit.
  7. Thursday Night – Realities for the Faithful (2 Timothy 3.10-17):  To live is Christ; to die is gain (see Philippians 1.21).  2 Timothy is a significant pastoral epistle because it is warmly written to Paul’s protege and because of the fact that it is his last.  But the content and theme of the epistle is very important for our focus.  The theme is faithfulness.  There are four realities that are inescapable for faithful people:  1) Persecution is Promised (3.10-12) – see 2 Corinthians 11.23 ff.; 12.10; Matthew 5.11.  We must persevere through persecutions.  This takes endurance and faithfulness (2.3, 12; 4.5).  2) Perverseness is Predicted (3.13) – worldly people get more worldly.  The Church will become rife with evil men and impostors.  Faithfulness to the truth is the main characteristic of a good church.  See 2 Timothy 3.1-9.  There is a form of godliness without any power behind it.  3) Perseverance is Possible (3.14) – when we are confident that we are following the truth and when we remember the people who taught us, we shall persevere.  Be an active listener when the word is preached.  4) Power is Profitable (3.15-17) – You must know the Word, preach the Word, and depend upon the power of the Word!  It is all sufficient (see 4.1-2).  Memorize, meditate, master, obey, read, and love the Word of God.  Faithfulness and steadiness are hard to find.  We need people upon whom we are able to rely.  Keep in mind these four realities and pass them on to others to teach others (2 Timothy 2.2).
  8. Friday Night – The Greatest Person Ever to Be Born (John 1; 2 Corinthians 5.21):  Why should I believe on Jesus Christ now?  First, life is short.  Second, Jesus is coming again.  Three questions must be answered about the greatest Person who ever lived, Jesus Christ:  1) Who is Jesus?  Jesus is God.  He had a supernatural birth (Isaiah 7.14), a sinless life (2 Corinthians 5.21), and performed supernatural miracles.  Power over elements, disease, weather, and death itself (John 21.25) prove that He performed great miracles.  See Philippians 2.  2) What did Jesus say?  Religion doesn’t save you; Jesus saves you!  John 3.3 states that you must be born again.  John 14.6 states that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  We must repent and believe on Him.  Repentance is a change of mind about self, the Savior, and your destination.  Believe is faith in Christ, the One who died and rose again.  3) What did Jesus do?  He suffered, died, arose, appeared, and ascended to the right hand of God.  Jesus is the only One who can take you to Heaven.

Men’s Retreat 2014 – Wolf Mountain

The audio from the preaching this past weekend will appear HERE shortly.  It hasn’t been uploaded yet.  But I wanted to thank Pastor David Wood from Dacula, GA for his good, challenging preaching.  Here are some notes I took at the retreat:

7 Core Values for Pastor Wood’s Church:

  1. Life is all about Christ, our Lord and our God.
  2. Worship matters to God.
  3. The Bible is truth we can count on.
  4. Our response to the Gospel changes everything.
  5. We need each other.
  6. Our mission is global.
  7. Heaven is real and so is Hell.

Theme of Retreat:  Heaven is going to be awesome.

Scripture:  Matthew 25.14-30

Memory Verse:  Matthew 25.21

Session 1:  Well Done.  Enter into the Joy of the Lord.

Who will hear well done?  See Matthew 25.21, 23.  Matthew 24 anticipates Christ’s coming (see Romans 13.11-12).  Matthew 25 presents realities of Heaven.  Note the phrase:  “The kingdom of Heaven is like…”  Matthew 25.1-13 sends the message of urgency and preparedness.  When the door is closed, it will not be opened. People who do not have oil, don’t get in.

“We do well to thing of the long tomorrow” (A. W. Tozer).  See Colossians 3.1-2.  We must dwell on things above.  This is our great priority.  Thinking about Heaven brings perspective to our “below lives”.  There are three realities in view:

  1. Heaven (Dt 26.15; Mt 6.9; Jn 6.42; Acts 1.11; Rev 4.2-3, 8; Rev 19.11-16) – It is where God is.  Our passion for God and Heaven are inseparable.
  2. Hope (2 Cor 5.8).  We will connect Heaven with home – at home with the LORD.  Delight, joy, and laughter.
  3. Fulfillment – Your life is meant to accomplish something for God.  What you do here prepares the way for what you’ll do in Heaven.

Other notes:  Ethnic diversity in Heaven, on King, all living for Him.  A city with gates and people moving within and going out.  Psalm 16.11 – there is joy in the King’s presence.  Heaven is real and it’s going to be awesome.  I want to hear, “Well done.”  I must have an eternal perspective in a temporal world.

Session 2:  How Can I Possibly Be Good?

Fulfillment = “Lord, I want to do whatever You are doing.”  I must be faithful in that which is least to have the opportunity to to be responsible for much.  See Isaiah 61 and compare with Luke 4.  Why did Jesus stop quoting the Isaiah text and not continue on with the information regarding the Day of Vengeance?  It is because we are now living in between His two comings.

Talent = the amount of money a person can make over a period of 20 years or more (depending upon if it is gold)

The talent is the grace of the Gospel, something that we could not come up with on our own.  There are three characteristics of those who will hear, “Well done.”

  1. Good – creation is good when it is doing what it should do.  My flesh is not good.  But I am free through the Spirit to do good.

I didn’t catch the other two characteristics.  Pastor Wood spoke of yielding ourselves from Romans 12.1-2.  The process of sanctification begins with renewal of the mind.  Feed on God’s Word, pray, obey, and think often upon God’s character (awe; 2 Corinthians 3.18).

Battleground:  1) Sinful lust; 2) Sinful anger; 3) Sinful fear.  Stop it!  Put off the flesh.  Put on the new man.  Three Resources written by Rand Hummel:

Pastor Wood suggested spending one hour a day with God.  He suggested five components to that hour:

  1. Write out a verse.
  2. Paraphrase it.
  3. Study the significant words of the verse.
  4. Personally apply the verse.
  5. Write out a prayer applying the verse to your specific situation.

Study Resource:  Blue Letter Bible

Session 3:  Faithful is Faith in Action

What do you do with what you have been given?

  1. Authority – author; the Lord Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith, and He gives the orders.
  2. Responsibility – response; to manage another’s opportunity; steward
  3. Accountability – count; reckon (promotion and demotion); to answer for results; evaluation
  4. Dependability – pend (pendant, pendulum; pending; to hang); able to have a responsibility hung upon your shoulders (yoke); faithfulness

The success of your successor’s successor is the goal of discipleship and a faithful life.  Be faithful and leave the results to God.  After Pastor Wood preached this sermon, I read the following three central points of the parable of the talents in Matthew 25.  I found them in this resource:  Blomberg, Craig. Interpreting the Parables. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1990. Print.

  1. Like the master, God entrusts all people with a portion of his resources, expecting them to act as good stewards…
  2. Like the two servants, God’s people will be commended and rewarded when they have faithfully discharged that commission.
  3. Like the wicked servant, those who fail to use the gift God has given them for his service will be punished by separation from God and all things good.

Session 4:  The Servant of the LORD

Resources:

Paul, James, Peter, John, and all believers are slaves to Christ.  Jesus taught us to be slaves by becoming a slave Himself (see John 13; Philippians 2).  Matthew 25 is taught by Jesus just a few days before His death.  Bondslave:

  • Voluntary
  • Publicly confessed
  • Motivated by love for the master
  • Slavery – no rights; giving up everything
  • It is for life; slaves never offended
  • See 1 Corinthians 6.18-20.

Book Recommendation – The Masculine Mandate:  God’s Calling to Work by Richard D. Philips

Serve the Lord by tending to the least.  In short, identify the need.

Workshop:  Helping People with Trials (Jon Bladine)

This blessed me above all that happened at the retreat.  “My brethren, count it al joy when you fall into testing.” (James 1.2).

  1. Be compassionate (1 John 3.16-17; Romans 12.15; Matthew 9.36; 14.14; 15.32; Matthew 20.34) – prayer AND action
  2. Pray (James 5.16) – ask how you can pray specifically
  3. Write a note – help them keep a biblical perspective without being insensitive.  Write verses out (not just references).  Don’t be flippant or belittling (2 Corinthians 1.4)
  4. Send money to meet financial needs – if you know there is need, send money.  If you cannot send money, offer gifts of service.
  5. How to respond correctly when you are in a trial:
  • Spend time with God (make this a priority)
  • Speak truth to yourself and to your spouse; counsel yourself rather than talk to yourself
  • Do right no matter what.
  • Don’t be governed by your emotions.
  • Remember Hebrews 13.5-6.  Be content not covetous.
  • God is your everlasting strength; trust Him (Isaiah 26.4)!
  • God knows everything.
  • He is powerful enough.
  • He loves you.

Three Misconceptions

  1. Just because they are always positive doesn’t meant they are not struggling.
  2. Don’t wrongly interpret optimism as a lack of realism.
  3. Don’t believe that once the worst is over, they will be fine and you may stop praying for them.