death

The past couple of weeks in the life of Wilkesboro Baptist Church have been amazing. I am thankful to our Lord for answered prayers and for souls saved.

In recent weeks, children, teenagers, and adults have placed their trust in Jesus Christ. Some of them will follow through with believer’s baptism on Sunday November 28.

Baptism on November 28 coincides with the final sermon in our current sermon series: LIFE, DEATH, HELL, HEAVEN. The final sermon in the series is on HEAVEN. We will celebrate the professions of faith through baptism and look at what the Bible teaches about HEAVEN in our services this week.

This series has reminded me of some specific things for which I am thankful:

  • I’m thankful that God answered the prayers of family and friends for the salvation of sinners. Many of those who have professed faith recently have been on my prayer list and/or on the prayer lists of parents, Sunday school classes, and discipleship groups.
  • I’m thankful for the opportunity to preach the gospel and to share the gospel personally. It is my calling and joy to preach the gospel, and I’m grateful when God brings sinners to salvation connected to our worship services. But it is also my calling to share the gospel personally. I’ve had the opportunity to share the gospel personally with some of those who have recently come to faith.
  • I’m thankful for parents who are faithful to share the gospel with their children, bring them to church, and pray for their children. The tears of joy in the eyes of parents when their children come to faith is an unforgettable privilege I am thankful for.
  • I’m thankful for our children and student ministries and our ministerial staff who lead them, Tad Craig and Danielle Hicks. Their gospel-centered teaching and leadership help saturate children and students with the good news of Jesus.
  • I’m thankful for baptism. Baptism is the public declaration of one’s personal decision to follow Jesus. It is a time for the church to celebrate with those who have trusted in Jesus Christ.
  • I’m thankful for our Trinitarian God who saves. Before the world began, God the Father planned our salvation (not just the events that occurred 2,000 years ago, but also the personal circumstances that have brought each of us to salvation). God the Son secured our salvation by his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. God the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and makes us alive by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Remember this, as much as we want God to save our friends and family, our neighbors and the nations, God wants to save them more.

What things are you thankful for? Give this question some thought this week. Make time to thank God for what he’s done and for what he’s doing.

During this Thanksgiving week, let me encourage you to not only be thankful, but to celebrate with us at Wilkesboro Baptist.

  • Plan to attend either the 9:30 am service or the 11:00 am service on November 28. We’re baptizing in both services, and we will look at what the Bible says about HEAVEN in all our services this week.
  • Invite others to attend. The willingness of our church folks to invite friends and family to attend during this sermon series has been a blessing! Keep inviting. Sunday, November 28 will be a special day that you don’t want to miss.
  • Continue to pray. God is at work. Don’t lose heart in praying for sinners to come to faith in Jesus. God is answering your prayers and mine. Keep asking God to save. Ask God to open blinded eyes, to soften hard hearts, and to rescue sinners from death and hell.
  • Share the good news. The good news is meant to be shared. God rescued us, but he also commissioned us to lead our neighbors and the nations to follow Jesus. Look for an opportunity this week to tell someone about the life that Christ has given you.

We ought to be thankful for the salvation we’ve received, and we ought to be faithful to share the good news with those who’ve yet to receive salvation. In this past week’s sermon I referenced a powerful appeal by Charles Spurgeon to his congregation at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. Let this appeal both burden and bless us this week as we pray for, invite, and share with our neighbors and the nations.

Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ, if sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay, and not madly to destroy themselves. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Sermon XX: The Wailing of Risca.”[1]

[1] Quoted by Denny Burk,. Four Views on Hell (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) (p. 43). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

What is important in life? Does our life consist of the abundance of possessions? Is the good life the one with the newest toys and most up-to-date technologies? Is our best life now the one of health, wealth, and happiness? Do we need fame, money, or success to find the good life? If you are reading this, then you have life, but are you ready for death? Have you thought about what’s after death? Is there really a hell? What about heaven? Can we know where we might end up after this life?

The November 2021 sermon series at Wilkesboro Baptist Church will be LIFE, DEATH, HELL, HEAVEN. Each week, we will address one of these four themes. We’ll ask some questions (like the ones above), look at what the Bible says about each topic, and invite listeners to experience the abundant life God promises.

Jesus taught about the abundant life in John 10.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10

My aim in this series is to be encouraging and evangelistic.

If you are a follower of Jesus already, my aim is to encourage you. These LIFE and HEAVEN messages should encourage you to thank God for the life you have and the heaven you can look forward to. The DEATH message should encourage you to face death with confidence knowing that death is not the end for the believer. The HELL message should encourage and motivate us to pray diligently and share the gospel faithfully with those who have not yet become followers of Jesus.

If you are not a follower of Jesus, my aim is to evangelize. The LIFE message will invite hearers to receive the full life Jesus offers. The DEATH message will motivate hearers to be ready to face the certainty of mankind’s mortality. The HELL message will remind hearers that judgment awaits those who have not believed in Jesus. The HEAVEN message will offer hearers the hope of eternal life in God’s presence.

As we enter November and begin this sermon series, here are several things I’m asking you to do.

To my readers who regularly attend Wilkesboro Baptist Church:

  1. Would you pray for those around you (family, friends, co-workers, neighbors) who are not following Jesus? You can use what we learn and discuss each week as prayer prompts for those who have yet to follow Jesus.
  2. Would you make plans to attend each week and invite someone to worship with you?
  3. Would you make plans to celebrate baptism with us on Sunday November 28?

To my readers who don’t regularly attend Wilkesboro Baptist Church:

  1. If you are a shut in or have another church home, would you pray for us at Wilkesboro Baptist this month? Would you pray that those who are not yet following Jesus would hear the gospel and respond?
  2. Would you watch our services on Youtube, Facebook, or Vimeo?
  3. Would you consider sharing these services with people that you know are not following Jesus?

Readers, I’m looking forward to this sermon series. It is important that we all hear what the Bible has to say about LIFE, DEATH, HELL, HEAVEN.

It is even more important that we follow Jesus and accept his invitation to experience the abundant life.

May God grant grace and peace to you and to those who have yet to follow Jesus.