Greetings and all that good stuff! This is the day that the Lord has made, so get happy!
Today (Thursday) at 9 a.m. (eastern), a video I made premiered on YouTube. The video is of a Power Point presentation, one that I delivered on Discord, but few had the chance to see.
This YouTube video contains me narrating the presentation, which also contains video of things in Pakistan.
One thing important to note, however, is that in one of the videos you will see a big bus nearly hit us head-on. We call them “killer busses,” because they don’t slow down for anything. Sadly, Victor Sammuel and his family were in an accident yesterday in volving one of these “killers.” It nearly killed them!
Only by the grace of God did Victor, Sophia, Jamal, and Zoe escape the accident without injury. The Toyota Camry they were driving, on the other hand, did not fare well. It will need to be replaced, and they don’t have insurance. If you can help toward this, let me know.
The bus never stopped, either.
Please, when you have the time, watch the PowerPoint presentation I made. I would love to hear your thoughts.
DATELINE: Warthen, Georgia, USA March 26, 2022 Subject: Victor’s Birthday and Needed Books
Greetings in the Name of Jesus!
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dr. Anthony C. Baker, the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Warthen, Georgia. However, you can just call me Brother Anthony, or “preacher,” or whatever. I’m just a regular guy.
The reason I am writing is to ask of you something very important, and it’s something that I can testify without any reservation to its validity – Brother Victor Samuel is becoming an older man … and he needs a birthday gift.
Now, when I say, “he needs a birthday gift,” I’m not asking that you send him a new tie or a gift card to Cracker Barrell (which he needs to experience one day). No, Victor has asked me to make it very clear that he has enough clothes, and he rarely wears ties, anyway. And as for gift certificates to restaurants, well, they don’t sell bacon in Pakistan, so don’t bother.
Seriously, though, Victor has only one request for his birthday tomorrow (the 27th), and that is for donations toward purchasing the desperately needed schoolbooks for this year. As it is right now, classes at Grace Charity Schools are having to be held back because they don’t have the needed materials.
What kind of cost are we talking about? Well, the total is around $7,000. WHAT! Yes, around $7k. I know that’s a lot for a birthday gift, but it’s not like he’s asking for a second-hand Rolex or a used Toyota. No, in celebration of Victor Sammuel’s birthday, and the fact that, somehow, he has survived another year of Pakistani traffic (which is certifiably insane), all he is asking – along with me – is that you would consider giving generously to help buy these books.
As you may know by now, I have made the trip to Pakistan to see with my own eyes the works in Toba Tek Singh and Kamalia. Folks, all joking aside, these schools are saving not only souls, but also the lives of hundreds of children. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it. The need is real.
I know Victor is notorious for asking for money. What? Did I just type that out loud? Yeah, I did. It’s like every time we turn around or click on Facebook, there he is asking, “Hey brother! How are you?” But honestly, if you were in his position, one in which 98% of your funding came from outside donations, what would you do? Part of it has to do with the culture in which he lives, but most of it comes from a sincere heart for reaching the families working in the brick kilns. He is their voice, too.
So, would you help? Would you kindly and gently twist the arm of a loved one or friend? Is there a crack in your child’s piggy bank? Is there any way you could help get these books purchased so 400 plus children can go to school, learn, and not have to stay in the fields making bricks?
You can contact me directly by calling my cell phone, texting me, messaging me on Facebook, or emailing me. You can send money yourself, or you can forward it to me using Venmo, PayPal, etc. Whatever you send and however you send it, when I receive it I will then send it via Western Union. I will pay the sending fees.
There are always going to be people who question your plans. Not even the Apostle Paul was immune from the naysaying that came not from enemies, but from his most trusted companions. That’s not saying I’m anything like Paul, but I can sympathize with him.
When I made known my desire to go to Pakistan, as I said before, not one single person within my circle of friends and family approved. No, it was more like, “Yeah, riiiight.” And when they were not laughingly questioning my sanity, they were outright warning me that I would probably be killed or kidnapped – then killed.
But like when Paul knew that it was God’s will for him to go to Jerusalem, even though everyone advised against it (Acts 21:12-14), I knew that it was God who was opening the door for me to make this trip.
But how did I know? This is a question that deserves discussing.
How was I so sure that God was leading me to visit Pakistan? How could I be sure that it wasn’t my own desires, my thirst for adventure, or some deep-seated need to prove myself? Granted, the adventure was compelling and there was certainly a need to prove something about myself, but I also wanted to “prove” God!
As a pastor, people look to me for spiritual guidance. They look to me for answers regarding the Bible and how one’s faith can be applicable to life. Yet, when the rubber meets the hot asphalt, most Christians forget from where I power comes. The average Christian keeps the battle-winning Captain of the Lord of Hosts relegated to the cute stories told in Sunday School and forgets that He is still the Conquering King. Therefore, it’s no wonder they were worried for me – they were forgetting Whom they served!
I’ve been forced to put my God to the test in the past, and He was faithful as He promised. I’ve also witnessed Him supernaturally deliver me from a would-be killer who had planned to put a bullet in my head (while I was delivering pizza in Hopkinsville, KY). And, honestly, it’s because of these things, and others, that I kind of felt like young David when he was questioned about going up against Goliath (1 Samuel 17:34-37).
Friends, do you serve the living God that delivered David from the lion, the bear, and Goliath? Do you serve the God who delivered His people out of Egypt? Do you serve the God who opens prison doors? Do you serve the Mighty God who told Joshua, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (Joshua 1:9)”?
If you do – if you serve the God of David, Daniel, Moses, Joshua, etc. – then maybe you can understand the frustration and indignation I felt. If this trip was being orchestrated by the true and living God, then I believed without a doubt that He would take care of me.
But once again, was this trip put on my heart by God, or was I just seeking a thrill?
I guess the answer is simple to me, but unless you know what it’s like to walk with the Lord for a while it might sound crazy. What it amounts to is a legal term I learned when my youngest daughter competed in mock trial – “preponderance of evidence.” In other words, knowing the will of God for one’s life rarely comes down to one thing or another, but a combination of things, even a culmination of affirmations.
Consider the following points:
There was definitely a need in Pakistan
I have been supporting a ministry for years, even risking my own reputation
A plea was made for me to come
There was a clear and distinct objective my going would accomplish
There had been much prayer
My original feelings were a big “NO!”, but my heart became burdened over time
A sense of urgency existed
Not going would only serve to relieve me of danger, but the ministry abroad would only suffer
Now, more than ever before, my position and reputation could prove invaluable to others in need
People were willing to give generously when they knew I was actually going.
My going would have a direct impact on life and death circumstances involving hundreds of children.
I was never, ever, not once afraid or intimidated, nor did I doubt that God would provide the means to do everything that needed to be done.
I wanted people to see the God we serve is still the God of the Bible and Joshua 1:9 still applies!
It wasn’t one thing; it was multiple things! And on top of all that, when we seek to walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh, His desires become our desires.
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. – Psalm 37:4-5 KJV
But there’s one more thing. God could have stopped this trip many times. I even asked Him to stop me from moving forward with it if it was against His will. Yet, doors kept opening and I could do nothing less than walk forward till they closed.
Stay tuned! Next time I will address the actual objectives this trip to Pakistan was meant to accomplish.
The looks on the faces were not encouraging. When I told my wife and family, including my friends and church family, that I felt God wanted me to visit Pakistan, no one – not one – smiled with approval.
As a matter of fact, it was at least four or five years ago that Pastor Victor Sammuel of Grace Charity Schools asked me to come see the work there in Toba Tek Singh, a small town in the Punjab district. But when he first asked me to visit, the reflection of my face in a mirror would have mirrored the ones I was now seeing. You know, the kind with raised eyebrows and a slightly tilted head?
“I’ll pray about it,” was my typical response. But the actual prayers were more like: “God, did you hear what Victor asked me to do? Can you believe him? That would be crazy! I have NO desire to go there, and I don’t think YOU want me to go, either.”
However, time and association have a way of replacing apprehensions with burdens. As the Lord allowed me to be in a unique situation which caused me to become more and more involved with the work there in Pakistan, the more familiar I became with the needs. Yet, as I would share what I learned with others, skepticism remained. Honestly, I couldn’t blame them.
Even when I told the deacons in the church where I pastor that I wanted to go, their skepticism became evident when they immediately began discussing the possibility I was walking into a trap! “How do we know Victor Sammuel is who he really says he is?” one asked. “How do we know you’re not being set up?”
I didn’t. But I trusted God.
And that’s one of the main reasons I wanted – I needed – to go to Pakistan! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to defend myself for giving to a ministry I’ve never seen in person and a man that continually asked for money. If for no other reason, going to Pakistan would either clear Victor Sammuel’s name and my reputation for discernment, or it would confirm the skeptics were right all along and I had been snookered.
Hopefully, finding out I was being scammed would be the worst that would happen. But as everyone knows, Pakistan isn’t known for its Christian-loving hospitality. A lot worse could happen, especially since I would be going it alone.
Stay tuned for the next post! I will continue to unpack the story of my once-in-a-lifetime trip to the land of “killer busses.”
Friends, I would like to ask you simply to keep me in your prayers the next couple of weeks. I’m going on a great adventure and even though I’m not fearful, I am nervous.
Some of you may know where I am going. However, because of the sensitive nature of the adventure, I would appreciate you not publicly spilling the beans as I try to remain under the radar. It doesn’t help matters that Putin has started his nonsense and put the world on alert.
Despite what is happening in the geopolitical world, there is a fundamental truth that will never change: People need Jesus! Beyond that, churches still need pastors and pastors need encouragement, along with all the help they can get to combat against doctrinal and theological error.
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
1 Timothy 4:16
Therefore, I am going alone – physically – to a place I’ve never been to before. I’m going alone, quite frankly, because nobody else dares go with me. That’s OK, and I don’t blame them, especially those who feel confident that God is not leading them to accompany me. Yet, I know I won’t be totally alone, and I am not even referring to the armed security that will be accompanying me the whole time.
The Holy Spirit will be with me!
And I know many, many brothers and sisters will be praying for me, too.
And speaking of prayer, may I ask that you pray for the following?
That all the COVID-19 rapid tests will come back negative for COVID.
That I will be able to bring all that I need in the luggage I am taking.
For safety to and from the airport Monday morning, and that includes the safety of my dear wife who will be taking me.
For my family to rest in the peace of Christ while I’m gone.
That my dog George will not be depressed and stop eating while I am gone – seriously.
For safe travels to and from the destination. I hate flying these days.
For safe commuting while abroad, for where I am going traffic rules barely exist.
For a clear understanding of what God wants me to preach and teach while there.
For me not to get sick from any contaminated water or food.
For the safety of the pastors who will be attending meetings.
That funding will be more than adequate for the needs.
That lasting relationships will be fostered.
That the sermons and lectures (i.e., during the pastors’ conferences) will be seamlessly translated and understood.
That all involved will experience spiritual revival (including YOU).
That God will bless all those who have generously contributed to the needs of this Great Adventure.
Now, to sum this up for today, back in the 1990’s Steven Curtis Chapman released a great song along with a great music video. It was called “The Great Adventure.” This will be my theme.
Look, I don’t have a couple of grand to spend on marketing. Yes, I know that the publisher can do things I can’t. But dang! I just can’t fork out that kind of money for some polished video and other bells and whistles.
However, given that I have an iPhone and a little creativity, nothing stopped me from making my OWN video! I know, it’s a lot longer than the kind the big marketing folk make, but who cares?
I can edit later, if needed, but I hope you like this version.
Recently I shared with some close friends and others for which I have great respect the first example of a potential cover for my next book. I wanted input, but mainly on the layout, graphics, etc. However, a few of them took a slight issue with the subtitle: “Reinventing Door-to-Door Ministry for a Calloused Culture and a Cowardly Church.”
What did they say about it? Well, maybe what you are thinking, too. They advised I tone it down, if only a little, because a lot of church folk have “thin skin.” That’s a no brainer.
However, not to be obstinate, but if I change the title of a book that is designed to specifically address the actual cowardice running rampant in a large part of the Church, would I not be guilty of the same?
I just can’t change it. It has to stay.
But if it helps, let me share with you the short introduction to “You’re Our Street of the Week: Reinventing Door-to-Door Ministry for a Calloused Culture and a Cowardly Church.”
Thank you so much for either picking up a copy or downloading the digital version of this manual for developing a “Street of the Week” outreach ministry. It is a tremendous blessing to me that you have the desire to reach your community with the love and message of Jesus Christ!
When you read the subtitle, did it shock you? You know, the part where I called the Church cowardly? I can sympathize. Honestly, it stung my spirit a little when I typed it for the first time. After all, we are the Church Triumphant marching toward Zion, and not even the gates of hell can stand against us! Yet, no scientific survey is needed to conclude that most professing Christians – even active church members – are terrified of knocking on a stranger’s door, even in their own community!
But it’s not just the fearful saint; it’s the cynical and suspicious public that’s grown calloused to door-to-door visits. And it’s not just Christians they distrust; it’s every stranger who shows up uninvited and unannounced to their front door. There used to be a day in America when a person could make a living going door-to-door selling vacuum cleaners, brushes, encyclopedias, life insurance, and even Bibles! People were more trusting, more hospitable, and even naïve. Not today. No way!
People have caught on and don’t want to be “sold” anything, especially from somebody who rudely interrupted their evening meal. On top of that, the average Christian is either too nice to bother anyone or too intimidated by the “don’t judge me” culture to openly share their faith.
So, how are the instructions in this little book supposed to change anything? What in this book is going to re-vitalize an obsolete, antiquated, and polarizing church ministry which strikes fear into nearly every believer? Will the instructions within calm nerves, stop knees from quaking, and miraculously inject the courage of a lion into the participant’s heart?
YES! I am bold enough to promise that YES, it will do just that! But there’s only one…and it’s a biggie…just one BIG requirement. Are you ready for it?
The draft is still with the editors, but it won’t be too long till it’s finished and available.
4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
And he gave
It is important to note that what follows in this verse through the rest of this section are gifts and their purposes. Often, we fail to remember that our pastors, for example, are not hired servants with nothing more special about them than their defined roles; they are gifts from God! God did not have to, nor was he obligated to give the church, and by extension the individual member, such wonderful, encouraging, and strengthening gifts; He did it because of grace.
It is also important to understand that not all the gifts were given to everyone equally. Now, in many situations the person, such as the pastor, has more than one of these gifts represented in him, but that is not always the case. This implies that at any given time within the Body of Christ there are different needs, different seasons, for which different gifts are deemed needed for the purpose of edifying and equipping.
Key words to look for in verses 12-14 are for, till, unto, of, and that. With these words Paul explains the reasoning for the gifts/graces (v. 7) and the purposes for which they should be used.
Christ gives us the following “grace” gifts as He sees fit:
Apostles: root word is: ἀπόστολος – apostolos (Strong’s G652)
The Apostles were a distinct group of men who were not only disciples of Jesus Christ, but had actually been with Him from the beginning of His ministry and had witnessed Jesus in His resurrected body. These men, more often than not, had nearly all the following graces in that they were also prophetic in their writings, evangelistic in their outreach, shepherds of churches they planted, and, especially in the case of Paul, prolific teachers.
Unfortunately, there are many of various Christian denominations (not to mention cults) who claim the role of apostle. The same can be said about the role of prophet. However, both the roles of apostle and prophet are no longer needed, or as in the case of apostles, even possible. Scripture clearly delineated the requirements for apostleship in Acts 1:21-22.
21Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. – Acts 1:21-22 KJV
Prophets: root word is: προφήτης – prophētēs (Strong’s G4396) There was a time when prophets were more common in the Church. And depending on how one is defined, they should be as rare as apostles. But of the role of prophets in the Church today there is much confusion and debate. How ironic considering one of the purposes of the gift of the prophet was to bring unity. It must be understood, however, that the purpose of a biblical prophet, especially in the Old Testament (yet carried over in a few recorded cases in the New Testament, aside from the Apostles) was to not only “forthtell,” but to foretell. Legitimate prophets “are forthtellers (declaring the truth about God) by being foretellers (predicting what God will do).”
Evangelists: root word is: εὐαγγελιστής – euangelistēs (Strong’s G2099) Strong’s defines this as a “bringer of good tidings” (G2099). And what else are “good tidings” in Scripture other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Actually, an evangelist could be one who brings good tidings of victory in battle, or the news of a new king, but in this passage εὐαγγελιστής refers to one who encourages congregations of believers with the good news of the redemptive and restorative work of the Cross. He is also one who brings with his message encouragement and challenges for the Christian walk.
No doubt, there is always a need for evangelists, today. This is not a gift which one could argue has been done away with or lessened. It is even likely that many pastors are also, to one degree or another, graced with the gift of evangelism. It is certainly from the evangelistic heart that flows the fervent desire to see the lost come to Christ.
Pastors and Teachers: root words are: ποιμήν – poimēn (Strong’s G4166) and διδάσκαλος – didaskalos (Strong’s G1330)
Pastors.It is often argued that because of the way the Apostle Paul linked these two offices together, the office of Pastor and the office of Teacher are one in the same. How can one be an effective senior Pastor if he is not also able to teach? Instructing in the way of truth, expositing Scripture, and expounding upon particular passages is what if not the outworking of the gift to teach the hearer? Yet, there is something distinct that defines a pastor, and not a teach who is not a pastor. A pastor can be a teacher, but a teacher can be a teacher without being a pastor. And if it is not too confusing, there are pastors who are more pastors than they are teachers. What is the difference? A pastor is a shepherd. Of the eighteen times ποιμήν (G4166) is translated in English in the King James Version of the Bible (KJV), seventeen of those times it is translated as “shepherd,” two times of which the word is capitalized because it is referencing Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd. Only once is the word translated as “pastor,” and that is in Ephesians 4:11. A pastor is therefore an “undershepherd,” one who tends the Flock for the owner, the Chief Shepherd, Jesus. And what a gift a pastor is to the local church! If he is a good one, he will watch out for thieves, wolves in sheep’s clothing, false teaching, and worldliness. He will feed the flock a steady diet of nourishing spiritual food from the silos of Scripture; lay down his own life, both literally and figuratively, for the sheep in his care; and answer to God for the souls of those entrusted to him (Hebrews 13:17). One can be gifted to teach, yet not bear this grave responsibility.
Teachers. It is this author’s contention, as mentioned earlier, that Paul did not intend to inseparably link pastor and teacher together in the same gift Jesus has given to the Church. Even though there are very few pastors who aren’t didaskalos (instructors who teach concerning the things of God, and the duties of man), there are many, many gifted “gifts” to the Church who teach, instruct, and give godly advice regarding everything from Bible questions to marriage counseling.
 Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, “Prophet, Prophetess,”Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 1782.
Funds collected above and beyond what is needed to secure my lovely wife’s gift will be donated to the ministry of Grace Charity School in Lahore, Pakistan (a Christian school dedicated to educating the children of the desperately poor brick kiln families).
It is 1:27 in the morning, and I just finished preaching to the congregation in Pakistan. It was a sweet time of fellowship with brothers and sisters 10 time zones away.
This time I told Pastor Victor that I would provide to him a transcript from which I would preach so that he would be able to know exactly what I said. But that being said, having a transcript made things easier for me, too. As some of you may understand, it is not at all easy to preach through an interpreter.
So, doing the best I could with the little time I actually had – because a 10-minute sermon can take 15 minutes to translate – I preached a sermon on the Rapture. Honestly, it was a VERY SIMPLE sermon, one which was meant more to encourage the believer than convince the skeptic.
After all, how many unbelievers do you expect to show up to a Christian service in a 98% Muslim country?
I hope the following sermon transcript encourages you, too (even if you didn’t vote for Trump – LOL).
Good morning, brothers and sisters, I am so happy and honored to be worshipping with you today.
It is also my honor to have been asked by Bro Victor to preach to you each Sunday the rest of this month.
When Bro Victor asked me if I would preach each Sunday in February, I asked him what it was that he thought I should preach.
That is not something I normally do; I normally never ask another man what I should preach, only God.
But this time, because your pastor knows you better than I do, I wanted to hear what you needed or desired to hear from God’s Word.
So, today I am going to talk about something that should be an encouragement to all of us… to every Christian in every country… This morning I am going to talk to you about the Rapture of the Church.
I am going to ask Bro Victor to read to you my opening text…
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
This year in America we had a very controversial election. According to the numbers reported, this year more people voted than ever before – the most for a Republican candidate, the most for a Democrat candidate.
Unfortunately, many Americans just like myself think something was not right.
We look at the crowds President Trump had at his campaign rallies, then compare them with the tiny crowds Joe Biden had, and it’s very hard to believe that more people voted for Biden than Trump.
So, when people ask me, “Anthony, do you think the election results were manipulated?” I say, “Yes, I do.”
Now, the problem is that anyone who thinks like I do these days is laughed at and mocked. It is now being said by some people that those who voted for Trump should be sent away to re-education camps!
They even say that Trump voters are as crazy as Christians – and as dangerous – for believing in a “fairytale,” a “myth,” even a “lie.”
This should come as no surprise to us, for Jesus said that His followers would be hated by the same people that hated Him. Those who mock the name of Jesus will mock Christians, too.
But what do people think of you and me when they ask if we believe in the Rapture of the Church? Should we be surprised if they laugh at us?
Just like those of us in America who think something went wrong with the election, they will laugh at us and say, “Show us the evidence!”
But this is nothing new, for they have been saying the same thing for 2,000 years! Saint Peter wrote about these people…
2 Peter 3:3-4 – Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.
But let me tell you, dear church, that things have not always gone on the same from the day of creation. For one thing, everything changed when a Virgin gave birth to a Child and called His name Jesus!
The world went on like normal for thousands of years until the King of the Universe, the Living Word of God, became flesh!
John 1:1-2, 14 KJV – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
This was the First Coming of Jesus Christ! The fact that Jesus came to earth the first time is all the evidence I need that he will return again.
For you see, for thousands and thousands of years a Messiah was promised, even as far back as the Book of Genesis when Eve rejoiced at having a man child.
Throughout the Old Testament we read of One who would be our Kinsman Redeemer, our Great Shepherd, our Fountain in the wilderness, our Rock in the storm, and the Servant who would suffer for the sins of mankind (Isaiah 53).
The Messiah was promised, His birth, His life, and His death… especially His resurrection… were all prophesied, and it all happened just as we were told it would!
Acts 1:9-11 KJV – And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Did you hear that last part? This SAME JESUS shall so come!
Jesus told us that He would return. Do I believe Him? Yes, I do!
As the Apostle Paul said, one day a trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised, and we who are living will be caught up! We will be snatched up, like pulling a fish out of the water! We will be taken out, like pulling a cork out of a bottle!
In the blink of an eye, when the trump of the Lord shall sound, we shall be “caught up,” raptured to be with Jesus!
IF I can do nothing else this morning, dear church I want to encourage you!
You live in a world that hates you for what you believe, for you believe in grace, not works.
You believe in freedom, not slavery.
You believe that all men and women, boys and girls, are made in the image of God.
You believe that God became flesh, that Jesus died for our sins, and that He rose again.
You believe in Jesus, yet you are mocked, you are laughed at, you are hated.
But you and I have a HOPE! Our HOPE is not in our good deeds.
Our HOPE is not in how many times we pray or in what direction we pray.
Our HOPE is in Jesus! Our HOPE IS Jesus!
And one day, whether we live or die, one day He will receive us unto Himself!
Listen to what the Apostle Paul wrote to encourage the church at Thessalonica:
1 Thessalonians 4:13 – But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
Some people are full of sorrow and fear because they don’t know where they will go when they die, but you know! You have hope in Jesus!
1 Thessalonians 4:14-15 – For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
You see, Paul was trying to encourage the Church, for many thought that those who had already died would never see the return of Jesus. But Paul said that not even death would prevent the Christian from receiving a resurrected body!
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Did you hear that? Those are the words of COMFORT! That is TRULY encouraging! One day, we don’t know when, but one day a trumpet is going to sound…
Do you believe that?
One day the Lord Jesus is going to descend from heaven with a shout! Do you believe that?
One day we will be caught up, taken out of this world, and given a new body fit for eternity in heaven!! Do you believe that?
Then, church, be COMFORTED WITH THESE WORDS! HALLELUJAH!
Do I believe that Jesus is coming again? Yes, I do.
Do I believe that at any moment a trumpet could sound and I could be raptured out of this world to be with Jesus? Yes, I do!
And why do I believe that? Because God keeps His promises! If Jesus came the first time as promised, then I believe He will come again just as He promised.
The only thing is that none of us knows when, so we must always be ready to meet Him.
Are you ready to meet Jesus? Are you ready to meet God?
Please be sure you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, dear friend. For if the trumpet doesn’t sound, we are also promised something else, that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgement (Heb. 9:27).
You could die today, even before the rapture, and you want to know your soul is right with God.
Brother Victor, I will now give the service back to you.