Pastor Bob Hammond
Acts 4:29: "And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word."
On March 8, 2010, I was privileged to accompany eight of our church members to the New England Historic Rally at First Baptist Church in America, Providence, Rhode Island. Bro. David C. Gibbs, III of the Christian Law Association preached a message that challenged us to stand firm in our Christian convictions - despite increasingly more difficult challenges from our secular culture.
As we gathered in the meeting place of the church that Roger Williams founded in 1638, Bro. Gibbs reviewed the current threats to religious liberty in the United States -- ranging from the homosexual movement to activist courts to openly anti-Christian legislators at every level of government. In 17th-century colonial America, Roger Williams was unlikely to have anticipated many of the specific threats that we face today. Yet, he was keenly aware of the need to secure religious liberties. For Williams, that began with planting a New Testament church that would boldly teach people the truth of God's word.
Today, our world is clearly more complex than that of the 17th century. But the answers to the people and philosophies that threaten our liberties remain the same. That's because neither our God nor his words have changed one jot or tittle. Our God remains in control; He remains sovereign over even the most grievous anti-Christian legislators and judges throughout this land. His words remain the same and His requirements of His people remain the same: We're called to be people of prayer who boldly speak the truth of Christ. And we're called to be people who serve our Savior through our local church.
At the close of the service, Brother Gibbs asked two questions. First, he asked, during the past year, how many people had spent a full hour in prayer on any given day. He then proceeded to inquire how many people had led at least one person to Christ during the past year. His are convicting questions. Until more of us can offer God-honoring answers to these questions, our churches will remain weak -- and our country will remain on this same wayward course.
If we desire to move in another direction, we must become people of prayer who will boldly and regularly share our faith in Christ. Anything less is certain to bring increasingly greater threats to the liberties that we most cherish. With that reality in mind, I challenge each of us -- including myself -- to spend significantly more time in prayer today. I challenge each of us to boldly share the gospel with at least one person today. And I challenge each of us to be in church this week. These were the building blocks that formed the foundation of our great nation. And these are the things that still hold power to correct the course of our families, our churches and our country.
Praise God for His faithfulness to His people!