Dear Church Family,
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” I John 3:1. That last line eludes to the persecution and intolerance that those who are Sons and Daughters of God will suffer in the last days.
Across the world today religious intolerance and persecution are on the rise. Churches and homes have been burned, Christians imprisoned, beaten and even killed because of their faith. Even in our country, one established on the foundation of providing freedom and liberty for all, these freedoms are coming under frequent attacks. Yet we are safe and comfortable in our churches, and homes.
I don’t bring this up to create fear or outrage, although some might be appropriate. I bring it up as a reminder of what a blessed gift we have here in the United States, a gift to be treasured and protected for as long as possible. We have freedom, to preach, teach and spread the Gospel which is more precious than gold. Yet the Bible tells us in, Revelations 13:11-18, that before Christ’s return this freedom will be lost. False worship will be mandated under the threat of persecution and death. Today, we have a window of opportunity to witness to our neighbors, friends and family, to tell them of the love of our heavenly Father who has prepared a place for us, and of His Son who one day soon will return to take us to live with Him. This loving God has given us a law for life. Citizenship in His heavenly city is contingent upon our acceptance of His rule, and our rejection of slavery to sin.
Let us consider what role we have been given as individuals and as a church. How are we fulfilling that role? Are we just citizens of this world or ambassadors for the world to come? I want to close my thoughts with this wonderful promise from Jesus for all of us. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” John 14:1-4. Let us invite as many as we can as long as we can!
October’s 11:00 a.m. Sabbath Worship Schedule:
Sabbath Morning, October 5, we are planning a Religious Liberty Emphasis Day. Our speaker will be, Dr. Vaughn James, whose message will be, “In The Supreme Court: Men v Grasshoppers” I believe his message will be extremely relevant to the times we are living in, and you will not want to miss it. He has extensive experience in the field of Religious Freedom Laws. He is an ordained minister and has served the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a church pastor, evangelist, Conference Departmental Director, and Associate General Counsel of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department. He is currently a member of the Board of Experts of the International Religious Liberty Association, which has its offices at the General Conference Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. Dr. James is also the Judge Robert H. Bean, Professor and Director of the Tax Clinic at Texas Tech University School of Law here in Lubbock.
Sabbath, October 12, we will continue our Heroes of Faith series with a study of, “Sarah’s Seed of Faith.” We will be blessed and encouraged by this miraculous story. Sabbath, October 19, Derrick Williamson the Texico Conference Literature Ministry Director will be with us. He is the leader not only of the Summer Youth Rush program that we have been blessed to support for the last two summers, but also for the Conference Glow program. If you are not familiar with the Glow program this will be a wonderful opportunity to learn about it!
Sabbath, October 27, we will return to our study of Abraham and this time look at “Abraham’s Offering of Faith.” The story of Abraham leading his only son Isaac to be offered as a sacrifice to God is one of both heartache and joy. It is a story of mountainous faith that we can learn from.
I trust this letter finds you blessed and in health. I look forward to worshiping with you, my Lubbock Church family, on the Sabbaths ahead! Please pray for me as I pray for you!
God’s richest blessings,