The 2015 Alabama State Evangelism Conference hosted by First Baptist Church, Trussville, began at 5:45 despite the wintry conditions surrounding the central part of the state. Following the uplifting worship led by Roy McNiel and the choirs of First, Trussville, and CrossPoint Baptist Church, Daniel Crews accompanied the choirs to bring the crowd to its feet with choruses of “Amen” and hands raised.
Charles Carter told participants to “fasten their pew belts” to focus on “the incomparable Christ.” Referring to John 3:31, Carter reiterates the truth of Christ’s character by emphasizing His conception, birth, walk, conduct, death and ascension.
“The miracle was not in the way He was born,” he said. “The miracle is in the way He was conceived.”
Carter exposed the excuses that people give for Christ’s resurrection as “idiocy,” firmly challenging participants to believe every aspect of Christ’s life or stop preaching entirely. “I don’t know what the world’s coming to, (but) I know Who is coming to the world.”
“Don’t give up. Don’t quit,” Carter encouraged.
Robert Smith, professor of preaching at Samford University’s Beeson School of Divinity, concluded the evening by fervently reminding participants that God is a Ruler of second chances. To receive these second chances, slowing down to read the Bible is necessary.
“I want all senses to be evoked” when reading the Word, he said. Smith requires his students to read each verse in a sermon 50 times, so that they will overflow with understanding.
Using the example of Peter denying Christ three times, Smith tells participants that God “gives us a new opportunity” to love him through the hardships of life.
“All of us need a second chance, a 2000th chance,” Smith said.
The Bible is filled with examples of God speaking to His children, calling them multiple times in order to get their attention, Smith said. “When you sense that God is speaking … hush, somebody is calling my name. It sounds like Jesus.”
The conference will continue tomorrow with the first of three sessions beginning at 9 a.m.
For the full schedule for the 2015 State Evangelism Conference, go to alsbom.org.