State Evangelism Conference calls for evangelism in midst of changing culture

Daven Watkins speaks during the afternoon session of the State Evangelism Conference.

Daven Watkins speaks during the afternoon session of the State Evangelism Conference.

MONTGOMERY — “Don’t ever make the mistake that a good man means he’s saved,” said Mac Brunson, pastor of First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida, at the morning session of the State Evangelism Conference.

Sharing from Acts 10, Brunson encouraged participants March 1 to realize that just because someone is good does not mean they are saved.

He shared a story about how he had never shared the gospel with a good man that worked at his church who had been killed. He felt so convicted that he immediately called a meeting at the church where every staff member gathered together and Brunson shared the gospel.

“I stand now with all of my staff, everybody there, why? Because I’m not under the conviction that a man has gone into eternity that I saw every week and I could not answer the question, ‘Where is he now in eternity?’

“You may be good. You may be at a church. You may be at an evangelism conference. But unless you’ve repented of your sin and put your faith in Jesus Christ, you’re lost,” Brunson said, encouraging participants to accept the Lord but also to share the gospel so others may be saved.

“We all get in (to heaven) the same way — through the blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ and if there’s any struggle about personal evangelism, just remember that God saved you and go back to that.”

charles billingsleyCharles Billingsley, worship leader at Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Virginia, led worship throughout the day.

Danny Lovett, pastor of The Church at Chelsea-Westover, also shared during the morning session.

Lovett compared the story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel with the Church and the enemy and called for “Courageous Christianity.”

“If there’s ever been a day that we need the Church to be courageous it’s right now,” Lovett said.

He shared three things from the story of David that will encourage a Christian to be courageous:

David was ready for any call. “Most of us are not ready for any call we’re just ready for our call.”

David was ready for any circumstance. “David rose early that morning and nothing took him by surprise because he knew God had sent him there,” Lovett said. “The true test of a courageous Christian is not only action but reaction. It’s the ability to react to any situation as Jesus would react.”

David was ready for any cost. “David was not worried about fighting Goliath because He knew God was on his side.”

Jimmy Jackson, pastor of Whitesburg Baptist Church, Huntsville, shared a message pulling from Jeremiah 1 and the importance of the Word of God in the midst of terror — something Jackson said comes from “our culture of immorality all around us and from the corruption of institutions that have gone awry.”

jimmy jackson

“The Word of the Lord is what we have to pay attention to. If we change it by adding something to it or by subtracting something from it, it is no longer the Word of God,” Jackson said.

“It is the only thing that can divide the Spirit and the soul. If it is watered down then we are preaching a false gospel with a false message.

“If we are going to preach the Word of God and stand on the Word of God there are some people who are going to get offended, but God is ready to perform His Word.”

Daven Watkins, pastor of First Baptist Church, Pelham, shared from Luke 7 about the “alabaster jar breaking, perfume pouring” woman.

Why did she risk it all to move toward Jesus and the table He was sitting at, Watkins asked. “I can only come up with one sufficient answer — she is desperate.

“Who do you make it your aim to please? What relationship do you pour the most energy and effort into? Who are you obsessed about? If the answer to any of those questions is anything other than Jesus than we may not be as desperate as we think,” Watkins said.

“Desperation for Christ will lead us to daring devotion to God.”

Dusty McLemore, pastor of Lindsay Lane Baptist Church, Athens, spoke on “The Conscience of Culture,” pulling from the Psalms and the story of how King David at one point became numb to the culture and joined along in it, which led him to an adulterous relationship and eventually murder.

“It’s our responsibility as pastors and Christians to do what Nathan did and to confront the culture,” McLemore said. “If we don’t do it, who will? If we don’t confront sin and call it what God calls it who is going to do that? It’s why it’s imperative to be salt and light. To be the Church.”

Ted Traylor, pastor of Olive Baptist Church, Pensacola, Florida, will share during the evening session and Larnelle Harris, award-winning singer/songwriter, will perform special music for the evening.

Look for the full coverage of the State Evangelism Conference in the March 10 issue of The Alabama Baptist.

About thealabamabaptist

State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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