Christ religion

Need to be saved, send for Jesus first

Wayne Holly greeted the congregation as we gathered to worship at Mill Creek Baptist Church on Sunday morning. On Memorial Day weekend, we remembered those who fought for our freedom and the deaths of loved ones. Karen Gardner was celebrating a birthday and special prayers were asked for Molly and Louise.

Shelley Hall taught the Sunday School adult lesson, “Waiting,” a study of 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15. The lesson reminds us that “believers should maintain standards that remove barriers to the gospel. Providing for our families is a way of demonstrating Christ to others, and believers should lovingly hold other believers accountable.”

Linda Abercrombie read Ephesians 3:17-19 and shared the devotion, comparing life to a tree. Even if we are afraid in life like a tree in a storm, we continue to grow thanks to our roots. Like a tree losing limbs, the scars of our lives do not define us; they only tell a story.

Congregational hymns included “I’ll Fly Away” and “It Is Well With My Soul”, led by Karen Gardner. Jerry Abercrombie shared special praise music while singing “God on the Mountain.” Tyrel Lett and Rick Lett served as offering ushers.

Sunday’s message was the last in the series of sermons on the Rolling Stones. The text of the message, “What Stone Rollers Do”, was from John 11 about the death of Lazarus. Our pastor, Mark Hall, began by telling us that Lazarus’ illness was to make a point for the glory of God. “Martha wanted to blame Jesus for the death of Lazarus, saying she had prayed. Mary also wanted to blame Jesus for the death of their brother. But Jesus told them that their brother would rise again.

“He died, but the stone was rolled away and he came out of the darkness. It could also be the story of someone who is lost and spiritually dead and how they are saved. Just like the cave is dark with the stone blocking the entrance and the light, we are blind and lost. We cannot see until someone rolls away the stone. Jesus rolled away the stone for Lazarus and said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God? ‘” In verses 43-44, Jesus said, “Lazarus, come out. Drop him and let him go.”

Brother Mark made seven points about what stone rollers do. “First they know who to send for – Jesus. When someone needs saving, send for Jesus first because nothing will happen until he comes and the lost can be found.

“Second, stone rollers, sacrifice their time. Thomas showed his commitment in verse 16. He was committed to go with Jesus and give whatever time he had left. He was steadfastly loyal.

“The third thing the stone scrolls do is that they have saving faith. Verse 27 tells us what Martha said to Jesus: ‘Yea, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.’ If you are a Christian, you believe that Jesus is what he says he is and that he can do what he says he can do.”

As Brother Mark referred to verses 40-41, he said, “Fourth, the rollers of stone roll away stones. Stones have names like addictive and ruthless and can be heavy. Lazarus could not walk until that he could see the light when the stone was rolled away.

“Fifth, stone rollers must submit to the commandments of God.”

In John 14:15, Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

Brother Mark told us that sixth, the stone scrolls are to help free man. “You can’t treat people like calves. They might need help after they’ve been sent away. People need Christian help, encouragement and support even after they’ve been saved.”

And finally, brother Mark told us that the stone scrolls have a safety. Referring to John 12:9-11, he spoke of Lazarus at the table eating with Jesus. “Lazarus was leaning on Jesus. Even though there was a plot going on outside to kill Lazarus, he was not worried because he had security in Jesus.”

In closing, Brother Mark told us that “when you are saved, Jesus rolls away the stone and brings you out of the dark tomb into the light. He can bring you out of that spiritual grave. If Jesus calls you, you can come out of the darkness and into the light. You can have that security with Jesus that Lazarus had. The rolls of stone submit to His call.”

At the end of the service we thanked God for his many blessings and Wayne Emanuel gave the blessing.

We invite you to worship with us on Sunday mornings at Mill Creek Baptist Church at 11:00 a.m. Sunday school starts at 10 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. Bible study begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. Vacation Bible School will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 25.

The opinions expressed are those of the author.