Rockport Sermon

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Among the Edlers (12/28/09)

As always, it remains a privilege for us to serve our congregation at Rockport Baptist Church. We humbly ask for your prayers and your patience with us. We are mere men, fallible, weak, prone to failure. And yet we have been called by God to serve Him by shepherding you, His people who gather as Rockport.

This week’s meeting included only three of us, Scott, Will, Bob. Kurt is visiting relatives for the holiday. We began our time by giving counsel to a brother in our church who is considering missions service. This is always a joy and we will be praying as he seeks the Lord in this regard. We then spent a considerable part of our time talking about the needs of our congregation, who needs special care at this time, who needs encouragement, etc. Paul’s words to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:28 always bear a special weight in our meetings:
"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
As do Peter’s words in 1 Pet 5:2
Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God;
We are all too aware of our many shortcomings in this regard, and seek God for His faithful aid in making us faithful, Christlike shepherds for your good.

After considering the needs of our individual members, we then turned our attention to the needs of the body as a whole.

Prayer Week
The upcoming Prayer Week was discussed (1/3-1/10) during which time we hope to encourage our flock to set aside ample time to seek the Lord for the coming year. This year’s Prayer Week will begin on Sunday evening (1/3) with a special video presentation of a message by J Edwin Orr on The Role of Prayer in Spiritual Awakening and will culminate on the following Saturday (1/9)and Sunday evenings (1/10) with special prayer gatherings at Rockport. In between, there will be our regular home prayer meetings (C-groups) and Saturday Men’s Breakfast. Members will also be encouraged to set aside special times of prayer daily in order to seek God. Lord willing, a prayer guide for the week will be made available on Sunday. Some of the many things needing to be placed before the Lord concern faithfulness in our finances, our regular support of missions, our building needs, the need to strengthen and support our families, and our need for more clear and direct outreach in our community with the Gospel of Christ. We are grateful for the efforts that are ongoing, like the Jail Ministry, but see a real need to expand our outreach efforts.

Sunday Mornings
Time was spent evaluating our weekly gathering for worship and how we can encourage regular participation from our membership, balancing this with our need to plan well. The need for regular Scripture reading in the public service was also discussed.

Since Kurt was not present, we were not able to do much concerning our building needs, except keep the matter as an object of prayer.

Also discussed were the upcoming deacon ordination (tentatively set for Jan 24th); this year’s Camp Meeting (4/15-18); Gospel Outreach; Women’s Ministry; etc.

All was followed by a season of prayer for our congregation and the ministry of Christ through this church.

Respectfully submitted

Scott Lee; Will Jackson; Bob Schembre

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Preparing to Hear the Word on Sunday

The following excellent article has been blatantly copied and pasted from Tim Challies blog, But it is such good advice, I thought it was worth sharing! Tim, unlike us, writes regularly and is almost always worth taking time to look over. I pray you find this helpful . . .

Being a Diligent Listener

We set high expectations for our pastors, and rightly so, I think. Ministers of the Word have a high calling before God to be his mouthpiece, to bring his Word to his people. We expect that every Sunday we will sit under the pastor’s teaching and learn sacred truths from his mouth. We expect that he will spend his week studying Scripture and digging deeply into God’s Word so that he can teach us something on Sunday that will change our lives. We expect him to be true to Scripture, to make a good presentation of it and to keep us engaged all the while. It is a difficult and often thankless task.

What we consider less often, I think, is that while a pastor bears great responsibility in preparing for and delivering the Word of God each Sunday, the listener shares in the responsibility. The church has no place for an audience. We are all to be involved in the preaching, even as listeners. We may drive home on Sunday muttering about the pastor’s lack of preparation after a less-than-engaging sermon, but how often do we drive away reflecting on our own lack of preparation? How often should we trace our lack of learning or our lack of engagement right back to our own lack of preparation?

Weekly Preparation
Preparation for the worship service needs to begin before walking into church on Sunday morning. The Bible exhorts us in many places to pray for our pastors. In Romans 15:30-32 Paul begged for the prayers of believers. “I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, … that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints…” To the Thessalonians 3:1 he writes “Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored.” We should be in regular prayer for the pastor, asking that God will continue to work in his heart and illumine the Word to him so he can in turn teach us. The congregation cannot grow beyond the pastor, so it is crucial that he continue to learn and grow in his faith. At the same time we should pray that the pastor would not fall to the attacks of Satan who is always opposed to any fruitful ministry and who will work diligently to disrupt it.

Physical Preparation
When I was a teenager, I usually tried to sit in the back rows of the sanctuary along with my other friends. We took pride in being able to be the first person to fall asleep during the service. Often we had been up well into the wee hours on the morning the night before and were now looking forward to an opportunity to catch up on our sleep. And what better opportunity is there than when the pastor is speaking for thirty or forty five minutes?

One of the most important things congregation members can do is be prepared for the service. This means that we need to be well-rested and attentive rather than tired and glassy-eyed. Our minds need to be alert and both ready and able to hear the Word of God. As a child I was told that preparing for Sunday begins on Saturday night, the implication being that a good night’s sleep is an important prerequisite to attending a worship service. And I have come to see that this is the truth. Little wonder that Christians have often written prayers and hymns meant to be prayed and sung on Saturday night as a means of preparation. Little wonder that the Jewish Sabbath began at sundown rather than sunup! Going to bed at a reasonable hour on Saturday evening is one of the best ways you can prepare for a meaningful Sunday.

Personal Preparation
When we attend church we should do so with the eager expectation of hearing words that will challenge, convict and change us. We come expecting to hear Divine words. We should approach the service with these goals in mind. We should seek to allow the words of God, as summarized and explained by the pastor, to convict us of sin and shortcomings, to challenge our presuppositions and comfort zones and to begin the process of change in our lives. George Whitefield says, “Come to hear them [pastors], not out of curiosity, but from a sincere desire to know and do your duty. To enter His house merely to have our ears entertained, and not our hearts reformed, must certainly be highly displeasing to the Most High God, as well as unprofitable to ourselves.” Come eagerly, come expectantly, come excited.

Spiritual Preparation
Knowing that we hope to be challenged, changed and convicted during the preaching of the Word, we should be certain that we are spiritually prepared. Our hearts must not be filled with unrepentant and unconfessed sin. Prior to hearing the proclamation of the Word, we should take opportunity to repent of sin and to make sure we come before God with clean hands and pure hearts. This can be done before even leaving for church or during times of quiet preparation in the service. We should seek the Spirit’s illumination for the words we will hear. Psalm 119 models this as David prays “Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (verses 17 and 18) David asks the Lord to open his eyes that he might be able to truly understand and apply the words of Scripture to his heart. In the same way we should ask the Spirit to work in us so we can understand. Matthew 5:24 warns against coming to worship while harboring anger or bitterness against a brother. Again, that kind of disunity be reconciled and resolved, as far as is possible, before we come before the Lord in worship.

Pay Attention
This seems almost too obvious, but we should make sure that we are paying attention during the service. It is easy to look around, to chat with the person next to you or to count heads. It is even easy enough to get involved in a “righteous” pursuit such as reading the Bible. But we have just one hour or two hours a week to listen to our pastor so we should be sure that we are making the most of the time. It is not just a good idea, but is our responsibility. Listen, learn and grow. Take a pen, take your Bible and make a dedicated effort. This is a very good thing to pray for throughout the week and on Sunday morning, that God would give us both the desire and the ability to heed the Word as it is preached.

After the Service
Traditionally a portion of Sunday afternoons was dedicated to gathering as a family and speaking about the sermon and perhaps looking over notes taking during it. Many families would sit down together and re-read the passage of Scripture that had been preached on that very morning and would share what they had learned. It was an opportunity for the father to ask his children for their understanding and to help them make application. This is a custom that has largely been lost, but we would benefit, I’m sure, by its recovery.

Pray For Application
After the service, perhaps during some quiet time on Sunday afternoon, we would again do well to pray that the Lord would help work in us what we heard in the morning. We should ask that He would allow the words to continue to convict and change us and that they would not simply fall out of our minds and be lost. In Revelation Jesus said “He who has ears, let him hear.” Hearing goes beyond the ears, but into the mind, the heart and the life. Hearing involves application and application usually requires dedicated though, reflection, meditation. Who knows what application of truth God will draw out of us if we spend time reflecting on what we have heard.

Be Bereans
Our final responsibility is to imitate the Bereans of old who “received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11). We need to be sure that we do not blindly accept what the pastor teaches us, but that we diligently compare his words to the Scripture to ensure that “these things are so.” If your pastor is a godly man, he should be willing and eager to answer questions you may have, and be humble enough to accept correction when he has erred. I do not know of a pastor who would claim he has never made mistakes from the pulpit. When we do detect (or think we detect) error, we should approach the pastor humbly and prayerfully, going to him with our questions and not first to others.

While the responsibility of the preacher cannot be underestimated, the listener is also responsible before God. We, as those who sit under the preaching of the Word, are to prepare ourselves even during the week. And on the Lord’s Day we are to listen attentively, to search the Scriptures and to apply what we have learned to our lives. I fear that far too often we expect the pastor to do the work and while we coast along as the beneficiaries of his hard labor. It is time for us to take seriously our role in the preaching of the Word of God. I post this article on a Tuesday. Perhaps it is worth asking: what are you doing today to gain the greatest benefit from the sermon you heard just two days ago? And what are you doing today to prepare yourself for the sermon you will hear just five short days from now?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Psalm 67 Missions Update

Hopefully I will be able to share more with the congregation soon, but here is one of the highlights from the Psalm 67 Mission Network mission trip to Tamaulipus, Mexico this past weekend.

On Saturday, November 14 we met with a few Pastors and leaders from churches in the region of Matomoros, Mexico. Included in this group was the man who is the director of the local "Baptist Association" of churches as well as the state leader for the "Baptist Convention." It was a great blessing to get to know these guys.

During our conversation, the leader for the state association asked us if we would be willing to come speak to the state Pastor's meeting on February 8, 2010. So, please pray with us as we put together a team of people to do this.

If you have an interest in participating in missions through Psalm 67 or would like to know more information please visit

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Enduring the Ridiculous

Sadly, the Westboro Baptist "Church" has come to town again , spreading their vindictive non-Gospel of hatred and bigotry at a local High School that dared hold a funeral service for one of our brave, fallen warriors. As you might imagine, such visits put most of us historic, biblical Christians on edge, who understand that the Bible is to be read and believed, not waved around and wielded like a blunt instrument to savage and belittle those with whom we disagree.

I get embarrassed enough when genuine Christians do such ridiculous things. But it's worse when, what is clearly a cult in both it's belief and practice, puts itself in the headlines in a way that makes it easy for those outside of Christ to identify us with their hate-filled propaganda. How do we make it clear to the world that just because they've taken upon themselves the names "baptist" and "church," these folks have nothing to do with those who legitimately gather under those banners? How can we make it clear that they do not represent historic, biblical Christianity?

For one thing, we can make sure we don't engage our debates using their same tactics. Do we believe that homosexuality is sin? Yes, but it is not the unforgivable sin. It is sin like adultery is sin, and pornography. It must be repented of. It certainly invites God's wrath upon those who practice it. But let's be clear. So does hypocrisy and envy, selfishness and lying (see Romans 1:18-32 for the whole list!). The problem is not that one type of sin is more heinous than the rest. The problem is that we are all sinners in desperate need of God's grace through Christ. What does the Bible say?

As it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good, not even one."
Romans 3:10-12

Sin is a problem that touches and taints all humans, not just some. All of us have acted out or a rebellion against God that makes us worthy of death. Some by the misuse of their sexuality, others by the misuse of their tongues, but both sin. And both stand in need of the grace of God to be forgiven and reconciled to the God their sins have offended. That's why I'm so grateful for the many passages of Scripture that offer hope to sinners, rather than condemnation. Here is just a small sampling:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.
John 3:17

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
Romans 10:9

Repent, then, and turn to God,
so that your sins may be wiped out,
that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
Acts 3:19

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:8-9

This is the message the world needs to hear, that anyone who comes to see their sin so that they turn from it to take hold of Christ by faith, believing that His death on the cross counts for them and that by trusting in His righteousness, they can receive as a free gift all that they need to be forever accepted by God. They need to understand that there is hope for any sinner who repents and embraces Christ and all He has done by faith. This is the promise of God, not for those who protest the sins of others, but for those who come to see in themselves, the worst of all sins and are thus moved to humbly bow before Him to receive what His grace alone can give.

My prayer is that those who gather at today's protest will hear that message, and not the arsenic-laced hatred that spews from the mouths of those who claim to speak for God, but in reality have never known Him. I ask God to help sinners -- heterosexual sinners as well as homosexual sinners and non-sexual sinners of every kind -- see their need for a Savior in Christ, and learn that they will be accepted by Him with open arms when they turn and come to Him by faith.

For that matter, if you are struggling with sin and wonder if you would be loved by our church if you showed up this Sunday, let me assure you that the answer is yes. We believe there is no sin from which God cannot cleanse the man or woman who comes to Him by repentance and faith in Christ

May God grant mercy,

S Scott Lee
Pastor, Rockport Baptist Church

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Among the Elders (October - November)

I apologize for being very late with this report from our last two elders' meetings. Here is a summary of what can be shared.

October 12, 2009
Our meeting began with a devotion by Will J on the issue of Integrity from Proverbs. We then discussed the needs of those in our body, especially some of our seniors who have health needs, those who are newer to our fellowship, and some we have not seen recently. Time was spent in prayer for each

Scheduling issues were discussed for such matters as the systematic theology class, and for how we want to make better use of Sunday Evenings at Rockport. It was decided that, for now, we will have a monthly Q/A Fellowship on the 3rd Sunday of each month. Otherwise there will not be a regular Sunday evening worship service. Instead, theology class will be moved to 6 PM on those Sundays when there is not another Sunday evening event. From time to time, though, we will have special called Sunday meetings for missionaries, or other informative events.

Also scheduled, tentatively:
- Rockport Elder’s Open House for the weekend of Dec 19-20.
- A week of prayer for the new year Jan 3-10 as a time to prayerfully seek of the Lord together
- Camp Meeting, April 15-18

The ordination of deacons was discussed, as was the building expansion project

The health and needs of our Community Groups was discussed.

Our ongoing relationship with “Gaining Christ Ministries” and Trevor Johnson’s mission work were discussed.

Several other issues concerning individuals and individual needs were brought up and then laid before the Lord in a season of prayer.

November 9, 2009
We began with a devotional brought by Pastor Scott about the biblical role of the pastor a watchman.
We discussed the needs of our members, of various kinds, and how we can lovingly respond to each. We see a need to find better ways to stay in touch with and minister to the growing needs of our body. Several things were put forward which we will be prayerfully seeking to put into practice. In addition, we see the need to remind our body to be alert to those who may be new each Sunday and make the extra effort to embrace them and make them feel welcome. Hospitality is an important grace we must practice constantly.

Scheduled matters were discussed (Most listed above). Added to the calender were:
A Ladies Cooking Fellowship this Friday
Christmas Eve Service
Possible building committee meeting November 29th
Possible deacon ordination January 24th

We agreed that the reading of chapters of Scripture is a benefit to worship. Now that we are finished with Malachi, we will move on to Ephesians. The plan is to alternate between Old and New Testament books.

Our Christmas Missions Offering options were set. Our people will have the option of giving to:
Lottie Moon (SBC); Gaining Christ Ministries; HeartCry Missions Society
Because of the urgent needs being experienced by them right now, we want to especially emphasize the needs of our Gaining Christ team.

We see the need to look into holding a family conference this summer.
Several other matters of importance were discussed.
We spent a season in prayer for these and many other needs discussed.

Submitted respectfully.

Please continue in prayer for us.

Our next meeting is November 23rd.
S. Scott Lee
Soli Deo Gloria

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Worship in Singing for Sunday 11/01/2009

As we think about coming together to sing praises together tomorrow. I thought that it might be helpful to post a little information about one of the songs. I didn't really know the background of "All Hail the Power of Jesus Name" so I decided to do a quick, non-exhaustive, search and to share that with you. But first, here is the list of songs we will be singing tomorrow.

All Hail the Power of Jesus Name
Merciful God
Jesus I am Resting
How Deep the Father's Love for Us

"All Hail the Power of Jesus Name."

Some years ago, missionary E. P. Scott went to India. He set out to visit a remote mountain tribe which had never heard the name of Christ. As he neared their land, he was suddenly surrounded by a savage band of warriors, all pointing their spears straight at his heart. Expecting a quick death, the missionary pulled out his violin and began playing and singing in their native language the hymn "All hail the power of Jesus' name." He reached the stanza that reads:

Let every tribe and every tongue
On this terrestrial ball
To him all majesty ascribe
And crown him Lord of all...

The natives lowered their weapons and some were in tears. E. P. Scott spent the rest of his life ministering to these primitive people.

The hymn which so effectively moved this Indian tribe is often referred to as the "National Anthem of Christendom" and has been translated into almost every language where there are Christians. The author of the hymn, Edward Perronet was the descendent of a French Huguenot family which fled first to Switzerland and then to England to escape religious persecution. Perronet was a pastor who worked closely with John and Charles Wesley for many years in England's eighteenth- century revival.

At that time, Methodists were savagely persecuted. According to John Wesley's diary, Edward did not escape his share of abuse either. "Edward Perronet was thrown down and rolled in mud and mire" at Bolton, he wrote.

Edward was uneasy about preaching in front of John Wesley. Wesley urged him to do so several times. Finally, Wesley forced the issue. He announced that Brother Perronet would speak the following week. A week later, witty Edward mounted the pulpit and declared he would deliver the greatest sermon ever preached. He then read Christ's "Sermon on the Mount" and sat down!

During his life, Edward published three volumes of Christian poems, including a poetic rendering of the Scriptures. Shortly before he died on this day, January 2, l792, his last words were,

"Glory to God in the height of His divinity! Glory to God in the depth of his humanity! Glory to God in His all suffering! Into His hands I commend my spirit."


  1. Adapted from an earlier Christian History Institute story by Diane Severance.
  2. "All Hail the Power."
  3. "Edward Perronet."
  4. Routley, Erik. Hymns and the Faith. Greenwich, Connecticut: Seabury Press, 1956.
  5. Wells, Amos R. A Treasure of Hymns; Brief biographies of 120 leading hymn- writers and Their best hymns. Boston: W. A. Wilde company, 1945.

Looking forward to a great time of worshiping the Lord together tomorrow @ Rockport. For those who follow this blog, don't forget to visit us and follow us on facebook as well!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ministry Within and For the Family

The following reminder was sent out to our church by one of our elders, Will Jackson. I thought it was worth posting here.

Brothers in Christ

I've been wanting to say something about the priority God has given us in ministry. I think most of us know this, but maybe a reminder is helpful. We are to be a people fruitful in good works. God has prepared good works for us to walk in. Because of God's work in us, we are zealous for good works (Titus 2:14). But that starts with caring for our wives and then raising up our children. If we neglect them in order to do any kind of "church work", we are out of God's will.

What does caring for our wives look like? I'm sure it varies from marriage to marriage, but surely it's more than just providing for their physical needs. We are so busy in our culture, but take even what may seem like drastic action in order to have time to care for your wives.

I don't want to be legalistic, but praying with my wife on a regular basis for her, and together for our family, seems like one of the basics in the life of a Christian husband. My brother-in-law and sister would read a Psalm and pray together every night before going to bed. My parents would pray together each night before going to bed. I think that many of you have some kind of a routine like this. If you don't, I encourage you to work on it. Over the years it will be a precious thing through which the Lord will work and bless you, your marriage and your family.

Regularly taking a little time to open up the Scriptures and read to your children, making a few comments for understanding or application, seems to me another one of those basics when it comes to Christian parenting. Somehow make it a part of your routine; maybe right before dinner or right after breakfast, etc.

The command of Jesus is to love our neighbors. In the original, it doesn't necessarily mean those that live in the house next to us. It means those near us. No one is nearer to us than our wives and children. Caring for and ministering to them is the good work God has given for us to do.

Yours in Christ,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This Sunday's Message: On Prayer

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
John 15:7

Unless you’re really into church history, you’ve probably never heard of John Chrysostom. In addition to being Archbishop of Constantinople from 398 to 407 AD, he was known to be an eloquent and passionate preacher of the Gospel of Christ. “Chrysostom” was, in fact, his nickname. It means “Golden Mouth.” He was the Spurgeon or John Piper of his day.

And, therein,comes my interest in introducing him to you who may never have heard of him before today. Once, while preaching on prayer from Mark 11:22-26, the same passage I’ll be preaching from this coming Sunday morning (9/20/09) at Rockport, Chrysostom had this to say:
Prayer is an all-efficient panoply (something that gives you everything you need), a treasure undiminished, a mine never exhausted, a sky unobstructed by clouds, a haven unruffled by storm. It is the root, the fountain, and the mother of a thousand blessings. It exceeds a monarch’s power. . . . I speak not of prayer which is cold and feeble and devoid of zeal. I speak of that which proceeds from a mind outstretched, the child of a contrite spirit, the offspring of a soul converted – this is the prayer which mounts to heaven. . . The power of prayer has subdued the strength of fire, bridled the rage of lions, silenced anarchy, extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, enlarged the gates of heaven, relieved diseases, averted frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun in its course and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt. In sum, prayer has power to destroy whatever is at enmity with the good. I speak not of the prayer of the lips but of the prayer that ascends from the inmost recesses of the heart.
As I read these words and studied this passage this week, I have been deeply convicted about my own lack of prayerfulness. It is so easy, isn't it, to get "too busy" to pray the way we know we ought. And yet, as I consider the startling promises God makes about prayer, and all that He deems to do through it, I realize that I have made myself a spiritual pauper by my neglect. So I have resolved, yet again, that I will give a greater place to prayer in my daily life. There are so many things I must do, and more yet I choose to do, and yet this is the one thing I cannot do without. To draw near to God, daily; to rest my needs and those of others dear to me in His lap; to have Him redirect my heart and my thinking in every area so that by and by I am more conformed to Him! This is my great need.

Lord helping me, it will become my more consistent and joyful practice.

Soli Deo Gloria
(For His Glory Alone)

Pastor Scott

Sunday, August 2, 2009


At the last congregational meeting a board was approved and a "missions organization" was formed with this board appointed to provide direction. I would like to let everyone know that we have selected a name; "Psalm 67 Missions Network." We are preparing a report to provide at the upcoming congregational meeting, but please be in prayer for us as we are doing all of the administration work to get things rolling.

Psalm 67 Missions Network's website will soon be running with information of upcoming short-term and long-term missions opportunities, online registration, online donation option, and articles/testimonies.

There is a short-term mission trip to Mexico scheduled for November and this trip is currently full. We will soon be taking registration for a trip in December during Christmas break (December 26 - January 1, 2009). Information that is available is currently posted at Future information will be available as soon as our website is up and running!

In Christ,


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Celebrating Independance DAy

My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring!
Our father’s God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God Our King

There is a special joy and pride (the good kind) that comes from knowing that we live in a nation with a long and godly heritage. No, I’m not one of those who imagines that every one of the Founding Fathers was a committed Christian. It’s clear they weren’t. But many of them were. And what’s more, it’s just as clear that the original Pilgrims who came to this land seeking religious freedom were indeed faithful and committed (not to mention reformed!) followers of Jesus Christ.

For that reason, when we as biblical Christians celebrate our nation’s Independence Day, we can never look at it as just another secular holiday. It is for us a time of thanksgiving and joy for all the good God has done in and through this nation over these many years. And sure, we’ll be the first to recognize that America is not (nor has it ever been) a perfect heaven on earth. She has her flaws and indeed, her many sins (abortion certainly comes to mind). Yet God has been pleased thus far to use this nation in a very special way in this world. And for that we are grateful.

How long will God’s special providence last for this country? I really couldn’t tell you. But I believe it will be as long as there are Christ-exalting believers who faithfully ‘tread the old paths’ and preach the Gospel of ‘grace through faith in Christ alone’ and who are committed to using their many advantages as citizens of this nation to spread the Saving Gospel to the ends of the earth so all will hear and know there is a Savior in Christ. Will you be one of these Gospel-sharers? May God make it so! And may future generations still continue to sing, “God bless America”

Seeking Him by faith alone, because of Christ Alone,

Pastor S. Scott Lee, Patriot

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Come Thou Fount...from Sunday

Some have wondered about the "extra" verse that we sang on Sunday during the morning service. What we sang was not indeed a "new" verse, but actually it was a slight revision of one of the verses that most modern hymnals leave out. I have included it below. I pray that this might be of great use for you during family worship and during your c groups, and all those other times!

Oh That Day When Free from Sinning
I'll shall see Thy lovely Face
Clothed in radiant, blood-washed linen
How I'll sing thy Sovereign Grace
Come my Lord no longer tarry
Bring thy promises to pass
For I know thy power will keep me
'Til I'm home with Thee at last

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Song for Sunday...New to some at Rockport

From the authors of songs like "In Christ Alone" is another great modern-day hymn entitled, "Merciful God." I am posting the words here for you to consider before tomorrow morning. I pray that this will be a blessing to us as a church.

"Merciful God"
Words and Music by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2006 Thankyou Music

Merciful God, O abounding in love,
Faithful to all who draw near You;
Hearing the cries of the humble in heart,
Showing the cross they may cling to.
Broken I come, helpless in sin,
Found at the feet of Your mercy.
Father, forgive; may my sin be remembered no more.

Merciful God, O abounding in love,
Faithful through times we have failed You;
Selfish in thought and uncaring in deed,
Foolish in word and ungrateful.
Spirit of God, conquer our hearts
With love that flows from forgiveness;
Cause us to yield and return to the mercy of God.

Merciful God, O abounding in love,
Faithful to keep us from falling;
Guiding our ways with Your fatherly heart,
Growing our faith with each testing.
God speed the day struggles will end;
Faultless we'll gaze on Your glory.
Then we will stand overwhelmed by the mercy of God.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vision for Short-Term Missions

I was reading through the Desiring God Website this morning and like usual, found something that started me thinking. I have been asked the question, who should go on short-term missions and also, what is the vision for short-term missions. Well, here are some posts from John Piper and others at his church. The original post can be found at

February 4, 2009

The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

What is the vision for short-term missions at your church?

I said in a previous question that everybody should want to do short-term missions. One of the reasons for that is that we're a global church, and seeing the way the church functions outside of your own culture is enriching, broadening, strengthening, and deepening, and it gives you a bigger picture of God.

So one of the functions of short-term missions is all of those things: more of God, learning to trust him more, learning how he works in another culture, learning what missionary life is like, taking some risks yourself. All those things are good for us.

Secondly we want it to be good for missions. So part of the strategy is to make sure that missionaries want you to come before you go. That would be a part of it.

And, thirdly, many long-term missionaries were birthed through their experience in short-term missions. So for recruiting or inspiring more long-term missionaries, I think a program of short-term missions is important.

The world has become very small. It's a global village, and globalization is an increasingly obvious reality. And for us to be ethnocentric or culture-centric would show that we don't have an appreciation for the breadth of God's kingdom and the complexity of his church.

January 30, 2009

The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

Who should consider going on short-term missions trips?

I said last Sunday in the sermon, "Everybody!"

In other words, in America—let's just stick with America—we're wealthy, we're mobile, and we're connected. And it's easy to leave and go somewhere or do something, whether it's going to Pearlington, MS in order to help rebuild a church after Katrina, or whether it's going to the Dominican Republic, or Ireland, or Uganda, or Tanzania. We can go. We have the money, planes, and visas to go, and we can go.

We're so mobile that I think that sometime in every Christian's life in America they should go and do something. From the time you're nine to ninety years old, plan a couple of weeks of short-term missions.

I can't think of any reason why a Christian wouldn't want to build that into a life plan, and then to say, "Maybe God will do something with it that will shape my whole life."

So I don't want to pick out a category of Christians and say that they should do short term missions. I think all of us should.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Among the Elders - May 21, 2009

This is a summary of our most recent meeting. We began, as always, by discussing known needs within the body. We especially gave attention to Doris L and Nancy P, both of whom have been ill. We also discussed the spiritual needs of some of our members, and considered some who may need some kind of follow up.

We reviewed the events that are scheduled for this summer
* Including the week’s pastor Scott will be out of town
* May 31st – Sunday School Teachers luncheon
* Summer Conference for men, scheduled for June 20-21
* Men’s Camp-out / Float Trip in July or August

We then moved on to “old business” – items we’ve discussed before but still need our attention.

1) Sale of property to the Fire Department is Final – and we are now completely debt free!
- We received $125,000 - $ 68,000 (parsonage) = $57,000
- We partially paid ourselves back $10,000 of money used to remodel basement.
- The remaining $47,000 was placed in the Money Market “Capital Improvement” Fund
- That leaves $71,000 + $47,000 = $118,000 total current.
- Extra $500/month savings (from parsonage) put in money market for now

2) A Building Expansion Team is being assembled and will begin their work on June 7th
- Their main task will be to study various ways to increase space for our congregation
- They will then report back to the elders with a recommendation
- The elders will then make recommendation to the congregation for what we must do next

3) We discussed what our “policy” should be for children in the worship service
- We have set up an audio/video feed in the fellowship hall as a “cry room”.
- We plan on mounting speakers in the foyer
- Pastor Scott wrote up our “policy” and placed it in the bulletin this past Sunday

4) We discussed how we might do a better job as a church, in the following areas:
- Discipling young men and young women
- Strengthening our families
- Helping those in financial need through Acts 4
All these remain matters of regular prayer

We then talked about a few minor matters that had come up since our last meeting
- including a policy that we not allow our nice camera to be taken out of the building for events
- And our desire to have a fellowship fro Brig and Michelle before they leave us

We then spent a season in prayer, praying for the body of Christ at Rockport, the many needs we are aware of, and asking God for direction and revival.

Humbly submitted

Pastor Scott for all the elders

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Among the Elders - 4/30/09

Dear Rockport Family,

Your elders met on Thursday, April 30th for their regular bimonthly meeting. After a time of prayer we met to give counsel to one of the men of our church who is seeking the Lord's will and direction for his future. We then spent a good deal of time considering the spiritual and practical needs of the members of our body, as well as reading over several petitions for membership submitted by people who wish to join Rockport. We look forward to presenting several of them to you in the near future.

An evaluation of our recent Camp Meeting Followed. Over all, we believe the Lord has blessed us once again in ways to many to list here. We were thrilled to see the willing service of so many of our members in so many different areas. Over all, we'd have to say A +, though there were a couple of things we saw that could be improved as far as how we register people and how we plan for meals.

During our last business meeting, our church approved the appointment of a Building Expansion Team to begin the researching the future building needs of our body and how we might meet these. We are in the process of contacting those who may serve. The team hopes to start it's work in June.

We are preparing for a men's weekend dealing with various "male" issue June 19-20. More to come on this.

There is a Sunday School teachers meeting planned for May 31st after church.

We also discussed, once again, our desire to see every member who is able to do so participating in our weekly Small Group Prayer Meetings. This is such a vital time of sharing, praying and getting to know one another, that it seems all would benefit. We hope to contact those who are not currently attending in order to encourage them to consider doing so.

A few other matters were discussed
- The fact that it is time to re-activate the Nominating Committee so they can begin filling place of service for the new church year
- Former member James Briggs will be bringing a team of youth through our area and will need to find places for his young people to stay on Sunday June 21st; Friday and Saturday June 26-27. We will ask Rockport members to volunteer as hosts.
- We plan to revise the ministry of our ushers and greeters so that we always have two greeters each Sunday, as well as ushers who are trained and ready to help seat people -- especially on those days when seating gets tight. Brother Bob will be heading this up.
- We have agreed to License Bro Brig Jones to Gospel Ministry. We should have done this at the same time we ordained Bro Brig, but now it is simply a matter of signing the proper paperwork.

Finally, we spent a season of prayer for our congregation and it's needs, and prayed for as many of our dear people as we could remember by name who had a special need of some kind.

One last thing: Since our last meeting we have been contacted by the Fire Department. They intend to close on the sale of the property on May 14th.

Grace and peace,

It is our joy to serve Christ and the members of His church here at Rockport.
S. Scott Lee for the elders of Rockport
Soli Deo Gloria

PS - Our next meeting will be Thursday, May 14th

Monday, April 27, 2009

Have I Told You Lately.....

A note to the members of Rockport Baptist Church,

Hey Church,

Have I told you lately that I love you all and feel incredibly blessed to be allowed to serve you as one of our pastors and to be given the privilege of opening God's word with you each week? Sometimes I cannot fathom how kind God has been to us...and continues to be day after day. No, of course we aren't perfect -- that's why we need the Gospel! But I was just thinking about it after we'd taken the Lord's Supper together Sunday. We draw near because we are poor and needy. We have sinned and fallen short. We have failed to love as we ought to have loved. Our faith is weak and pitiful. But oh! He is merciful! And He receives us freely on the basis of His finished work on the cross. Therefore we can draw near -- not only to Him (joy of all joys!) but also through Him to one another! And there we find that we are loved, and forgiven and accepted and made one family in Christ! Wonder of wonders!

Hebrews 10:19-25
19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

In Him!
S. Scott Lee
Soli Deo Gloria

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Grace Camp Meeting

Exhausted but satisfied! That's the best way I can describe how I feel on this Sunday afternoon after our Grace Camp Meeting. God met with us. We have been instructed in His Word and filled with the joy of fellowship with fellow believers. There is so much I'd like to be able to share since Aaron was not able to finish his hoped-for live blogging. But all who would like may listen to the awesome messages on our Sermon Audio Site.

One thing that has warmed my heart so very much has been watching our young people serve so faithfully this weekend. From the young ladies who were helping in the kitchen to all the young men and young women who served our guests in the book room, by leading worship, by serving meals and cleaning up, etc, etc, etc. What a blessing you all were to us!

In His Mercy,


Friday, April 17, 2009

Grace Camp Meeting - Friday Night Update

Bro. Mike Williams and his wife are still in Texas as of 4:30pm this evening due to mechanical problems and storms. Therefore Mike Durham and Tim Conway will be preaching in this evening's sessions at 7:00pm.
Scott Lead us in reading Psalm 27

Songs for the second morning session:

How Great is Our God (including added verse noted below)

The Darkness of our Hearts
Has kept us far apart
From His amazing Love
From His amazing Love
He gave himself to die
My lifeless soul to buy
Redeeming sinful man,
Redeeming sinful man

How Great is our God
Sing with me
How great is our God
And all will see How Great,
How Great is our God!

Brother Mike Morrow brought the 2nd message of the morning session.

1 Peter 3:18

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

Grace Camp Meeting - Friday Morning

We are getting started Friday morning with a time of singing some great hymns of the faith and enjoying fellowship with one another.

Songs for Friday morning:

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

There is a Fountain

Background Text - John 4:8

Theme – God is Love

Bro. Michael Durham

Here are some summary statements of part of the sermon. The full audio version will be available approximately 15 minutes after each session.

How do we define or explain God’s love? There is nothing lovely about us and there is nothing about us that can attract the love of God. God does not love out of want or need. We love because we need. The more we love something is in proportion to our need of it. We love because we gain from those things with which we place value. However God does not lack anything. God does not love out of need for anything.

God loves, not in the way that we do. He loves us, not because he gains anything from us. There is no profit for him because he is self-sufficient. Therefore how can a Holy God love unholy people? What happens among a people who are loved by God? How are they different? How do they love one another? Visit our Sermon Audio Site to listen to this and other sermons.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Grace Camp Meeting - Session 1

The song list for the evening included:

Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken
Here is Love
Let us Love and Sing and Wonder

Let me first state that this is not anywhere near a complete outline or synopsis of what is going on here at Grace Camp Meeting, just a background text and later, hopefully, some testimony from people who have attended and been blessed. Let me encourage you to please visit our Sermon Audio Website to hear the complete sermon in detail. I would like to thank Jason Vaughn and Billy Jackson for working this evening with the audio and video equipment that we pray will be a blessing to all who read, listen, and watch.

Scott Lee introduced the first speaker of the night, Brother Michael Durham, whom Scott first met in the country of Romania participating in mission work with Heartcry Missionary Society. Bro. Durham serves as Pastor of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Paducah, KY.

Brother Mike's background text was:

2 Corinthians 5:14

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;

It is our prayer that our meetings would bless those beyond the group that has gathered and will be gathering each night. Please consider joining us for the services to come either in person or online.

Grace Camp Meeting Tonight!

We have been so very busy preparing for our Camp Meeting that I have not posted anything here in a very long time. Sorry about that. But I hope to jot some notes down as things go along! God has been blessing at Rockport and we're anxious to get to share in that blessing with those who will be coming to our conference.

Also, it is my intention to put up a summary of our elder's meetings as they occur every other week just to keep our congregation (and anyone else who cares!) informed. This past Monday was largely spent praying together for our conference and for our congregation and it's needs. We continue to seek the Lord for the salvation of those who don't know Him, of our children, friends and visitors, and that He would grant assurance of salvation to some who are struggling in that regard.

We anticipate that God will use this year's Camp Meeting in the life of our church and those who attend. We know that it is not by virtue of our planning that good things will take place, but as a result of God's mercy in choosing to visit us. That is the core of our prayer. Please join us in praying that God would come with power upon us as we meet April 16 - 20th, 2009. As soon as we are able, we will post links to the message on our Sermon Audio page.

Grace and peace to all

PS - For any who might be interested. Our guys have started going out and doing a little street preaching. Here is a link to their recent effort.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Difference Between Being Really Sorry and Repentance

Repentance is a radical change of mind wrought by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God that is given with the gift of faith. The results of repentance are a change in attitude about sin that is radically different than the attitude we had about sin before repentance was given, and a change in behavior, which attitude and behavior does not fade back into the former attitude and behavior.
There is no self-justification when repentance is given by God. The repenters’ purpose has been altered, as it were, in his own mind. His intentions are not to return to that sin, or to sins in general because he has also been given a new heart. This does not mean that the truly repentant will never return to that sin, but that it is his real mind that he does not have the intention to sin again.
Although repentance does not cause a sinless walk, there will be a walk in which the repentant sins less, because this change of mind given by God is real
The new purpose in life is no longer about the one who has repented and the hatred of sin is profound. He does not take sin lightly because his real attitude about sin has been, as has already been said, changed!
There is a persistent endeavor after a holy life in walking with God. The truly repentant are conscious of their guilt, of inward sin and of helplessness, but at the same time truly comprehend the mercy of God, without which there can be no true repentance.

When one is merely “really sorry” for their sins, they do not comprehend the mercy of God because what they are experiencing is of themselves. They are like Judas in that they see what they have done only after seeing the awful consequences and feel the heat of impending judgment. They are motivated more by a desire for a standing with God that is without consequence than by a hatred for the sin that Jesus died for. The mind has not truly been changed. There was always a desire for what was good for ones self, and only after seeing once again that what sin had promised it did not fulfill is there a remorse for having acted in a way that will not procure what they were deceived into believing it would procure.
Thus there are those who live in a state of being really sorry for what they are and what they do, but it is a worldly sorrow concerned more with the here and now workings and results of what controls them. There is often a strong effort to think differently, but it is grounded in selfishness. If they could have their sin and heaven too, it would be fine with them.
The godly sorrow that brings about repentance is something that does not come from a free will, or from a natural conscience, or from a fear of hell and judgment. It is a work of the grace of God in the heart of man by the Holy Spirit and the result of His mighty power. It has God as its object and its author. It is on account of God because of sin against God. It is the beginning of true repentance and is a part of it, in fact an essential part, without which there is no true repentance. It is unto salvation, not salvation, because Christ is our salvation. Godly sorrow being the first fruits of the work of the Spirit will surely see Christ as our only salvation.
Matt 27:3 Psalm 119:128 Psalm 51 Acts 11:18 Romans 2;4 2 Cor 7:1 2 Tim 2:25

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Divine unction only comes to those who have kept themselves pure in heart and mind.
Without that unction, ALL of our sermons are mere dribble, no matter how eloquent, persuasive, or intellectual.
Only as we are endued with power from on high will lives be radically changed.
Stephen Olford said "Beloved, if you stand behind this holy desk and you're life isn't pure; if you're life isn't absolutely holy as far as you know it; if are not walking under an unclouded sky with the ungrieved, unquenched Holy Spirit in your life; then, my friend, you've absolutely blocked the message from any authority whatsoever," he said.
While I was at Stephen Olford's home years ago during his Institute on Biblical Preaching, (there were just a couple of us back then when he first started the Institute in Memphis in 1985), I remember his admonition concerning power.
He said, "Don't you think for a minute that being instant in season and out of season means that you can ask God for His anointing to preach when you need it on Sunday, if you haven't been living in power everyday."
I have tried to remember that on Monday as well as on Saturday, and have always asked my church to be in prayer for me.. We simply cannot afford to let down our guard for a moment. How many men will we see with their armor not on and they ending up on the shelf, with no power, doing no mighty works, preaching merely from the intellect, dispensing no life, with Ichabod written over the lintel of their sanctuaries.
The man of God is to be endued with power from on high as he lives his dedicated life. His prayer should be, "God, if I cannot live my life with a divine anointing to preach and witness to the unbeliever, then just go ahead and take me home now." Oh that men would tarry before God until the power comes. There have been nights when I have waited before God through the night, pleading with Him for power. Most Mondays are spent seeking God and asking for a refilling of His Spirit. I often feel spent after a day of ministering. Yes, we need a fresh anointing all the time. God gives us a fresh anointing. Send down the power from on high. Shake this place where we worship and let the glory of God fall! Send the fire! Wake the sleeping church. Save the deaf, dumb and blind. Open the eyes of those who are blinded by the god of this world. Free those who are shackled by sin. Raise those who are dead to God. These mighty works only happen as the man of God is anointed with the power of God, and it is Satans' determination that God's man would fall
Church, let us earnestly pray together that our teaching Pastor is filled with the Spirit of God and endued with power from on high. It is our responsibility to stand beside him and hold up his hands, to labor together in prayer that the glory would descend and that there would be a divine anointing upon him as he preaches. Let us pray every week that he would have more and more of God's power upon him, and let us never stop praying until we gather with the heavenly throng around His glorious throne!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Accepting Your Unacceptability

I hear a lot of people talking about their lack of assurance these days. That is a good thing. It is time to seek the Lord till He may be found. But let’s face it, religion has confused the issue
What I hear is a lot of people feeling like their faith or their repentance is not good enough. They are unsure as to whether what they have experienced qualified them for salvation and they are unsure if they are truly converted. They are not sure if their faith measures up to what God demands. They are not sure if their repentance was enough.
Do you see what is happening here?
You are looking at yourself? You are looking inward to see if there is enough value in your efforts, or your performance, or the degree of your faith for God to accept. You have got it completely wrong. You are making it too hard.
Christ did not lovingly endure damnation so that you could believe enough or repent enough to be accepted before God. He suffered because you are absolutely unacceptable. You are trying to be acceptable instead of repenting of who you are and trusting Christ to save you. And at the bottom of it all is pride.
It is pride that is causing you to look at yourself and see if you are sufficient enough to qualify. That is why you don’t feel like you are saved, because you are trying to be good enough in your belief and your repentance for God to save you. You are looking at yourself and trying to feel that you have made yourself acceptable enough in your own belief and repentance for God to say, oh OK, now you have done well enough and I will save you.
You are drowning and you will not cry out for God to save you. You don’t want to admit that you are drowning because there is still a bit of self-effort there. For one reason or another, you won’t totally give up on yourself. You still have a bit of strength left so you are going to keep trying as hard as you can until you really “feel” acceptable. That is not the way of salvation.
The way of salvation is to look to the shore to the Savior and cry out that you are lost, drowning, on your way to hell, with no ability, no strength and completely unacceptable.
Christ came to save the lost. Repent of your pride. Quit looking to yourself. Cry out to God to save you. Quit looking inward to see if you measure up. You don’t. Nothing of you, your belief, your repentance, your performance, your feelings of uncleanness, your love, nothing is good enough. It is enough that Christ died. He arose from the dead, and you need to look to Him alone. Don’t even try to feel as if you are desperate enough. That is simply more pride. Repent and believe. He is a mighty Rescuer. He is mighty to save! Will you believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for your sins? Will you repent of your pride and come to Him? You say, I can't! I am not able! I am drowning! I am lost! I am unacceptable! I have no more pride! Ah.............Cry to Him! He is mighty to save!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Much of Today's Preaching

I am so sick of the Satanic, twisted, watered down gospel that men are preaching from the pulpits across this land.

Men preach as if it were a game. They tell their cute little jokes as if men were not going to hell right under their noses. Men like Joel Esteen spew the crap right out of their mouths that convince thousands that they are OK, when they are far from OK!

Truth has fallen in the streets and the ears of the multitudes are being tickled by these spiritual eunuchs who do not know the God of the bible.

If you are anywhere near one of these churches where the man standing behind the pulpit is afraid to clearly, and powerfully declare the whole counsel of God without apology, you ought to run as fast as you can away from that damnable place. These heretics from hell who preach a health and wealth gospel, an I'm OK you're OK gospel, a "just decide for Jesus" gospel...they are emissaries of Satan sent to deceive the masses. RUN FROM THAT PLACE AS IF IT WERE ON FIRE!

These pollyanna pulpiteers who have not warned you to flee from the wrath to come and they comfort you in your spiritual torment, when you know good and well that you have never been truly converted ought to be banished from the pulpit and let a preacher with backbone who will not care about position, or salary, or career, or fortune, or fame, or persecution stand there and preach the truth.

Those who love the praise of men more than the praise of God are damning souls to hell and should be run out of town until they repent of rushing into the pulpit to give their false man-centered message of hope.

There is only one message of hope and that is the message of the Christ who is the God-man, who came in the flesh, suffered on Calvary under the wrath of a holy God, for those who repent and believe, and rose victoriously from the grave to call men to take up their cross and be willing to die for the sake of the gospel.
When you truly believe that, you aren't afraid to tell men and women that the house is on fire, and they had better flee.

You aren't afraid to die for the sake of the gospel, because you know it is worth it.
You aren't afraid to declare the whole counsel of God because you really do believe that unless men repent they will perish for an eternity under the wrath of a holy God.
You aren't afraid that you won't be taken care of, because your hope is in heaven, not on this earth.
You aren't afraid to tell the truth that if you have not been radically converted by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, and if you are not absolutely a new man in Christ Jesus, because you have repented and cast your life into the hands of Jesus you are a lost man under the wrath of God, on your way to hell.
You aren't afraid to declare to your religious church members who have just "been in church all my life", that they had better flee from the wrath to come.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Narrative of Surprising Conversions?

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
Titus 3:5

I can’t think of more joyful words a person can say than to cry out with great conviction, “He saved us!” unless it is to declare more personally, and with deep gratitude, “He saved me!” (Psalm 116:6). Is that your own confident declaration? That the great saving God of the Bible has indeed saved you?...rescued you from your sin?...and set you free to serve Him? How I pray that it is – or if not, how I desire before God that it soon will be!

There’s a lot of religion going around, but we’re not that interested in religion. There’s a lot of things to pray about these days, but we’re not too concerned about prayer for it’s own sake. What we’re excited to see is that God seems to be up to something here lately– drawing people to Himself! Just this week I know of at least three persons who have been part of our congregation who have been brought under conviction and concern for the state of their souls, and then found the grace of God to rest their hope securely in Jesus by faith alone to find an assurance of His salvation. In addition to that, I know of several others who, over the last year have been found by Christ -- even when they were not looking for Him -- and drawn by His mysterious providence to come and be a part of this church. Several are going to be baptized here in the next few weeks. All have clear, vibrant testimonies about the kindness and grace of God that has drawn them in. Could this be just the beginning? Oh how I pray that it is!

In 1737 Jonathan Edwards wrote a pamphlet telling of the sudden and surprising number of conversions God had brought to His Northampton Church (A Narrative of Surprising Conversions). It began, not because Edwards came up with a new and marketable plan, but because God, for His own Sovereign purposes, decided to show up in a special way and empower the ordinary preaching of the Gospel and the praying of God’s people to an extraordinary extent. You see, that’s what revival is – God’s extraordinary use of ordinary means to bring about His saving purposes to an extraordinary degree! And so while I am not yet ready to say that we are experiencing revival– far from it – I am hopeful that God will be pleased to use our small efforts to bring great praise to His glorious Name! So keep praying church! Keep trusting! Keep believing and sharing God’s Gospel, and we will see His glory.

Resting in Him. Hoping to See His Glory!
Pastor Scott

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thoughts on Worship from R.C. Sproul

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.
John 4:23 ESV

I have been very blessed by the ministry of R.C. Sproul. Recently, I have been reading through his book "A Taste of Heaven - Worship in the Light of Eternity." I was particularly drawn to one section as I am reading through. As in most of my posts, I simply "cut and paste" what great authors have to say, I shall do so again.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

I once wrote a book on Human Dignity. In that book, I mentioned an exercise a consultant once showed me. He said: "this is going to be a fun exercise, R.C. I want you to write down the five most meaningful compliments people have given you in your lifetime." He was right---it was a fun enterprise. I didn't have to think about the criticisms or the insults that I'd had to deal with in my life; rather, I was able to focus on the nice things people had said to me.

As I thought about those compliments and wrote down the five that seemed most significant, I was astonished to see that every one of the things I listed---comments that had come from people's mouths--had occurred before I was twenty-one years of age, and yet I could remember them years and years later. Then the consultant began to show me that these comments had had a tremendously important shaping influence on my life. He also indicated to me that the people who gave these compliments were individuals whose judgement I valued and whose words I cherished because they were authority figures in my life: coaches, relatives, teachers, and so forth. In fact, two of the five compliments I listed were from my eight-grade English teacher, and I suddenly began to realize what a tremendous influence that woman had had in my life.

As we discussed these things, the consultant pointed out to me that there must have been times when people had said even nicer things about me. he asked, "Hasn't anybody ever given you a higher compliment than the ones that you've put down in this list?" "Well, yes," I said, and I mentioned a couple that came to mind. "Why didn't you write those down on the paper?" he asked. "That's easy," I said with a smile. "I didn't write them down because I didn't believe them."

I judged those particular compliments to be insincere. They were flattery, and I intuitively understood the difference between flattery and a genuine compliment. We somehow tend to know when people are giving us empty words of praise, of flattery, words that are not sincere. We have all received praise that isn't sincere, and there's something insulting about it. The very hollowness of it torments us in a way. We would like to be able to believe all the nice things people say about us---even when we know they don't mean what they're saying.

God's feelings aren't hurt by insincere praise, but neither is He honored by it. God is NEVER honored by flattery. That's why true worship must be sincere, genuine, and honest. (Emphasis Added). (40-41)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

We invite you all to our Grace Camp Meeting. Registration and information click here
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Grace Camp Meeting '09 -- April 16 - 19

I'm still rejoicing about all that God did for us during last year's camp meeting here at Rockport. Brother Paul Washer, Mike Morrow, Mike Williams, Charles Leiter and Rob Pelky blessed us with clear, encouraging, challenging messages from God's Word (all of which can still be heard by clicking here). And even though it was our first time ever to try and host such a meeting, God helped us tremendously and everything just seemed to work out for a wonderful time of fellowship, prayer and worship.

With that in mind, we are beginning to look forward to this year's

Grace Camp Meeting '09.

Dates: April 16-19

Charles Leiter
Mike Williams
Tim Conway
Michael Durham

Be praying with us as we make preparations. Registration information will be up on our website soon.

We hope many of you will be able to come.

In Jesus,

Pastor Scott

Monday, February 9, 2009


I am glad that our Lord has not left even our sanctification in our hands. He is the One who saves, he is the One who gives faith and repentance, He is the One who calls his own sheep by name. He is the One who is working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
No, it is not in our feeble hands, thank God. If left to myself, my growth in holiness would never take place. The sanctification of a believer is sure. Faithful is He who calls us who also will do it.
He has not left it in the hands of men to determine who will gather around His throne and worship Him for all eternity as if there were even a remote possibility that the crowd would be small. No. In fact, He knows exactly every single soul that will be there, for He has determined that from the foundation of the world and will ensure that they are there.
He will finish His work of building His church. His chosen bride will gather around His throne and worship Him. And even right now, He is perfecting in me and completing that which He has begun. It is all in His hands. He is perfect and He is Faithful. What a God!

Friday, February 6, 2009


As I watched the sun rise this morning, it reminded me of the Faithfulness of God. That's who He is. He is Faithful. As sure as I sit here typing this, the sun will rise tomorrow also. Well, unless Jesus comes back, which is so much better. To hear our "Welcome Home" and to enter into the fullness of His radiance and joy.
As I looked into the sun, the higher it rose, the less I could look at it. It wasn't long before I couldn't bear to look at it any longer. That is how much God's love burns for you dear children. If you could begin to contemplate the fathomless love of God for you, you could no more contain that immensity than if you could gaze into the sun. He loves you with an everlasting love. He has loved you, dear believer, before the world was ever created. That is why He sent His Son to die for your sins. And He upholds you with everlasting arms, and will protect you all the way to glory, by the power of His omnipotence. What a God.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Don't Listen To Yourself

This evening at Bible Study we will be taking a look at Ephesians 1 and contemplating what God has done and who we are in Christ. Much of the doubt and depression that believers experience is that unknowingly they listen to themselves more than they listen to God.
by that I mean, they listen to their own self talk on a consistent basis rather than evaluating what is being said in the light of Gods' word, believing what God has said, and affirming that what they are believing is the truth.

Because of the performance oriented Christianity that exists today, many people have a problem becoming established in the truths of Ephesians 1, because they can't wait to get to Ephesians 4. The pattern that both Paul and Peter used is to establish foundational truths, and then exhort the believer to live by faith in the light of those truths.

The pattern of knowing, considering and yielding, that Paul taught in Romans 6 is implicit in most of new Testament teaching. Jesus said, "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." He prefaced that with "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples." it is the Word of God that renews the mind.
You see, our minds are filled with wrong thoughts, wrong thinking patterns, wrong views of God, ourselves and reality. it is the word of God that gives us the truth about God, ourselves and reality. We need to daily meditate on the Word of God, and refuse to believe the errant thoughts that are produced in the flesh by our sin-tainted minds.

We need to speak the truth to ourselves.
David did this. In Psalm 42, David asked himself, "why are you cast down, O my soul?" He didn't want to believe the hopeless lies he was telling himself. then he encouraged himself to hope in God, and he affirmed that no matter what circumstances said, or self, or Satan, he would look to God and praise Him, who was his salvation and his God.

The failure of most believers is the failure to talk to themselves rather than listen to themselves.
Of course, when we speak to ourselves, we ought to follow Pauls' admonition to speak to ourselves in Psalms, and Hymns and spiritual songs.

We need to continual affirm the truth to ourselves.

So, in Ephesians, we should first of all become established in the foundational truths found in Chapter 1. When we are feeling low and despised, who should affirm the facts from the Word of God about who God is, what He is doing in our lives, (i.e. faithful testing us? disciplining us? nurturing us? being Faithful to us?) and what the truth is concerning ourselves. We are God's chosen children. we are washed, we are justified, we are sanctified in Christ. We have been made holy. We are accepted in the beloved. we are blessed. He loved us before the creation of this world. He died for our sins and is guarding us until the day we enter our wonderful inheritance in heaven with Him. It is all on His strong shoulders, and ours is to rest in Him. Now, go tell yourself that!! Self, here are the facts from God's own word, no matter how you feel.

You see, until you adopt a Christ-centered rather than a sin-centered theology, you will never live in the victory that Christ got for you at Calvary.
Keep your focus on Christ, and live in the light of what He has done for you.

Monday, January 26, 2009

By Grace Alone

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

It is humbling to believe the Gospel. Religion, on the other hand, is a great foundation for human pride. Religion lets me continue to think well of myself even as I exult in “the depths” of my devotion to God. With religion I am the one in charge. I set the pace. I make the decisions (at least the ones that really matter!). I devote myself to God’s cause and do my best to practice my faith in a way I feel is both personally fulfilling and, I imagine, of help to God.

But the Gospel is just the reverse. When the Gospel comes to me, it finds me to be an outcast, powerless and – to be honest – anything but devout. No, I am a sinner. A reprobate. A pagan with nothing in me that could commend me to God. Every decision I have ever made – spiritually speaking – has been the wrong one. And even my best acts of righteous devotion have been nothing but filthy rags of self-serving pride. That’s where the Gospel finds me! Not a good man, hoping to be better. Not even a weak man needing to be made strong. But a dead man who needs to be given a life that comes from outside himself.

I remember for years thinking of my salvation as if I had been drowning – going down for the last time - and Christ at the last minute jumped in to save me. Now I know that I was a dead man, three weeks dead, bloated and lying at the bottom of the ocean when Christ, for his own purpose and glory chose to come to me. I could not cry out. I would not save myself. Nevertheless He came. And with a marvelous display of astounding power and grace, He saved me! He rescued the perished and gave life to the dead. Where then is my boasting? It is no more. All I can do is say, “Praise! Praise! Praise for an Amazing Grace!”


Sola Gratia (By Grace Alone)

“By the grace of God I am what I am!”
1 Cor 15:10

“You talk way too much about grace.” I still remember how dumb-founded I was when a friend and former member of our church tossed those words in my face. “Too much about grace?” I thought! “How is that possible?” I didn’t understand it then. I still don’t understand it today. For when I look at my life, and what God has done for me in Christ. Grace is all I see!

Think about it! What was I before God saved me. I was “dead in trespasses and sins in which I used to live” as Ephesians 2:1 says. I was “without God and without hope in this world” (Ephesians 2:12). There was no reason for God to love me. And certainly no reason for Him to save me. I was a rebel. Hostile in mind against Him (Romans 8:17), by my every action deserving death.

But God,” Ephesians 2: 4 says, “Because of His great love” for me – chose to give me life, instead! He chose to send His Son to live in my place, to earn for me a perfect righteousness, and to die in my place under the weight of my sin. He chose to send His Spirit to awaken my dead heart, to bring His sweet Gospel my way and to give me ears to hear it. He moved upon my heart with faith and repentance so I could turn from my sin and believe. He did that! He did it all – and all by grace! How can I ever make too much of grace?

Certainly, I would understand, if all God had done was merely provide a way for me to save myself; or if He had merely set an example that I could follow; or given me a set of instructions for how I could live my best life now, then I would have something to boast in, and there would not be so much in grace. If God had done nothing more than make an offer which I in my own power was able to accept or reject – then sure, let’s not make too much about grace. But I was dead when God came to me. I was blind, and He made me to see. I was lost, and He went looking and found me. I was an outcast, and he took the initiative to take me in. I had nothing, and he gave me all. Not because I had earned it, or deserved it. Not even because he foresaw something I would do. But as an act of pure, undeserved mercy given to me based on the finished work of His Son. A mercy He chose to give me, even before the worlds began.

And now I can never, no never make too much of the grace rescued me!

Soli Gratia, Soli Dei Gloria (By Grace Alone, for God’s Glory Alone)