Rockport Sermon

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.