6/6/10 ~ I attended The Melbourne Calvary Baptist Church while I was visiting Brevard County for the 2010 Republican Executive Committee Picnic at Wickham Park Pavilion, Melbourne, FL.
On my way to the Brevard Republican Picnic in Melbourne Fl, on 6/5/10 I passed this delightful Baptist Church and decided to return for Sunday Service the next day.
I snapped the exterior photos on the way back to the motel Saturday afternoon and then showed up to a much more crowded parking lot and pews that were ultimately packed, just before 11 AM Sunday on my way out of town and back to Fort Walton.
I don't think I've been with a more friendly congregation. There was probably a "six-pack" of enthusiastic greeters out front, and when I gave them my card and explained why I was in town for the political event - running for elected office as a Christian Conservative - they were even more congenial. A number of ushers returned to my pew to chat with me before the service, the associate pastor greeted me on his way to his choir duties; and the pastor himself introduced my from his pulpit in the middle of the service and insisted I stand and say hello!
The music was awesome, not fully "Historical-traditional", but perhaps "Modern-traditional" (to coin a couple new phrases) ... as compared to today's "Complete Contemporary".
Apparently they have quite a vibrant Latino component; and there was much banter during the announcements between the Pastor and some "Spanish" Elements regarding anticipated food flavors at an upcoming Latino church-event. The consensus (or perhaps I should say 'allegation') seemed to be that the Cubans had it over the Mexicans, with the Puerto Ricans a close culinary second. So, on my way out at the conclusion of the excellent service, I told Pastor Reyes I'd be bringing some Jamaican Vittles to wipe 'en all out when I returned!
It was a great experience. Keep up the good work, Calvary Baptist!
THE MESSAGE: "What The Believer Can Lose."
(A summary, adapted & edited from the sermon given 6/6/2010 by Sergio Reyes, Pastor).
We worry: "Maybe Iím not saved."
When sin comes into our life, we wonder if we are not saved. At those times we must understand the difference between ĎFellowshipí and ĎRelationship.í
In Romans 7:14-17, Paul teaches that The Law is spiritual but we are carnal ... each of us is a sinner until we are bought by The Lord. Paul says: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do; but what I hate, I do." (Romans 7:15).
Weíve all been there. We know right from wrong; The Word and The Holy Spirit tells us what God expects. Itís like a speeding ticket: We break the law; we know the penalty; we get the ticket.
Now letís go to John, chapter 3, the first 7 verses. Here Jesus says that "Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus asks: "How can a man be born a second time into his mothers womb?" Jesus replies: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God."
So, if you want to enter The Kingdom of God, you need to be "Born Again"; that is baptized with water in The Spirit, and saved. And if you have been born again you don't need to worry about being saved - despite your sins.
Because a born again believer cannot lose Salvation. Itís a father/child Relationship. Itís a spiritual birth and you cannot get ĎUnsavedí because you do wrong. A believer, born again in the spirit, is a child of God born into the Family of God, and saved. Now you become a Spiritual being, connected with God. You cannot lose salvation because you didnít take Communion, or perform some other religious chore for example; Just as I cannot become unborn from my worldly parents. I was not a perfect boy -- I know I was not perfect because of the spankings! I know I did wrong, but it didnít undo the Relationship: I was still their child; and they my parents.
Sometimes God too disciplines us; He allows things to happen to us. But the bad things we do, don't cancel out our Relationship as children of God.
But remember, we are children of Adam too; born of the flesh. When we are born again, the new nature is added, but the sinful nature does not die. We have to live with the two natures until we die. Paul says it is "the sin in me." The flesh from Adam will not cease until the flesh is buried. The conflict will continue throughout life. But you cannot be unborn. Once saved, you cannot lose Salvation. But hereís what you can lose:
1. Fellowship with God: If you wonít read the Bible, pray or go to church, you have broken The Fellowship, but you are still rescued by the Relationship. (I can decide to abandon my parents, but Iíd still be their child.) God never leaves you; you leave God. Adam and Eve sinned and broke the Fellowship. (But not the Relationship).
The old nature can take over and rule. Therefore we must confess our sins and repent. When you stop praying, you are not talking to God. By not reading the Bible, not attending church and not talking to God Ė you are staying away from the spiritual "filling station"; you are breaking The Fellowship.
2. You can lose power with God. We are empowered by The Holy Spirit. (Which does not mean we too can heal Lazarus). But we have influence with God as sons and daughters of God. David had power with God. But David sinned and diminished that power. There were consequences. When you lose power with God, life becomes dangerous. You better have power with God if you need access through prayer at times of earthly challenge (for example for family crisis issues in the Emergency Room, say). But if you are in sin and out of Fellowship, you lose the power to intercede with God.
You also need power to have a testimony. You can lose power to be the right parent, for example. I have seen mothers almost pull children out of a coffin and say: "I never told you about Jesus, and now itís too late!!" You need power to have a testimony, to tell people about Christ.
3. A believer can lose rewards. We donít live very long. We have a maximum life span here of 125 years ... a hundred and twenty five years compared to Eternity! And when itís gone, itís gone! Moreover, living a fine life here is not necessarily living for Eternity. We should be focusing on Eternity. We want to be noticed, be important HERE; but will we be noticed THERE? We never think about Eternity, but that is where we should be putting up our treasures. The born again believer may be insignificant here, but he will not be insignificant when it comes to the Lord if he lives the kind of life that builds Heavenly Rewards.
There are rewards for suffering for Christ, for faithfulness to the Word, for separation from the world, for looking forward to the appearance of Christ. If you live looking forward to the appearance of Christ, you will live differently. Sometimes we donít value the Christian Life as we should. The Bible says there will be a Crowning Day before the Judgment Seat of Christ. There we will receive our rewards. You see, we can send things to Heaven, but we canít take them. When we get there, we lay these rewards before our Savior, Almighty God. And we say "This is for you."
Or will we say: "Well, Lord - this is what I had on Earth, but I donít have any Heavenly Rewards"? So remember, itís not earthly treasures that count; and we can lose our Heavenly Rewards.
It will be sad to look at the face of Jesus Christ - the one who saved us and who loves us; the one who gave His life for us; who gave us everything - and say: "Lord I love you ... but I just took your Salvation and ran."
"Lord I love you, but I didnít tell anyone about you ... I just didnít want to offend ... so I have no rewards."
Thatís O.K. for the thief on the cross. But not us. We need to have something that we did for God when we look him in the face at the Judgment Seat. You need to have something to give to Christ; and it starts here at the offering with tithing. Our worship and our giving to God starts right here, with the obedience of tithing all these things back to the Lord.
So here we stand in the ultimate place at life's end, at the feet of Jesus. When we get to Heaven, we will have tears at how little thought we gave to rewards, and to Heaven and Eternity. But oh, we gave so much thought to this world!
Instead, let us think about what truly matters:
First, do you have the Relationship? (Are you born again?) If you are a believer, youíre a child of God and you know that the Relationship has been established. You cannot lose it. But ...
Have you lost your Fellowship; have you lost your power (that could be DANGEROUS); or have you lost your rewards?
You and me, weíre children of God. Is your prayer life right? Is your Fellowship right? Do you have the power? Make the Relationship closer; turn from the things of the world and think of the Heavenly Rewards.
Think about Eternity.
Pd. Pol. Adv., paid for and approved by Dr. Bill Escoffery,
Candidate for U.S. Senate from Florida.
Copyright © 2010 by William Escoffery III. All