Since our arrival at New Birth Baptist Church in 2016, we have experienced nothing less than a blessing from God. Challenges have come and gone as have some people. The society we live in today is very transient and I have to say, very restless! The restlessness was there well before the events of today led by the COVID 19 virus. Families have experienced loss and sickness, jobs have changed, kids have moved on to a new life as an adult, and new kids have arrived by birth. Life is sure to be filled with change and that word alone causes restlessness.
In March of this year, lives were turned upside down on all corners of the town and community. Phrases like, "I've never seen times like these" or, "What has this world come to?" were and remain commonplace. It seems every day brings new challenges and new struggles to the family, the church, and the community as a whole. Financial struggles have increased, health scares are around every corner, and churches have seen challenges against their freedoms more than ever.
But, a few things haven't changed despite man's attempts to do so: 1) God, 2) Jesus, 3) The Bible, and 4) God's Plan of Salvation. It is a sure thing that God hasn't moved or changed His ways to accommodate the will of man. Psalm 119:89 states, "For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven." Malachi 3:6 reiterates the unchanging nature of God when He penned through the prophet, "For I am the Lord, I change not;". He reminded Moses of His unaltering status and demeanor when He said as Moses was sent to Pharaoh, "And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am:"
In this changing and tumultuous world, the church and it's people have to find and maintain the solid foundation established by God Himself. He assured the church in the early days of it's development that He is the Chief Cornerstone and that nothing would overcome It in the end; Jesus looked upon Peter, speaking totally of Himself and said, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." - Matthew 16:18
The days ahead will prove to be difficult and Scripture speaks of the last days before the arrival of Jesus as being "perilous", and without the love of God in the hearts of humankind; instead, there will be a love of self, man, and lawlessness. In both Matthew and Mark, our Lord emphasized the need for spiritual growth and that a focus on self and the world would not end well. Jesus states, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
I cannot tell you what tomorrow holds nor even the next few minutes; our world is changing rapidly and not in a positive direction but, I can give you hope and confidence in knowing that God's Word tells of those who overcome will be on the winning side. The work for salvation has already been completed at the cross of Calvary where Jesus bleed and died for even the most vile and wicked human on earth. All may receive Him and in the times we live, the Church and the Christian must strive to stay strong, steadfast, and focused on the end result of faithfulness and trust in Christ. Our only hope is in Him and Him alone. We keep watch in the days to come, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" - Titus 2:13.
Pastor Dwayne Young