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Review of Annual Bible Study 2016 (Conference)

Lumber River Annual Bible Study Review:
Brother Martin Locklear
August 14-16, 2106

Several years ago, the Lumber River Holiness Methodist Church created an annual Bible Study which incorporated the churches of the conference. The Educational Committee had the foresight
to put on our agenda "Evangelism" as a way to empower the Christians more in their work for God. Moreover, Christians must be convinced that God's word and spending time studying the Scriptures are valuable and a necessary means to a happy, successful life. It's a far greater treasure than anything this world has to offer, yet many treat it as though it has no worth. Let us not leave the study of the Bible unopened and gathering dust because it is the only thing that will release the pressures of life while giving eternal life.

Theme of Study:
Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,

and preach the gospel to every creature."
In this scripture, whom is Jesus talking to? At the time He was talking to his eleven disciples, but we know the message is to the whole church. Evangelism is sharing Christ. It is our privilege to share the Gospel of Christ. This is a work given to the early church and still applies to us today. It has not gone away; this charge is to the whole Church. We will look at this study as a three-tier approach:

Three-Tier Approach for the Church:
1. Edification - to build up, in character or faith, improvement of the mind or morals.
2. Benevolence - to do good, love of mankind; an act of kindness, generosity.
3. Evangelism - sharing Christ with all.

The above three things are what the Church should be doing.

Ephesians 4:12 "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry,

for the edifying of the body of Christ."

 

Tier One – Edification:

Edification is equipping the saints. It is not building your ego that builds God's church, but people are the building of God, that's who make up the Church. Peter tells us that we are living stones. Edification is primarily a pastor's job; to equip you to go do the work of the ministry so that we can be effective in our world - sheep begets sheep, not shepherds. It is essential as a Shepherd that he gives himself to the Word and much prayer. Paul refers to himself as a wise master builder – building the church as to laying its foundation.

 

Tier Two – Benevolence:

Benevolence is meeting the church's needs. If it is the function of the church then whose responsibility does that fall on?

Acts 6:1-4"And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied,

there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows

were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the

disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God,

and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word."

These were some growing pains of an infant church. The Grecians were against this because they felt like they were being neglected. The twelve disciples knew they must become more organized; so this work was given to seven men of good report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom. We refer to them as the First Deacons. This does not mean that these men must be mature physically only, but spiritually.

Edification is primarily the pastor's work, and benevolence is primarily to oversee by the deacons.

I Peter 2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy

priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
Christians are the image of Christ; we carry the image of Christ, and image is everything. It is so important because God said, "I created you in my image." Brother Martin stated, "as we look in a mirror, God wants to see the image of God in you. So when the world looks at the Church, they should see Christ.

I Corinthians 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the
Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

II Corinthians 6:16 "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?
for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them,
and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."
What an awesome responsibility it is to be steward of the temple of God. We should keep ourselves spotless from the world as we are admonished in the Book.

Romans 12:1-2 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
As our bodies have many members, so it is in the body of Christ, the Church. He is the head, we are the body. When one member suffers, the body suffers, when one member is edified, the whole body benefits. In the Old Testament, Israel is called the "church in the wilderness." All priests were Levites, but not all Levites were priest. As we are all members of the body of Christ and a royal priesthood, we are not all pastors or preachers. But, all share in the ministry of Christ.
Brother Martin gave his opinion that we should be able to address the issues of our day straight from the Word of God. You should have the newspaper in one hand and God's Word in the other. Sin must be condemned in our time and the Word can and will address the issues of today if we rightly divide the Word. We sometimes like to say the Word is as up-to-date as tomorrow's newspaper. If we believe that, it will address the issues of today!
Brother Martin read this about religion,
James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To
visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted
from the world."


Tier Three – Evangalism:
Evangelism - to neglect evangelism both as a congregation and as individuals especially in United State where there are churches on every corner and to go and not to go has given churches excuses like "we don't want to be thought of as too pushy or Bible thumpers." What has happened as a result of this neglect the world has defined Christianity for us. Christianity is not a broad way – its God's way. If evangelism continues to be neglected, it will prove harmful to our conference and our local churches. Evangelism is the churches life's blood. It is the external work of the church that brings new converts into the body of Christ, and they become the next generation to do the work of spreading the Word. Timothy was told to do the work of evangelizing; therefore, God's Word must be passed down by the Christians, they are ambassadors.

Ephesians 2:20 "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"

Evangelism is gathering building materials – and Jesus Christ is the Chief Corner Stone.

Matthew 13:3 "And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold,
a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side,
and the fowls came and devoured them up:"

Matthew 13:24-25 "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom
of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men
slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way."

Matthew 13:37-39 "He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed
is the Son of man;" "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the
kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;" "The enemy that sowed
them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels."

Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel
to every creature."

This is a charge to the church. I do not know of a greater task than to be able to tell the world of God' message and of God's salvation. What greater thing can you put in any ear or mind?

Theme of Study:

Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel
to every creature."

Brother Martin review several points from Sunday study as he reminded us of the theme for these sessions. What is edification, benevolence, and evangelism?

In the Old Testament, Moses was a man who went to the elite schools in Egypt. In other words, Moses went to the Harvard, Yale schools in Egyptians' times, and he was educated by the best.
He had the knowledge of Egypt, and the Bible said he had the schooling of Egypt.

Acts 7:22 "And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was
mighty in words and in deeds."

The world still marvel at the great pyramids in Moses times. Egypt depicts the world – but, the down side was that God would not allow Moses to use his gain knowledge of the world to build His Temple. Can we apply that today? You will not use the knowledge of this world to magnify God, and God does not rely on man's knowledge.

The Three-Tier fold of the church:

Edification – doing God's Work – pastor's duty, he is to equpt

Benevolence – sharing, showing love – is deacons' duty,

Evangelism – share the Word.

Acts 6:3 "Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report,
full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business."

What Evangelism is Not:
"Evangelism is not discipleship. A disciple is a learner, a follower. Discipleship is the training, and the church must be a training source to go and do evangelistic work. A church is a place we come and get instructions. Brother Martin shared an illustration; the military trains you to do a job and if you receive that training, you may survive. It's time to put your training to work; training teaches discipleship so that one can go out and do God's work. In committing yourself to discipleship make sure that Christ is in the center of your life, and if called to preach, make sure you are called by God. This is the first step in accomplishing God's plan when we commit to the study of God's Word. Proverbs: 4:5 states, "get knowledge, get understanding, and with that you get the right understanding so that you get the right application. He lets us know that there are steps in this great process and it's so important that we are trained in a fashion that is pleasing to God.
II Timothy 4:2 "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

Mission Work:
Acts 4:34-37 "Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were
possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that
were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto
every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed
Barnabas, which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation, a Levite, and of the
country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles'
feet."

A missionary will do some evangelist's work. The evangelism work has been done and the church is ready to start missionary work. In the scriptures, God birthed the church into existence and he put in place these teachings. Remember: the seven men and their duty – some of these men went out to evangelize. As you grow in the Lord the mission work starts to grow. God creates man to express Himself so it's in God own image, and if we walk in the spirit, you are the only image of God some people will see – you and the work being done.

Brother Martin states, "The church is no place for unsaved people to feel comfortable knowing they are going to hell. The Word should make them realize they are lost." He states that if these teaching are not continued, we are one generation from losing everything. Unity –good and sin, in the midst of diversity is the only way a Christian can accomplish or show true faith. Evangelism and discipleship are important facts for the church because we, the church, have standards – there is no mistake in the Word. The world has turned Christianity upside down, but with God all things are in according to the scriptures. "We need to understand that evangelism, discipleship, and mission work are like tools in a smooth running machine – they all work together to accomplish the same mission."

Ephesians 4:11-12: "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work
of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."

Brother Martin displayed a chart from past year of the Conference:

The Holiness Methodist Conference:
Year Members Churches
1951 606          5
1961 426          5
1981 691          7
1991 643
2001 670
2015 594          9

What has happened to the conference membership, if evangelism is the key to church growth? In growing the Church, we must train and get people ready. Brother Martin states, "we cannot grow the church by using "carnal means." There must be a Christian means to growth that will keep its membership; otherwise, that growth will be a victory facing defeat. Our purpose is to teach the next generation the word of God, keep it in them. Brother Martin conveyed a story given by Mr. Worth Ellis, the story was about a baby experiencing a new food - as he began to use his spoon for eating, many times the child would miss his mouth, but on a few occasions he would get some food into his mouth; therefore, with only just a small amount getting into the mouth the child began to grow. You can get it all over you, but you must get some inside you.

Evangelism is what grows; the church, going out and bringing people into the church is what sustains the church. This is our duty assigned by God. Evangelism means to be put under oath, and it should not be a challenge to talk with some lost soul about Jesus Christ. We must keep that same stamina, or we have lost our first love. The conference must grow, and we must share the great commission of God.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

Many are asking about the church of tomorrow, but what about the church of today. On the day of Pentecost Peter said,

Acts 2:39 "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."

Romans 10:14-15 "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"

Theme of Study:
Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature."

"Evangelism is what grows the church, and the chart shows that we must take this very seriously because this is all of our duty. Too often we lay everything at the pastor's feet while we wait for Sunday and Wednesday services. This is not a challenge to "season Christians" because they accepted these challenges not from the church but from God, and becoming a dedicated Christian must be your first love.

In the military, Brother Martin describes the need for a soldier to successfully complete land navigation. They are given a map and compass. There were certain landmark on these maps, and a solider must go to those points of reference using these devices. If the solider get lost in a valley, behind trees, or a hills it was necessary for the solider to shoot an arrow back to the point where he got lost and start from that point. We need to back up and see where we got off tract, or where we lost sight of our objective. This illustration should speak to our heart as individual churches that we come together in teams from different churches to evangelize, and to do the external work. Brother Wayne and I agree that it's a cycle thing, and it will only continue through evangelism.

Brother Martin believes that we are one generation away from losing the church, and that every generation starts anew because teaching is the responsibility of the entire church, and if you don't teach them, they cannot pass it on. The complimentary passage. the theme of this study is to charge everyone by using the great commission given to the Christian.

Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

Romans 10:14-15 "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" "And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"

In today's society, "the world has become so hostile that we can see these changes in our schools, in our homes, and all we need to do is a little research to know what will happen. People say, "well I think we went wrong when we took prayer out of school - well do you think? Certainly, we went wrong!" Many people believe that this could never be implemented, never passed, well where are we at today." "It's ok to say you are a Christian, but are you practicing that faith." The world has every avenue of approach that lead people in the wrong direction. Remember, "Christiany was born in the most paganist place in the world, the problem is that America has never been challenged, and because of that we have suffered."

Brother Jennings Bullard and Brother Graylan Oxendine share some ways that we can depict Christ from the beginning when God knew we needed a Savior.

Please enjoy a panorama view given by Brother Jennings Bullard & Brother Graylan that depict "a world of sin, God's Son, the cross, the resurrection, and making a decision to walk hand-and-hand with Jesus. Please review these steps as you view the beautiful passage.

1) Man lost and in a sinful world
2) From cross Jesus came,
3) To tomb he went,
4) Arose on third day,
5) Make a decision to accept salvation
6) Hand and Hand with Jesus

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

We have written some brief notes and key points in summarizing these lessons, and it is no way a full measure of the teaching and knowledge we gained from Brother Martin's lessons. "It's your job to evangelize. If you love what God's loves, you know this is everyone's job."

Genette Oxendine
August, 2016

Greater Identity Video 2016 (Shoeheel)

Baptism 2016 (Macedonia)

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On August 21st 2016 we had the privilege to join Pastor Mark Locklear from Vision of Christ at Mcgirts Bridge to Baptize seven candidates. The two we had were Sister Brenda Strickland, Sister Regina Bullard. Pray for these sisters in the Lord as they journey on to full membership as well as the other candidates that they may grow and mature in the Lord!

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