- Phone: (706) 548-2246
- Mailing Address: 2390 West Broad Street, Athens, GA 30606
Sherri Michelle and I lived in Texas while engaged, but our wedding took place in Maryville, Tennessee. The day before we were to leave for Tennessee for the wedding, she looked at her engagement ring and a prong holding her diamond was missing. It had broken. We shuddered to think that the diamond could have quietly disappeared without notice. When we noticed the break in the prong, we immediately contacted a friend in the jewelry business and she replaced the ring for us. I’ll never forget the shudder that I observed in Sherri Michelle and felt myself realizing how close we came to losing her diamond. A diamond is not love and marriage, of course, but it is a symbol representing them.
We are always in danger of losing something real and more valuable than diamonds. We are in danger of losing people. The New Testament word for “lost” is the same word used for “perishing.” Both refer to the current and future experience of hell. While this doctrine is falling out of favor among so-called Bible believers and evangelicals, it never fell out of favor with Jesus. The doctrine of hell is, therefore, very relevant. Almost all the information Christians find on hell in the Bible comes from Jesus Christ in the Gospels. New Testament authors use the same words for hell that they use for the present existence of unbelievers (death, perish, condemn, wrath). Christians will struggle to find a more relevant biblical message besides this one.
Our friends without Christ are currently lost to all the joys of salvation in Christ and on their way to being lost to God’s mercy forever. This is such an important issue with God, He gave His Son at the cross to save them from being lost. Getting people to Jesus is far more important than Christian comforts, conveniences, and preferences. Christians who effectively reach others for Jesus have a “whatever it takes” attitude towards reaching them. “Reach the lost at any cost” is their motto.
This conviction drives some very important efforts before our church family and ministry. To begin with, we will offer a second worship service on Sunday morning beginning September 8, 2019. We are at a point where our attendance makes this necessary. We need to make room for guests. This will pose challenges of all sorts, some we have not anticipated, and everyone will need to be flexible. Each of us will need to adopt the “Gumby Beatitude,” namely, “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.” Later in August, we will provide more information to you about these two services.
In addition to two worship services, we have Friend Day with Scott Camp, Sunday September 22, 2019. We are asking all in our congregation to invite their friends to join with us that day. Scott will preach in our Sunday morning services and in a Sunday evening baptism service at 6:00 pm. Invite all your friends to attend that day so you can ensure you have at least one present. A friend of mine has already committed to coming that day.
Finally, a love for lost people drives the work of the Great Commission Facilities Committee. The church’s charge to this committee charges them to bring back plans and recommendations that use our facilities and location to reach more people for Jesus. At the appropriate time, this committee will provide a thorough report and set of recommendations to the congregation.
As you can see, we are leading our congregation to permeate our schedule, ministry, and facilities with a passion to reach lost people. If God’s love means anything, if the cross means anything, if eternity means anything, how can we do anything other than “reach the lost at any cost”?
I Stand Amazed,