Again this year, there was another large conference on campus at the same time, creating a real log jam at the cafeteria at meal times. I am certain, though, it is ultimately for our sanctification (however much the OTHER group needs some sanctifying too!).
After lunch on this final day of the conference there was a “Preaching Panel” with the main speakers fielding questions which had been submitted and sorted. This was a most valuable time, with several helpful insights gained. I would hope that the conference could have such a session EACH day, and perhaps allow for questions from the floor.
REACHING THE LOST
The final preaching was done by Pastor David Campbell, albeit to a diminished congregation — many of the men left after lunch to complete their hours of travel home. (In the “old days” the conference ran right through Thursday evening, with men traveling home on Friday after breakfast; a much better scheme of things IMHO).
Speaking from 2 Corinthians 5, Pastor Campbell explained our being ambassadors for Christ to the lost, with our twofold duty: (1) to announce, and (2) to appeal. We are to announce the gospel, what God has done to reconcile sinful men to Himself — and to present it as an accomplished fact. We must not only publish this good news, but we must then appeal to men: be reconciled to God! There ought to be no appeal without first proclaiming the content of the good news (just as there should always be an appeal following the proclamation).
14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5 (esv)
Oh what a privilege it is to be a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ! Lord help each of us to serve as so not to be ashamed on the last day.