Posted by on in Pastor's Corner

Two things are vitally important as we head into two weeks of Ormond Passion Play presentations.  Both involve our support.

 

First, we need to continue praying diligently for God to be exalted in every aspect of this production.  This play is serious stuff. It is the Gospel. We should not take it lightly.  Prayer is essential if we want the performances of The Promise to penetrate the hearts of those who attend--either for salvation or for sanctification.

 

Secondly, we must put feet to our prayers and bring people to see and hear the Gospel in the impacting way it is dramatized by your fellow Riverbend members. Remember, this play is an evangelistic tool. It may be the one method God uses to clarify the truth for many folks. But they must be present, and we must get them here. 

 

Please place in your Passion Play priorities: 1) praying for all elements of the play to be God-glorifying, and 2) bringing people to the play so they can gain a deeper understanding of the Gospel.

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Posted by on in Pastor's Corner

While checking through several websites about Easter, I was saddened at the heavy emphasis on Easter eggs, Easter bunnies and all sorts of worldly promotions. There was very little on any of those websites to suggest Easter as a religious holiday.

 

It's sad that one of the most proven facts in history--the resurrection of Jesus--is barely considered or mentioned in those promotional tools about Easter.

 

This holiday, considered the most sacred of all spiritual holidays, should be all about the "empty" cross and the "empty" tomb.  

 

The empty cross fulfilled the prophecy given hundreds of years before that God (as Jesus) would come to the earth and die barbarically on a cross to pay for the sins of those who would repent and trust in Him alone for eternal life. 

 

Upon His death, Jesus' body was taken down, leaving the blood-stained cross empty, just as prophesied. His body was then placed in a borrowed tomb on Friday. But on Sunday He resurrected from the grave, proving His deity and completing God's provision for our salvation.


As we fellowship with family and friends on Easter (April 20), let's remind everyone that Easter specifically commemorates Resurrection Day, the most significant day in all of history. 

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Posted by on in Pastor's Corner

Thank you for all the positive responses and the kind words about the current preaching series, God's Salvation: A Work of Grace. It had been several years since we preached these vital doctrines as a package.

 

Please pass on to the Lord your words of gratitude. They are His doctrines; I am merely one of His messengers. These doctrines are what Jesus preached and what the apostles taught back in the First Century. They are, in a nutshell, the Gospel Truth.

 

It's great to be reminded, isn't it, that it is God's salvation which is provided to those who believe, and that we cannot do anything, in and of ourselves, to deserve it. The Scripture is jam-packed with hundreds of affirmations that "salvation is of the Lord." 

 

Let's make a practice of being more grateful for what God has wrought. If you have been saved from God's wrathful judgment, pray that you never get over what the Lord has done and that you will continue to learn about what it entails. However, if you have not confessed your sinfulness and turned away from sinful tendencies, you should consider turning to the Lord. Placing your trust in the shed blood of Christ alone is God's only way of avoiding His judgment. Call upon the Lord with a fully surrendered heart, and He will provide you His great salvation.

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Posted by on in Pastor's Corner

We are entering one of Riverbend's busier months. It seems like there is some event related to the Ormond Passion Play on the calendar almost every day in April.

 

Because of the eye-opening impact this presentation has on many people, it again will obviously be the target of demonic forces. So let's get our prayer guard up and petition heaven with requests for God to soften hearts toward the Truth, convict them of sin and call them to repentance and faith in Christ.

 

Let's also pray for the protection of all the 300-plus people involved--that they will be kept safe and that the Lord will shield them from enemy intrusion, derailing their involvement.

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Considerable publicity was given to the recent Creation vs. Evolution debate involving Bill Nye ("The Science Guy") and Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis and founder of the renowned Creation Museum near Cincinnati.

 

Throughout the discussion (attended by more than 70 media representatives), Nye clearly based all his statements on evolutionary fiction, while Ham unashamedly stood solidly on the Word of God.

 

Nye's naturalistic worldview seemed to be unsettled a bit when he was quickly stumped by two of Ham's early questions during the closing Q&A session: "How did the atoms that created the 'big bang' get there?" and "How did consciousness come from that matter?"

 

Nye's only answer, albeit true, was: "This is the great mystery." He was clueless. Ham followed up both of these piercing questions with his own answer, "Bill, there is a Book out there ..."--clearly referring to the Bible. Ham, who was viewed by people in 190 countries, basically explained the world's existence through the framework established in Scripture and also proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ..

 

Ham has since asked that we pray for Bill Nye and the five million who watched the debate, that their eyes will be open to the reliability of the Bible and the Truth of the Gospel. 

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