One of the really exciting traditions we have established in our early history at Harvest Bible Chapel of Jacksonville is beach baptisms. There is something truly powerful about taking baptism out of the walls of the church and bringing what we call the “public profession of faith” to a truly “public” venue. Each time we baptize at the beach we have numerous onlookers who are not affiliated with our church and perhaps not at all with Christianity. We bring along printed testimonies of the people who are being baptized that day and distribute them on the beach. These testimonies are accompanied by a simple, biblical Gospel presentation.
Yesterday I checked the local news and was intrigued by the headline story of a Great White shark named “Mary Lee”. It turns out she has been hanging out off the coast of Jacksonville Beach for the past few days. Because the 3,500 pound, 16 1/2 foot Great White is marked with a GPS tracker, one can track her movements. Two nights ago “Mary Lee” came very close to the shore. In fact, according to my calculations she was no more than 20-25 yards from where we stood in October during our latest beach baptism:
Perhaps we should rethink our bi-annual beach baptisms. What do you think? Should we bring the baptisms back into the walls of the local church? Or should be continue “going public” with the baptisms, even if there is a slight risk we will bump into a hungry shark?
Starts tomorrow morning, Sepember 9th, at Harvest:
Several years ago I read a little booklet by Robert Munger titled, “My Heart, Christ’s Home.” It’s a great tool for examining our hearts to make sure we are completely surrendered to the Lordship of Christ in all areas of our life. Click HERE to read “My Heart, Christ’s Home.”
I am absolutely thrilled with what God is doing in Harvest Bible Chapel and in the Harvest Bible Fellowship.
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4.21-24
The Hour is Now!
I am so blessed to be the pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel of Jacksonville. It is great to be a part of a network of churches committed to:
– Preaching the authority of God’s Word without Apology
– Lifting High the Name of Jesus through Worship
– Believing Firmly in the Power of Prayer
– Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with Boldness
Does this sound like the kind of church you are looking for or the kind of church you might want to recommend to a friend? Well, as of this Fall, there will be 17 new Harvest Bible Chapels started in the following locations. If you know someone who lives near one of these new churches, spread the word!
Harvest Austin, Texas
Harvest Calgary, Alberta
Harvest Carson City, Nevada
Harvest Columbus, Ohio
Harvest Dallas, Texas
Harvest Denver, Colorado
Harvest Durham Region, Ontario
Harvest Fresno, California
Harvest Joliet, Illinois
Harvest Kansas City, Kansas
Harvest Metro D.C.
Harvest Spring Lake, Michigan
Harvest Woodhull, Illinois
Harvest St. Vincent Island, Carribean
Harvest Gbronee, Liberia
Harvest Gianda, Liberia
Harvest Harmonville, Liberia
I’m teaching on this subject tonight at the church office. Here is a short preview of what will be covered in about 90-105 minutes:
– Overview of Modern English Translations since 1950
– A Look at the List of Best Selling English Bibles
– Overview of Modern Translations Philosophies
– A Comparison of the Modern Versions (we will read several passages together from several different versions)
– Recommendations on Which Versions to Use and Why
– The Basics of Bible Design and Binding