Pastor Mike Speaks Last Message; Elliott Baptized
The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on February 14, 2015 began with an introit by Beth Brandt on the piano. Rich Sutton had the personal ministries time. He featured Elliott (junior), who came to live with Rich Sutton to “get out of the house”. Mike Oxentenko had been giving him Bible studies. Last night Elliott talked with Mike Oxentenko; he will be baptized today. God is personal, doing whatever he can to bring people to him. Laurelbrook teaches people trades, but above all it teaches people to know God.
The Laurelbrook church voted to accept Elliott into church membership. The baptism will be right after the church service before lunch in Laurelbrook’s lake. Rodney Herra then had the announcements. Ron Oxentenko mentioned that the sand hill cranes are very close to us on the Tennessee River during the winter. This afternoon after lunch a group will be going to see the sand hill cranes as the Sabbath afternoon activity.
The congregation stood and had silent prayer. The congregation then sang “Power in the Blood”. Robert Zollinger then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”. Elliott (junior) introduced the morning offering, which was Adventist television ministries. Luke (senior) and Daryll Ellis then collected the morning offerings. The congregation sang the doxology, and Robert Zollinger prayed for the offering.
Todd Brown told the children present a story about caterpillars. Jonathan Moore and his sister Lorealle (junior) sang a vocal duet as special music. Adiv (9th grader) read Matthew 24:13-14 “13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
Mike Oxentenko discussed the topic “The Apostolic Gospel and the End of the Age”. He then had a call at the end of his sermon for those who wanted to accept Christ; about seven students responded. The elders came forward, and Robert Zollinger had a prayer for the group. The congregation sang “Redeemed”. Rich Sutton had the closing prayer.
After the church service was over, the congregation went immediately out to Laurelbrook's lake where Pastor Mike baptized Elliott.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Beth Brandt – wife of Clayton Brandt, who works with Laurelbrook’s heavy equipment
Daryll Ellis – works for nearby Majestic Stone Company / local deacon
Jonathan Moore – task force worker working with Laurelbrook’s canvassing program (just starting)
Mike Oxentenko – speaker for the students’ Spiritual Retreat, which ends today / pastor of a church in the Spencerville, Maryland area (north of Washington, D.C.)
Rich Sutton – Laurelbrook’s president
Rodney Herra – works in Laurelbrook’s auto body program and for nearby Majestic Stone Company / head church elder
Todd Brown – husband of Rhonda Oxentenko Brown, Ron Oxentenko’s sister
Following are some notes on the sermon by Mike Oxentenko:
- Elliott’s conversion was a highlight of the week.
- Restore Our Community is a program to restore offenders to the community, an alternative to paying a fine. The alternative is to go to a local church.After one year, the charges are dismissed. People are coming back to God.
- Only one Bible truth brings people back to God and clears your record – the apostolic gospel is the Good News of Jesus.
- We have to be the people of the Bible.Ellen White brings us back to the Bible.
- Why do we need the gospel or good news?Because everyone is bad with no exceptions. Romans 3:9-12 “9 What then? are we better [than they]? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
- No one can save herself or himself by keeping God’s Law. Romans 3:19-20 “19 ¶ Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.”
- Not even keeping the Commandments will save you.
- Everyone deserves to die because everyone has sinned. Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
- What do you do with sin, realizing you are condemned to death by God’s Law? The gospel is the good news that changes people.
- The gospel is the power of God to save you. Romans 1:16-17 “16 ¶ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
- God has provided a power outside yourself to save you. “Savior” in the Bible means “healer”. You have to simply believe it to be saved.
- What is the apostolic gospel? Romans 1:1-5 “1 ¶ Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:”
- This gospel was foretold by the ancient prophets.
- The gospel concerns Jesus, a descendant of David, through whom we get the gospel. When the gospel is correctly understood, it brings about obedience.
- Jesus is the content and the center of the gospel. Jesus’ life and death replaces your life and death at every level, taking the place of your failed life.Jesus becomes your Advocate in the Judgment at the end of time.
- Luke 2:9-11 “9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”This is the same message as in the First Angel’s Message.
- Note that angels are bringing joy to everyone. These shepherds were kept out of many services because they were considered unclean although they raised the lambs used in these services.
- John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.” Christ’s life means a new quality life for you.
- Jesus’s perfect life replaces your imperfect life, the real perfect way to salvation.
- The One who gives us life had His life taken away so we could have this new life. Billions of lives was lived in Jesus’ head during those hours on the cross. Christ entered the fires of the second death for every human being. The darkness of the cross was mental darkness with the horrible crushing power of sin.
- 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 “1 ¶ It is reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, [concerning] him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
- Christ had to die for our sins. The most important truth of the gospel is that Jesus died for your sins because God’s Law required mercy for the sinner.Mercy is at the Cross of Christ so there was a way out of the sin problem.
- Romans 4:25 “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
- “Justification” means legal acceptance from God.
- Christ was not guilty of any sin so He was raised by God and still not guilty of any sin. When we accept Jesus, we are raised as sinless people.
- Hebrews 7:25 “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
- As your great high priest, Jesus is praying for you every moment of your troubled life.
- Matthew 24:13-14 “13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
- The apostolic gospel is the good news that Jesus can give us a new life that means we are accepted of God.
- Daniel 7 shows the Great Judgment at the end of time with God sitting on His throne. Daniel 7:13-14 “13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.”
- Jesus is at the center of the new kingdom.
- Luke 19:11-12 “11 ¶ And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.”
- Verse 12 sums up Daniel with Jesus going to heaven and returning.
- The gospel has prophecy as a part of its truth.
- Daniel 7:21-22 “21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”This is the false and counterfeit ministry organized by Satan during the Middle Ages.
- Jesus receives His Kingdom for His people if you believe. Jesus is the Good News to get us through life to the Kingdom.
- Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
- Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”