Pastor Cox Preaches on "God is Love"
The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on March 24, 2016 began with an introit by Jairit (junior) on the piano.
Elizabeth Castle had the Personal Ministries Corner, introducing the new pastor and his family. Pastor Mark Cox introduced his wife Heather, son Ryan, and son Andrew. His daughter Rachel is in Peru. Pastor Cox will be the pastor of a four-church district, including Laurelbrook, Ogden Road, and Pikeville churches as well as a Spanish group in Dayton. Pastor Cox pastored various Adventist churches and then became a navy chaplain. Currently, he is a reserve navy chaplain. As a chaplain, he did about 8000 hours of counseling. Rodney Herra then had prayer for the pastor and his family.
Rodney Herra followed with the announcements. Vespers will be out at the fire pit at the Lodge at 7:00 p.m. There will be a potluck at the Herras house after the service.
The congregation had a silent invocation. The congregation then sang “Come, Thou Font of Every Blessing”, accompanied by Jairit (junior) on the piano. Rodney Herra then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”. Inna (senior) then called for the offering, which was for the Georgia-Cumberland Conference. John and Daryll Ellis then collected the morning offerings. The congregation sang the doxology, and Rodney Herra prayed for the offering.
Inna (senior) then told the children a story about a Christian wife married to a man who had seven wives and was not a Christian. Several times her prayers were answered. The husband went on vacation in the Congo to get away from her prayers. He told his wife to keep secure his key; if she didn’t she would be kicked out of the house. The husband took the key anyway and buried it under a tree. He couldn’t find the key, but the wife went to the market to buy fish and found the key in a fish’s belly. The husband was amazed at the miracle.
Sheryl (senior) read John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Samantha played the piano for special music. Pastor Mark Cox discussed the topic “God Is Love”. The congregation sang “I Know Whom I Have Believed”. Pastor Cox had the closing prayer.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Daryll Ellis – works for nearby Majestic Stone Company
John Ellis – former Laurelbrook staff member retired from Majestic Stone Company
Mark Cox – new Laurelbrook pastor / recently retired navy chaplain
Rodney Herra – local head elder / men’s work coordinator / heads up the auto body program
Following are some notes on the sermon by Pastor Cox on "God is Love":
- How you perceive God is how you behave. Can we worship the wrong god even in the Adventist church?
- By beholding, we become changed. A distorted view of God leads to unimaginable consequences.
- Revelation 13:13-15 “13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
- Control, force, manipulation all are the basis of many religious ideas today.
- God gave us a freewill mind and intelligence to make our own choices. If you see control, manipulation, and force, you can figure that the ideas come from Satan.
- John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
- Christianity states that God is a loving Father and sacrificed His Son to save us. But do we have misconceptions about God that lead us further from Him?
- Will God punish me every time I do wrong? There is an inherent consequence of going outside God’s ideas for our lives.
- Atonement is God coming into a right relationship with His sinful creation.
- There’s a war between Satan and God over what the truth is about God.
- John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Christ came to restore a right relationship between God and man.
- 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
- In heaven and on earth, there was a great war between truth and lies.
- The only truth we can know about God is to look at Jesus. Our ideas and Satan’s ideas are not accurate ideas.
- In Jesus’ time, Israel had rules and rules for everything, which was not the will of God.
- We should never bind the conscience of others, and others should not bind the consciences of others. We must train our young people to look to God as a loving Father speaking to their consequences.
- Our hearts and minds are the strongholds of this cosmic battle.
- Ellen White says that the plan of salvation had a broader and deeper purpose than the redemption of humankind. Salvation vindicates the character of God to the universe.
- The book of Romans tells us that if we believe lies about God our lives will be darkened. Our minds cannot be healed if we continue to hold lies about God; Satan would rejoice.
- One lie – God killed His Son on the cross to pay a penalty so we could continue to relate to God. Satan led out in this work; God didn’t touch Jesus at all.
- God had the power to stop evil men from killing His Son, but He couldn’t do this without negating the plan of salvation.
- 1 Corinthians 4:9 “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.”
- Jesus on the cross revealed the truth about God - that He is a loving Father, that He is longsuffering.
- Love is giving unselfishly and giving.
- Satan was revealed at the cross as a liar and murdered. After the cross, Satan’s work in heaven stopped.
- When we accept Christ, Satan’s work stops. We can live the way God created us.
- Jesus on the cross shows us the depravity of our situation. We need Jesus to show us the truth about God.
- Satan wants you to be afraid, not Jesus.
- Lucifer had belittled Jesus in the eyes of the universe and of angels.
- I hope that as we learn the truth about God we will produce life, love, and liberty.