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Tandra Page 1554, April 15, 2018

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This commentary is titled; WILL

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. -Mark 16:15

There was a time, and not so long ago, when this country sent missionaries to all the world, preaching the Gospel and teaching about Jesus. Hundreds of thousands of souls were saved. The Reverend Billy Graham conducted international crusades, filling stadiums and preaching to the lost and, when he gave the invitation and the choir sang “Just As I Am”, a flood of people came down the isle to accept Jesus, The Christ, as their Savior and to enter a changed life.

But while Christians were sending messengers into all the world preaching Jesus and Him crucified, we somehow took it as given that the United States of America was a Christian Nation. We knew, of course, that not every American had placed his faith and future into the nail scarred hands of Jesus, but we believed the nation as a whole, even non-believers accepted the worth of the Ten Commandments and knew, in their hearts, that Jesus is the Son of God. The Great Commission of Christians was to go into all the world, into foreign lands, and preach The Christ because these United States were, by default, a blessed nation favoured by God Almighty.

But, while Christians were sitting complacent and self-satisfied in our church buildings and congratulating ourselves as to how blessed and holy we are, these United States were going to Hell in a hand car. Americans were rejecting Jesus and tearing down the laws of God from the Public Square. Evil was celebrating victory and disciples of evil were wearing their depravity as a badge of honour. Where debauchery was once relegated to the shadows and acts of unapologetic sin were pursued with a feeling of shame, evil came to hold parades of honour in the Public Square and those who made claim to have committed the most vicious and depraved actions were honoured with badges of supreme glory and achievement. While Christians were sending missionaries into all the world, we neglected to keep our own house in order.

We need to begin to send Missionaries to our own people if this nation is not to sink into a cesspool of moral depravity. To this end, Will Shelton has committed his life. He has given his life to be a Missionary to the lost people of our home county in Southwest Tennessee. Will made the announcement some few weeks back and this past Sunday Night was Will’s final service as Associate Pastor at our local church. As such, I asked Will if he would consent to talk with me about this new direction for his life, and for his family, and he graciously consented.

In brief, Will is entering service as a Missionary to the people of McNairy County, our home county.

Will is moving to First Baptist Church in Selmer from which his ministry will be based. Will has been associated with First Baptist for some time, so he is not moving into alien territory. Will reports that over three-quarters of the people of McNairy County are not associated with any church whatsoever. Children are growing up in this county never having heard of Jesus in any meaningful way. Will’s mission is to alter that dynamic.

According to Will, there are people in McNairy County who do not feel comfortable attending church. Will plans to work through First Baptist to initiate Bible Study Groups in private homes with the intention that these Study Groups will grow in size. Someone not much interested in attending a formal church service might have more interest in going to a neighbour’s home for Bible Study. I know from personal contact that friends and acquaintances of mine regularly attend Bible Study in the homes of friends and make claim they enjoy doing so.

Will is also interested in conducting Bible Studies in secular gathering places such as Community Centers and City Park Buildings. Will hopes the groups meeting in such places might grow in numbers to be large enough to start actual self sustaining independent churches able to stand alone and hold services preaching the Word of God. The previous model for this sort of thing was for a church to organize and support a new branch until it was strong enough to stand alone. I had experience with such a church when I lived in Knoxville TN as I attended High School. Broadway Baptist, where I was a member, sponsored a Mission Church that was actually located closer to where I lived than was Broadway. The preacher of this Mission Church would, on occasion, come to Broadway to deliver the Sunday Evening Sermon.

But this is a different sort of Church gathering. Will is to be helping organize churches grown from informal Bible Studies in private homes and Community Centers that are not sponsored nor supported by established churches.

I asked Will how he came to decide to follow this path and he revealed the concept was suggested to him by a member of First Baptist who knew he might be interested. He went home to make suggestion to his wife and she agreed to the new direction in their lives. Will has shown a talent, while Associate Pastor at our local church, to build attendance and invite people into the Body of Christ, so he is not going into this new ministry as a complete novice.

I wish for Will much success in this new direction for his life as I pray daily for him.

God bless you, Will.

May the sun always shine on your parade!

Next Week; Face to face with the Defiant Ghost. Don’t fail to read Tandra Page 1555. Check in beginning Monday, April 16, 2018. Experience the continuing story updated every day at http://www.tandra.com.

“Even God can’t please everyone, so I don’t try very hard.” - Traditional

Hanther



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