This will be the first of what I hope to be several posts from White Unto Harvest. This will also be the first post done from my mobile device, if my gorilla thumbs will cooperate.
It is a little bizarre to be here. The first and last time I was at Ridgecrest was a quarter of a century ago attending a youth camp. Fair to say I’m here this time under vastly different circumstances.
I’ve enjoyed the myriad of faces that have assembled for the conference. There are more than 2000 people here, which is quite a few faces to take in. Some are good friends who live down the road from us – North River Valley making their presence known! One is a face I’ve not seen in 7 years, Josue Raimundo, pastor of Iglesia Biblica de la Gracia, who is also speaking this week. Others are familiar faces to me, but I do not know (yet) and their ministry has had a significant impact on me. Still others have introduced themselves to me, and I have enjoyed getting to meet them and hear how God is moving in their lives.
We began the evening singing 2 hymns, the second of which blessed me in that permitted me to keep up with corporately singing the “hymn of the week” from our church. Many thanks to whoever organized tonight’s music.
Scott Brown led off tonight with a message entitled “What is the Great Commission? An urgent and passionate call for us to get the Great Commission right. The point was made that very often the Great Commission has been neglected. Scott said that one of the primary objectives of this conference is to “define the greatness of the Great Commission.”
From there Scott did an exposition of Matthew 28:16-20. Prior to that, he asked this question: “how many of you have heard an expository message on the Great Commission?” Not too many hands went up. Consider the effects of that. Scott shared with us “7 Life Altering Demands of the Great Commission”. They are: 1. Supreme authority (v 18) 2. Exciting journey (v 19) 3. Wonderful work (v 20) 4. Baptism (v 20) 5. Transforming influence (v 20) 6. Abiding presence (v 20) 7. Thrilling ending (v 20).
Doug Phillips from Vision Forum was up next. His message was “Great Missionary Stories from the Early Church to the Reformation.” My pen was unable to keep up with the pace of Doug’s message! I’m eager for the audio to come out so I can review what I missed! He had a list of 5 points of the Great Commission: 1. Authoritative nature, 2. Global focus, 3. National in emphasis, 4. Comprehensive in scope, 5. Victorious in expectations. Giving examples from the lives and writings of Polycarp, Tertullian, Eusebius, Columba, Calvin, and Spurgeon, his message was a full orbed presentation of the seriousness with which the Great Commission was pursued in history, leaving no doubt such an urgency should (but regrettably does not) mark the church today.
Looking forward to what tomorrow may bring.