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RELIGION: We Should Pray To Stay Faithful During Suffering

by By Kitty Collingsworth Mill Creek Baptist Church | May 12, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

We welcomed many visitors as we gathered to worship on Mother's Day at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Tiffany Hazelton, Sheri White and Ashley White were celebrating birthdays. We honored our mothers for their love, dedication and commitment to their children and families. May God bless them. Doug opened our service with prayer, and prayers of healing were requested for several.

"Enduring," a study of 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12, was the adult Sunday school lesson taught by Shelley. The lesson reminded us to "thank God for the example set by faithful believers, that true justice will be established at the return of Jesus and bringing honor to Jesus should be the goal of all believers."

Rick and Tyrel served as offering attendants, and special praise music came from Jerry, who sang "Sweet Beulah Land," and Becky and Karen, who sang "In the Garden." With Susan at the piano, congregational hymns included "Victory In Jesus."

The text for Sunday's message was from 1 Peter 4:17, "For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?"

"Habitate or Evacuate" was the title of the sermon. Our pastor, Mark Hall, began by talking about the purpose of an embassy. "It is to bring influence in a foreign land for asylum. The flag shows allegiance and it has an ambassador. The embassy may get persecuted, attacked or protested against. Jesus is our authority. The allegiance is the word of God and we are all ambassadors of heaven.

But what happens when there are no ambassadors in our church? In the scripture, Rome had become all about possessions, power and positions. It had become morally bankrupt. The church was blamed when Rome burned and the Roman empire came down on the church. Heaven's embassy came under attack. Peter was told to 'habitate or evacuate.' Don't get so focused on what's going on around you that you forget what God does for you. God wants to see how we will react to what goes on around us. We should pray to stay faithful during suffering." He referred to Christian suffering in 1 Peter 4:12-19.

Brother Mark asked, "How do we commit to doing good? In 1 Peter 3:13, Peter tells us "And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?"

Brother Mark told us that we should live in such a way that what people say about us will shame them and not us. "Instead of hurling stones, offer help, prayers and scripture to those in need. It is all about how we treat people and how we show it as Christians. Live in such a way that what they say about you shames them, not you."

Brother Mark recruited several from the congregation for a little skit about comparing fake news to fake Christians. He told us that sometimes that hits a little closer to home than we want to think. "Do you want all the truth told about you?" Brother Mark told us that when we do good, people that talk about us should be ashamed.

"We are called Christians because we are to look, act and follow Christ. We should want to live up to that standard. Hell separates us from God. He doesn't want that for you. He created heaven for you if you believe in Christ's salvation for you. Anyone can be a Christian when times are good. It's when the tribulation comes that tests our faith. How we respond to tribulation shows our faith and Christianity to others."

Our hymn of invitation was "Trust and Obey," and Doug gave the benediction.

We invite you to worship with us Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. and Bible study Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. Mill Creek Baptist Church is located 3 1/2 miles east of Noel, just off Highway 90. Everyone is always welcome.

The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Print Headline: We Should Pray To Stay Faithful During Suffering

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