Camp Meeting 2017 THURSDAY REPORT
25th June 2017
Prayer & Praise
The 3rd Principle of Prayer this year is “A” for “Assurance” (of God’s faithfulness and promises – Lam 3:23; 2 Cor 1:20). The Intercessory prayer focused on “The Family.”
During Praise, the congregation gladly sang: “What A Fellowship,” “In My Heart there Rings A Melody” and “As the Deer Pants for the Waters.”
The congregation was blessed with testimonies.
- A lady praying for her son who got scholarship to play football in Texas and is experiencing demonic attacks has received news that his son wants to be baptized in London during his next visit.
- Another lady, who had a lump growing in her throat, was miraculously healed as she stood praying in front of a mirror.
- A Social Worker who was suspended indefinitely on three false allegations was reinstated after several months.
- A man who was sent to a detention camp had opportunity to witness to and pray for other inmates of different faiths, who were then granted bail, including himself.
The Message by Pastor Patrick Juan Carlos was “The Last God Standing” (Pharaoh). The Plagues (Hebrew: “Signs, Miracles ”) were meant to be warning signs to both the Hebrews and Egyptians alike, that YAHWEH is the only true God. However, God was not able to save Pharaoh because of his negative attitude towards God’s mercy.
He concluded that, unfortunately, there are people (“Other Pharaohs”) who have also decided that they don’t want to be saved, so they will never, ever change, irrespective of whatever God does (Rev 9:20; 16:9; Luke 16:31).
[George S. Dadey]
This morning's devotion was well presented by Brazilian-born London-based Minister, Pastor Sidney Almeida. He set the tone for the message by playing a video recording about fishing… the emphasis being that God calls us his people to be fishers of men and women to use whatever appropriate net we have based on our own fists and abilities, to reach out to others.
Making disciples of all was his theme and challenged to audience to follow the call of Christ, take up our cross and follow Him. He emphasised that despite the excuses and challenges we sometimes make, if we can identify just one thing to which we can give God thanks for, we should identify that one thing and use it as out single approach when sharing the love of God.
Almeida made a poignant distinction between just being a member of the church and being a disciple. His categorisation being, members are comfortable in Church and would prefer to stay in the pews, whilst disciples are prepared to make sacrifices and be innovative. Whereas members are likely to maintain traditions and 'stay on the base' disciples seek opportunity and deny themselves to improve and grow. Members attend evangelistic campaigns, but disciples 'do' evangelism.
His challenge to attendees was to become disciples and not mere members.
The devotional is the first of a series of meetings that take place in the morning session and is usually the one that captures the attention of attendees, hence there was a positive feedback and response from those in attendance, a sign that they were closely following the thrust of the message.
After the appeal to accept the call to be an active disciple for Christ, Pastor Almeida closed in prayer to what was a well structured and powerful message.
Rarely has an hour of spiritual reflection sped by so swiftly as the 60 minutes spent listening to Pastor Wintley Phipps on the need to develop a Christ-like character last night. Like Enoch, all of us are called to resemble, reflect and reveal the character of God, and the character of His son.
Down through the ages, the Devil’s most effective weapon has always been the distortion and the misrepresentation of the character of God. Sadly, that has often been the fault of the people of God themselves. Whether in Northern Ireland, in the apartheid regime in South Africa, or in the United States where church-goers justified slavery, many Christians have not been Christ-like.
"We may proclaim all the doctrines we like," said Pastor Phipps. "If we do not have the character of Christ, it is worthless. We must learn to walk like Jesus, talk like Jesus, smile like Jesus. Christianity without Christ-likeness will not draw people to Christ, because it has no power."
Continuing on the subject of the ladder of Christian progress, Pastor Phipps focused on the need to develop holiness of character. It is a gift from Jesus which He longs to bestow. But it is also a work of transformation. Our thoughts, our words, our deeds, our actions, are to be to the glory of God. Holiness means constant, consistent, right-doing all the time. It means becoming like God in character.
But how can we add holiness to our character? Pastor Phipps said that the only way is through daily surrender to Christ. "While God is covering you with his robe of righteousness, he is also moulding and changing you. We are born with a predisposition to sin. And God has to change that predisposition and make us holy."
The only thing that matters to God is total complete submission to God. Your good works do not add one brick to the foundation of your salvation. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything. You must surrender to Christ. You need to believe him. You need to receive him. You need to obey him every day. Ellen White wrote that when Jesus will see God’s character reflected in you, it will be his source of joy for all eternity.
Hundreds of people came forward for Pastor Phipps’ altar call, desiring to live a life which resembles, reflects and reveals the character of Christ.
Pastor Bobby Bovell coordinated the midday Power Hour service for the young adults. He began by inviting those present to consider: what’s the best way to evangelise to friends and family. Although the answers were varied, the recurring theme was the same: it’s better to be evangelism, through character and action, than to do evangelism.
The service also featured a personal message from Pastor Benjamin Lundquist - young adult coordinator for the North American Division – in which he encouraged the young adults in the SEC to follow Jesus’s methods of personal evangelism.
Dean Culinane delivered the sermon, under the title: The Darkest Hour. He reflected on the darkness that we can experience in our lives, and likened it to the darkness that covered the earth while Jesus was on the cross. But Dean stressed that even though darkness was all around, God’s presence was closer than ever. Dean encouraged those present to trust that throughout any dark situation they experience, God is in the midst, and will allow our faithfulness through dark times to be glimmers of light in the sight of others.
Culinane continued the journey through the letters to the seven churches found in the Book of Revelation, with the focus this evening being the church of Thyatira: the corrupt church.
Culinane highlighted the problem identified in the letter: Jezebel had infiltrated the church. He took his audience back to the Old Testament book of 1 Kings to understand who Jezebel was, and how corrupting her influence was on the king of Israel, and subsequently the people of Israel. He then reflected on the fact tat ‘Jezebel’ is still in the church – not in the form of a scantily clad woman, but as those who infiltrate the church and spread false and malicious teachings. He charged his audience to know the Word of God for themselves – the only defence against ‘Jezebel’.
Following this, an anointing service was held, led by Pastor Julian Thompson. Those present were invited to come and be anointed and prayed for by SEC pastors and leaders during a powerful period of meditational worship, led by worship leader Adrian Blake and the worship team.
Teens Ministries hosted a morning workshop led by Cornerstone Counselling Service. During the session, the counsellors addressed both hard-hitting topics, such as suicide, as well as everyday issues that young Christians will face, such as ‘why am I an Adventist? Is it just because my parents are Adventists?’ The teens also had an opportunity to submit their questions to the counsellors and receive professional advice.
HOLIDAY BIBLE CLUB
The children may not realise it, but the theology of the Holiday Bible Club is spot on. Here are some words of their theme song:
Never too many mistakes,
nothing we could do,
nothing in this world,
that could take us from you.
Never too near or far,
never too young or old,
never too bad,
Lord,you welcome us all.
God’s love is there for all of us, adults and children alike, no matter what we do. That is a powerful message that the children are hearing. Yes, you could take it too far and say it means that we will all get to heaven despite our actions and relationship with God. Clearly that is not the case. What the song is seeking to express, is that God’s love for us is constant, whoever we are, wherever we are in relationship with Him. If the children learn that concept this week then Holiday Bible Club will have been of real value!
[ - PC: Ligia Buzac]