Thursday, December 11, 2014

"O Come, Let Us Adore Him!"

One of the wonderful gifts that we have because Christ came into our world is the gift of access to God. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:1-2, ESV, my emphasis). Access to God has both universal and exclusive qualities. Access has been made possible for all people, but it is exclusive to those “justified by faith.”

The universal nature of God’s plan is wondrously brought out in many of the Gospel accounts that we associate with the Christmas story. For instance, the “Wise Men” or “Magi” were from the East, they were Gentiles (non-Jews) from a pagan land and yet they were drawn to the hope of the Messiah. “They came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him” (Matt. 2:1b-2). The hope of salvation (access to God) led them to undertake their long journey and when they found the Christ child, they were not disappointed. “They were overjoyed” and upon finally seeing Jesus, “they bowed down and worshiped him” (2:10-11).

That access to God would be made possible for all people was at the heart of Simeon’s song of praise sung after he himself saw the Christ child. “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (Lk. 2:30-32, my emphasis). No wonder the “Wise Men” came! The light of Christ has come, may we too bow down and adore Him!

The shepherds in the fields watching their flocks were considered religiously unclean because of their work and were looked down upon among their own people. They were essentially outsiders even though they were on the inside. The message of Christ’s birth brought by the angel of the Lord, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Lk. 2:11), first came to the outsiders, shepherds, unclean in a unlikely place.

God was saying something very powerful in these first stories, something that will be said repeatedly in Jesus’ ministry in words and actions. Jesus is a friend of sinners (Matt. 11:19). God desires all people to come to know Him (Jn. 3:16; 2 Pet. 3:9). God didn’t send His Son for good people, he came for all people. The barriers have been torn down, access to God has been made possible for all people, all who will recognize their need and come to God through Jesus Christ. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). “O Come, Let Us Adore Him!”
So what does this gift of access mean for the believer? For one, it means you have a constant friend in Jesus, you’re never alone, you can call upon Him. Listen to God’s invitation and promise to you. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jer. 33:3). Prayer opens for us a whole new and beautiful view of life.

The year is 1940, four siblings – Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie – are among the children evacuated from London during WWII to escape the Blitz. They are sent to the countryside to live with professor Digory Kirke. While the four children explore the house, Lucy climbs into the wardrobe and discovers that inside is a magical forest in a land called Narnia, a land far from the very real bombs dropping in London. So begins C. S. Lewis’s story, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In your prayer closet, your spiritual wardrobe, your quiet place, you can call upon God the Father who has created this vast universe, who ushers you into a place far more wonderful, beautiful and real than Narnia. “O Come, Let Us Adore Him!”

The believer has access to God. This is a liberating and life-changing truth but it also means that you are responsible to the God who created you. As Baptists we have long cherished the teaching of the priesthood of the believer, that every human being is responsible before God and can respond to God directly without any human mediator. No church, institution or human being can mediate your relationship before God. You have been given a great gift, the gift of freedom, the gift of access to God’s grace in Christ. How tragic it would be to throw it all away through neglect or apathy. “O Come, Let Us Adore Him!”

In the Chronicles of Narnia, after Lucy returns from Narnia that first time, she tells her siblings joyfully what she has discovered although at first they don’t believe. But she can’t keep the story of Narnia a secret. As believers, we too cannot keep what we know a secret. We want all people to know that access to God is now possible, the way to the kingdom of heaven has been opened! You too can embrace the Christ of Christmas and by doing so gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven! “O Come, Let Us Adore Him, Christ the Lord!”

“For His Glory!”
Pastor Joe

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tom Morrow, Missionary to Zambia This Sunday, May 25, 8 & 10:30 Services

Join us this Sunday, May 25th as Tom Morrow brings an update on the work of the Kazembe Orphanage in Zambia, Africa. Tom will be sharing in both the 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services. Our children will meet with Tom during a portion of their Sunday School hour at 10:00 a.m. in the auditorium. A love offering will be received for the Kazembe Orphanage at the conclusion of each of the services.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

This will give you a new appreciation for Mom!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Spring Life Groups Begin February 16th!

Hebron's Spring Life Groups begin Sunday, February 16th! You can check out all the exciting offerings and sign up online at We just added a "Matthew" Gospel study on Sunday nights hosted by Lawrence and Pam Porter. We'll add their contact information to the website soon.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday, February 9, 2014 Sermon Text (Haggai 1:1-15)

Haggai 1:1-15

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Command to Build God’s House

In the second year of King Darius, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying, “Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.”’”
Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple[a] to lie in ruins?” Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!
“You have sown much, and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”
Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the LordYou looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the Lord of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. 11 For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”

The People’s Obedience

12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him; and the people feared the presence of the Lord13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, spoke the Lord’s message to the people, saying, “I am with you, says the Lord.” 14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of King Darius.

For His Glory!
Pastor Joe

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Evangelist Kenny Evans
Entertainer in Pigeon Forge, TN
"Country Tonight Theatre"

Leading Worship at HBC Sunday, January 26 in both the 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. services. Invite a friend and join us!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Forgiven and Forgiving" Colossians 3:12-14, Sermon Text for Sunday, January 19, 2014

This past week we discovered from Psalm 51 the way and wonder of being forgiven by God. Although sin robs us of the joy of God’s salvation, when we respond to God with a “broken and contrite heart,” God creates in us a “pure heart” and brings back the joy.

This Sunday (January 19, 2014) we will continue the theme of forgiveness but now we will look at forgiveness on the horizontal level, between one another. Based on Colossians 3:12-14, as “God’s chosen people” we are to “forgive as the Lord forgave” us (Col. 2:13). I should warn you. This message will be a little uncomfortable and unsettling to people who want to coddle their grudges and past offenses like a well-worn security blanket. However, if you’re ready to be healed, if you’re ready to be free, if you’re ready to leave behind your old baggage, then I invite you to share in the liberating experiencing of being “Forgiven and Forgiving.”

“For His Glory!”
Pastor Joe

Here's the Text of Colossians 3:12-14, NIV (1984)
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014 Sermon Text (Psalm 51)

It's hard to embrace God's limitless future when your stuck in the past. Don't drag your old baggage into your new future! This week's sermon (Psalm 51) has quite a bit to say about moving beyond your past and embracing the joy of God's salvation. Join us as we discover together the wonderful power of forgiveness.

See you this Sunday as we worship the living God!
Pastor Joe

Psalm 51, New International Version

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
    in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.