LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) - The local church must be focused on both truth and love, said Nate Bishop, senior pastor Forest Baptist Church in Louisville, as he delivered the convention sermon for the 2019 Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting on Tuesday at Immanuel Baptist Church.
Bishop reminisced about his days of youth when he would listen to vinyl records. He reminded the congregation of how an artist would place their favorite song on Side A of the record, while Side B would be a lesser loved song.
He drew a correlation from Revelation 2:1-7 as he talked about how pastors tend to focus on their favorite parts of ministry work, their Side A, while neglecting the challenges of the work, their Side B.
Bishop said many pastors he knows are committed to truth, but struggle to love people. Pastors must remember there’s “no love without truth and no truth without love.”
“As individuals, as churches and as a denomination, our commitment to Jesus must be marked by truth and love.”
Bishop called churches to be committed to right doctrine.
“What would happen if Christians just stood up and were Christians? If we stood up for the things God stands up for our cities would be transformed.”
At the same time, Bishop called pastors to rekindle their first love, which according to Revelation 2:4, is to love Christ as they love one another. He said there were three ways a Christian can fan the flames of their first love.
First, he said, Christians must remember who they used to be. “The way you get your passion back for Jesus is to remember where the gospel brought you from.”
He next reminded disciples to repent regularly. “We must agree with God about how He feels about our sin and accept responsibility for our sin. Then we must apologize to God for being disobedient,” Bishop said.
Finally, Bishop said love is rekindled when Christians run toward God instead of running away from him. “When ministry becomes drudgery, we must do an about-face and begin to pursue Christ. When you’ve lost your first love, your ministry is rendered ineffective.”