2012 Florida Baptist State
Convention Annual Meeting
Collins, pastor of Indian Springs Baptist Church in Kingsport, Tenn., said Jesus is worthy to be praised because of His glorious character.
“He’s eternally steadfast,” Collins said. “He’s immortally gracious. He’s imperially powerful. And He’s impartially merciful. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s some good reasons to praise Him.”
Preaching from 1 Timothy 2:1-8, he listed several characteristics of Jesus, beginning with His desire for all men to be saved.
“If I didn’t know that [from the Bible], I might be pulled and twisted and lean in the way that I would witness to folks. I mean, if I didn’t know better, I’d just set me a target group and I’d go after them and them alone because maybe that’s the only ones the Lord would save,” he said.
“But because He made it so clear that He desires all men to be saved, now I understand who it is that I’m supposed to witness to. If they breathe, they need to hear about Jesus because Jesus desires all men to be saved.”
Jesus is the one mediator between God and man, Collins said, explaining that a mediator is someone who works on another’s behalf. As the mediator, He made a payment on the cross that set His followers free from sin, he said.
Jesus is uniquely qualified to serve as the mediator because He is both God and man, according to Collins.
“He came as God fashioned as a man. He was the God-man,” he said. “… He is God and man at the same time.”
Pastors are not merely to know who Jesus is, but to preach Him, Collins said, declaring that He is crucified, resurrected and coming again.
“I can sure get a crowd by having a dog and pony show,” he said. “Anybody can. But when you preach the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, lives are changed. Preach Jesus.”
Traylor, pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, warned pastors not to drift from God at the end of their ministries and lose their spiritual power.
“The evil that turns a man’s heart from the Lord is both subtle, progressive and most of the time very slow,” he said. “If we’re not careful, that which we stood for at one season of our life, we can turn from it in our latter years and become unplugged from the power of God.”
Using the Old Testament example of Solomon, he gave ministers three warnings. First, beware of the “danger zone,” where the heart is set against the head.
Though Deuteronomy told Israel’s kings not to rely on material things for security and not to marry foreign wives, Solomon did what he knew was wrong,
Traylor said. He explained that ministers similarly can rely on money for security as they age.
“If you’re not careful … you’ll stop being a prophet for fear your check will not be what it used to be,” he said.
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