Pastor and Darlene Sorensen and their daughter, Sally, visited Darlene’s parents, Don and Doris Taschner, in St. Louis from Sunday evening to Wednesday morning this week. They had not been able to be there for Thanksgiving Day this year so they opted for a later visit.
Next Sunday, Sarah Jean Marshall will present her burden for Costa Rica. There will be lunch in the fellowship hall at noon and a service following at 1:00. There will be no evening service.
Bethany Baptist Church contributes support to thirty missionaries and special ministries. These missionaries send reports back to supporting churches. Letters from two or three of these missionaries are read in the 10:00 AM service each Sunday. This week Dan Stillings read a letter from our missionary in the Philippines, Rodolfo Olesio.
Rodolfo made reports from several of the ministries they have in the Philippines. Rodolfo Olesio and his family live in Baguio City. They have the main church there with a Bible Institute where national pastors are trained. Students from their Bible Institute have started churches on that island and are reaching out to other islands. Rodolfo’s ministry is not only to train pastors, but also to provide financial support for those pastors so that they can work among poor people of the villages. There are young men who are willing to go to the villages, but they must have some support to do so.
The Jubilee Singers sang an Alphus LeFevre song, “ The Old Gospel Ship.” Pastor Bob Sorensen brought a message from the “Lost and Found Chapter.” Luke 15 tells about the one lost sheep, the one lost silver coin, and a prodigal son who went to a far country, and chapter Luke 16 tells about a soul lost in Hell.
The lost sheep is like a person who does not know the Bible and does not want to do what it says. The Good Shepherd is not satisfied to leave that one lost sheep out to certain death even though there are ninety-nine sheep that are secure. So he goes out.
The lost silver coin represents a person who does not know he is lost so is unconcerned. He remains lost in the dark, until someone lights a candle (the gospel) and sweeps the floor (the work of the Holy Spirit) not stopping until every room is swept.
The prodigal son knew he was lost and he knew the way back. No one came looking for him, but he “came to himself” when he got hungry enough and remembered that the lowest servants of his Father had “bread enough and to spare,” while he perished with hunger in the world’s hog pen.
There were happy endings for the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son, but there is no happy ending for the soul lost in hell. For him there is no ending at all. He knew he was lost, but it was too late. He can never leave that place of torment.