Luter calls for N.C., nation, to return to the gospelby BSCNC Communications
More violence, hatred, abortions, pornography, drug use and crude music and movies – it all points to a nation in trouble.
“All of it seems to be the norm in America. We are living in the last days, in perilous times,” said Fred Luter, Southern Baptist Convention president and pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La. Luter delivered the Convention sermon during the recent Annual Meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina in Greensboro.
Preaching from Romans 1:16-17 and the power of the gospel, Luter asked North Carolina Baptists to consider what it will take to change the downward spiritual spiral, and the morals and values, of this nation.
“Before we talk about what it’s going to take to change America, what is it going to take to change you?” Luter said. “Before you were who you are today, what did it take? Somewhere along the line you heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. You heard the Good News. Your life was transformed.”
The same gospel that has been transforming lives for 2,000 years all across the world still changes hearts and lives today when people place their trust in Jesus.
The gospel transforms lives because it is personal. Regardless of a person’s situation in life, the gospel meets every need. Luter pointed to the apostle Paul as an example of a Christ follower who trusted the gospel in every circumstance. While in prison for his faith Paul wrote the book of Philippians, claiming the truth that all things are possible with God. Although chased out of Thessalonica because of his preaching, Paul wrote to the believers and encouraged them in the gospel. During his house arrest in Rome Paul wrote the book of Ephesians and urged believers to put on the “full armor of God,” which is the gospel.
The gospel is not only personal, but it is also powerful. “The gospel is the only thing that can penetrate years of sin and save a soul,” Luter said. “It means deliverance from the power and dominion of sin.”
Luter described the gospel as practical because it is powerful to change the lives of individuals from all walks of life.
“The Word of God can be accepted by anyone no mater their race, culture or heritage,” he said.
The gospel also transforms lives because it is persistent. God’s Word tells the gospel story of redemption, and God’s Word will never cease to exist.
“No matter where you’ve been, you can depend on the Word of God. God’s Word is crucial if we want to impact our society,” Luter said. “It will continue to exist and endure. When everything else in life has failed, the Word of God will still be standing.”
In a world that desperately needs love, peace and joy, only the gospel can deliver.
“The only hope for America is the Word of God,” Luter said. “Only the Word of God transforms lives. There is one thing I’m not ashamed of, and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ.”