ANAHEIM, Calif. (NRB) – Submission to Christ is the “only hope” for a world in rebellion against God, pastor H.B. Charles Jr. said during a March 28 worship service at Proclaim 19, the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Christian Media Convention.
Charles, pastor-teacher at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida, preached on Psalm 2 during a service that featured a hymn sing led by Bob Lepine, co-host of the radio program FamilyLife Today.
After describing mankind’s rebellion and God’s response, Psalm 2 presents Jesus’ authority and the need to serve Him, Charles said.
“The only hope for rebellious mankind is this Christ we proclaim by the means that God has given us,” he said before explaining the good news of the Gospel.
“The bad news is we are sinners and our sin separates us from God,” Charles said. “The worst news is that there is nothing we can do to fix what our sin has messed up. But the good news is God sent His Son Jesus to die at the cross to pay for our sin and [He] rose from the dead for our justification. And the best news is if a sinner runs to the cross tonight and trusts in Jesus you can have free forgiveness, new life, and eternal hope tonight.
“So we leave from this conference to proclaim Christ with hope and joy and strength because ‘Blessed are all who take refuge in Him,’” he said, quoting the last verse of Psalm 2.
The verse before commands a right response: “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”
Charles urged the audience to recognize “everyone is a servant. No matter their position, status, or wealth, every person serves something or someone. The problem is most of us serve ourselves, and the one who serves himself has a fool for a master. The only other way is to submit all that you are and all that you have to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The directive to “rejoice with trembling” is “one of the most succinct definitions of worship in Scripture,” he said. “When we worship God together, it shouldn’t be like a funeral or sitting in the doctor’s office or being stuck in traffic. We should rejoice.
“As we rejoice, our worship should not be an emotional response to man-centered entertainment masquerading as worship,” Charles said. “As we rejoice, we should recognize the holiness and the sovereignty and the majesty of almighty God.”
The psalm opens by describing an international rebellion that is “a grass-roots movement” that also reaches into the highest levels of human authority with kings and rulers, he said. “[H]uman rebellion against divine authority is absolutely futile. And no soul is free when it lives in rebellion against its divine Creator.”
Psalm 2 next describes God’s response, which is to laugh at mankind’s rebellion, Charles said.
“Human rebellion is divine comedy,” he said. “When God laughs, it’s not funny. God is not laughing with us; He is laughing at us.
“This is God’s message to rebellious mankind: ‘It’s too late. I’ve already set my Son, my Anointed One on My holy hill of Zion,’” Charles said. “No matter how things look, the Lord Jesus Christ has the last word in this world that we live in.”
John MacArthur was originally scheduled to preach but was diagnosed with a throat infection requiring him to clear his schedule of preaching, speaking, and recording responsibilities. Joni Eareckson Tada was to lead the hymn sing during the worship service but was hospitalized the day before. She had been suffering with breathing difficulty and pain in the weeks after a series of radiation treatments for a recurrence of cancer.
Lepine, also senior vice president of FamilyLife, led the gathering through a series of mostly old hymns accompanied by Mark Rice, pianist with Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, where MacArthur is pastor-teacher.
Lepine has attended hymn sings led by Tada at NRB’s Convention for at least 10 years, Lepine told the audience. “And she would exhort us not simply to be caught up in the sentiment of these songs. She would say, ‘Let’s make sure we focus on who we’re singing to or who we’re singing about.’”
Those attending sang nearly 25 songs, including “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” “To God Be the Glory,” “How Firm a Foundation,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” “In Christ Alone,” “It Is Well With My Soul,” “When We All Get to Heaven” and “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
Charles joined Lepine to lead in the singing of “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
The participants also sang “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” which Tada said at an early NRB hymn sing was one of her favorites, especially because of one verse, Lepine recalled. That verse says, “Hear Him, ye deaf; praise Him, ye dumb, your loosened tongues employ; ye blind, behold your Savior come; and leap, ye lame, for joy.”
That will be “the testimony in Heaven for people who struggle today with challenges physically, and, of course, that’s Joni’s situation,” Lepine told the gathering. Tada, one of the world’s leading international advocates for people affected by disability, has been quadriplegic in a wheelchair since a diving accident in 1967, when she was 17.
An offering was received during the worship service for two projects being undertaken by the Far East Broadcasting Company – building an FM radio station to reach the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, and a 250,000-watt AM station to blanket all of North Korea 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The sponsor of the service was Bott Radio Network.
By Tom Strode