On January 13,1961 twenty-six people met at Marlin Tabernacle to organize the Grace Baptist Temple. Don Martin was called to be the pastor of this new church.
Charter members: Mr. & Mrs. Donald G. Martin Gloria L. Martin Mrs. Leroy Boshear Mr. & Mrs. Aurand Merida Jr. Miss Josephine Owens
In our Constitution we have stated the purpose of the existence of Grace Baptist Temple. A few years ago we sought to summarize that purpose into a mission statement. The mission of Grace Baptist Temple can be simply stated in three words: winning, building, and sending. Our goal is to win people to Christ, build them up in the faith, and send them forth to serve the Lord.
Now 1961 was a long time ago! Much has happened in the past 42 years. Souls have been saved, believers have been built up in the faith, and many have been sent out to serve the Lord around the world. How is it that we have been able to maintain our purpose and goals for all of these years?
Let me give you a few thoughts this morning on how this church has been able to stay true to its founding purpose and principles for all of these years.
I. The Message Is Unchanging
A. Christ Is The Central Theme
1 Cor. 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
1. The pulpit of Grace Baptist Temple is not for sale.
2. It is not to promote social or political causes.
3. It is simply to proclaim the simple message of the Gospel.
4. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the gospel message!
B. The Whole Counsel Is Needed For Growth
Ac 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
1. We preach and teach the Bible, God's Holy Word.
2. With Christ as our central theme, we declare that all Scripture is profitable.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
3. Inspiration = God Breathed
4. Profitable = Helpful, Useful In Teaching
a. Doctrine = What Is Right
b. Reproof = What Is Wrong
c. Correction = How To Get Right
d. Instruction = How To Stay Right
C. The Unchanging Message Changes Lives
1. I stand before you as a life that was changed by the message of Christ.
2. Seated next to you in the pew you will find folks whose lives were changed because of the Gospel.
3. It is the only thing that works!
JOHN 4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
2 Cor. 5.17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
II. Our Hope is Unchanging
A. Jesus is coming again!
1. That is our hope
2. And we are looking for Him to return soon!
JOHN 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
1 THESS. 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
B. Our hope is based on God's faithfulness
1. It is less a theological position, and more a faith position.
2. The Lord has promised in His Word that He will return.
3. We believe it is true, if for no other reason than because He said it.
4. And God is faithful…He will accomplish all that He has promised.
Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
III. Our Focus on Evangelism is Unchanging.
A. Our Past.
1. It was because of the desire of the folks at the Indianapolis Baptist Temple to reach others.
2. As folks were saved and others expressed an interest in establishing a church the Grace Baptist Temple of Bloomington, Indiana was established.
3. That vision was passed on to this church and continues yet today.
B. Our Present.
1. We are actively involved in establishing churches here in Indiana.
2. We are actively involved in missionary endeavors in over thirty countries around the world.
3. We are actively involved in reaching our community for Christ.
a. Every SS Class that meets...
b. Every ministry established...
c. Every sermon preached and every lesson taught...
d. It is all done to 'equip the saints for the work of the ministry' and that means reaching others with the gospel!
C. Our Future.
1. Should the Lord tarry His coming, we will continue to reach out to others.
2. We will continue to support mission works here and around the world.
3. We will continue to witness to others through the services of this church and through the lives of each member. This church has been able to stay true to its founding purpose and principles for all of these years simply because some things have not changed, and for that I am thankful.
The need of men and women; boys and girls has not changed; we need a Savior! But thank God, His grace has not changed!
This morning, if you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, God's grace is extended to you today. Would you come and place your trust in Christ today?
Are you serving God with your life today? Why not come this morning and commit your life to Him. Maybe you need to come this morning and place your membership in this church. Come today. Perhaps you have never been obedient to God's command to be baptized, why not come and submit to Him today. Whatever the need would you come this morning!