By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
PINEVILLE, La. (LBM)– God has the power to open even the most impossible door to make a way for sharing the Gospel, Stephen Rummage said during the recent E4 Preaching Conference.
“There is someone who sits on high and is in control,” said Rummage, pastor of the Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. “God has the ability to open doors in ways we never could imagine.
“Sometimes He opens up big wide doors to reach communities with the Gospel. Sometimes He opens up individual intimate doors to people. But God has the ability to give us opportunities we may not see.”
Citing Colossians 4:2-6, Rummage encouraged the 82 pastors and 10 pastors’ wives in attendance at the First Baptist Church in Pineville to use prayer as a tool to open doors.
“God who sits on high opens the door through prayer,” he said. “Prayer has the power to open up the doors. Continue steadfastly and don’t give up praying for someone. Being watchful and be alert. Give God thanks for the way He is answering the prayer.”
Once that door is open, Rummage said Christ followers must be bold and take action by sharing the hope found in Jesus.
“There is no one on the earth who God will not save if they call on the name of Jesus Christ to save them,” he said. “You can make an impact where you are to look for opportunities and to take the opportunities to take the message of Jesus through the open door.
“Jesus says I have set before you an open door that no one can shut,” he said. “The door is already unlocked. The door to each your community for Jesus Christ is already unlocked. What Jesus is waiting for us to do as we pray with open eyes for open doors is for us to walk through the open doors and take the message of Jesus around us.”
The Sept. 24 E4 Preaching Conference presented a program intended to “exemplify, encourage, equip and empower our pastors to preach expositional sermons.”
Past speakers have included Steve Gaines, former Southern Baptist Convention president, and, pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tennessee; Don Wilton, pastor, First Baptist Church, Spartanburg, South Carolina; Fred Lowery, pastor emeritus, First Baptist Church, Bossier City; and, David Uth, pastor, First Baptist Church, Orlando, Florida.
The conference also featured music by Scotty Blackwell, worship pastor at the Houston River Baptist Church in Sulphur.
Breakout sessions were led by conference organizer Stewart Holloway, pastor, First Baptist Church, Pineville; Argile Smith, pastor, Parkway Baptist Church, Biloxi, Mississippi; and, professors from Louisiana College and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Sponsors included NOBTS, LC, North American Mission Board, First Baptist Church, Pineville, Louisiana Church Insurance and Logos Bible software.
Holloway told the Baptist Message the E4 Conference, now in its 11th year, began with a desire to sharpen and encourage pastors.
“This year’s E4 Preaching Conference was one of the best and largest attended conferences in the eleven year history of the event,” Holloway said. “Stephen Rummage provided exemplary expository preaching that was true to the text and engaging, and Scotty Blackwell led us in worship with passion and skill. Our session leaders offered practical help from everything from how to preach on certain section of the Bible to how to address controversial issues from the pulpit. We are so grateful for all of our partners who help make E4 possible.”