Luter brings SBC to its feet in rousing sermon
June 15 2001 by Lacy Thompson , Louisiana Baptist Message

Luter brings SBC to its feet in rousing sermon | Friday, June 15, 2001
  • The concern of Jesus. Jesus had genuine concern for people, Luter said. "He cared for everybody. People were not just numbers to Jesus Christ. People were not just statistics to Jesus Christ. He truly was concerned about people."

    Southern Baptists must reflect the same type of attitude and love, he said.

  • The compassion of Jesus. Luter urged messengers not to forget the humanity of Jesus, pointing out that He was moved with compassion at the plight of the people He encountered.

    "He saw their lives and was moved with compassion," Luter said. "He saw their predicament and was moved with compassion. ... He saw their lostness and was moved with compassion. He saw they were weary. They were worn out. They were like sheep, scattered without a shepherd."

    Lost people still are like that - and still have no understanding how they are being destroyed by sin, Luter said.

    "That's why the Master is calling for laborers. That's why the Master is calling for workers tonight, so we can tell the lost ... that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life."

  • The cry of Jesus. Luter urged messengers to hear the cry of Jesus that there are too few workers for the bountiful harvest that awaits.

    "People need the Lord, ... but they won't know unless we tell them," he said. "Let's make the main thing the main thing in this convention. Too many of us are getting off track.

    "Soul winning is not an option," Luter said. "Soul winning is not just for the pastor. ... Soul winning is for every child of God.

    "If you've been redeemed, you ought to say so," he said. "You have a story to tell. So, go into all the world, and tell your story. Say so through your testimony. Say so through your lifestyle. Say so through your conversation. Say so through your conduct. Say so through your marriage. Say so through your ministry.

  • The command of Jesus. Because of the concern and compassion and cry of Jesus Christians are to pray for God to send more laborers, Luter said.

    "I can think of no better way to get laborers ... than to ask the Lord of the harvest," he added, "because God has a good track record about answering the prayers of His children."

  • Friday, June 15, 2001

    Luter brings SBC to its feet in rousing sermon

    By Lacy Thompson Louisiana Baptist Message NEW ORLEANS - Fred Luter made history at this year's Southern Baptist Convention - and brought thousands of messengers to their feet in doing it. In 1986, Luter was a street preacher in New Orleans when Louisiana Baptist leaders asked him to become pastor at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church.

    The New Orleans congregation had undergone inner-city transition and was down to a few dozen members. Although Luter never had served as a pastor, Louisiana Baptist leaders entrusted him with the church. They also made it plain that he was to bury it or resurrect it.

    Luter chose not to preside over a funeral. Instead, he launched a three-pronged ministry focusing on biblical preaching, discipling men and women and establishing a sense of accountability among church leaders and members.

    Fifteen years later, the church has grown to be one of the largest in the state, numbering more than 6,000 members and standing as a perennial state leader in baptisms.

    Upon the Convention's return to New Orleans last week, Luter again was a focus of attention. Messengers applauded as SBC President James Merritt said Luter would be the first African-American to deliver the annual sermon.

    However, Merritt quickly added: "The reason Dr. Fred Luter is preaching tonight is because he is one of the premier inspirational preachers in the Southern Baptist Convention."

    For his part, Luter quickly acknowledged the honor and paid tribute to African-American leaders who have preceded him in Southern Baptist life.

    Luter then launched his sermon, based on Matthew 9:35-38, in which Jesus is moved by the plight of people and calls on His followers to pray for God to send more laborers to reap the plentiful harvest.

    Luter asked messengers to consider what a tragedy it would be to have a fish that could not swim or a dog that could not bark or a cat that could not meow.

    "It would be really sad, really tragic for none of those things to do what God created them to do," he said. "But all of those things do what God created them to do."

    In contrast, consider the pain God must feel when humans do not do what God has created them to do, Luter added.

    "Think of the hurt God feels when men don't want to be men. Think of the hurt God feels when women don't want to be women," he said. "Think of the hurt God feels when husbands don't love their wives, and wives don't respect their husbands. Think of the hurt God feels when teenagers and children don't respect their parents in the Lord. Think of the hurt God feels when preachers don't practice what they preach.

    "It's no wonder our nation is messed up. When people don't do what God created them to do, we reap the consequences. ... And that's why, Southern Baptists, the Master is calling for laborers."

    Southern Baptists must heed the call, Luter declared. In doing so, he reminded Baptists to remember four things found in the Matthew 9 passage:

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    6/15/2001 12:00:00 AM by Lacy Thompson , Louisiana Baptist Message | with 0 comments
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