75 Years and Beyond

December 19-23


The Foundation of Our Church is God

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:8 (ESV)

The Standing Lamb -In 1432 the Flemish painter Jan van Eyck produced his well-known masterpiece called “Adoration of the Lamb.” Christ is portrayed in the painting as the Lamb of God, with blood pouring from His wounds. Worshipers are gathered all around Him. Yet the Lamb is not lying on the altar near death, but standing tall and straight, alive in triumph and splendor.

Over the centuries, many artists, sculptors, authors, and others have created magnificent portraits of Jesus Christ. Yet no one has ever drawn a more compelling or accurate picture of Jesus than the portrait the apostle Peter drew with just ten simple words. (Today in the Word)

In Matthew 16:16, Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The portrait Peter painted of Jesus with his words has served as the foundation of God’s Church and of our Second baptist church family for 75 years. Jesus said to Peter, “you are Peter (which means a small stone), and on this rock (which means a large rock), I will build my church. The “rock” refers to the confession of faith that Peter gave when he called Jesus “The Christ.” The “rock” refers to Jesus himself (his work of salvation by dying for us on the cross). This would mean that Jesus is the divine architect of our faith and that He himself is the chief cornerstone.


What happens to a home if the foundation isn’t solid? What happens to a church if it loses focus on Jesus as the foundation? What happens in your life when you lose focus on Jesus as the foundation of your faith?


Praise God for establishing and blessing our church for 75 years. Ask God to help our church and to help you keep Him as the foundation of all we do.


God Built Our Church

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:8 (ESV)

In 1863, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea for the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge. Bridge-building experts throughout the world told him it was a crazy idea and it couldn’t be done. But Roebling convinced his son, Washington, who was a young up-and-coming engineer, that the bridge could be built. They hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project was only a few months under construction when a tragic accident took the life of John Roebling and severely injured his son. Washington was left with permanent brain damage and was unable to talk or walk. At least 20 workers were killed during construction. Yet, Washington still had a burning desire to complete the bridge. All he could move was one finger, so he touched the arm of his wife with that finger, tapping out a code to communicate to her what to tell the engineers who were building the bridge. For 13 years, Washington tapped out his instruction with his finger until the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge was finally completed. (Source Unknown)

Jesus sacrificed His life in order to build His church. And because the Son of God Himself personally builds it—and entrusts its construction to no one else—we can know for sure that it will endure forever! One of the great mistakes we make as believers is to think that the building of the church on earth is ultimately up to us! It is not!! We may be of use to Him in some way or another. But what the Scriptures tell us of the Church in its early days, in Acts 2:47, is still as true today as it ever was: “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”


Who or what are some of the ways God has built Second Baptist over the years? How has God used you to help build His church?


Praise God for the people He has worked through over the years to help build our Second family. Ask God to continue to grow our church family in size and in spiritual maturity.


God Owns Our Church

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.– Matthew 16:8 (ESV)

A young business owner was opening a new branch office, and a friend decided to send a floral arrangement for the grand opening. When the friend arrived at the opening, he was appalled to find that his wreath bore the inscription: “Rest in peace.” Angry, he complained to the florist. After apologizing, the florist said, “Look at it this way—somewhere a man was buried under a wreath today that said, ‘Good luck in your new location.’“ (Bits & Pieces)

When Jesus started the church age, He announced that the church was going to be His. “My church” emphasizes the church belongs to Jesus, Who built it, sustains it, protects it, and will one day remove it at the rapture and take it to heaven. The church of Jesus Christ does not belong to anyone, for men are only Jesus’ caretakers over His flock, not the owners of that flock. When Jesus referred to “My church”, He had in mind all believers—past, present, and future.


If Jesus owns Second Baptist Warner Robins, how should you view the ministry area where you serve? Is it yours or His? What difference should that make?


Thank God for inviting you to be a part of His church family. Pray that God’s church would be a thriving and loving place that touches countless lives for His glory.


The Fight for Our Church 

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:8 (ESV)

Did you know that if one of the arms of a starfish is severed, a new one will grow in its place? In fact, if a starfish is cut up, any piece that contains a part of the central disc will develop into a new starfish. Some oyster fishermen found that out, much to their dismay when their oyster beds became infested with starfish. The fishermen had cut up the starfish they caught and tossed the pieces back into the water. Rather than destroying them, however, they were actually helping them multiply.

For centuries, Christians have been hated and viciously opposed in many nations. But persecution has not destroyed Christianity. Even under the direst circumstances, it has not only survived but thrived. Jesus said of His church that “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). (Richard DeHaan)

“The gates of hell” symbolize death. We have often misunderstood this to mean that Satan and His forces will attack the Church but will not prevail because God will defend his Church. But please realize that gates are not offensive weapons but defensive ones. The picture is not of Satan attacking the church but rather Christ’s church literally banging down the gates of Hades. Its gates are not strong enough to withstand the church. It seems to me that the point is that sin and death have been conquered by Christ, that He will raid the place of the dead and raise up His saints to be with Himself. (Michael Andrus)


Jesus doesn’t give us the impression that the building of His church will go on without this fierce opposition. Pastor Jim asked, “Who is the real enemy?” Who or what first came to your mind? Who or what did Jesus have in mind when He said this?


Tertullian wrote, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” Thank God that not even death can stop His church. Ask God to show us what gates He wants us to tear down in our community.


The Future of Our Church

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:8 (ESV)

The chief executive of a large and successful chain of stores made a striking statement about the future of his company. He said that a hundred years from now it would be either greatly changed or nonexistent. The same can be said about every human organization. Leaders come and go, consumer desires change, and manufacturing methods evolve. As a result, companies either change or don’t survive. According to Jesus, this will never happen to His church. Some individual churches may go out of existence, but the “gates of Hades” will never prevail against the church that Jesus is building. (Herbert Lugt)

Jesus was thus telling the disciples His death would not prevent His work of building the church. Jesus proved this at His resurrection. The fact that our church has been around for 75 years is a testimony to the fact that Jesus keeps His promise.


Someone has said that the worst thing Satan can do to you is to take your life and for the believer that is a promotion. How should this passage help you with anxiety about the future?


Praise God for His promise of a secure future for His church. Ask God to ease any fears or worries you have in light of His promise to secure you when you are in His family.