FLORENCE—Kentucky Baptists should not only be a people of hope among the hopeless, but a people of a “lively hope,” said Jeff Noffsinger, the rural Kentucky pastor who delivered the annual convention sermon in Florence.
“Maybe you’ve experienced seasons of life, or maybe you’re in one right now where you feel crushed, devastated, even torn by the feeling of hopelessness,” Noffsinger, pastor of Dripping Spring Baptist Church in Olmstead, told hundreds of Kentucky Baptists at Florence Baptist Church. “People can feel this way; pastors can feel this way; and, at times, the church can, too. And there are many in this world today who feel hopeless, forgotten, and lost.”
Stepping in for Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, Noffsinger noted that the Apostle Peter comforted and encouraged the Christians of his day, urging Kentucky Baptists to remain faithful to Christ in good times and bad.
“To say that we’re living in some very tense times is an understatement,” he said. “The volatility of our nation coupled with the depravity of the culture leave many wondering what’s going to happen next,” he said. “If there ever was a day and time in which the children of God and the church of the Lord Jesus Christ needed another touch from our Heavenly Father, it is now.”
Noffsinger challenged Kentucky Baptists to help those who have lost hope.
“And there are many in this world today who feel hopeless, forgotten, and lost,” he said. “That is why it is our responsibility, the New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ, the children of God to give hope to the hopeless around us. But not just give them hope, give them a lively hope.”
In Peter’s day, Christians were beaten, stoned, imprisoned, and executed because they believed in Christ, Noffsinger said.
“The children of God and the apostles were not immune to such suffering and persecution, and that is why Peter wrote to these suffering saints to give them comfort, encouragement and a lively hope,” he said.
Peter reassured Christians of his day that the inheritance they’ve been given by faith will not fade away and is preserved for them in Heaven.
“A lively hope comes from the presence of God and endures regardless of the circumstances,” he said. “The very presence of God with us by the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to persevere and endure because it is by the power of God.”
Noffsinger reminded Kentucky Baptists that they don’t have a shy or timid hope that is concerned about political correctness.
“We do not possess a silent hope that must not be shared in public,” he said. “We do not possess a sorry hope that fears offending people. We possess a hope on a precious foundation that we know is preserved forever that will persevere by faith and give praise unto our Father.” (KBC)