INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--Discerning eyes are needed to recognize the spiritual condition of Southern Baptists, Frank Page said in his final sermon as Southern Baptist Convention president during the SBC annual meeting in Indianapolis June 10.
Page, pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., said Southern Baptists should develop the kind of discernment akin to that which saved the villagers of the island of Simeulue after the South Asian tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004.
Village elders noticed the water retreating from the coastline and in minutes warned islanders to run for higher ground. Their communal memory of a 1907 tsunami that nearly destroyed the entire island helped them realize the impending danger. The island lost only seven of its 75,000 inhabitants, as was reported in The Seattle Times.
"The people of that island had assiduously told the story over and over of what might be the signs for such an event again, and taking note of that history, recognizing the warning signs, the elders in just a few minutes were able to spread the alarm and the villages were evacuated to higher ground. Their physical lives were saved that day."
Page asked if Southern Baptists would be able to recognize the signs of what is happening within the convention, among its churches and in the lives of individual believers.
"Will we assiduously impart to those after us the signs that God has set forth for blessing and the signs God has set forth for judgment?" Page asked.
Preaching from the John 4:7-30 story of the woman at the well, Page said Southern Baptists need to experience the same transformation as did the Samaritan woman. But before transformation can take place, he said, believers have to examine themselves to discern their spiritual conditions.
In her encounter with Jesus, Page said, the Samaritan woman "was compelled to see herself as she really was ..." Read More