Nu’uanu Baptist Church June 28, 2023
As I said in our service last week, I thought the 2023 SBC annual meeting in New Orleans was great. There was a good, unified spirit among the messengers from all over North America. There were some disagreements, but, I think, they were handled in love.
This week, I want to share something about New Orleans that surprised me. This was our first time to visit New Orleans, but I had heard about New Orleans from friends who attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and, of course, I had seen movies and TV shows based in New Orleans, so I had some idea about what New Orleans looked like.
However, I want to share two misconceptions I had about New Orleans. The first misconception was that all of New Orleans was like the French Quarter. It’s not. It’s just one part of the city; I suppose the part that most people know about. Gail and I arrived a couple of days early so we could see some of New Orleans. We stayed at a hotel right next to the French Quarter, so we were able to walk around the French Quarter. The streets in the French Quarter were narrower than I had imagined. I heard about Bourbon Street because a few decades ago, Bob Harrington, known as the “Chaplain of Bourbon Street” was a great evangelist. I imagined Bourbon Street to be a wide street with big restaurants and bars. But it was a narrow street crowded with a lot of small cafes and bars with jazz ensembles playing loudly from the early afternoon through late at night nonstop.
The other misconception I had was about New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. I thought it was near the French Quarter in small buildings. Boy, was I wrong. They have a beautiful, large campus some miles from the French Quarter. They have been preparing men and women for ministry there since 1917.
These two are just small misconceptions I discovered seeing New Orleans, but the reason I wanted to share this with you is because sometimes we all have misconceptions that affect us. We sometimes worry about things that will never happen. We hear things about people and places that don’t turn out to be true. We may even have misconceptions about biblical truth. That’s why we need to study the Bible.
One misconception we may have is about heaven. We read about heaven in the Bible. But popular culture shows heaven as a place where people become angels and play harps for eternity. Of course, that’s not what the Bible teaches. I encourage you to do a study on what the Bible says about heaven.
I want to share two short passages of Scripture about heaven with you. There are many more. The first Scripture is John 14:2-3 “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also.” Jesus tells us that heaven is a place prepared by Him for us. We will spend eternity with Jesus in a place prepared for us that is perfect.
And Hebrews 11:16 “But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God for he has prepared for them a city.” We don’t know everything about heaven, that “city," but we can know that it’s better than anything we can imagine. We can speculate, imagine, what heaven will be like. But I’m so glad that it will be greater than anything we could imagine. We know that God has prepared it for us. If God prepared it for us, it’s worth waiting for and looking forward to with great expectation.
1. VBS—don’t forget to register and sign up to volunteer! There is a limited amount of children that can attend, so register early. VBS week is July 24-28, 9:30 am-12 noon. Anyone wanting to serve in this ministry, please contact Kristie Duarte (808) 391-0795 or Liana Benn (808) 383-8899.
2. Lottie Moon and the Silent Bell has been released! Author Rosalie Hunt has gathered some little-known stories of Lottie. Learn how a barking dog is an important character in Lottie’s conversion story. Older children as well as adults will find these stories fascinating. If you would like to order a book for $20, please email Diane Hom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. S.H.E.* Get Together for Women. A summer gathering at the Joy Cafe at Waialae Baptist Church on Saturday, July 8 from 9:30-11:30 am. RSVP to www.oahubaptist.net (*Seeking Him Eagerly)
4. New Church Directories are ready for pick up. Janet Chinn will be in the fellowship hall immediately after the morning service to distribute to church members, one per family.
5. Pastor Bob will be on vacation to see his grandkids in Sydney from July 3 to July 22, but still accessible by email or text. Pastors Chris and Johnny will be preaching in his absence. The church office hours are 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.
6. Thank you to Janice Ishikawa and Newton Yuen for planning and inviting the seniors to come out for the lunch fellowship last Thursday. The seniors were treated to a Korean menu with delicious bulgogi.