Sunday School

Fellowship Baptist Church has resumed its adult Sunday School class. The class is held in the sanctuary and scheduled to begin promptly at 9:45 AM.

All pandemic protocols are still in effect and apply for Sunday School. Please remember, except for the restrooms and access to them, all areas of the building are temporarily closed.

Sunday School classes for youth and children are not meeting at this time.

Pastor Rick Weber

Social Distancing Protocols

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

While there remain concerns over the pandemic we will practice the following recommended guidelines for social distancing. It is understood there are a variety of opinions regarding social distancing protocols. Please honor the following for the sake of others.

  1. For the time being, foot traffic in the building is restricted to the sanctuary and restrooms.
  2. Masks, hand-sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes are available at strategic locations in the building.
    • Masks and hand-sanitizer are located at the primary entrance.
    • Sanitizing wipes are available in the rest rooms. You may wipe items before and after you use them.
  3. Masks should be worn while entering and exiting the building for services.
  4. Masks may be removed while seated.
  5. Masks should be worn when moving through the building.
  6. The ushers will open and close all doors, except restrooms, to reduce frequency of contact.
  7. Please refrain from handshakes, hugs, and kisses.
  8. Except for immediate family groups you came with, please maintain 6 feet between people.
  9. Please respect the direction of the ushers while in the building and during services.
  10. Please practice good hygiene while at the church. Wash your hands, sneeze into your elbow, and dispose of tissues properly.
  11. If you or your children are ill, please refrain from coming to church services until the illness has passed.
  12. The offering plates will not be passed among those seated. Please place your offerings directly into the offering plate. Offerings may continue to be mailed to the church, if you prefer.

May the Lord be pleased with our love for one another during these difficult times.

Pastor Weber

The Hope of Easter

Spreading of the corona virus and its ability to expedite death in the healthy as well as those already suffering from debilitating illnesses, has brought nations and individuals to face their greatest fear, death. All are anxious, another word for fear, over the prospect of death. For some it is the process of death, for others it is the unknown after death causing this fear. In New York, Governor Cuomo implemented Executive Orders to restrict personal contact which he justified by stating at a press conference, “If it saves just one life, it is worth it.”

Fear of death is behind our nation’s, and the world’s, response to the pandemic. Governments of the world are acting to alleviate their peoples’ fears. Unfortunately, after the current pandemic passes people will continue to die; the elderly are expected to eventually pass, other illnesses such as cancer and heart disease will continue to take their toll, wars will take lives, crimes will take lives, accidents will shorten lives of the young and old, and suicides will continue to end lives prematurely. Today, death is a natural part of living. It is the ultimate equalizer, for all face the specter of death. No executive order can reverse this order of life. All, however, do not fear death the same.

Though some are anxious about the manner of death they will experience, they do not fear what comes afterward. They look forward with joy to the day they pass from this life. Unlike Carl Sagan, the renowned astronomer who believed this life is all there is and the person who dies returns to the cosmic energy of the universe, another term for annihilation of body and soul, the biblical perspective of death plainly states there is more to life than this temporary physical world. After physical death the spirit and soul of people continue in eternal conscious existence, some in the presence of God in heaven, others separated from Him in hell. For many, the fear of death is prompted by the fear of going to hell.

The Bible does not describe hell as a place where there will be partying with friends. People cannot escape its clutches of eternal torment by denying its existence, nor do we somehow deserve heaven because we believe we’ve suffered hell on earth. The truth is we are all unworthy of God’s presence in heaven. In the beginning all things were very good. God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden until Adam rebelled against God by disobeying God’s command. Adam’s self-assertion introduced the sinful nature we all experience in ourselves. Physical death and separation from God were the result. Within each of us is a rebellious spirit against God. This rebellious spirit makes us all unworthy of God’s presence. Because we are rebellious in our nature, we can do nothing to make ourselves worthy of heaven, the real reason to fear death: eternal separation from God.

Easter is a time of celebrating life, eternal life. It is a celebration of Jesus’s resurrection after his death on the cross. Because Jesus died to pay for people’s rebellion, another word for sin, others may have eternal life. We know Jesus’s death was an acceptable payment for people’s sin because God raised him from the grave. Easter is celebrated by those who place their trust in Jesus’s payment for their sin, guaranteeing their restored relationship with God and making them acceptable to Him. Those who trust Jesus as Savior need not fear the eternal outcomes of death, for they have confidence that God will receive their soul and spirit in heaven; they will not be cast into hell. One day they may sing with others in heaven, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.”

You need not fear eternal death either, sinner. You can have peace with God by trusting in the resurrected Jesus as your Savior, the one who paid the penalty for your sin, who restores you to a healthy relationship and eternity with God. Those who trust in the resurrected Jesus do not look forward to the process of death, the experience of death is rarely pleasant, but they do not fear the final outcome. They have peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ and can live with confidence in times of uncertainty, even the uncertainty of governmental lock-downs and the threat of death-dealing diseases. The Christian need not fear death.

Easter is the remembrance of the living hope we have in God, the one who gives us peace to face death because He raised Jesus from the grave. Because Jesus lives, we live also and can face tomorrow.

Pastor Rick Weber

Where is Your Hope?

Natural disasters occur in the world because of the curse God placed on all creation after Adam sinned (Gen 3). Natural disasters, apart from God’s direct implementation, occur naturally. Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, fires, droughts, volcanic eruptions, etc. may have devastating debilitative effects on man (Mt 24:7). Man-made disasters, i.e. wars, economic failures, abuse of natural resources, political intrigue, sociological upheavals, and cultural denigration, generate inhumane ungodliness (Mt 24:3-6).

Individual decisions fare no better as mankind becomes abusers of themselves (Rom 1:21-22, 24, 26, 28). Selfishness, pride, divorce, defrauding, cheating, lack of forgiveness, idolatry, adultery, etc., are sufficient to create havoc on what could otherwise be a God-ordered life (1 Pet 1:15-16). Apart from the natural effects of sin in the world, God, at times convenient to and understood only by Him, brings disaster upon people great and small (Job). He chastises those whom He loves and punishes those he hates (Heb 12:3-11). God is not prevented from allowing or bringing tragedy in the lives of the ones He loves (Jer 11:22; 14:12; 25:29; 32:42; 35:17). Yet, in all cases, He desires that all men would repent of their wicked ways and turn to Him, for God takes no pleasure in death, even of the ungodly (Eze 18:30-32).

In times of trouble and hardship, believers may question God (Ps 13:1). They may question His character: His providential care (Mt 6:25-34), His ability to cause or prevent crisis (2 Pet 3:1-7), whether He listens to their prayers (Job 30:20; Hab 1:2). God does hear and provide help (2 Chr 20:9) but He does not heed the voice of sinners (Eze 8:17-18; Mic 3:4). Trials in life, particularly on the scale of an international pandemic, may create confusion, instability, emotional intensity, heightened vulnerability, fear, anger, guilt, confusion and grief. These are experiences common to all during times of trouble. Without answers, even the believer’s faith may become suspect in his own mind. The more intense the experience, the greater the prospect for change. Change is uncomfortable. In an unsettled environment people need to hear the Word of God that they may call on Him (Rom 10:14).

During a crisis, we have opportunity to bring hope and encouragement to one another, for we know how things will progress in God’s timing (1 Th 4:14-18). We have confidence that God’s plan will not be thwarted.We believers put our trust in God and walk by faith, not by sight, for our salvation (2 Cor 5:7). We trust Him with our souls. We trust Him with our lives as well (Php 1:21). We need not fear the circumstances around us (Heb 13:6). God has given us a spirit of power, love, and sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). We have confidence in Him. Our confidence deepens our faith which is manifest in our obedience (Heb 11:1), for God is not pleased apart from faith (Heb 11:6). So, we lean on God’s ways (Isa 55:8-9), not trusting our own (Pr 3:5-6). We walk confidently knowing our faith will be tried to produce patience, and patience brings us to maturity (Jas 1:3-4). In Christ Jesus, we need not fear (Lk 12:4-7).

What God has accomplished: God sent His Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (Jn 3:16). Jesus was obedient to the Father that the Father’s will would be accomplished in him (Php 2:8-11). In Christ Jesus, the Father was reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Cor 5:19). Our Father desires that none perish, enter hell, because of their sin (2 Pet 3:9). He desires a people dedicated to Himself (Titus 2:14; 1 Pet 2:9).

What He is doing: God has given the ministry of reconciliation, through the gospel, to believers (2 Cor 5:18-19). The love of Christ prompts us to share the gospel (2 Cor 5:14-15). The good news is that Christ died, was buried, and rose again (1 Cor 15:1-4). The church is the vehicle God uses to transmit His message of hope.

What He promises for the future: One day we will be with Christ and will be like Him (1 Cor 15:51-54). Through faith in Jesus’ death on the cross, the enemy of death is swallowed up in victory and its sting is gone. We will be received by our Lord and honor Him (Rev 19:6-10). He will grant us a heavenly reward (Col 3:23-24). At the final judgement, God will judge all according to His accounting of their lives (Rev 20:11-15). Those found not to have trusted Christ Jesus for salvation of their souls will be cast into the eternal lake of fire. Those whose names are written in His book will enter the new heavens and new earth and reside in the New Jerusalem in the presence of God forever (Rev 21:26-27).

Our hope rests outside the things of this world (Heb 11:1). Our hope is in the Holy God Almighty (Lev 20:26), the creator of the heavens and earth (Gen 1:1), the one who judges rightly in all things (2 Tim 4:8).

Pastor Rick Weber

Our Confidence

Nations have locked down. Borders are being secured. The greatest military powers in the world are helpless to fight and defend. Strangers are afraid of one another. Family members avoid one another. People are dying. The world’s economy is disrupted. Financial institutions are scrambling. Businesses large and small are severely impacted, some beyond recovery. All because of a microscopic virus.

“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Ps 46:10). The world has an opportunity to recognize the Sovereign who controls all things. The world is being forced to bow its knee. Will it humble itself before the Creator of the Universe or continue to worship itself and its false gods? Will it repent and turn to God Almighty? Christian, be still and watch God’s hand at work as He rightfully exalts Himself. Watch the world’s response as it reveals who it worships.

At Fellowship Baptist church we will serve and worship the Most High God, the Father of heaven who loved us enough to send our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we would live in Him.

Pastor Rick Weber