As Christians gather from often small and scattered churches, few things refresh and bless the soul as gathering with like-minded believers and spending time together under the ministry of God’s word.
The theme of the third Scottish Reformed Baptist conference in Pitlochry was ‘Lessons for Life’. Stephen Rees, pastor at Grace Baptist Church Stockport, was our main speaker. He spoke about Samson as a man of faith and deliverance. Samson grew up with every advantage, with godly parents in a godless Israel, but despite this, he went astray. We were encouraged that those with ungodly children can trust the sovereignty of God, as God was yet going to work through Samson in ways his parents could not imagine!
Stephen showed us how Samson was extraordinarily used by the Spirit, even when he was acting in defiance of God’s call on his life. The point was made that just because we are experiencing the Lord’s blessing does not necessarily mean that we are walking in God’s ways.
Samson was also a man kept by God and used at the end of his life to bring great glory to Him. It is thus never too late to cry out ‘O Lord God, remember me, I pray.’
We also enjoyed two excellent historical lectures, first on the life of missionary to India, Henry Martyn (1781-1812) by Peter Logie, an elder at Anniesland Reformed Baptist Church.
Henry Martyn was gifted with incredible intellectual abilities, yet was willing to suffer great loneliness, ill health and ultimately a premature death in order to preach and translate the Bible into many eastern languages such as Arabic, Hindi and Persian.
Dr Nick Needham, pastor of Inverness Reformed Baptist Church, spoke on Count Zinzendorf and the Moravians. Not usually counted a celebrity by Christians, Count Zinzendorf was a man used by God, being a key figure in providing a haven for the persecuted Moravians.
Conrad Pomeroy, pastor of Dudley Baptist Church, preached on ‘The God of the Impossible’ from Ezekiel 37. The prophet is faced with the impossible situation of dead and dry bones, the impossible question of whether they can live and the impossible task of raising them up by speaking to them.
He encouraged us by explaining how God uses the message of the foolishness of the cross to bring about the spiritual miracle of new life to the dead.