Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents
FIRST BAPTIST SERMON IN ARIZONA
July 5, 1998 am
AN ECHO FROM LONG AGO UP IN VERDE VALLEY - 134 YEARS AGO
134 YEARS AGO, JAMES CLAUSENT BRISTOW PREACHED UNDER A COTTONWOOD TREE IN UPPER VERDE VALLEY
- From such a humble beginning we now have over 400 Baptist Churches, 3 colleges, camps, etc.-
- I wonder how Bristow would feel in our church today? You would YOU feel to hear his sermon?
- A lot has changed - wilderness to great cities, freeways, way of life, expression, what we like -
But God's word has not changed - human needs are still basic - but sin is more sophisticated and common.
PREACHING IS A CHANGING ART!
Preachers and sermon styles change often -but God's Word does not change - Study it yourself!
Several Greek words - "Preach" - Evangelize, Herald, Announce Publicly - all used to lead men to Christ.
- Apostolic preaching was a running commentary using many verses and "This is fulfilled NOW!"
- 2nd Century - rhetoric, grammar, logic- of educated speakers - "This means that-" explanation.
- Chrystostom - 4th century - preached from Books of Bible - explained to meet needs of people.
- Dark Ages - sermons were allegorical, superstitious, fancy interpretations, imagination, prophetic - messages about the Virgin, saints, Holy Days, supposed miracles, relics - DOOM AND GLOOM!
- Reformation - a return to Gospel, authority of Scriptures, expository, and running commentary.
- Puritan - early American - vivid, flowery rhetoric, imagination with eloquence - DOCTRINAL!
- After Civil War - more conversational - less oratory - heavy on topical sermons - an hour long.
- 20th Century - a lot of psychology, life problems, crisis theology, meet needs of people, more story telling, more editorializing - less exposition - more "pick a topic from a verse and fly."
But an 1875 Hard-shell Baptist Preacher would be simple, rough, loud, and plain against sin and judgment.
A SERMON UNDER A COTTONWOOD TREE
J.C. Bristow - born 1835, converted at 18, licensed preacher - dad a preacher, mom died when he was 3
God led him to lead wife and six children into a prairie schooner with oxen - 3 months on the road - now to preach
HE WOULD HAVE ANNOUNCED HIS TEXT "ROMANS 14:12" - READ IT SEVERAL TIMES, AND PREACHED IT
- He might have told the cowboys, soldiers, Indians - No man responsible for his race, color of hair
- But he would have stated plainly our personal responsibility for our actions by choice-
- He would have loudly denounced drunkenness, violence, dishonesty, theft, adultery, sins common then.
- He would have declared God's justice, included Hell Fire, Damnation, Punishment for our sin!
HIS EXPOSITION WOULD HAVE BEEN SIMPLE, AND HIS USE OF OTHER REFERENCES FEW! FEW BIBLES THEN!
- He might have quoted I Pet 4:3-5 against man's lust, wine, revelings - and our JUDGEMENT!
- Maybe Matt 12:36 - account for every IDLE word - 37 - by WORDS justified or condemned -
- Stressing - II Cor 5:10 - JUDGEMENT! v.11 - Terror of Lord against sin! Thundered loudly of HELL!
- And of course, II Cor 5:4 - Love of Christ - He died for all! Then ROMANS 14:11b - Confess Christ!
BRISTOW WAS FOLLOWED BY R.A. WINDES (1879 IN PRESCOTT), URIAH GREGORY (1881 - TUSCON)
- Bristow heard Windes had passed through Verde Valley Fort - and chased him to Prescott -
- Gregory and family rode new train from coast - American Baptist Home Missionary Society sent him - his daughter died.
- There followed a rush to start churches - Globe, Tempe, Buckeye, Phoenix; Colporters, Baptist Young People's Union, Sunday Schools, 1901 Arizona Baptist Convention - work with Chinese, Indians, Negro (12 in '27), camps, schools.
TODAY HUNDREDS OF PREACHERS
In modern Arizona there are hundreds of preachers, churches, camps, retirement centers, MISSIONS, etc.
SEVERAL FELLOWSHIPS VIE FOR SOULS IN ARIZONA TODAY, AMERICAN FREEMARKET SYSTEM OF CHURCHES
- NBC and SBC divided Arizona and New Mexico in teens - now some 14 different fellowships and a host of Independent and Bible Baptist Churches.
- Our ABC joined NBC with Statehood in 1913 - and fought against liberalism for years - until WWII.
- Led out - forming Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society - by Dr. R.S. Beal, George Vouga, Judge Fickett, Lynn Sharp and others - in 1943
TODAY, A GREAT HOST OF CONSERVATIVE BAPTISTS MEETING IN PHOENIX - NEW NAMES FOR MISSION SOCIETIES AND SWCBA, ETC.
- Claude Moffitt led ABC to great growth - SWC, etc. - now led by Dr. Bert Downs, SWC-Brent Garrison.
- Arizona has always been deeply involved in National and International work - Missions -
BUT THE SAME MESSAGE IS PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD - WE ARE A DOCTRINAL FELLOWSHIP -
- The Bible lists seven different judgements - study well - when will YOU be judged for your sin?
- Eventually you will have to give an account - what have you done with Jesus - The Christ - with YOUR life?
- Rom 14:11 - when did you bow your knee to Him? When did YOU confess the Lord? Why not NOW?
Our world will not get any easier - sin reigns, political correctness, abortions, Sodomites, Martyrdom, terrible judgments heralded by media - new germs, asteroids, storms, earthquakes, volcano, fires - Y2K, Christians massacred in foreign lands, under growing attack by media in USA - pre-Nazi Germany
WE ALL WILL FACE GOD SOONER THAN LATER - IT IS APPOINTED - HEB 9:27 - WHAT WILL YOU SAY WHEN YOU SEE JESUS?
- When did you Confess Christ? Or will Jesus say - YOU NEVER BELIEVED IN ME! Why not now?
- When did you recognize Him as your LORD? To obey Him - be Baptized, serve Him, Good Steward?
- Yours is the Choice - stop judging others and give account for YOURSELF - learn to love Him.