SPRINGFIELD – People ought to be changed when Jesus Christ intersects their lives. During the “Sowing in Tears” conference, Jan. 27-28, Pastor K. Marshall Williams of the Nazarene Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Penn., shared how Christ changed his life and urged Missouri Baptists to proclaim the life-changing gospel to others.
“Was it really me proclaiming and exclaiming the Word of God?” Williams remembered asking after he entered the ministry. “All of us were naughty before we became Christians. When I was saved, I lost 80 percent of my vocabulary. But none of us were born with our halos straight.”
But Williams acknowledged that salvation is an ongoing work.
“I have been delivered from the power of sin,” he said. “One day I’ll be delivered from the presence of sin.”
In two fiery messages, peppered with audience “amens,” Williams called his audience to reach the lost.
“We need to tell everybody about Somebody who can change anybody,” Williams said, reminding Missouri Baptists that the Lord must do the work as they evangelize. He called Christians “glorified waiters.”
“We go into the kitchen to the Master Chef and take what He has and serve others,” he said.
Referring to Ps. 126:5, Williams said that people weep for many things that have no eternal value – sports teams’ successes or failures, for example. But men and women are one heartbeat away from eternity. Ministries ought to be watered in tears, he said, asking, “When was the last time you cried for souls?”
“Pray and fast and bring some fruit,” Williams said, adding that “how you love God is how you love others.”
“You have to love them into the kingdom. We need a greatest-commandment revival. If you don’t love, a lot of people will go into the water (of baptism) as dry sinners and come up as wet sinners,” he said, estimating that 80 percent of people in the church don’t know Jesus. He added that discipleship will help churches avoid empty baptisms.
“You have to take (baptismal) candidates in the back room to make sure they know that they know that they know that they have been born again and are secure in their salvation,” he said. “Then we baptize them.”
Churches are in decline, in part, because Christians are not making disciples, he said. Such discipleship involves “helping a person learn to be a man of God, a woman of God. A disciple is a disciplined learner.”
Williams said that, for the church to be without spot or wrinkle, Christians must love God, love others, share the gospel, and disciple and mentor new believers.