This transcript is taken from the Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on March 9, 2020. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
Isaac Crockett: Thank you for joining us today. I’m Isaac Crockett and I’m joined by cohost, the honorable Sam Rohrer, President of the American Pastors’ network, a person who had spent much of his life involved with church and church work as well as in the state legislator in Pennsylvania. Then Dr. Gary Dull, Senior Pastor of the Faith Baptist church in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
Isaac Crockett: Both Gary and Sam are your regular co-hosts that you hear every day just about on this program. Then a guest of ours that is a returning guest is Pastor Matt Recker, he’s the pastor of Heritage Baptist church right in New York city. He’s on live with us today and Philly’s coming live out of New York city. We sound like some kind of big show saying that. Joining him as well as one of his ministry assistants, Micah Johnson. So Matt, thanks for being on the show with us today.
Matt Recker: Oh man, we are just so happy to be here and privileged and honored to have this opportunity once again.
Isaac Crockett: Well, as we look at the news and just talking to people, there’s a lot going on obviously, but there are also a lot of people who have lost faith in what we might call so called professional sources. A lot of people who really don’t trust the news media anymore. A few weeks ago, in my area, for example, the meteorologists were all saying that we should expect a little bit of snow coming that week, one to three inches on a certain day, on Thursday.
Isaac Crockett: As we got closer to Thursday, they kept saying, “Yep, one to three inches of snow.” The day came and we got over 15 inches of snow, and the next day they were saying, “Well, we won’t have any accumulation today.” We had over four inches. People just said, “Well, that’s the news media for you.”
Isaac Crockett: Recently Brian Williams of MSNBC and Mara Gay of the New York times were promoting this idea that somehow Mike Bloomberg with 300 million Americans could have given every American $1 million with the 500 million that he spent on his campaign, which just, doesn’t sound right, doesn’t look right, but they were saying that. I think a lot of people just laughed at that and say, “Yeah, that’s why we can’t trust the professional sources.” Look at the 2016 polls, presidential election polls. Look at the democratic polls, even just in the primary so far have been way off of who they expected and things.
Isaac Crockett: As pastors and even Bible believing Christians, all of you listening who know the Lord as Savior, who believe the Bible, we’re often told to pipe down with our use of the Bible and these kind of professional sources, these humanistic, rational beings are telling us not to push our biblical agenda because it’s outdated and it just doesn’t work.
Isaac Crockett: Even people in seminaries and even people in the pulpit sometimes they’re saying this and trying to rationalize. Even if you listen to some of the Christian music, you don’t hear a lot of things about sin or Calvary or punishment in hell. It’s all just this make people feel good kind of a thing, and getting away from the whole counsel of the word of God.
Isaac Crockett: People say, well, you have to be careful or you’ll offend people. Here at Stand In the Gap, we often discuss that most millennials and generation Z don’t have a biblical worldview. For some people it leads them to say, well, since they don’t have a biblical worldview, we better not use the Bible with them. We need to try to water things down and trick them into coming into church and not use the Bible so much.
Isaac Crockett: But, we know the Bible tells us, it promises us that the Bible, God’s word does not return void, it doesn’t come back empty handed. The problem really with younger generations isn’t that the Bible isn’t working to reach them, it’s far too often that maybe parents or aunts and uncles or churches or older generations are not giving them the Bible. I think the problem is that it’s been too watered down or overlooked. I think oftentimes people who claim to believe the Bible aren’t living the Bible out in front of them and they see that hypocrisy.
Isaac Crockett: This is very important, but when it’s done correctly, I think it’s extremely effective just as much today as it ever has been in reaching any of the generation. Pastor Matt, you’ve planted several churches in New York city. You’re currently the pastor of Heritage Baptist church that you planted now but, its been over 20 years ago. You’ve seen folks saved and discipled from a diverse ethnic background and you’ve been finding many young people, and we even have Micah on the show today, but folks who have been hurting from sin and searching for answers and a lot of them are coming and you’re getting to know folks and they’re coming to know Christ as savior or they’re coming to be truly discipled and mentored in Christ.
Isaac Crockett: Pastor Matt, maybe you could tell us a little bit about your ministry that God has called you to. Maybe introduce your ministry assistant, Micah to our listening audience.
Matt Recker: Absolutely, Isaac. Again, thank you. Well, I came to New York city in 1984, 36 years ago, and the Lord led us first to Flatbush Brooklyn and then to Jamaica, Queens. We started churches there, and then in 1996 we started in Manhattan, right in the Chelsea neighborhood, which is the heart really of homosexuality and the Greenwich village area as well where the Stonewall Inn riots took place back in 1970 that really got the whole modern LGBT movement started.
Matt Recker: That’s where our church has been and we are seeing young people coming to church with a great interest in God’s word. God’s word doesn’t change and it still says, for the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved, that is the power of God. We’re finding that young adults coming into our church want to hear and are thirsting to hear the truth of God’s word.
Matt Recker: Our church, we have a heart for missions, and we recently took a missions trip to Grenada and some of our young people went on that trip and it was great. We have a heart for prayer. Recently, our prayer meetings have literally more than doubled than a lot of the young people are even coming to prayer meeting on Wednesday night and they’ll look forward to coming to prayer meeting.
Matt Recker: It’s been exciting. We’re just preaching the word, expository preaching of God’s word as scripture says. The Lord is bringing in multicultural, multigenerational people. The Lord brought in a young man a few years ago to our church, Micah Johnson. It was actually after the Supreme court ruled to basically redefine the family. Micah heard about our church and has come. I’ll let Micah introduce himself as well at this time.
Micah Johnson: Hey there everybody. My name is Micah and thank you, Pastor Matt for introducing me. I’ve been at Heritage coming up on five years now. I really came out of the world. I’ve lived in New York city since 1997 and although I grew up as a Christian, I got caught up in the world and caught up in sin and for 13 years of my adult life was living in the LGBT lifestyle.
Micah Johnson: God really brought me out of that. Then as pastor mentioned, the Supreme court decision back in 2015 I really looked at the church that I was going to at the time, which was much more seeker-friendly and preaching hyper grace, let’s say. I knew that I needed to go to a place where truth was being preached at the pulpit, where there was that real balance of truth and grace being preached.
Micah Johnson: I had searched and searched and searched online, didn’t know exactly what I was looking for, didn’t know the term Fundamental Baptist, but saw an old article from a magazine saying, where will Tim Tebow go to church? It was just literally a list of churches and Heritage was on the list and I looked it up online and saw the website, and saw that the pastor was literally talking about things that I was wrestling with myself. It was really great. So, happy to be here.
Isaac Crockett: Welcome back to the program. I’m Isaac Crockett, I’m joined by Sam Rohrer and Gary Dull and we’re glad to have you on with us anytime that you tune in. We’re glad for you to be tuning into this program. Today’s program I think you’ll find especially helpful as we talk with Pastor Matt Recker from New York city and Micah Johnson, one of his ministry assistants there.
Isaac Crockett: When we think of New York city, there’s lots of different things we think of, but right now there’s a lot going on with the Green New Deal and one of the folks who seems to be pushing that the strongest is Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. It seems like this is a very, very attractive thing to many progressive, many younger generation folks seem to like this idea. The state of New York, Governor Cuomo, he seems to really like the idea. They’re constantly seeming to be trying to progress with this. They’ve done away with plastic shopping bags and all kinds of other things.
Isaac Crockett: I personally, I recycle and I use glass bottles for milk and things, but they’ve gone so far with some of this and it doesn’t make sense when you study the Green New Deal, you wonder where the trillions of dollars is going to come from to pay for it. How are we going to take care of food shortages that would come if we follow this plan? Even with some the environmental stuff, they’re trying to get rid of combustible engines and things of such nature. They talk about supposed renewable energy, but renewable energy is actually not that renewable because it almost all relies on batteries. Batteries are very toxic to the environment and destroy much of the environment to mine the materials that it takes to make batteries, but those are logical arguments you can make with that. But, it’s just a groundswell of passionate young people that don’t really know all the details, but they just like the idea of this Green New Deal and are following these leaders.
Isaac Crockett: Matt, when you look at these things, you look at how popular something like the Green New Deal is and some of the other progressive really socialist movements that are going on. I know Antifa has been doing a lot in your subways and stuff, talking about this idea of no fares for subways and no police here. Some of these ideas just seem ridiculous to some of us if we think logically about it, but a lot of young people are accepting it and they’re accepting these teachings. What do you think is behind that? Why do you think that they’re leaning so strong this way?
Matt Recker: Great question, Isaac. I believe they’ve been triggered to great fear and a sense of injustice. What I mean by that is the Green New Deal for them, it calms their sense of fear that the world is going to be destroyed in 11 years now, because AOC said last year we had 12 years. Now, I guess there’s only 11. They’ve been taught in school, in movies, in media that the world is in danger of destruction and they’re afraid. So, they’re looking for a savior of the planet.
Matt Recker: They’re afraid of fossil fuels and even eating hamburgers are going to kill the Earth. They’re looking for a savior, but the savior they need of course is Jesus Christ. We need to continue to just preach the Lord, preach Jesus. Then they’re also triggered with a great sense of injustice. They believe that the Green New Deal and socialist policies are going to balance the alleged income equality that they see as unjust. They think not only do they need a savior of the planet, but they need a savior from injustice. They see these programs, socialism and Green New Deal to redistribute the wealth, and to solve the injustice. But of course they’re looking for a King to solve injustice, but the King they need is Jesus Christ, and the only kingdom where there will be that perfect righteousness and justice is the kingdom of Jesus. He is the one that they need.
Sam Rohrer: What you’re saying is just really, really so good and right on folk. Let me take it a step further. Isaac asked you more of a generalized question from the standpoint of the younger generation as a whole is embracing these things. You are focused right there in New York city. It’s a microcosm of all kinds of different races of people and all of that. You’re talking in a setting that a lot of us who are listening to the program right now, far more diverse than most of our listeners right now would be aware of. But, when you are preaching, or when you are reaching out from your church into the broader community that reflects the mentality that you’re talking about, how are you actually taking biblical principles and applying it?
Sam Rohrer: Obviously, if a person comes into the church, they’re going to hear you pray, but when you go out, how are you communicating to them the message that there is hope in the midst of this nonsense that it offers no hope at all.
Matt Recker: Oh thank you for that question. I’m going to let Micah answer this question as well because he has great experience.
Micah Johnson: Hey there. I remember the very first time that I walked into Heritage Baptist Church and it was so interesting to me that walking into this church in the West village of New York city, you saw literally everybody. You saw black people, white people, Hispanic people, Asian people. You saw white collar, blue collar. We have a deaf ministry, there’s one woman in the church who’s blind. There’s people with physical problems and people who are totally healthy. There is the entire age range from babies all the way up to 90 years old.
Micah Johnson: It was just so interesting for me to see a group of people gathered in New York city that was the diversity that the world is searching for. It was immediately apparent to me that that diversity that the world is constantly talking about and trying to find, there’s only really one thing that brings all those people together, and that thing is a man and his name is Jesus Christ. He’s the only thing that can bring together the diversity that the world wants to come up with all these various solutions to find.
Micah Johnson: Why is that diverse group of people gathering together every Sunday in New York city? Well, it’s because the truth of the Bible is being preached, and Pastor Matt does a wonderful job taking the things that are going on in the city, in the news, in the world, in the media, and incorporating them into his teaching.
Micah Johnson: If we’re talking about coronavirus in the world, then he’s going to talk about it on Sunday morning and he’s going to go over scriptures that say, we do not live with a spirit of fear. If there’s some major law that’s being passed in New York city that is pro whatever it is that the Bible stands against, he’s going to talk about it. There’s the group of people coming together based on the fact that we are speaking truth from the pulpit.
Gary Dull: Matt, it’s a delight to be talking to you, and of course it’s delight to have you with us too, Micah. Most have already indicated that you have a lot of young people involved with your church there. I know that many churches today really are struggling, particularly Bible-believing, fundamental churches are struggling in getting young people involved. Yet, you say they’re coming to your church, they’re in there for prayer meeting and so forth and so on. My question to you, maybe either one of you can answer it or both of you, what things have you done to attract the younger generations to your church, but do it in a biblical fashion?
Matt Recker: I have to admit that I really haven’t done anything to attract them, they’ve just come. Once they’ve come, we’ve engaged them. That’s it, that we really welcome them and then we engage them. We follow up with them. Micah has been meeting some with Bible studies. I’ve been meeting with two young men every week at different times for coffee and lunch and discipling them. At our 10:00 AM hour, we’re going through a discipleship book, we’re trying to disciple them. What I’m just finding is that the millennial generation now, they’ve dabbled with so much stuff with sex, with drugs, with alcohol, they’ve gone to Alcoholics Anonymous as well and they’ve gone to medical help. They’ve tried to pharmaceuticals and the psychiatrist and I believe some of them are going to be coming into our church so we have to engage them when they do come.
Matt Recker: I’m going to have a group of them over to my house this Friday and I’m going to grill some steaks for them, since I live in Queens, I have a grill. Some of them live in Manhattan, they can’t grill steak. So, they’re looking forward to that.
Isaac Crockett: Real quick, Micah, with that kind of mentoring discipleship approach, how does that differ maybe from other churches that you have been involved in that were super seeker-friendly but maybe were more of like just a big crowd that comes and listens but not as much of that one-on-one mentoring?
Micah Johnson: Well, I think the key is that accountability. If we have a church where various people from Pastor Matt to me as a ministry assistant to others are deeply engaged in people’s lives, whether it’s Wednesday night prayer meeting, we’ve been doing a Tuesday night men’s fellowship, we have classes before the services and we’re engaging with individuals.
Micah Johnson: I can tell you that even on my way in this morning into the office, I got a phone call from somebody and he’s a young man in his 20s, and he was literally crying on the phone to me because he has an addiction that has… Literally, it’s tearing his marriage apart and tearing apart the relationship that he has with his in-laws. If I as one person of many in our church am going to be there on the other end of that phone call, that is different than the experience that somebody is getting if they’re going to one of these maybe larger, seeker-friendly churches where they go in, they sing music that makes them feel good, but it’s not the type of situation where they have that individual one-on-one accountability, and that’s what they’re getting at Heritage.
Isaac Crockett: Gary, I know we just have a few moments, so, I want to ask you a quick question, Gary, because I know that you have a similar type of ministry that you have a large ministry there in Altoona, but you have a lot of ministry with homeless and different things that I’ve seen you in action there. Could you maybe just encourage those listening, especially pastors about that kind of ministry, but it isn’t easy, but is it worth it?
Sam Rohrer: Well, it absolutely worth it, and I think that some people say, well, it takes time to do that. Well, yes, it does take time, but I appreciate what Matt has said there about the one-on-one because I find that when you sit down one-on-one and talk to a person, no matter what status they are in life, it really does give you the opportunity to reach out to them and to communicate to them Jesus Christ.
Sam Rohrer: But, discipleship is such a key today, and I think that’s something that we’ve lost in a lot of our churches down through the years. But, where that is done and where it’s one-on-one discipleship, God blesses that because it’s a biblical pattern to follow.
Isaac Crockett: Amen. It is a biblical pattern. Gary, I’ve seen you doing that. I grew up in a home where my dad did that as a pastor, and many of you, and it doesn’t just take a pastor to be willing to take time and interest in somebody. It takes love, that love we have for God and when we loved him, it helps us to love others no matter what their addictions, no matter what their scars, no matter what their past, no matter what they’re going through, that we love people and we can give them the word of God and that really truly is the most loving thing we can do even when it confronts us.
Isaac Crockett: We’re talking with Pastor Matt Recker and ministry assistant of his, Micah Johnson. They are talking with us right now, live from New York city and just amazing things happening in churches all over the world. Churches that are willing to continue to preach the word of God, continue to rely on the Bible for our authority. Unfortunately, Sam, you’ve told us many times about some of the research going on by our good friend George Barna, who’s telling us that pastors are afraid to use the word of God, that many pastors are saying they don’t even rely on the Bible as final authority anymore.
Isaac Crockett: For those who are willing to do that, they will see the Lord use it. Yet, it is so tricky because there are so many things going on in this country and in this culture that divert us away from that. It’s just sometimes it happens real quickly and you see something, and we need to be thinking biblically about it.
Isaac Crockett: Matt, you and I were talking about how easy it is for people, pastors or even political leaders, other leaders in our country who claim to be Christians, how they will sneak in an ungodly, a natural humanist worldview when it comes to their own lives, into their own sins. Something that’s come out recently, and I’ve watched part of it is an interview with the Clintons. It’s a documentary about Hillary, but they have a lot of interviews with Bill Clinton. I’m fascinated by their biographies. I’ve been to the Clinton Museum in Arkansas and I find him a very fascinating character, not always for the right reasons.
Isaac Crockett: According to an ABC news article that I was reading, the title of the article kind of says it all. It says, Bill Clinton says, affair with Monica Lewinsky was to quote, “Manage my anxieties.” In this article they are based on this documentary on Hulu, they say president Clinton basically acknowledges that his affair with Monica Lewinsky was, in his words, awful, but that it says that he goes on to make what many see as an excuse when he claims that the reason he had the affair, happened as a result of him trying to quote, “manage his anxieties.” Saying that as the president of the United States, there was all this pressure, and that led to that.
Isaac Crockett: Matt, we live in a society right now that seems to not just tolerate fornication and it pushes it on people and it teaches young people that they can just do whatever they want. Of course, the Bible has a lot to teach us about sexual purity and the righteousness of marriage. How do you think explanations of fornication, like what former president Clinton was saying there to excuse adultery, how does that go against a truly biblical worldview?
Matt Recker: Wow. Well, people do love Bill Clinton because he makes people very comfortable, feel very comfortable with their sin, but when it comes to God’s word and sin, we must not back down to the world. We must lovingly double down on the truth of God’s word. I just recently preached three sermons about fornication and our young people in our church, especially the young men came up to me and thanked me for it.
Matt Recker: I was reading Matthew 15:19 where Jesus speaks about the sin that comes out of our heart. The order of that verse is fascinating where he says that out of our heart is evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts.
Matt Recker: He puts sexual sins of adultery and fornication between murder and theft. Bill Clinton is basically justifying his adultery and fornication, but it cannot be justified. I would just say his explanation is so bad and that, first of all he excuses sin rather than confesses it, and he’s essentially saying that he could use a young intern for his pleasure, like taking Prozac or Paxil. But, adultery is no way to manage anxiety. We need to go to God’s word to manage our worries and our fears and the disappointments of life.
Matt Recker: The second thing, because I did see that interview, and I felt that just watching it, that here was a man who was the Commander in Chief, but he became a chief predator and he’s sitting there now and wants us to feel sorry for him, that he was going through so much despair and disappointment and pressure that he had to destroy a young woman by committing adultery and fornication with her.
Matt Recker: I felt that he was trying to make himself a victim, that we should feel sorry for and that’s completely wrong. That’s where I believe he was totally wrong in his responses that he excused a sin rather than confess it and he made himself a victim that we should feel sorry for. That’s dangerous to our culture.
Sam Rohrer: Matt, I liked the way you presented all of that in a very balanced fashion. I want to go and pick up on what Isaac said and ask you for a practical application here. Because as Isaac mentioned, and you know this, Matt, that there are less than 10%, 9% is what the numbers are, George Barna’s numbers would say that even evangelical pastors, those who would say they believe the scripture, even last year preached one sermon on marriage and God’s design for marriage.
Sam Rohrer: They definitely did not talk about other types of efforts to redefine human sexuality or those things. They’re not even going to marriage. The fear is, in most cases, that because they know… Or even abortion, I’ll put that in there too. They’re not speaking on abortion and life or on marriage because they believe that there will be someone offended, sitting there, and that it will drive them away from the truth. What you’re talking about is being in a community where people are confronted with sin. They live in that, every day they’re seeing it.
Sam Rohrer: Have you found that people run from the truth because they’re offended? I know you’re saying that many respond positively, but how have you dealt with that fear issue of fearing that you’re going to drive somebody away rather than presenting them the truth, even though it may be harsh? Talk about that.
Matt Recker: Yeah. Well, my life’s verse is Acts 18, where Paul was in Corinth and God said, “Be not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee, for I have much people in the city.” We can’t be afraid what people are going to say if we’re standing on the clear word of God.
Matt Recker: We look at our culture like last week we saw Chuck Schumer stand there and literally threaten two Supreme court justices if they don’t vote the way he wants them to. Is he afraid? Is he afraid for that? That was incredible to me. How can we be afraid to lovingly proclaim the truth of scripture? In John chapter five, I preached last Wednesday in our church where Jesus was threatened with death and accused by the Jewish people of claiming too much when he made himself equal with God. Did He back down? No, He doubled down actually and he said, “I am equal with God. I’m the life giver. I’m the judge of all men, and I’m worthy of equal honor to the father.”
Matt Recker: That’s where I say, as Christians believing in the Bible and the authority of scripture, we must not back down, but we must in love, double down on the truth of God’s word.
Gary Dull: We’re living in a day and age when young people like to stick together and follow each other. This morning, the church that I pastor here in Altoona, Pennsylvania, we passed out Bibles to one of the junior high schools in our area. We found that if young people were coming by themselves, they would probably take the Bible. If they were coming in the group, if the first person took the Bible, they all did. If the first person did not take the Bible, they all rejected it.
Gary Dull: Young people want to hang together and sometimes that’s what gets them into trouble. So, Matt and Micah, how do you teach your young people to be willing to stand up and stand out rather than blend in and be like everybody else?
Matt Recker: Okay, well, Micah can answer this.
Micah Johnson: Well, I think that truth is definitely the key word there. I think that when I started coming to Heritage years ago, I think one of my favorite things about Pastor Matt is that he will get up there on the pulpit and speak that truth.
Micah Johnson: Before the children go to Sunday school, they’re all there, of all age groups. He speaks truth, and then when the kids go to… The younger kids go to their Sunday schools, he speaks even more explicitly on truth. We had… I teach the teenagers in our 10:00 AM hour and then 11:00 AM is our normal service and all the teenagers basically from 12 on up sat through pastor Matt’s three sermons on fornication he preached in the last month. Do we say, oh let’s usher these kids into a separate class? No, they listen because they’re bombarded in the world. So, we want to make sure they’re hearing truth just like everyone else.
Isaac Crockett: Amen to that. It is so important to speak the truth. Yes, to speak it in love, but to give the truth, and that is the problem that people are not giving the truth.
Isaac Crockett: Welcome back to the last part of our program, I’m Isaac Crockett. Joining me today, Sam Rohrer and Gary Dull, your regular cohost. Then our special guest, we have Pastor Matt Recker from Heritage Baptist in New York city and Micah Johnson along with him, a ministry assistant there at Heritage. We’ve been talking about how effective God’s word is even in New York city, even among multiple different ethnic backgrounds and multiple generations that God’s word still works and we don’t need to try to hide it. We don’t need to try to water it down. We just need to give the truth of God’s word and live it and have those one-on-one opportunities or small group opportunities to really mentor and disciple folks no matter what their age.
Isaac Crockett: Matt, as we’re trying to wrap things up here, we know that God’s word does not return void. Could you maybe just give us a final dose of encouragement, maybe what you can tell us about the power of God’s word and even the power of prayer in your ministry and the power it has for all of us in our lives?
Matt Recker: Yes. Thank you, Isaac. Well first I would just ask that you and your listeners pray for us in New York City, Heritage Baptist Church. Last year, by the grace of God and through many prayers we were able to purchase a condominium space. That’s where I’m coming to you from right now on third Avenue and 41st street. We’re right between Grand Central Station is one block to the West and the United Nations is one block or two blocks to the East from where we are right now.
Matt Recker: Pray for us in New York city. I would just say there is power in prayer, and God recently actually directed my heart to the Valley of Vision. Have you ever heard of this book, the Valley of Vision? It’s a book of Puritan prayers of Spurgeon and Brainerd, but that this book has been transforming my life into prayer.
Matt Recker: That’s been a real blessing for me. Then just corporately, I believe God is answering our prayers as a church body, and that’s encouraging more people to come to our prayer meetings. That’s been exciting, and then I would say pray for people to come into your church, pray for young people to come into your church. Be praying for this younger generation and young families. Ask God to break down barriers and bring them in. Then once they come, engage them in the word. Micah has something to say as well if he could.
Micah Johnson: Yeah, I think in addition to that individual prayer, I think that I’ve seen just even over the last couple of months how important group prayer is. We launched a new men’s Bible study, just a few months ago and it was a place where men come together with all of our different struggles; married men, single men come together and just be vulnerable with each other, just be honest with each other and pray for each other and share testimonies.
Micah Johnson: If your church doesn’t have that, I would just recommend on just the couple of months of experience I’ve had leading this Bible study group, definitely start it. Definitely figure out a way to incorporate that, because women are, I would say in general, they’re so faithful in getting together and praying and being real prayer warriors and sometimes men, we can be at the back of the line as far as that’s concerned.
Micah Johnson: Create a space in your churches where men can come together and really just be vulnerable with each other because I think praying for each other is powerful. I experienced it just this morning as I was telling you guys, just praying with a guy over the phone for his situation, I think is really, really powerful. Prayer on the individual basis and on the group basis is what I have seen change lives.
Isaac Crockett: Thank you. What great reminders, Matt and Micah both just to me making that time for personal, and private prayer as well as corporate praying together. Many times we get together to worship or different things and we really spend so little time actually praying together. We might talk about all of our prayer requests, but prayer is so much more than just a grocery list as my pastor put last night at our prayer meeting, so much more than just a grocery list of things we need or want, but it’s the time to truly come together and to experience a fellowship with God and a communion with him in each other praying.
Isaac Crockett: Sam, I’m going to go to you real quickly here. You’ve spent many years in government work, the Pennsylvania state legislator. You’ve now been working for a number of years with pastors and churches here through the American Pastors Network. You’ve always worked with churches and been very involved, but what words of encouragement do you have for our listeners right now and maybe for pastors listening or something that a listener could take to his or her pastor just for our nation to help us take a stand for what’s biblically correct for that truth that we’ve heard Micah and Matt talking about and just using those truths for the next generations?
Sam Rohrer: Yes, Isaac. I think what I would go on, this is when I learned from being in office and speaking, there is a minister of God in government, Romans 13, or in the pulpit. We tend all of us, whether we’re in a position like that or our listeners generally listening, we tend to think, I have to really be very careful how I craft my words, prepare what I’m saying so that it is convincing.
Sam Rohrer: You try from a human perspective to phrase and articulate your words in such a way that those who hear it are just overwhelmed by your power of your delivery, and that’s wrong. I think the key here is that when it comes to the matter of truth, it is the Holy spirit alone that communicates truth. Unless the Holy spirit opens the ears of a person listening and opens the heart, it falls on the ground.
Sam Rohrer: That’s why prayer becomes so important, but it also takes a burden off of us is that God does not hold any of us regardless of our position, responsible for the results. But, he does expect us to faithfully communicate the truth of His word, trusting the Holy spirit to take and make the application. I think when we do that, the Lord directs our speech and directs our attitude and directs our actions, and He then does the work. Unless He does the work, it’s in vain anyway.
Isaac Crockett: Wow. That is so true, and so comforting to hear you say that because even as a young pastor and thing, so many times that’s been my temptation is, oh, did I do a good enough job? As you said, am I articulate enough instead of relying on the spirit of God to work.
Isaac Crockett: Gary, you’ve been pastoring for a number of years and you’ve been involved much like Sam, except you were from the pulpit being involved with legislator and Sam from the legislator was involved with pulpits. But, you’ve seen this too, and you’ve seen exactly what Sam is talking about. I’d love to get your comments on this and then to have you close our program out in prayer.
Gary Dull: Well, Isaac, it is so important that we do preach the truth, and I think it’s important that pastors are in the word of God in their study. They’re preferably studying the word of God. As they do, the spirit of God will lead them to proclaim the word of God that will have an effect upon the lives of those who hear it, and that’s what Matt and Micah are doing there at Heritage at New York city, and I thank the Lord for them and trust that they’ll be an encouragement to all of us pastors across the country.
Isaac Crockett: Sam and Gary, thanks so much. We appreciate not only you being on the radio today, but your faithfulness day in and day out here on Stand in the Gap Today.