Four years ago I began a series of sermons that I entitled "Basic Bible Teachings." My intention was, when I began writing the lessons, to cover topics that I considered to be basic, fundamental points of doctrine pertaining to faith, salvation, the church and Christianity. These are teachings that everybody claiming to be a Christian ought to know. As I began, I had no idea, as my methodical mind began developing the series, how extensive it would ultimately end up being, By the time I finished, I had preached forty sermons, and I quickly followed that up with five more on grace that served to complement the initial series.
The general response to the "Basic Bible Teachings" series virtually blew me away. As already noted, I thought I was covering material of which all of us should already have a basic understanding. To a great extent I thought I was reviewing, re-emphasizing and reaffirming the foundational doctrines of Christianity. Requests for recordings of the individual lessons, and later of the entire series, were staggering. We distributed, literally, thousands of copies of the lessons. At the end of the series we made all forty sermons, in audio and typed outline form (and twenty power point presentations) available on one Mp3 format CD. We gave away stacks of those.
It became apparent that the series struck a cord that evidently had a great need of being struck. Our own members scooped up many of the copies for themselves, but many of them were passing them on to friends and family members all across the country. Visitors who happened to come our way during the series would frequently ask for copies of individual lessons for themselves, often for the whole series.
One point to glean from the reaction was that these basic principles need to be taught on a regular basis. Another point to be gained is that fact that a great many people are hungry to hear and understand the truth of God's word. Most churches have gotten away from teaching much Bible. As a result there is a dearth of in-depth Bible knowledge among people claiming to be followers of Christ. But, people want to learn! The most effective thing we can do, as the Lord's church, to help people improve their lives and ultimately get to Heaven is teach them God's word.
Last Sunday I launched again into the "Basic Bible Teachings" series. I intend to go over each sermon, improve it if I can and, hopefully, present it in a more effective manner. I plan to build power point presentations for all lessons for which I did not build them the first time around, and I intend to re-do the power points that I did build.
I ask for your prayers as I work on and present these important lessons. Please pray that I will do an effective job in preparing and presenting them. Please pray that they can help us individually and as a congregation and that they can also help many others who are not members here at Sunny Slope. Please pray that God will be glorified greatly through these lessons. I thank you in advance for your prayers and encouragement. Think and pray about how you can use these lessons to benefit yourself and others...
Gary L. Hutchens