Luter calls for unity, love for one another

by BSCNC Communications
  • Fred Luter speaks during the 2013 Southern Baptist Convention Pastor's Conference. Photo courtesy Thomas Graham, Baptist Press.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 | 7 yrs old

With the spiritual pulse of the nation and world at an all-time low, Fred Luter challenged Southern Baptists to answer this question: Is the church making a difference?

“What difference is the church making in this darkness? Have we been lights in a dark world?” he asked.

During his Tuesday evening sermon during the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Houston, Texas, Luter, SBC president and pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La., called for Southern Baptists to join together in unity.

He noted that baptisms among Southern Baptist churches are the lowest in 65 years. In order for that to change, and in order for Southern Baptists to penetrate lostness, unity must be priority.

“We’re all in this together. It’s not about your church and my church. It’s not about your ministry and my ministry. It’s not about your kingdom and my kingdom,” Luter said. “It’s about all of us as Southern Baptists working together and crying out in repentance to God. It’s time for revival, it’s time for renewal, it’s time for restoration.”

Luter shared that Southern Baptists must first love the Scriptures if they expect to change the world for Christ. More than six billion people in the world do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and “we do not have time for debate or discussion. Time is running out,” Luter said.

Lost people need to hear the Scriptures – they need to hear the gospel and the love of Jesus Christ.  “No matter how bad you are, how dark your past or how dim your future, according to the Word of God, you can be saved,” Luter said.

“God gave me another chance. I blew my second chance a long time ago. But God gave me another chance.”

Luter asked Southern Baptists to always stand firm on the Scriptures. “We should not compromise ever the Scriptures when it comes to standing up for biblical principles,” he said.

With a love for the Scriptures comes a love for the Savior. Believers can never forget the work of Christ on the cross and the unconditional love of Christ. Everything Jesus did was motivated by love, and no matter how many times His children stumble, His love never changes.

“I have no doubt in my mind that if the body of Christ would have that kind of love for each other on a consistent basis the Lord would send revival,” Luter said.

As believers love the Scriptures and the Savior they will also love the saints. Lost people need to see the love of Christ on display as believers love one another.

“Do we love the saints of God enough to work together to impact lostness? How do we expect the lost to know the love of Christ when we can’t put aside our personal agendas and show genuine love for each other?” Luter said.

Southern Baptists must be willing to love regardless of situation or circumstance; only then will churches experience renewal and unity.

“We will never see revival in this world until we see revival in the church,” Luter said.