Staying Connected

3 John 14, “But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.”
 
Hospitality is a joyous discipline for the purpose of godliness, because it is a purposeful means of showing and strengthening our love for one another. We live in a time of phony connectedness, where an individual may have thousands of social media connections but no real friend with whom to share a meal or meaningful conversation. New Testament churches are to be “given to hospitality,” so invite fellow church members – as well as visitors, traveling
missionaries, and those in need – over for meals and fellowship. Face to face time is the best method of encouragement.
 
During this pandemic, however; face to face time is difficult, even discouraged. As of right now, one of the best ways to demonstrate love for others and be hospitable is to avoid face to face time, at least in large groups, or if you are or have been feeling poorly. COVID-19 is easily transmitted and virulently contagious. Plus, it is especially dangerous to the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
 
But these hard facts do not countermand 3 John 4. We aren’t able to speak “face to face” like before. Still, we must speak. Take advantage of social media. Yes! It can be used for good! Make phone calls. Visit when possible. If the conditions are right. Trust that we “shall shortly see” the corner turned with this pandemic. At that time, our face to face communication will be all the sweeter. Until then, continue to greet one another. Encourage one another with “peace be to thee.” Be calm and trust God.

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The Lord’s Day

Gathering to worship and serve is fundamental to any church’s life. Buildings, pews, resources, sound systems, and the like make church services comfortable, but none of them are necessary. Gathering together is necessary. After all, the Greek word translated “church” in scripture means assembly. This means that when a church meets it is not a simple social gathering, but is an assembly of biblically baptized believers who have covenanted together for the glory of God and the purpose of the gospel. We assemble together to worship the God of the Word according to His Word. 
 
Tomorrow is the Lord’s Day. We will not be able to meet. Suspending our services was a difficult decision to make. Our desire is to be full of faith, confident that faith and common sense walk hand in hand. We love one another and our community. Therefore, we desire to avoid being infected or infecting others. Our prayers are for wisdom and health.

 Live-Stream at 11am

Since we will not be meeting tomorrow, we will livestream a couple of specials from two church members, and I will preach. Please do not confuse the live-stream event with a church service. We can no more “go to church” online than we can eat a meal online. Instead of meeting together, we are live-streaming, due to the unique situation of the novel coronavirus. Avoiding the church gathering to “watch church online” is never a good idea under normal conditions. If you are sick, laid up, shut in, or if a novel coronavirus pandemic breaks out, then live-streaming a couple of songs and a sermon is a good idea.
 
To view the live feed follow the link marked “CLICK HERE FOR SERVICE” on the homepage of biblebaptist.org. You may also visit the church’s Facebook page and click the “Watch Video” button. You do not need a Facebook account to visit the church’s Facebook page. The livestream events will begin at 11am on Sunday and 7pm on Wednesday through the rest of March.

God is good all the time!

I like nothing about this situation, but God is in control. My desire is for us to use this unique opportunity to shine the brilliant light of God’s grace in a dark and depressed world. While we are practicing our social distancing, let’s be sure to stay connected. That’s easier to do now that at any other period of human history. Stay connected and stay focused on the God who is faithful and true.


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BBC and the Pandemic

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dear Bible Baptist Church:

None of us have lived through a time like this. While such times are not unprecedented in human history, this is unprecedented in our history. Thankfully, our God is sovereign at all times and sufficient for our every need. Truly, our times are in His hands, and our trust is in Him.

As we mentioned just last week ago, information about COVID-19 is fluid, and our response to this virus must be as well. The White House recently released (Monday, March 16) the “Coronavirus Guidelines for America,” and one of those guidelines is to avoid gatherings of more than ten people for fifteen days. Given the circumstances this is a reasonable request, and one our church will follow. This means that beginning now and for the next two weeks, at least, we will suspend all church gatherings. Our Sunday 11am services will be livestreamed, and we will be sure to inform you how to view that live feed.

New information keeps coming. If the current restrictions are lengthened, we may need to get creative in how we meet, such as “drive-in” services up on the hill. We don’t know what is around the corner, but here is what we do know. We will wholeheartedly press on together.

Even though we won’t be meeting face to face for a while, we are still able to connect with one another in smaller groups, over the phone, with text messages, or even social media. Let’s be ready to help those in our church who are at high risk due to their age and/or their health. We may need to get groceries, pick up prescriptions, or just check on them.

This virus is an ugly thing, but our Lord and His truth are beautiful. These are difficult and uncommon days. I’ve heard it said that “Affliction prepares ordinary Christians for extraordinary service.” This is true. We have never had such an opportunity to proclaim the gospel, to love each other and our community like we now have. Let’s pursue this opportunity with all our might.

Grace and Peace!

Pastor Travis Gilbert


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Concerning the Corona Virus

As everyone is well aware, information about the Corona virus is fluid and abundant. Just how much of it is useful is hard to discern. We do know that this matter is serious and should be treated as such. With so many cancellations and closures, and with Governor Beshear’s suggestion that churches cancel their worship services, I thought it best to let you know what the plan is for Bible Baptist Church.

First and foremost, as in every situation, our confidence is in our Lord who is sovereign in and over all things. Our trust is in Him. Our prayers are to Him. Every decision we make in issues large or small should be made for His glory, which is always for our ultimate good. We should not panic. We must be prudent and prepared. Faith and common sense are not enemies but friends who happily walk together.

Bible Baptist Church averages less than 200 for Sunday morning attendance. This places us in a different category from schools, arenas packed with fans, or churches that average several hundred or more. With that in mind, and as the situation now stands, here is our plan. For the next two weeks (March 15 and 22) we will meet at our usual times with the following exceptions. We will not have our usual time of greeting during the song service where we go around shaking hands and giving hugs. For the next two weeks, during the “shake and bake” time we will just “stand and wave.” Also, for the next two weeks we will not pass the offering plates, but our ushers will be positioned at the exits with them. You may also give online through our church website. As is always the case, if you feel sick you should not go anywhere but to the doctor’s office. If you believe that, due to your health conditions, being out is too risky, by all means stay inside. Caution is not the lack of courage.

Many in our community and country are very anxious right now. A time such as this provides us with a unique opportunity to love each other well and to proclaim the gospel, calling on others to turn in repentant faith to Jesus. Let’s be sure to demonstrate the hope and joy we have in our Lord and Savior by our patience with one another and our confidence in Christ.


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