Evangelistic Rally — Day 1
The evangelistic meetings at the Greenock Town Hall began today. The room was packed on the main floor and the air was thick with anticipation for what God wants to speak to this community. The excitement was palpable. David Black, Haven Director and member of the steering committee opened the meeting by welcoming everyone, Pastor Carter, the American teams and the Teen Challenge teams that were in attendance.
Greg Thomas, Music Director for Times Square Church, asked the crowd to stand and join in the worship which began with “Amazing Grace.” A sweet spirit of worship ensued that captured everyone and soon many were worshiping with full voices and hands raised to songs of praise like “Jesus is His Name” and “Stronger.”It was contagious and deeply moving.
The Best of Two Bad Situations
Pastor Carter delivered a message he believes is prophetic for Greenock, entitled “The Best of Two Bad Situations” and was based on Luke 15, the parable of the prodigal son. But it was the prodigal son from a different perspective. The thrust of his message was that the younger son did not leave his house because of his father. He left his house because of his older brother, who had been serving in his father’s house and was to inherit it. The older brother had lost his joy and the scripture says was “angry” at the celebration for the younger brother’s coming home. It was never clear whether the older brother joined the party. Similarly, many in the church today are angry and have a deep grievance against God.
The younger son leaves because he does not want to serve under his brother. Many young people today are like the younger son who did not know what his real inheritance was: the unconditional love and provision of his father. When he finds himself feeding swine he considers his father’s house and his brother, and he sees it as the best of two bad situations. But when the father comes running towards him he does not know what to think. “All of a sudden this boy sees what he has never fully understood, and maybe that is the why the father let him go so easily.” The father is not bringing him back as a servant but as a son! “This is the work of God!”
Pastor Carter remarked that Scotland has an incredible history of the touch of God upon a nation. “Is it possible,” he asked, “that God wants to speak to the church first?” “Young people’s heads are beginning to rise again. They’re beginning to look to the house of God. There is a deep hunger for the things of God.”
The heart of the Father
Pastor Carter challenged the church in Greenock saying “sons and daughters are coming home. You can join the party or you can stay outside.””Would you consider having the heart of the Father being given to you again?” “I beg you,” he added later, “be the heart of the Father when they return.”
He gave an altar call for all the young people, all the people who had never given their life to Christ and those who were despondent, who serve God but have no joy. He closed the message with a prayer that exclaimed “This is a divine moment for Greenock!” Some 20 to 25 people, mostly young men, answered the altar call and a wave of rejoicing swept the room. Pastor Carter shouted with joy, “strike up the band and let’s have a party in the house of God!”