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ALTAR CALL – Pastor warns against sin

Cheryl Harewood

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LEPROSY is like sin. Don’t touch it, less you become contaminated.
As lay preacher Alfred Drayton repeated this over and over to the congregation at the Church of the Nazarene, Beckles Road, St Michael, last Sunday, his preached word must have fallen on good ground.
Those present paid rapt attention.
Both young and old sat faithfully throughout the sermon, which was entitled, Man’s Problem, God’s Solution.
In essence, it spoke about Jesus Christ as the answer to man’s problems.
Prior to the preached Word, song leader Pauline Moore led the congregation with traditional hymns of the Church. Included among them were Victory In Jesus, He Rolled The Sea Away, It Is Mine, I’ve Anchored In Jesus and Take The Name Of Jesus With You.
Other worship selections came from the Sunday School choir. These young ones brilliantly rendered I Want To Pass It On, while church member Sis Savoury, blessed the congregation with Wonderful Grace Of Jesus.
Fill My Cup, Lord, and Our God Reigns were added delights to what was a wonderful service.
In his short message, Drayton took his principle text from 2 Kings Chapter 5 – the story of Naaman’s leprosy and his eventual healing after he forsook his pride; heeded the prophet’s advice to wash seven times in the Jordan River and secured his miraculous healing.
“The Bible likens leprosy to sin. Sin can corrupt everything man touches and is a reproach and a disgrace to any man. Without Jesus Christ we are just like Naaman with leprosy,” Drayton stated.
He noted that just as lepers were shunned and cast away from society, those who allow themselves to fall victims to sin, live “below the line” lives.
“When I look at the court section of the newspapers; pass the streets and see the drunkards; hear of and see the drug culture; when we look around at certain sections of our streets each night, and hear about the rapes and sexual promiscuity, which often leads to HIV/AIDS, we are looking sin in the face. Quite often, men take home sin to their wives and ruin their families.
“When we see tragedies around us we want to blame God, but it’s all because of our sins,” Drayton reasoned.
He noted that just as Naaman was provided with the means to a cure (even though he initially refused to do as the prophet told him), likewise, God has provided a cure for man’s sin through His Son Jesus Christ.
“Man’s effort is to try to solve his problems himself, but the heart of man is deceitful in all things and desperately wicked. Many people are looking in the wrong places for answers to their problems. But, Jesus is the only answer.
Drayton noted that Naaman was filled with pride.
Likewise, he stressed, many persons “do not want to repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ because of their pride”.
“Many are like Naaman. They want to kick their bad habits, yet they do not want to take the cure Jesus Christ is offering.
“If you reject Jesus, you are lost.
“In Naaman’s case, even though there were many rivers, it was only by dipping in the River Jordan that Naaman was healed.
“There is also only one way for man to be saved from His sins; that’s through Jesus Christ.
He said the preaching of the Cross “is foolishness to those who perish”, and just as Naaman’s cure was ready and waiting for him, “Jesus is waiting for those who would turn to Him to solve their problems – no matter what these problems may be.
Drayton’s sermon was followed by a time of “breaking of bread”, more formally called Communion, which was presided over by the elected head of the church, Pastor Henderson Carter.