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Dr. Ricky R. Hurst is a native of Carroll County, Georgia, and has been an ordained Baptist Minister for over 30 years. He has served as pastor in Georgia, Kentucky, and Virginia, as well as the Director of Donor Relation for the Virginia Baptist Foundation.
Ricky is a graduate of Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, the SouthernBaptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond.
He is dedicated to the Gospel Ministry, and to sharing the Presence of Christ through preaching, teaching, and pastoral care. He and his wife, Joy, have three sons: Nathan (wife, Vanessa), Samuel, and Jeremiah (wife, Allison). Ricky’s hobbies include creative writing, antique book and bottle collecting, nature, and gardening.
Upcoming Sermon Titles and Texts:
October 7, Season of Spiritual Renewal
Guest Preacher: Dr. Ken Kessler, BGAV
October 14, Season of Spiritual Renewal, Communion
October 21, Season of Spiritual Renewal
October 28, Season of Spiritual Renewal
Note from Pastor Rick:
ALTAR OF HEAVEN
When the Lamb of God opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour, and then an angel with a golden censer stood at the altar. The angel offered incense with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of God’s throne. The smoke of the incense, along with the prayers of God’s people rose up before God from the angel’s hand (Revelation 8:1-5). This is a beautiful scene of the offering of prayer, and yet a dramatic answer to prayer as the angel takes the censer filled with fire from the altar and hurls it down upon the earth.
Then the seven angels blow the seven trumpets, announcing the judgments of the Lord upon those who have persecuted and killed God’s people, and upon those who have destroyed the earth (Revelation 8-11). When the seventh angel blows the seventh trumpet a great announcement is made from heaven: “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15). This is the central theme of the Book of Revelation, the coming of God’s kingdom and the reign of Christ.
The coming of God’s kingdom and the reign of Christ does involve us and our prayers. It is evident in the Book of Revelation that Christians suffer hardship, persecution, and martyrdom as the whole world groans in pain at the birth of the kingdom of God. And, in this turmoil Christians offer their prayers which rise up to the altar of heaven. So, we ask the question, “Do our prayers make a difference?” According to the Book of Revelation, “Yes!”
John mentions that there was silence in heaven for a half hour (Revelation 8:1). God’s timetable is not like our timetable. Peter reminds us, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8). We do not know the actual length of a half hour in heaven, but we get the impression that during this time God is listening intently to the prayers of his people. And, then God answers their prayers. The Lord acts to rescue those who cry out for God’s kingdom to come.
Jesus told his disciples that they should always pray and never give up, and he illustrated that point in the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-5). The widow pursued justice from a harsh and cruel judge, and she did so continuously in spite of the judge ignoring her pleas for mercy. Finally, the judge could not take her persistence any longer and he granted her request. Jesus said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 8:6-8).
Whatever justice we are seeking from God, let us keep praying and never give up. The angels are lifting up our prayers on the altar of heaven.
Grace, Peace, & Love,