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Summary: Dr. King had a dream of reconciliation for all people. It is up to us to keep the dream alive.

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REV. JOSEPH M. COMAGE RECONCILIATION

ACTS 15:36-41 "...THEIR DISAGREEMENT WAS SO SHARP THAT THEY SEPARATED....."

2nd TIMOTHY 4:11 ".... BRING MARK WITH YOU WHEN YOU COME, FOR I NEED HIM".

INTRO:

RECONCILIATION: TO RESTORE TO FRIENDSHIP OR HARMONY. TO MAKE CONSISTENT. TO ACCEPT SOMETHING UNPLEASANT.

DR. KING HAD A DREAM THAT THE DAY WOULD COME WHEN LITTLE BLACK BOYS AND GIRLS AND WHITE BOYS AND GIRLS WOULD BE ABLE TO WALK HAND IN HAND. HE HAD A DREAM OF RECONCILIATION OF GODS CHILDREN.

MAJOR SPORTS TEAMS RECOGNIZED THAT THE BARRIERS OF SEGREGATION NEEDED TO COME DOWN AND JACKIE ROBINSON WAS ALLOWED TO PLAY FOR THE DODGERS.

OUR SCHOOLS ARE NOW A PLACE WHERE LITTLE BLACK CHILDREN AND LITTLE WHITE CHILDREN CAN STUDY TOGETHER TO ACHIEVE AN EQUAL EDUCATION.

IT IS TIME FOR RECONCILIATION OF CHURCHES. THE CHURCH NOT ONLY MUST MOVE FORWARD IN THE AREA OF RACE RELATIONS BUT MUST ABANDON THE FIGHTS BETWEEN DENOMINATIONS.

TEXT:

THIS SCRIPTURE LETS US KNOW THAT THE CHURCH HAS HAD CONFLICT EVEN FROM THE BEGINNING.

PAUL AND BARNABAS HAD JUST COMPLETED A CHURCH CONFERENCE AND WHERE PLANNING ANOTHER GREAT MISSIONARY JOURNEY WHEN THIS CONFLICT AROSE.

(SATAN LOVES A CHURCH MEETING.)

THE IRONY IS THE CONFLICT ERUPTED OVER A YOUNG PREACHER NAMED MARK WHO WAS THE NEPHEW OF BARNABAS.

EVEN THE MOST STAUNCH CHRISTIAN LEADERS HAVE HANG-UPS, FAULTS, FAILURES AND WEAKNESSES JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE.

WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS THIS: PAUL AND BARNABAS HAD TAKEN MARK ON AN EARLIER MISSION, AND FOR SOME REASON, MARK HAD DESERTED THEM AND RETURNED TO HIS HOME.

THE ARGUMENT CONTINUED AND IT BECAME EVIDENT THAT NEITHER PAUL NOR BARNABAS WAS GOING TO GIVE IN. THEREFORE, THEY DECIDED TO SEPARATE AND NO LONGER WORK TOGETHER AS A MISSIONARY TEAM.

100 YEARS AGO THERE WAS A SEPARATION IN THE METHODIST CHURCH. AT THIS TIME THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL ZION CHURCH WAS FORMED.

BUT YOU KNOW, ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF THOSE WHO LOVE THE LORD.

ALTHOUGH PAUL AND BARNABAS HAD DISAGREED, THEY BOTH LOVED THE LORD.

THE LEADERS OF THE METHODIST CHURCH MAY HAVE DISAGREED BUT THEY LOVED THE LORD.

IF WE DON’T GET UPSET AND JUST GO HOME AND SIT DOWN AND DO NOTHING, GOD CAN TAKE OUR STUMBLING BLOCKS AND TURN THEM INTO STEPPING STONES. HE CAN TAKE OUR MINUSES AND TURN THEM INTO PLUSES. GOD CAN TAKE OUR WEAKNESSES AND TURN THEN INTO STRENGTHS.

PAUL DIDN’T SAY SINCE I CAN’T GET ALONG WITH BARNABAS, I’M GOING TO STOP PREACHING. HE CONTINUED TO PREACH THE GOSPEL.

BARNABAS DIDN’T SAY SINCE PAUL DOESN’T LIKE MY NEPHEW I’M GOING TO STOP PREACHING. NO HE CONTINUED TO PREACH THE GOSPEL.

THE GOSPEL WAS PREACHED IN SOME AREAS IT WOULD NOT HAVE REACHED IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR THE SEPARATION.

BUT WHERE THERE IS SEPARATION, GOD WILL MAKE A WAY FOR RECONCILIATION.

PAUL SAID IN 2nd TIMOTHY 4:1...BRING MARK WITH YOU WHEN YOU COME, FOR I NEED HIM."

PAUL ALSO SAID IN PHILIPPIANS 1:12 I WOULD YE SHOULD UNDERSTAND, THAT THE THINGS WHICH HAPPENED UNTO ME HAVE FALLEN OUT RATHER UNTO THE FURTHERANCE OF THE GOSPEL.

FURTHERANCE - MEANS CUTTING AWAY AND REMOVING THE BARRIERS THAT WOULD HINDER.

FOR THE GOSPEL TO GO FORWARD ALL BARRIERS MUST BE REMOVED.

THERE WAS A BLACK MINISTER NAMED HENRY EVANS BACK IN 1790. IT IS SAID THAT ON HIS WAY TO CHARLESTON, HE WAS DETAINED IN FAYETTEVILLE. THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD SHOWED HIM THAT HIS PEOPLE IN THAT CITY WHERE GIVEN OVER TO LEWDNESS AND PROFANITY. THEY HAD NEVER HEARD PREACHING FROM ANY DENOMINATION. THIS CAUSED HIM TO STOP IN FAYETTEVILLE AND BEGAN TO PREACH. THE WHITES IN THAT CITY FORCED HIM OUT INTO THE WOODS TO PREACH AND MANY TIMES THEY TRIED TO FIND HIM AND KILL HIM. BUT THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD WOULD HIDE HIM EACH TIME. THEY BEGAN TO SUSPECT THAT THEIR SERVANTS WHERE ATTENDING HIS SERVICES BECAUSE THEY NOTICED A CHANGE IN THEM. THE SERVANTS STOPPED ALL LEWDNESS AND PROFANITY AND THE LOVE OF GOD BEGAN TO SHOW THROUGH THEM. THE MOD WAS CALLED OFF AND HENRY EVANS WAS INVITED BACK INTO THE CITY TO PREACH TO BLACKS AND WHITES.

GOD WILL BREAK DOWN THE BARRIERS AND WILL MAKE A WAY OUT OF NO WAY.

THE LORD ALLOWED DR KING TO LEAD US IN THE BREAKING DOWN OF BARRIERS. THE ONLY SEPARATION THE LORD WANTS FOR HIS PEOPLE IS SEPARATION FROM SIN.

WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE!

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