Category Archives: Ministry Updates

Haiti Trip Update

As I begin this update, I would just like to extend a special thanks to all those who prayed for the missions trip! I know that your prayers made all the difference, and I could truly sense the prayers. In my first week, it was a joy to work with Harry Peart doing a young people’s conference on a Wednesday through Friday. We had great group of young people out for the week. There were a couple of people who really seemed like they were under conviction regarding their need for salvation, but did not get the need taken care of. One young man stepped forward and some others began snickering at him, which discouraged him from coming. It was a very sad thing to see, and the conviction was obvious any time the need for salvation was addressed throughout the week. Just pray for him that God will continue to convict and draw this young man to Christ.

There are three other missionary familes who live in the same compound area as the Pearts, each of whom I had the privilege of meeting.  Dr. Ann Livingston is a medical doctor who has been serving there faithfully for many years meeting the physical needs of the Haitian People. Then, the Tim Bower family who has a church plant right next to the compound, and the Baker family who lives with the Bowers. I had the privilege of preaching in Brother Bower’s church on Wed night while I was there. On Sunday, I preached in Brother Pearts church. He has been faithfully working with this congregation for several years and just recently was able to get a building started. They were about ready to have the roof put on when I arrived. A construction team came the day I left to assist in that project. The national that Brother Peart has been working with to place as the Pastor is a very good man with a heart for God. It was a joy to meet him!  In the Sunday morning service, God began something there at that church in his life that I feel is very key to the continuing growth and forward movement of that ministry. Praise God for all He has done! The whole while the youth conference was going on, there was a voodo ceremony going on maybe a five to ten minute walk from the church. The national pastor to be pointed to a clump of trees and told that a voodo ceremony was taking place just on the other side of that clump of trees. It was heart breaking to think of that going on so close to the church and during the same time as the youth conference. It was a solemn  reminder that when God is at work, so is Satan. But, I am thankful God is greater! In fact, this Pastor had been saved out of voodo and had been born into the family of a witch doctor. At the time of his salvation, he was in the process of buying more power with Satan, but God miraculously saved him and now He is passionate about winning souls!

My second week was very full working with some good friends of mine from Dunbar Baptist. Kathy Gouker and Alice Wise as well as a national, Pastor Cebian during this week, I was helping a little boy named Audson ( pronounced udson)  do his schoolwork in ACE. He has been having a problem with his eyes that makes him unable to see at times. And no one can seem to figure out what it is. His parents have been trying all they can, So, I read  his work to him, and asked the questions and was able to help him in school! I enjoyed it tremendously, and it was a blessing to be able to encourage him. Please pray he can get the help he needs. The situation there is very complicated and hard because of government regulations and medical quality. During the week, I also preached in Chopin for a week and saw God work in lives there! It was also, a joy to preach in the Christian School Chapel three times. Later, Pastor Cebian invited me to a very remote place called Robinette. I went on a Saturday and returned on Monday. We showed a film on the life of Christ Saturday night then I got to preach on Sunday. The best part, a group that had barely any knowledge of God or the Bible! They didn’t even own a Bible. So, I started with creation and the fall of man, then explained salvation. Praise God, in all there were 24 or so who accepted Christ in the mountains of Robinette, Haiti. Pastor Cebian is about ready to plant another church there, and has already been responsible for over 200 church plants in Haiti! We had the privilege of celebrating his seventy-second birthday while I was there, and He is still going strong!

This is just a brief summery of the many things God allowed me to take part in while I was there, and my heart is truly full for what He allowed to take place. This is the 7th foreign country God has allowed me to visit, and although the language barrier and living conditions were much more difficult than some other places I have been, It was a tremendous trip, and from the very start, God gave me a love for the people, of this needy land! A piece of my heart is left behind in each of the countries I have been, and Haiti was no exception. watching the coastline disappear as the airplane takes off is always the hardest thing I do any time I leave a foreign country. Lord wiling, Some pictures will be posted on facebook soon!

Ministry Update

I am not  even sure I know where to begin with this update as I think about how incredibly good God has been! Not to mention, quite some time has passed since my last formal update as well. The summer has been very busy, yet very fruitful! My first meeting for the summer was a VBS with my good friend Pastor Jim Ogle at Emmanuel Baptist in Kings Mountain, NC , who was also one of my professors in college. It was a great joy to get to know him better as well as serve in his ministry. He was a blessing all throughout my college days, and currently is being greatly used of God in the ministry there.

From there, I went to be with my Dad, Pastor Bob Wrachford in Dunbar, Pa to conduct a Bible School. My siblings jumped right in and participated in helping to prepare things. This was a great opportunity to serve along side them this particular week for God’s glory. Several children made some solid decisions in their lives to get things right with God. If they will remain tender throughout their lives to the Word of God, it will be incredibly exciting to see what God will do in the years ahead with them!

 

After this week of meetings, I went to Meshoppen, Pa to serve with a Pastor I had never met before. But Pastor Myers is a wonderful man of God who has been there since beginning the church 40 years ago! He still has a fervor to reach out to his community there in the mountains of north central Pa. Several children accepted Christ and showed a wonderful understanding of the plan of Salvation! That right there was just so exciting!

 

Maineville, OH was my last VBS for the summer. and God clearly moved in a great way there as well. This was my second time to help out there under this good friend, and we are already beginning to toss some ideas around for next year! Following this time. I was able to preach a teen rally at my home church, in Taylors, SC , then go up to the annual Landmark Conference at Ambassador Baptist College.

 

Each week was marked by special answers to prayer! In fact, before I began the summer, I was praying for at least 20 souls to be saved. God went far above that! To my knowledge there were 27 that made profession of faith. And I have not even gone to Haiti yet! That trip will be from Aug 9 – 23. Please pray with me that more souls will be saved!

As I close this update, I just want to say, I covet your prayers above anything else! I want to be useful for the cause of Christ and to be yielded to Him in every way. Please pray for an unspoken prayer request I have. Second, please remember to keep the missions trip in prayer. The country of Haiti some years ago was officially dedicated to Satan, and there is a lot of witchcraft, and voodoo is their primary religion. This country, which is classified as fourth world is, indeed, in desperate need of the transforming power of the Gospel! It is a small nation, but God is a great God who cares even about the tiniest islands of people in the world! Third, please pray for God to guide in my car situation. It has been repaired several times recently and it is getting to the time to be considering what God would have for me to do with that. Just want to wait on Him, not running before or behind but exactly following His leadership in this area. I am absolutely thrilled at what God is doing! It is a joy to be a small part of God’s work and to let Him do the impossible as some exciting possibilities begin to present themselves. If I can ever pray for you in any way or be of help in any way whatsoever, I hope that you will feel free to contact me.

Joyfully Serving our Risen Saviour,

Stephen Wrachford

Micah 6:8

 

April Ministry

Dear Praying Friends,

It has been a great month of serving the King! The highlight of the month was the opportunity to preach a revival meeting for a long time family friend in Franklin, Pa. There was a sweet spirit all week and God blessed in each service. There was great liberty and people were receptive to God’s Word. There was one man in particular that God really seemed to be stirring in his heart, and he made some decisions that were needed! It was a great blessing to see that! There were also a few visitors who came throughout the week.

Also, since my return home from the meeting, I have been doing a lot of pulpit supply for a needy little church in the area. Please continue to pray for Victory Baptist Church in Woodruff, SC that God would meet their needs! I have been trying to help them out as much as possible when I am not traveling.

The summer is fast approaching and VBS rallies will be in full swing. Please pray specifically that some souls will be saved this summer!

Upcoming Ministry

Things are getting ready to pick up a little as far as ministry opportunities abroad again this year! Looking forward to a Revival Meeting in just a couple of weeks at Baptist Temple of Franklin with Pastor David Foote! Please be in much prayer for this upcoming opportunity! We are a needy people, and this preacher needs God to show him exactly what messages to preach. Pray that God would give me a heart of compassion, and that souls will be stirred to revival and the lost will be pointed to Christ. We need to seek God daily for this meeting. I am anticipating what God can and will do! Please pray also for my home church which will be having a revival meeting this same week with Evangelist Morris Glieser. It is my prayer that God will do His work there as well, to stir up a genuine thirst for God!

In the last month, there have been some great opportunities that God has given. My summer continues to fill up with VBS events, and I am very much looking forward to this as well ! Please keep them in your prayers as you think of it. I still have several weeks available this summer, if there is a need that I can help you to meet in that capacity, it would be a great privilege to serve.

 

Visit to Indiana Baptist College and the Conference

The time at Indiana Baptist College went very well! It was a wonderful opportunity to see a couple of my siblings, and it was also a joy to preach in chapel. It was evident that God is at work in many hearts there. There was good response to the preaching of God’s Word, and a willingness to be broken and honest before Him! I am excited in the days ahead what God will do with many of these young people as they graduate and go on to serve God.

Also, the conference in Wisconsin was very good. It was convicting, but good! This year, the theme was on prayer, and there were some sweet prayer meetings there, as we had the privilege of seeking God’s face corporately. There were many Pastors and lay people from around the country who were serious about getting on their knees and seeking God for revival in this nation and in their ministries.

February Update

Praise God for a fruitful month of ministry! Although it has not been busy with preaching engagements, God has been blessing in other ways! So far, God has allowed me to book three Vacation Bible Schools as well as other possible opportunities in the near future! These little tokens of God’s blessing, are a reminder that God sees and cares! It has also been a busy time preparing the lessons for these Bible Schools as well as the program. I ask prayer specifically that souls would come to know Christ as their personal Saviour this summer. Please join me in fervent prayer for that! I would also like to say, if any of you reading this have an opportunity where you could use help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me, I would love to serve in any way possible!

This month, I am attending a conference in Wisconsin on prayer! I am praying it will be a time of spiritual re energizing as well as a time to learn more about my Saviour! Looking forward to updating you more on that next month! It will be my joy during this time to preach in the chapel service at Indiana Baptist College. This is a very special place, as two of my siblings are currently studying there to serve God with their lives, and they have a true heart for revival!  If there has ever been a day in time where we need to see revival, it is today! Thank God for a place like Indiana Baptist College that has a zeal to see this truth implanted in the lives of their students. If anyone has a young person of college age, and they are considering ministry, I would invite you to check it out for yourself. It is located in Greenwood, Indiana. May God bless you all as you continue to serve Him!

 

January Ministry

The month of January has been busy in some ways and slow in others, but a great blessing all around. I had the opportunity to preach a few times at Victory Baptist in Woodruff. SC and each opportunity is a great blessing. God seems to be at work in an amazing way there! It was also my joy to preach for Pastor Shawn Madrid up in Pa while he was away visiting family out west. A great church in central Pa with a desire to see God use them!  Pastor Madrid has been a good friend as well, and it has been a joy to see his heart for revival!  This month was also an evangelist advance at Ambassador Baptist College. It was a great blessing to be a part of this and learn from the ministry of Dr. Comfort who we were honoring at this year’s advance. He has had an impact on my life and ministry in the area of challenging me to stay faithful through the years despite opposition that may come my way, as well as challenging me to keep the Bible my central focus in preaching! He has probably impacted my life in more ways than I could even begin to say through his example, life and ministry! Thank God for this faithful servant and warrior!  In the last week, I have also had the priviledge of meeting many pastors from around the country. I have two special prayer requests. One is for Spirit filled ministry and preaching. Also, for a strengthening relationship with many Pastors I have met. My desire is to be a friend to them, and help carry the load in whatever way possible.

What in the World is Going to Happen Next?

What in the World is Going to Happen Next?

Have you ever asked yourself, “What in the world is going to happen next?” As we draw closer to the end of time, this seems to be a more popular question than ever before. There are so many positions out there regarding end events and everyone clamoring that they possess the corner on truth regarding this topic. How many of these positions come about by careful reading of the Scriptures? By the Lord’s grace, I’d like to spend some time answering the question regarding what the Bible teaches in relation to the tribulation period. I hope to present this as unbiased as possible and just let the Word of God do what it does best, and that is reveal the truth to the one honestly seeking the answers.

First of all, the word “rapture” never appears in the Bible. However, you can find the idea mentioned. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says “we shall be caught up.” That is the meaning of the rapture, a seizing or catching away. So, we have phrases such as this in the Word of God to convey the thought.

Before we go any further, I will share briefly the three major positions on the rapture and tribulation. One position on the rapture is that it will be post-tribulation, meaning that the believers will go through the tribulation, and then we will be caught away to be with Christ. Another position is the mid- tribulation or pre-wrath position meaning that in the middle of the tribulation, believers will be caught up to be with Christ. The third and final position is the pre-tribulation position. This means that before the tribulation, all believers who are living will be caught up.

Now, let us look at the post-tribulation position. If this position were true, we would have believers, apart from the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, who would go through this time of destruction and chaos. Also, we would know the time of the Lord’s return. We know from Scripture that the tribulation will last 7 years. Daniel 9 describes them as weeks. This passage describes 70 weeks, the first 69 of which have already been fulfilled. The last week is yet to come. Here is what God’s Word has to say regarding this 70th week of Daniel.

Daniel 9:27

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This is a reference to the Antichrist who will break the covenant in the middle of the tribulation period. There is no doubt as we read through the book of Revelation that the tribulation period will be one of great destruction. Revelation 14:10, 15:1 &7 and 16:1 &19 describe this as a period of wrath!

Now, as we consider this point a little further, I would like us to spend some time considering 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, a very familiar passage of Scripture, one that is used most often at funerals. But, here we find a sequence of events that is most interesting. First of all, we find that the dead in Christ rise and then we find that the ones who are alive and remain at the coming of the Lord will rise to meet the Lord in the air. However, as we read a little further, we find some details in 1 Thessalonians 5 that shed further light on the return of the Lord.

First, we find that the Day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. (1. Thessalonians 5:2)  Let us imagine that you knew right now that a thief would appear at your house sometime within the next week.  Do you think you would be sleeping, or do you think that you would be prepared and ready to defend yourself? The remainder of this passage, my friend, tells us that we should be watching for the Lord’s return and be ready because we do not know when it will be, but we know He is coming. In Matthew 24:36 we are told “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven but my Father only.”  The Bible then gives us the illustration of Noah; and just like in his day they knew the flood was coming but not the exact day, it will be the same way with the Lord’s return. 1 Thessalonians 5:3 describes it as the travail of a woman at the birth of a child. She has those labor pains, and she knows the child is on the way, but she does not know the exact moment until it comes. The return of Christ is the same. We know it is coming, but we do not know when.  I stress this point because the Bible makes it clear that WE DO NOT KNOW!

Additionally, the Bible says that “we are not appointed to wrath” 1 Thessalonians 5:9. As one studies the ramifications of the post-tribulation position, we have to realize that this cannot be the biblical answer. Otherwise we would be able to know exactly when the Lord will return, when God says no man knows the day or hour. Also God’s children would have to endure this awful time of wrath that God says we are “not appointed unto”

Now, let us consider for a few minutes the idea of the mid-tribulation position. This is the position that the rapture will take place before the outpouring of wrath that will take place in the second half of the tribulation. It does appear that the first half of the tribulation will be a time of relative peace. The Bible tells us in the Book of Daniel and chapter 9 about the covenant which will be broken. The book of Revelation deals mainly with the outpouring of wrath that will take place in the second half of the tribulation. However, Revelation 1:19 gives us an outline of the book of Revelation. First, John was to write “the things which thou hast seen”, (Revelation 1) “the things which are” (Revelation chapters 2-3) and finally “the things which shall be hereafter.” (Revelation 4 through 22) So, you have the past events of John’s life, the present events as He is writing to the churches and then you have the future events. It is important to note that in Revelation 4:1-2 John sees a door opening and is caught up into the heavens. For the remainder of the book, everything is viewed from a heavenly perspective including the catastrophic events of the tribulation period. Logically speaking, also, if the believer were caught up in the middle of the tribulation, we would still know the time of the Lord’s return because the tribulation has a very definite starting point, the time when the peace treaty will be signed by the Antichrist. We could then say, the Lord will return in three and half years, yet the Bible tells us no man knows the day or the hour. Biblically speaking, as with the post-tribulation theory, I do not feel there are any grounds for the mid-tribulation position.

This leaves us with but one position, and that is a pre-tribulation rapture of the church. There is nothing in Scripture that seems to contradict this position. In fact, when all the evidence is on the table, it is the only position that Scripture seems to support. In all reality, the entire tribulation is a time of God’s wrath against the unbelievers. Yes, there will be a semblance of peace, and the Antichrist will seem to have everything under control. In 2 Thessalonians 2, the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes to a group of troubled believers who think they have missed the rapture. He says that time will not come until there has been a falling away and the Antichrist (or man of sin be revealed) v.3.  We have certainly seen a falling away, but the Antichrist has not yet been revealed. The Bible tells us he will take over the temple, claiming to be God. Vs. 11-12 goes on to tell us that God will send a strong delusion and that the unbelievers will be damned. The sad truth from this passage is that once the Antichrist is revealed, and the tribulation begins, it will be seven years of undeniable wrath from God Himself.  Praise God that no true believer who is alive today will be here for that!

I’d like to give a few closing thoughts to the idea of the rapture. This, by no means, is intended to be an exhaustive article. Many volumes have been written on this topic. However, I hope that it has served to hit the highlights and answer the question, what will happen next? We are not waiting for anything to happen at all before the tribulation, except the rapture. I Thessalonians 4:16-17 declares “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

While so many around us are looking for this sign or that indicator, the Bible tells us that no man knows the day or the hour. I believe God remains vague on purpose because He wants us to be looking forward to His coming and anticipating it! As one author has said, we are listening for sounds, not looking for signs. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:53 that this event will happen “in a moment in the twinkling of an eye.”  One day, we will hear that trumpet and away the believers will go to be with Christ while all the fury of God’s wrath is poured out on unbelievers who have chosen to reject His gracious wooing.  Then, when the Antichrist and his Antispirit have been defeated once and for all, we shall return to reign with Christ! Following this 1,000 year reign, Satan will attempt his final act of insurrection against Christ before he is defeated forever at the Battle of Gog and Magog. (Revelation 20)  If we interpret the Bible literally, and take it for what it says, there should be no problem reaching this conclusion. We must also be careful to not blur the distinction between the church and Israel. We are living a type of parenthetical age. In one sense, the tribulation deals with the nation of Israel, as they in large have chosen to reject Christ. Christ will again pick up where He left off with the nation of Israel during the time of the tribulation.  But the church, meaning those who have accepted Christ, will have no part whatsoever in the tribulation.  1 Thessalonians 1:10 declares, “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come.”  We should be grateful that God has chosen to rapture His own and spare His children. At the same time, this should drive us to a sense of urgency to share the gospel while we have the chance and implore the lost to escape the wrath to come! May God give us a greater expectancy for the imminent rapture, and a passion and compassion for the lost that surround us on every side!

 

December

As I look back over the past year, it is amazing to think over the many blessings and opportunities God has given! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I know I did, and it was a great blessing to celebrate the birth of my Saviour with  family this year! We have so much to be thankful for! I was able to see my grandmother up in NC and go on up to Pa and see my Dad, Mom and most of my siblings along with my brother in law and little niece. This is just a small part of the blessing God has given. This past year has brought numerous ministry opportunities and fruit as well.

This past month has been one of doing a lot of Sunday pulpit supply in SC and some in PA! It is my prayer that God will strengthen these churches. Pray especially for the family of one of my good friends down in Woodruff, SC. They lost a family member in the beginning of the month, and they had opportunity to be a witness to the family as well as encourage those who were already saved. A funeral is always a tender time. Pray for the family of Pastor Ron Allen and the Hayward family that the work of God would continue in hearts and that family would be comforted. It has been a great blessing to see people responding to the preaching of God’s Word, and pray that decisions would be lasting.

Category Archives: Ministry Updates

Haiti Trip Update

As I begin this update, I would just like to extend a special thanks to all those who prayed for the missions trip! I know that your prayers made all the difference, and I could truly sense the prayers. In my first week, it was a joy to work with Harry Peart doing a young people’s conference on a Wednesday through Friday. We had great group of young people out for the week. There were a couple of people who really seemed like they were under conviction regarding their need for salvation, but did not get the need taken care of. One young man stepped forward and some others began snickering at him, which discouraged him from coming. It was a very sad thing to see, and the conviction was obvious any time the need for salvation was addressed throughout the week. Just pray for him that God will continue to convict and draw this young man to Christ.

There are three other missionary familes who live in the same compound area as the Pearts, each of whom I had the privilege of meeting.  Dr. Ann Livingston is a medical doctor who has been serving there faithfully for many years meeting the physical needs of the Haitian People. Then, the Tim Bower family who has a church plant right next to the compound, and the Baker family who lives with the Bowers. I had the privilege of preaching in Brother Bower’s church on Wed night while I was there. On Sunday, I preached in Brother Pearts church. He has been faithfully working with this congregation for several years and just recently was able to get a building started. They were about ready to have the roof put on when I arrived. A construction team came the day I left to assist in that project. The national that Brother Peart has been working with to place as the Pastor is a very good man with a heart for God. It was a joy to meet him!  In the Sunday morning service, God began something there at that church in his life that I feel is very key to the continuing growth and forward movement of that ministry. Praise God for all He has done! The whole while the youth conference was going on, there was a voodo ceremony going on maybe a five to ten minute walk from the church. The national pastor to be pointed to a clump of trees and told that a voodo ceremony was taking place just on the other side of that clump of trees. It was heart breaking to think of that going on so close to the church and during the same time as the youth conference. It was a solemn  reminder that when God is at work, so is Satan. But, I am thankful God is greater! In fact, this Pastor had been saved out of voodo and had been born into the family of a witch doctor. At the time of his salvation, he was in the process of buying more power with Satan, but God miraculously saved him and now He is passionate about winning souls!

My second week was very full working with some good friends of mine from Dunbar Baptist. Kathy Gouker and Alice Wise as well as a national, Pastor Cebian during this week, I was helping a little boy named Audson ( pronounced udson)  do his schoolwork in ACE. He has been having a problem with his eyes that makes him unable to see at times. And no one can seem to figure out what it is. His parents have been trying all they can, So, I read  his work to him, and asked the questions and was able to help him in school! I enjoyed it tremendously, and it was a blessing to be able to encourage him. Please pray he can get the help he needs. The situation there is very complicated and hard because of government regulations and medical quality. During the week, I also preached in Chopin for a week and saw God work in lives there! It was also, a joy to preach in the Christian School Chapel three times. Later, Pastor Cebian invited me to a very remote place called Robinette. I went on a Saturday and returned on Monday. We showed a film on the life of Christ Saturday night then I got to preach on Sunday. The best part, a group that had barely any knowledge of God or the Bible! They didn’t even own a Bible. So, I started with creation and the fall of man, then explained salvation. Praise God, in all there were 24 or so who accepted Christ in the mountains of Robinette, Haiti. Pastor Cebian is about ready to plant another church there, and has already been responsible for over 200 church plants in Haiti! We had the privilege of celebrating his seventy-second birthday while I was there, and He is still going strong!

This is just a brief summery of the many things God allowed me to take part in while I was there, and my heart is truly full for what He allowed to take place. This is the 7th foreign country God has allowed me to visit, and although the language barrier and living conditions were much more difficult than some other places I have been, It was a tremendous trip, and from the very start, God gave me a love for the people, of this needy land! A piece of my heart is left behind in each of the countries I have been, and Haiti was no exception. watching the coastline disappear as the airplane takes off is always the hardest thing I do any time I leave a foreign country. Lord wiling, Some pictures will be posted on facebook soon!

Ministry Update

I am not  even sure I know where to begin with this update as I think about how incredibly good God has been! Not to mention, quite some time has passed since my last formal update as well. The summer has been very busy, yet very fruitful! My first meeting for the summer was a VBS with my good friend Pastor Jim Ogle at Emmanuel Baptist in Kings Mountain, NC , who was also one of my professors in college. It was a great joy to get to know him better as well as serve in his ministry. He was a blessing all throughout my college days, and currently is being greatly used of God in the ministry there.

From there, I went to be with my Dad, Pastor Bob Wrachford in Dunbar, Pa to conduct a Bible School. My siblings jumped right in and participated in helping to prepare things. This was a great opportunity to serve along side them this particular week for God’s glory. Several children made some solid decisions in their lives to get things right with God. If they will remain tender throughout their lives to the Word of God, it will be incredibly exciting to see what God will do in the years ahead with them!

 

After this week of meetings, I went to Meshoppen, Pa to serve with a Pastor I had never met before. But Pastor Myers is a wonderful man of God who has been there since beginning the church 40 years ago! He still has a fervor to reach out to his community there in the mountains of north central Pa. Several children accepted Christ and showed a wonderful understanding of the plan of Salvation! That right there was just so exciting!

 

Maineville, OH was my last VBS for the summer. and God clearly moved in a great way there as well. This was my second time to help out there under this good friend, and we are already beginning to toss some ideas around for next year! Following this time. I was able to preach a teen rally at my home church, in Taylors, SC , then go up to the annual Landmark Conference at Ambassador Baptist College.

 

Each week was marked by special answers to prayer! In fact, before I began the summer, I was praying for at least 20 souls to be saved. God went far above that! To my knowledge there were 27 that made profession of faith. And I have not even gone to Haiti yet! That trip will be from Aug 9 – 23. Please pray with me that more souls will be saved!

As I close this update, I just want to say, I covet your prayers above anything else! I want to be useful for the cause of Christ and to be yielded to Him in every way. Please pray for an unspoken prayer request I have. Second, please remember to keep the missions trip in prayer. The country of Haiti some years ago was officially dedicated to Satan, and there is a lot of witchcraft, and voodoo is their primary religion. This country, which is classified as fourth world is, indeed, in desperate need of the transforming power of the Gospel! It is a small nation, but God is a great God who cares even about the tiniest islands of people in the world! Third, please pray for God to guide in my car situation. It has been repaired several times recently and it is getting to the time to be considering what God would have for me to do with that. Just want to wait on Him, not running before or behind but exactly following His leadership in this area. I am absolutely thrilled at what God is doing! It is a joy to be a small part of God’s work and to let Him do the impossible as some exciting possibilities begin to present themselves. If I can ever pray for you in any way or be of help in any way whatsoever, I hope that you will feel free to contact me.

Joyfully Serving our Risen Saviour,

Stephen Wrachford

Micah 6:8

 

April Ministry

Dear Praying Friends,

It has been a great month of serving the King! The highlight of the month was the opportunity to preach a revival meeting for a long time family friend in Franklin, Pa. There was a sweet spirit all week and God blessed in each service. There was great liberty and people were receptive to God’s Word. There was one man in particular that God really seemed to be stirring in his heart, and he made some decisions that were needed! It was a great blessing to see that! There were also a few visitors who came throughout the week.

Also, since my return home from the meeting, I have been doing a lot of pulpit supply for a needy little church in the area. Please continue to pray for Victory Baptist Church in Woodruff, SC that God would meet their needs! I have been trying to help them out as much as possible when I am not traveling.

The summer is fast approaching and VBS rallies will be in full swing. Please pray specifically that some souls will be saved this summer!

Upcoming Ministry

Things are getting ready to pick up a little as far as ministry opportunities abroad again this year! Looking forward to a Revival Meeting in just a couple of weeks at Baptist Temple of Franklin with Pastor David Foote! Please be in much prayer for this upcoming opportunity! We are a needy people, and this preacher needs God to show him exactly what messages to preach. Pray that God would give me a heart of compassion, and that souls will be stirred to revival and the lost will be pointed to Christ. We need to seek God daily for this meeting. I am anticipating what God can and will do! Please pray also for my home church which will be having a revival meeting this same week with Evangelist Morris Glieser. It is my prayer that God will do His work there as well, to stir up a genuine thirst for God!

In the last month, there have been some great opportunities that God has given. My summer continues to fill up with VBS events, and I am very much looking forward to this as well ! Please keep them in your prayers as you think of it. I still have several weeks available this summer, if there is a need that I can help you to meet in that capacity, it would be a great privilege to serve.

 

Visit to Indiana Baptist College and the Conference

The time at Indiana Baptist College went very well! It was a wonderful opportunity to see a couple of my siblings, and it was also a joy to preach in chapel. It was evident that God is at work in many hearts there. There was good response to the preaching of God’s Word, and a willingness to be broken and honest before Him! I am excited in the days ahead what God will do with many of these young people as they graduate and go on to serve God.

Also, the conference in Wisconsin was very good. It was convicting, but good! This year, the theme was on prayer, and there were some sweet prayer meetings there, as we had the privilege of seeking God’s face corporately. There were many Pastors and lay people from around the country who were serious about getting on their knees and seeking God for revival in this nation and in their ministries.

February Update

Praise God for a fruitful month of ministry! Although it has not been busy with preaching engagements, God has been blessing in other ways! So far, God has allowed me to book three Vacation Bible Schools as well as other possible opportunities in the near future! These little tokens of God’s blessing, are a reminder that God sees and cares! It has also been a busy time preparing the lessons for these Bible Schools as well as the program. I ask prayer specifically that souls would come to know Christ as their personal Saviour this summer. Please join me in fervent prayer for that! I would also like to say, if any of you reading this have an opportunity where you could use help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me, I would love to serve in any way possible!

This month, I am attending a conference in Wisconsin on prayer! I am praying it will be a time of spiritual re energizing as well as a time to learn more about my Saviour! Looking forward to updating you more on that next month! It will be my joy during this time to preach in the chapel service at Indiana Baptist College. This is a very special place, as two of my siblings are currently studying there to serve God with their lives, and they have a true heart for revival!  If there has ever been a day in time where we need to see revival, it is today! Thank God for a place like Indiana Baptist College that has a zeal to see this truth implanted in the lives of their students. If anyone has a young person of college age, and they are considering ministry, I would invite you to check it out for yourself. It is located in Greenwood, Indiana. May God bless you all as you continue to serve Him!

 

January Ministry

The month of January has been busy in some ways and slow in others, but a great blessing all around. I had the opportunity to preach a few times at Victory Baptist in Woodruff. SC and each opportunity is a great blessing. God seems to be at work in an amazing way there! It was also my joy to preach for Pastor Shawn Madrid up in Pa while he was away visiting family out west. A great church in central Pa with a desire to see God use them!  Pastor Madrid has been a good friend as well, and it has been a joy to see his heart for revival!  This month was also an evangelist advance at Ambassador Baptist College. It was a great blessing to be a part of this and learn from the ministry of Dr. Comfort who we were honoring at this year’s advance. He has had an impact on my life and ministry in the area of challenging me to stay faithful through the years despite opposition that may come my way, as well as challenging me to keep the Bible my central focus in preaching! He has probably impacted my life in more ways than I could even begin to say through his example, life and ministry! Thank God for this faithful servant and warrior!  In the last week, I have also had the priviledge of meeting many pastors from around the country. I have two special prayer requests. One is for Spirit filled ministry and preaching. Also, for a strengthening relationship with many Pastors I have met. My desire is to be a friend to them, and help carry the load in whatever way possible.

What in the World is Going to Happen Next?

What in the World is Going to Happen Next?

Have you ever asked yourself, “What in the world is going to happen next?” As we draw closer to the end of time, this seems to be a more popular question than ever before. There are so many positions out there regarding end events and everyone clamoring that they possess the corner on truth regarding this topic. How many of these positions come about by careful reading of the Scriptures? By the Lord’s grace, I’d like to spend some time answering the question regarding what the Bible teaches in relation to the tribulation period. I hope to present this as unbiased as possible and just let the Word of God do what it does best, and that is reveal the truth to the one honestly seeking the answers.

First of all, the word “rapture” never appears in the Bible. However, you can find the idea mentioned. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says “we shall be caught up.” That is the meaning of the rapture, a seizing or catching away. So, we have phrases such as this in the Word of God to convey the thought.

Before we go any further, I will share briefly the three major positions on the rapture and tribulation. One position on the rapture is that it will be post-tribulation, meaning that the believers will go through the tribulation, and then we will be caught away to be with Christ. Another position is the mid- tribulation or pre-wrath position meaning that in the middle of the tribulation, believers will be caught up to be with Christ. The third and final position is the pre-tribulation position. This means that before the tribulation, all believers who are living will be caught up.

Now, let us look at the post-tribulation position. If this position were true, we would have believers, apart from the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, who would go through this time of destruction and chaos. Also, we would know the time of the Lord’s return. We know from Scripture that the tribulation will last 7 years. Daniel 9 describes them as weeks. This passage describes 70 weeks, the first 69 of which have already been fulfilled. The last week is yet to come. Here is what God’s Word has to say regarding this 70th week of Daniel.

Daniel 9:27

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This is a reference to the Antichrist who will break the covenant in the middle of the tribulation period. There is no doubt as we read through the book of Revelation that the tribulation period will be one of great destruction. Revelation 14:10, 15:1 &7 and 16:1 &19 describe this as a period of wrath!

Now, as we consider this point a little further, I would like us to spend some time considering 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, a very familiar passage of Scripture, one that is used most often at funerals. But, here we find a sequence of events that is most interesting. First of all, we find that the dead in Christ rise and then we find that the ones who are alive and remain at the coming of the Lord will rise to meet the Lord in the air. However, as we read a little further, we find some details in 1 Thessalonians 5 that shed further light on the return of the Lord.

First, we find that the Day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. (1. Thessalonians 5:2)  Let us imagine that you knew right now that a thief would appear at your house sometime within the next week.  Do you think you would be sleeping, or do you think that you would be prepared and ready to defend yourself? The remainder of this passage, my friend, tells us that we should be watching for the Lord’s return and be ready because we do not know when it will be, but we know He is coming. In Matthew 24:36 we are told “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven but my Father only.”  The Bible then gives us the illustration of Noah; and just like in his day they knew the flood was coming but not the exact day, it will be the same way with the Lord’s return. 1 Thessalonians 5:3 describes it as the travail of a woman at the birth of a child. She has those labor pains, and she knows the child is on the way, but she does not know the exact moment until it comes. The return of Christ is the same. We know it is coming, but we do not know when.  I stress this point because the Bible makes it clear that WE DO NOT KNOW!

Additionally, the Bible says that “we are not appointed to wrath” 1 Thessalonians 5:9. As one studies the ramifications of the post-tribulation position, we have to realize that this cannot be the biblical answer. Otherwise we would be able to know exactly when the Lord will return, when God says no man knows the day or hour. Also God’s children would have to endure this awful time of wrath that God says we are “not appointed unto”

Now, let us consider for a few minutes the idea of the mid-tribulation position. This is the position that the rapture will take place before the outpouring of wrath that will take place in the second half of the tribulation. It does appear that the first half of the tribulation will be a time of relative peace. The Bible tells us in the Book of Daniel and chapter 9 about the covenant which will be broken. The book of Revelation deals mainly with the outpouring of wrath that will take place in the second half of the tribulation. However, Revelation 1:19 gives us an outline of the book of Revelation. First, John was to write “the things which thou hast seen”, (Revelation 1) “the things which are” (Revelation chapters 2-3) and finally “the things which shall be hereafter.” (Revelation 4 through 22) So, you have the past events of John’s life, the present events as He is writing to the churches and then you have the future events. It is important to note that in Revelation 4:1-2 John sees a door opening and is caught up into the heavens. For the remainder of the book, everything is viewed from a heavenly perspective including the catastrophic events of the tribulation period. Logically speaking, also, if the believer were caught up in the middle of the tribulation, we would still know the time of the Lord’s return because the tribulation has a very definite starting point, the time when the peace treaty will be signed by the Antichrist. We could then say, the Lord will return in three and half years, yet the Bible tells us no man knows the day or the hour. Biblically speaking, as with the post-tribulation theory, I do not feel there are any grounds for the mid-tribulation position.

This leaves us with but one position, and that is a pre-tribulation rapture of the church. There is nothing in Scripture that seems to contradict this position. In fact, when all the evidence is on the table, it is the only position that Scripture seems to support. In all reality, the entire tribulation is a time of God’s wrath against the unbelievers. Yes, there will be a semblance of peace, and the Antichrist will seem to have everything under control. In 2 Thessalonians 2, the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes to a group of troubled believers who think they have missed the rapture. He says that time will not come until there has been a falling away and the Antichrist (or man of sin be revealed) v.3.  We have certainly seen a falling away, but the Antichrist has not yet been revealed. The Bible tells us he will take over the temple, claiming to be God. Vs. 11-12 goes on to tell us that God will send a strong delusion and that the unbelievers will be damned. The sad truth from this passage is that once the Antichrist is revealed, and the tribulation begins, it will be seven years of undeniable wrath from God Himself.  Praise God that no true believer who is alive today will be here for that!

I’d like to give a few closing thoughts to the idea of the rapture. This, by no means, is intended to be an exhaustive article. Many volumes have been written on this topic. However, I hope that it has served to hit the highlights and answer the question, what will happen next? We are not waiting for anything to happen at all before the tribulation, except the rapture. I Thessalonians 4:16-17 declares “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

While so many around us are looking for this sign or that indicator, the Bible tells us that no man knows the day or the hour. I believe God remains vague on purpose because He wants us to be looking forward to His coming and anticipating it! As one author has said, we are listening for sounds, not looking for signs. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:53 that this event will happen “in a moment in the twinkling of an eye.”  One day, we will hear that trumpet and away the believers will go to be with Christ while all the fury of God’s wrath is poured out on unbelievers who have chosen to reject His gracious wooing.  Then, when the Antichrist and his Antispirit have been defeated once and for all, we shall return to reign with Christ! Following this 1,000 year reign, Satan will attempt his final act of insurrection against Christ before he is defeated forever at the Battle of Gog and Magog. (Revelation 20)  If we interpret the Bible literally, and take it for what it says, there should be no problem reaching this conclusion. We must also be careful to not blur the distinction between the church and Israel. We are living a type of parenthetical age. In one sense, the tribulation deals with the nation of Israel, as they in large have chosen to reject Christ. Christ will again pick up where He left off with the nation of Israel during the time of the tribulation.  But the church, meaning those who have accepted Christ, will have no part whatsoever in the tribulation.  1 Thessalonians 1:10 declares, “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come.”  We should be grateful that God has chosen to rapture His own and spare His children. At the same time, this should drive us to a sense of urgency to share the gospel while we have the chance and implore the lost to escape the wrath to come! May God give us a greater expectancy for the imminent rapture, and a passion and compassion for the lost that surround us on every side!

 

December

As I look back over the past year, it is amazing to think over the many blessings and opportunities God has given! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I know I did, and it was a great blessing to celebrate the birth of my Saviour with  family this year! We have so much to be thankful for! I was able to see my grandmother up in NC and go on up to Pa and see my Dad, Mom and most of my siblings along with my brother in law and little niece. This is just a small part of the blessing God has given. This past year has brought numerous ministry opportunities and fruit as well.

This past month has been one of doing a lot of Sunday pulpit supply in SC and some in PA! It is my prayer that God will strengthen these churches. Pray especially for the family of one of my good friends down in Woodruff, SC. They lost a family member in the beginning of the month, and they had opportunity to be a witness to the family as well as encourage those who were already saved. A funeral is always a tender time. Pray for the family of Pastor Ron Allen and the Hayward family that the work of God would continue in hearts and that family would be comforted. It has been a great blessing to see people responding to the preaching of God’s Word, and pray that decisions would be lasting.