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PASTOR’S WELCOME

Let me be the first to welcome you to Unity Baptist Church! Perhaps you are looking for a church to visit in person or maybe you have been to a service and are now doing a little research. In either case I will take a moment and share a little about us.

As a small country church, we don’t have people directing traffic in the parking lot or a team of greeters to meet you at the front door. But I can promise you this: any visitor will be met and warmly welcomed. Our people will be happy to see you. My wife and I have served at Unity since October of 2014. I cannot write a long list of things our church “has to offer” but our goal is to be the body of Christ in this community. We read and study God’s Word and seek to share the Gospel – Good News – at every available opportunity.

Sunday School begins at 10 am and our worship service is at 11. Singing, praying, reading scripture, giving, preaching and the response to preaching are all acts of worship. We have a few special events throughout the year and partner with local churches for others. I don’t shove religion down anybody’s throat; I want to introduce you to Jesus and tell you more about him. And don’t get the wrong idea – we’re still learning as well, myself included.

You can read about our beliefs, the church’s history and listen to sermons at this website. Contact me via email pastor@unitybaptist.church or give me a call (770) 608-7005 to schedule a pastoral meeting or discuss any concerns you may have. Don’t be a stranger. Feel free to drop in anytime we are here.

Clark Bunch
Pastor, Unity Baptist Church

Clark, Teresa and Johannah Bunch

Clark, Teresa and Johannah Bunch


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A New Hope

Due to circumstances beyond our control, I did not get to preach last Sunday. Since it was the first Sunday of Advent I don’t want us to get behind on keeping the weeks. I had prepared an outline and notes and the first Sunday of Advent sermon would have gone something like this: 

Hope – a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

I don’t usually begin by reading definitions from the dictionary but it seems appropriate for this occasion. Advent is all about the preparation – the anticipation and the waiting – for Christ to appear. Isaiah 7:10-17 is a well known passage that describes a sign given by God. Last year we focused on the names and titles listed in Isaiah 9. Isaiah was writing these things about 700 years before they came to pass. We sing about the expectant hope for Messiah in the hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel. People need to have hope. Even in the face of difficulty, sometimes in the face of certain death, hope gives us the drive to push forward, to go on. In the Isaiah prophecies we find not just an empty hope but the promise of Almighty God. We have more than a reasonable expectation that his promises are true. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). God is not a man that he should lie (Numbers 23:19). 

The Lord will give a sign. Some signs are posted to give instructions. “Speed limit 45 mph.” Not everyone follows the instructions, sometimes there are consequences but not necessarily. Other signs share truths. “Bump ahead.” Maybe you noticed the sign or maybe you weren’t even paying attention. Maybe you read the words but did not act on them. Whether you slow down or not, whether you understood the warning or not, a moment later you hit the bump in the road surface. The sign was there to tell you what to expect. Isaiah 7 tells us that the sign will be a virgin with child. That should be a pretty clear indicator, it’s not like there’s a whole bunch of those to get us mixed up. The sign shares a truth. Most people in the world did not pay any attention. Herod tried to undo what God had done. Many today will dismiss the truths of scripture even when they are outlined and explained. But those who notice the signs and heed their wisdom will have a safer ride and be happier when they get where they’re going.

You shall call his name Immanuel. There are other titles given in chapter 9 but this prophecy is mentioned specifically in Matthew’s Gospel:

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
     “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).
Matt 1:22-23

The promise of Messiah, the sign by which they would know him, and a description of who he would be and the things he would do gave the Hebrew people a solid and sure hope for the future. We remind ourselves of these events during the Advent season so that we may have even greater certainty that God’s promises are true. Because he came once we believe that he will surely come again as he said.

What about right now? Go back to the definition. Do we expect that certain things will happen? Do we have an actual desire for Christ to be present in our lives? For many people today, including Christians, anything to do with God is reserved for church. He is Lord of our Sunday mornings from 9 or 10 until around noon. But God has given us signs for instruction and signs that share truth. What will you do today – and tomorrow, next week, next year – having seen and read those signs?

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Our Response

Last week’s sermon, What God has Done for Us, listed just a few of the good and perfect gifts from above. On our own we are hopeless and helpless. Our response must be one of gratitude out of humility.

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What God has Done for Us

Thanksgiving sermon part 1. This week we will look at some of the things God has done and we’re only hitting the highlights. Next week, the week of Thanksgiving, we will talk about our response.

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God Has a Plan

When Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery, it was a part of what God was doing. Jesus’ death on the cross was part of God’s plan of salvation. God has a plan. He is faithful and just concerning his promises, and he is willing and able to punish the wicked and save the righteous. All things work together for good but that does not mean that each individual event in our lives is good at the time. I think of it like making biscuits. It takes a few minutes to get there but hang in there.

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The Problem with Religion

This is, for the most part, the very first sermon I preached at Unity back in 2014. I preached this sermon, took a week off, then came back and preached a second time before they called me as pastor. There was no church website until 2015 so unless you were there that day you haven’t heard this one yet.

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The Day of the Lord

We ended last week with “The Lord is not slack concerning his promises” and pick right up in this sermon with “The Day of the Lord shall come.” Heaven and earth will dissolve as the elements melt. With that in mind, how ought we to conduct ourselves as we wait for new heavens and a new earth?

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The Lord’s Promise

In 2nd Peter 2, we are reminded that God is willing and able to punish the wicked and save the righteous. In Chapter 3 we are warned that just because God has not judged yet does not mean he is never going to. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise; he is patient and longsuffering. Do not confuse his patience with laziness.

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The Truth of False Teachers

We continue this week through 2nd Peter 2, which includes a look back at one of the most interesting Old Testament prophet stories found in the Bible. You might say Balaam got the truth straight from the donkey’s mouth.

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False Teachers

Peter explains to New Testament Christians that in the past there were false prophets and in the future there will be false teachers. God is able to save the godly and punish the wicked, and he used specific examples from the Old Testament to prove it. He mentions Noah and Lot by name and there are lessons we can learn from them as well.

 

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A Short History Lesson

This afternoon our local association of churches will have their annual meeting. I’m going to share a bit of history here to avoid a rambling speech later.

In 1955 Plainville Unity Baptist remodeled the sanctuary. A new Sunday School wing and basement fellowship hall had been added in 1949. The sanctuary we meet in today was constructed in 1889; it was remodeled in 1955 and the entire building was wrapped in brick at that time. As part of the refresh, the church invested in a new pulpit podium and a new communion table. When the old podium was removed from the sanctuary part of it was refashioned into a gavel and given to the association leaders. Plainville Unity is second oldest church in Gordon County still meeting today, and was a founding member of the association that formed in the 1930’s. The church was 73 years old when the gavel was donated and that was 64 years ago.

I am celebrating five years as pastor of Plainville Unity this month. At the 2019 annual meeting later today, I will call the meeting to order by sounding that gavel. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I think it’s really cool. We thank God for what he has done and look forward to what he will do. Peace and God bless,

Clark J Bunch,
Plainville, GA

20191006_144749

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