Dangerous Plague

Steve Ballew, the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s executive director, preaches on helping people find the solution for the sin that plagues their soul. Characterizing sin as a dangerous plague, Ballew urged Christians to run into the crowd to take the Gospel, like Aaron ran into the plague with fire from the altar to make atonement in the Old Testament. SN4087

ALBUQUERQUE (BNM) – Steve Ballew urged Christians to carry the solution for sin to unbelievers. He illustrated the work using an incident with the Bible’s Aaron the priest. During a plague, caused by sin, Aaron ran into the midst of the plague to make atonement for sin, risking himself in the process. Believes, Ballew said, should take Jesus to sinners, just like Aaron brought his solution.

Ballew, the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s executive director, preached the New Mexico Evangelism Conference’s final sermon, Feb. 23, at Hoffmantown Church, Albuquerque. The Baptist Convention of New Mexico sponsors the event.

Ballew reflected on divisions among Americans, right now. But, everyone agrees on one thing, he said. They agree that “these are unprecedented times.” Yet, what churches have experienced during the pandemic is not unprecedented. Plagues have happened before and could still happen again.

A greater plague than COVID-19 has affected us since the Garden of Eden, Ballew said. That plague has created “slaughterhouses” called abortion clinics and various other evils. That plague corrupts every life. It is deadly in any dosage. Infection requires only one bite. That plague is sin. Ballew said only one antidote for sin exists: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.”

Ballew read Numbers 16:43-60 and described the situation in which Moses and Aaron found themselves. The Lord told Moses to move from the gathering of God’s people so He could destroy them. So, Moses sent Aaron to carry a fire pan into the midst of the plague. When Aaron stood between the dead and the living, Ballew explained, the plague stopped.

Ballew described how Moses always sought God’s mercy and grace. Moses knew more was at stake than who would be the leader. “You will never have a burden for people unless you are burdened for others,” Ballew said. He said that the world would not wait for Christian methodologies to work. Believers must “go.” It is a time for vigorous action, he said. “People are dying of the plague.”

Ballew also address the problems and solutions for sin or “rebellion against God.” Moses’ people needed payment or atonement for their sins. Since Jesus came, His shed blood atones for sin.

When Moses sent Aaron into the plague, Aaron did not hesitate. Instead, he ran into the plague. He actually risked being personally infected by the plague. His intervention was “messy,” Ballew said. It cost something. Aaron stood between the living and the dead as an intercessor.

Ballew said each believer also has potential to introduce a solution, just like Aaron did. But, when believers stop sharing the Gospel, they draw a line that keeps sinners away from help. Bellew said that line often falls too close to churches’ doors.

The plague will end when Christ returns, Ballew explained. Not everyone will say yes, but a Christian’s responsibility is to go into the plague with the solution. “Go out to those who will accept, knowing not everyone will,” Ballew said.

“What will we be known for coming out of this season?” Ballew asked. “Will we go out there where the people are to give them the solution to what is really plaguing their soul?” he concluded.

SN4087

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