A Season of New Beginnings

      The month of May is always a season of new beginnings. In line with this tradition, this month will start with a blog featuring the thoughts of Dr. Edward Hernandez, the minister of North Miami Beach’s All Nations Presbyterian Church. 

      Above all else, the blog will focus on three primary life components: True spiritual values, social issues, and Biblical truths. It is our hope and prayer that this will be a way of connecting with people throughout the world. But, to do so, we will need to first reach out to our families and friends. From there, we can and will make a difference throughout the world.

 

In Christ service,

Edward D. Hernandez, Senior Minister

 

Clef Notes from Key Sermons

      From January through March, Dr. Hernandez preached a series from the Life of Joseph (Coat of Many Colors). A key to the series was the central idea that Life is Filled with Roadblocks. God uses what we perceive as a roadblock to get us from where we are to where He wants to take us. Life is a lot like various road signs: Stop signs, U-turns, Wrong Ways, Yield Right Aways, Detours, One Way signs. Genesis chapters 39 through 50 are a thorough biography of the life of Joseph. 

      In the story of Joseph, we see stumbling, evil intent, a plot for murder, sale into slavery, accusation of rape, imprisonment, betrayal, and then, finally, Joseph reaches his final God destiny. We can relate to Joseph because we know what it feels like to be betrayed by those close to us, especially the "beloved of the church." We can sympathize with Joseph because we know what it feels like to be falsely accused. And we know how Joseph felt when he wondered where God is when it hurts.

      Would you like to receive the sermon series? Simply request it and the CDs will be mailed to you. Want the manuscript? We can PDF it to you. The cost? Free, thanks to some of the northern family that supports this ministry.

 

The Sermon for Resurrection (Easter) Sunday

      What a glorious time of worship for All Nations. The church was full, the people engaged, the Spirit of God evident. Our text was from Isaiah 52:13 through 53:12, and the title of the sermon was “The Pure Gospel in the Old Testament”. This passage of Scripture could have been written beneath the cross of Jesus. Without exaggeration, this is the most important text in the Old Testament. You will want to pay attention to the recurring theme of Exaltation, in contrast to Humiliation. A little clue for you students of the Bible: Compare this text with that of Philippians 2:5-11.

      The thought-provoking question of the ages is, “Who is the Suffering Servant?” Scripture always interprets Scripture; therefore, Acts 8:26-35 answers the question. The Suffering Servant is none other than Jesus the Christ. Five stanzas reveal five unique facets of the Suffering Servant: First, 52:13-15 summarizes the entire prophecy in Isaiah 53. The Servant is humiliated, which leads to His exaltation, as well as guaranteed success.

      Secondly, 53:1-3: The Suffering Servant is rejected—He is the rejected King (a clue to remember—the first verse of each stanza captures the theme of that thought). Two interesting facts come from this stanza: 1.) The Nations (Gentiles) reject the Servant out of ignorance. 2.) The Hebrews reject the Servant out of willful ignorance. They were given all the facts needed to see their Redeemer, yet they rejected Him anyway.

      Thirdly, 53:4-6: Herein is the Suffering Servant's Passion. You have heard it said, "It is not about us; it is always about Him." We will discover in this stanza that the Servant's Passion was His heart was not about Him; it was all about us (how exciting is this!). The key to this stanza falls under the words, "Our, we, or us." The reason for His suffering was not His fault; it was ours.

      Fourthly, 53:7-9: The Servant's Submission is revealed. In the midst of the Servant's pain, He remained silent. Have you ever been reviled, only to remain silent? If you are like most folks, you later think of all the things you should have said, but your tongue was paralyzed.

      Lastly, 53:10-12: The Servant's Salvation. The death of the Servant was not murder, martyrdom, or even an execution. It was a Divine Appointment!!! We all may have played a part, but ultimately it was "God who so loved the world that He gave His only Son..."

 

The Truth about Planned Parenthood

      In October 1916, Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in America, which would later become known as Planned Parenthood. A population control activist, Sanger wrote in her 1922 book, The Pivot of Civilization, that the children of the poor were "human waste."

      A few years later, she spoke at a Ku Klux Klan rally in New Jersey and went on to write in her autobiography that she received invitations to speak in front of similar groups. In 1939, Sanger, a white atheist, began the "Negro Project", an initiative to reduce the black population. She deemed that this reduction would be a solution to poverty, although she claimed many in the black community were "unfit" for society.

      Today, Sanger's evil-rooted legacy continues through Planned Parenthood; nearly 40 percent of pregnancies among black women end in abortion. Did you know that the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Alveda King, continues to carry the family legacy of civil rights to this day? King encourages believers to be staunch champions for civil rights for the unborn, and she urges the church to advocate for the mother, too. We must pray for these women in crisis, demonstrate to them the love of the Savior, and proclaim the message of redemption is available to all. (This article was taken from Decision Magazine, 2017)

 

Recommended Reading

      Every book that is recommended has been thoroughly vetted by Dr. Hernandez. This month he has three unique books that he would like to recommend for your personal growth:

  1. Cop Under Fire is a must-read for every person who wants to know the truth about what it means to be a cop in a troubled city. Sheriff David Clarke Jr. tells his story from early childhood until he was elected as Sheriff in Milwaukee County, USA. He also exposes the truth about "Black Lives Matter." His thoughts on race relations, government corruption, and politics are revealing and give us all something to think about.
  2. Heroes in Black History shares with us the "True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes." I loved the short stories of great men and women of color.
  3. From Slavery to Freedom is a history of Negro Americans by John Hope Franklin. This is a secular book of the history related to those who were brought from various parts of Africa to the New World (a must-read for all races).

 

The Forward Look

      During the months of June, July, and August, All Nations will begin a Church-wide discipleship series. If you are tired of the status quo Christian experience, you are welcomed to participate. Wherever you are, we will send you the work sheets and you can follow the 13-part sermon series through your computer.

 

Pastor Hernandez