When planning rallys, revivals and reunions we do not know how the final count of folks attending will tally. It is not so much a science as it is an act of faith when planning a large event to bring the “Kingdom of God” into a community. Pastor Chris and Jerri Peterson operated in such faith as they prepared for the “Rally” of April 26 in Greenville. A total of 520 pounds of chicken was donated and pounds upon pounds of beans and coleslaw were purchased. Tea, sodas and water bottles were stacked in preparation for an anticipated 500 souls.
Though food was prepared on April 25 and grills for the chickens lit on the following day, Pastor Chris prepared and lit the hearts of his congregation weeks earlier. He prepared them for the “multitude” and he prepared them for the “one.” He taught us the working of Matthew 10 and how to “go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, the lost and discouraged of (Greenville) and as ye go, preach saying the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils, freely ye have received, freely give.” And yet, he also taught that there is one certain “one” that the Lord seeks. For our Lord says “how think ye?…doth He not leave the ninety nine and goeth to seek the one?” The Lord’s economy has a way of reducing all counting to the smallest denomination of “one.” While His count is “one”, His purpose is “many.”
So, on April 26, 149 people of Greenville registered at the rally. About 200 people were fed after a bonanza of prizes were given out by drawings. CDs, gift cards, books and other prizes were given to the community. Desmond Roberson, the Madison Boys Club and the Inspired Dance Praise team of Madison all set the atmosphere with praise as the people of Greenville ate in the park.
When eating was drawing to a close, Pastor Chris began to preach the gospel of the Lord. He powerfully offered the message of a Holy God coming as the Son, in flesh to buy back all that was lost from our rebellion towards Him. He offered an invitation for those who heard this gospel to receive Jesus as their Savior from rebellion and sin. He told them that they could then be “a disciple of Jesus.” Many raised their hands to this offer from God. But then, Pastor Chris said, “Now let me tell you what it means to be His disciple.” He then told them that it meant “giving it all, everything, your addiction, your time, your money, your lifestyle of the flesh, your everything to Him because He has given you His everything. You have everything you need to give Him everything. He wants it all because He loves you.” He paused and then asked “Now, who still wants to follow Jesus?” Some reluctant, some boldly, raised their hands. More than one gave it all to Jesus. Much more than one.
Following the invitation, Pastor briefly explained the meaning of Salvation from the Greek word “Sozo.” He told the listeners that not only are we redeemed from healing and ransomed from sin, we also receive deliverance from addictions and healing of diseases. He