From the Pastor’s Study – September 11, 2020

As I typed the date in the title for this post, I recalled the horrific events of September 11, 2001. I was in seminary at the time, in Philadelphia just a few hours from New York City. The hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center towers while I was sitting in Dr. Vern Poythress’ class on Revelation. Since those were the days before smartphones and instant news access, I was oblivious to what was happening even after the class was dismissed and students began talking with one another. As I sat down in the auditorium for the chapel service following the class, I noticed the speaker, Dr. Stafford Carson, looked particularly solemn and even ashen-faced. I wondered aloud to a classmate sitting next to me if something was wrong.

At the beginning of the chapel service one of the faculty or staff (I don’t remember who) announced that two planes flew into the World Trade Center towers in New York City. The authorities believed it was intentional, the work of terrorists. Like everyone else who first heard the news, I was stunned. One thing I’ll never forget about that day is just was a beautiful fall day it was – cool, sunny, clear, and peaceful. But a hundred miles away, wicked men brought hellish fire and smoke into the perfect day, and death to thousands. Against this backdrop of the depravity of man, and the pain and suffering of this world, I thank God for the gospel of Jesus Christ. He alone is our hope of salvation.

On another subject, I’ve been very encouraged by the work the OPC’s Commmittee on Ministerial Care has done in providing much-needed resources to churches and pastors about matters such as salary, retirement, sabbaticals, etc. This kind of ministry was the passion of the late David Haney, who was instrumental in the formation of the committee. When he was suddenly taken to his eternal home in 2019, a memorial fund was set up in his name. The Committee decided to use some of the money from that fund to bless the ministers of the OPC with a very generous gift box. So last week, completely out of the blue, I received a package with a new English Standard Bible and two books, Reformed Preaching by Joel R. Beeke and With All Your Heart by A. Craig Troxel.

I was so encouraged by the gift. The Bible, especially, is a treasure. A premium Bible with a goatskin cover, it will be – Lord willing – my copy of the Scriptures for daily reading for years to come. Thank you, brothers, on the Committee on Ministerial Care!

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pastor Johnson