General CBF

Going through the door of opportunity

A delegation of CBF staff and leaders gathered last week in Durban, South Africa for the World Congress of the Baptist World Alliance. The following press release comes from CBF partner Baptist World Alliance. 

Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications (BWA)

July 28, 2015

Durban, South Africa (BWA) — Each person has a unique door through which God is leading him or her, said Joel Gregory, professor at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary in the state of Texas in the United States.

Gregory delivered the keynote address at the last plenary session of the 21st Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa, on July 26, which ended on a high note of celebration.

Gregory called on the gathering of more than 2,500 Baptist Christians from more than 80 countries to make a commitment to discover the door of opportunity that God has opened for them.

He explained that there is a personal door for each individual. “Understand that each door is a personal door, a door for me,” he emphasized.The prayer of the individual should be, “God show me my door. God, open my door. God, give me the will to walk through my door.”

At times, Gregory explained, “God brings the door to you rather than bring you to the door.” One can discern the door of opportunity by listening to the Spirit within us, knowledge and awareness of the scriptures before us and sensitivity to the circumstances around us.

But the professor of preaching, legendary for his oratory, warned the gathering that opportunity often comes with opposition. It is rare to have the first without the second. “If you are going to live and work for Jesus Christ opportunity and opposition will always go hand in hand,” he said to the responsive gathering. “But this should not surprise us.”

However, opposition should not thwart the Christian believer because “we serve a Lord who turned the ultimate opposition into the ultimate opportunity. No one turned opposition into opportunity like Jesus.” Jesus turned what seemed like ultimate defeat, his death as a criminal on a cross, into ultimate victory, transforming “the cross of shame into the symbol of salvation.”

The congress, which had as its theme, “Jesus Christ, the Door,” was held July 22 to 26 at the International Convention Center in Durban. It was the first Baptist World Congress in Africa since the first in London, England, in 1905.

The 2020 celebration will, for the first time, combine the Baptist World Congress with the Baptist Youth World Conference. It will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Joel Gregory of the United States speaking during the last plenary session of the Baptist World Congress in South Africa on July 26

Joel Gregory of the United States speaking during the last plenary session of the Baptist World Congress in South Africa on July 26

The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 232 conventions and unions in 121 countries and territories comprising 40 million members in 177,000 churches. Its priorities are nurturing the passion for mission and evangelism; promoting worship, fellowship and unity; responding to people in need; defending human rights and justice; and advancing relevant theological reflection.

Watch the 2015 Baptist World Congress promotional video.

Download Covenant on Intra-Baptist Relations.

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