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Sermon #2158 — Miscellaneous Sermons


      Title:                                 Rehearsing what

                                                                          God has Done


      Text:                                  Acts 14:21-27

      Subject:               Meetings in England and N Ireland

      Date:                                Sunday Evening — May 4, 2014

      Reading: Cody Henson and Frank Hall



In Acts 13 Paul and Barnabas were sent out by the church at Antioch to preach the gospel among the Gentiles. After preaching the gospel at Antioch, Pisidia, Paul and Barnabas came to Iconium and preached Christ there. They went on to preach the gospel in Lycaonia and Lystra. Then, they went to Derbe, back to Lystra, to Iconium, and to Antioch, Pisidia again, preaching the gospel of Christ, confirming the brethren, and ordaining elders in every city. After that they passed through Pisidia and preached the Word in Pamphylia, Perga, and Attalia (vv. 27-28; Acts 13:1-3). Then they returned to Antioch in Syria to give a report of all that had taken place on their first missionary journey. Then, we read in Acts 14:27, — “When they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”


Following the example of Paul and Barnabas, I want to share with you the things our God has done in the places in Ireland and England to which you sent your pastor.


The Reason


But before giving the facts, let me remind you of the reason. This congregation is exemplary in the work of evangelism.

·      Missionaries

·      Establishing Gospel Churches

·      Television Broadcasts

·      The Grace Bulletin

·      Our Books (13 Published — One at Press)

·      Web Pages

·      Audio/Video Messages



Almost every week, you send you pastor somewhere to preach the gospel. Many wonder why you do so. Others wonder why I strive to give myself relentlessly to this business of preaching the gospel. Why would a group of hard working men and women give so generously to proclaim the gospel everywhere God opens a door? We do so for the same reason John the Baptist came, “to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe” (John 1:7).


Matthew 28:18-20 (18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


We devote ourselves to the blessed work of preaching the gospel for the salvation of God’s elect, that sinners might believe on and trust the Lord Jesus Christ, that sinners might have that great salvation that God freely gives to all who trust his darling Son.


My Report


Now, in the time that remains, I will follow the example of Paul and Barnabas in Acts 14 and rehearse that which the Lord has done in the places we visited in the United Kingdom.


The Apostle Paul asked the saints at Colosse to pray for him, “that God would open to us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:3), just as I asked you to pray for me, as Shelby and I left for Ireland and England four weeks ago. And I am happy to report to you, as he did, “a great door and effectual was opened to me” (1 Corinthians 16:9).


Sunday — April 20th


After the morning worship service, followed by the fellowship dinner on April 20th, we drove to Doug, Faith’s, Audrey Grace and Will’s. We were able to spend a delightful hour or so with them before they drove us to the airport.


Monday — April 21st


We arrived safely in Birmingham, England about 11:30 AM on Monday morning. Paul and Matt Wheeler met us at the airport and drove us the hour drive to Wolverhampton. We were greeted at the motel by Pastor Norman Wheeler and his wife, Hilda. Hilda, is a very special lady who does everything to perfection. Once again she saw to it that there was an iron and ironing board in our room (something the British do not usually have in every room) and that our every need was taken care of. After a brief visit with Norman and Hilda, we were anxious to get to our room, set our bags down, and sleep for a couple of hours.


Tuesday and Wednesday — April 22nd and 23rd


Tuesday and Wednesday evening I preached at Robert Street Baptist Church in Dudley, England, where Bro. Norman Wheeler is pastor. Bro. John Graham and his wife, Anne, drove from London to be in the services. Bro. Geoff Thomas and a gentleman named Chris were also there from Bournemouth. The group at Bournemouth just this past week bought a large screen TV and met for their first service together this past Sunday.


Our hearts were greatly encouraged and blessed while we were at Dudley to meet a man named Michael Kelly. Michael lives about a two hour drive from Dudley, but drove the distance to be in the services each evening. Michael is an artist, who told us how that at one time he had a good salary, nice house, car, pretty wife, and children and had lost it all. This past November, being at his wits end and looking for something, in God’s providence, he found Free Grace Radio and clicked onto one of my sermons. God spoke to him through His Word and saved him by His grace. He said that he listens to my messages every day and had been afraid to go to church anywhere for fear of going to the wrong church that did not preach the truth of the Scriptures. Michael also drove up to Eggleston with his brother and attended the conference on Friday night, which was about a four hour drive for him. He plans to meet with the group there at Dudley as often as possible.


The Word was well received by that congregation and many people seemed to be blessed by the messages.


Thursday – April 24th


Paul and Matt Wheeler once again picked us up Thursday morning and drove us to the New Focus Conference in Eggleston, England. Paul’s wife, Christine, and Matt’s wife, Penny, and their two children also made the trip with us. We traveled most of the day arriving at Bro. Peter Meney’s about 4:30 in the afternoon. Peter’s wife, Gill, prepared a meal for us before Peter took us to our cottage, just a few miles from the church.


Friday, April 25th


Friday evening’s service was at the Egglesburn Baptist Church in Eggleston, where Bro. Peter Meney is pastor. The group there is quite small, but again God gave me liberty to preach the gospel and the message was warmly received. It was so good to see the familiar faces of some of our friends we have known for a long time. Bro. Allan Jellett, pastor at Knebworth, and his wife, Christine. Christine had been quite ill for several months, but is doing much better and was able to make the trip with Allen.


Saturday — April 26th


On Saturday we met at 2:00 PM at Mickleton Village Hall. Speakers in the afternoon service were Bro. Peter Meney and Bro. Allen Jellett. After the evening meal, I preached at 7:00 PM.


Sunday — April 27th


On Sunday we met again at the Egglesburn Baptist Church in Eggleston. We again had good attendance and a blessed time of worship together. After a meal together at the church, we were able to go back to the cottage, pack up, and squeeze a short nap in before setting out for the airport in Newcastle to catch our plane to Belfast, Northern Ireland.


We arrived in Belfast about 9:30 PM Sunday evening. Bro. Russell Smyth and Bro. Stewart Boyd picked us up in Belfast and drove us to Ballymoney. You may remember me telling you about Bro. Stewart Boyd several years ago. We first met Stewart on our first trip to Ballymoney about 8 or 9 years ago. He has had a serious heart condition since he was 46 years old and was extremely weak and frail the first time we met. He was finally able to get a diffibulator last May and has steadily gotten stronger ever since. He is able to do things that he never thought he would be able to do again. Bro. Stewart loves the gospel of God’s grace and is an ardent witness, doing everything he can to get the gospel message out.


Monday – Tuesday, April 28th and 29th


I preached Monday and Tuesday night for the Sovereign Grace Fellowship at Ballymoney, Northern Ireland. The services were held in the Orange Hall, where the group regularly meet on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 PM. They watch our DVDS and sing hymns from Songs of Grace for their worship service. It was a blessing to see the men taking part in the services, reading the Scriptures, praying, and leading the congregation in the singing of hymns. We had good attendance both nights. Monday night Bro. David Burrows drove up from Dungannon, about 1 ½ hours away, and brought two men with him. It was good to see our old friends, Nigel Newell and his wife, Elizabeth, from Belfast, who drove to be in the service on Tuesday evening. After the message Tuesday evening, we partook of the Lord’s Table with our extended church family in Ballymoney.


It seemed everywhere we went, over and over people expressed their gratitude for the ministry of Grace Baptist Church. Many regularly receive copies of the CDS and DVDS of the services. Others listen to them on Free Grace Radio. Many said they feel that they know the people in Grace Baptist Church from hearing their names mentioned frequently, and feel that they, too, are a part of this church family. Numerous ones told us to express their thanks to Grace Baptist Church for sending us so many miles to be with them.


Wednesday — April 30th


On Wednesday morning we met with Russell and Sharon Smyth and Bro. Stewart Boyd for a big Irish breakfast. After saying good-by to Bro. Stewart, Russell and Sharon Smyth drove us to Dublin. We had a late lunch with Russell and Sharon before they started on their long drive home. We are truly appreciative of all those who took so much of their time to take us from place to place.


Thursday — May 1st


Thursday morning we were up at 4:00 AM to prepare to leave for the airport to return HOME. The plane trip from Dublin to Atlanta was about 9 hours. We had a two hour lay-over in Atlanta and returned home about 8:00 Thursday evening. As always it was wonderful to get home and sleep in our own bed.


God once again gave us a few glimpses of what he is doing in the hearts and lives of his people around the world. And once again we are reminded that only eternity will tell what He has done through the ministry of Grace Baptist Church of Danville.


Though the past twelve days were tiring and demanding, we thank God for the privilege we have to carry the gospel wherever He opens a door. It is our desire to faithfully serve Him and do just that until our dying breath.


Once again our hearts are full to overflowing with the blessings of God upon these past weeks. How we thank God for his goodness to us in keeping us, protecting us, strengthening us, and guiding us every step of the way. How we thank God for the privilege we had of seeing our old friends, for making new ones, and for bringing us home to our family and friends here whom we love and cherish and miss so much when we are apart.


How thankful we are for the privilege of making such a trip, of preaching the gospel to so many hungry souls, for God’s apparent blessings on the Word to the hearts of his children, for journeying mercies every step of the way, for God’s goodness in keeping us and strengthening us for the daily demands, for giving us many new friends in Christ, and allowing us to see many old friends.


Thank you, our dear friends, for your prayers on our behalf. Thank You, our blessed God, for hearing and answering the prayers of your people.








Don Fortner








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