Recorded soon upon returning from a mission to Nepal, Pastor Austin is sick, and begins the message by relaying a few moments of mission testimony that help provide background to the sermon.
1 Peter 2: 4-21
As Living Stones
4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For this is contained in Scripture:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,
“The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the very corner stone,”
“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”;
for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Isaiah 53:3 (KJV)
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
2 Timothy 3:12 (KJV)
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
After some time in the US Navy as a Sonar Technician aboard Submarines, Austin moved to Panama City to be near his ailing mother as she fought a losing battle with lung cancer. Her loss was one of several during a brief period where this young man was faced with his own weaknesses and hopelessness. During this period of great breaking, The Lord Jesus Christ transformed a prideful and perverse drunkard into a humble witness of the cross. Today by God's redeeming grace, Austin labors as a preacher, a missionary, and the pastor of Christ Evangel Christian Fellowship.