Every second year the Geelong RPC organises the Geelong Bible Conference. This is a weekend conference which has expository preaching at its heart, and offers bible teaching for all ages and whole families. We are glad to welcome not only members of our own congregation and denomination, but also believers from a range of other denominations and even from inter-state.
This year the Geelong Bible Conference was held from Friday 30th June to Lord’s Day 2nd July at the Geelong Campus of the Reformed Theological College (Friday and Saturday) and at the Geelong RPC (for our Lord’s Day services and fellowship times afterwards).
Our keynote speaker was Rev Warren Peel (Trinity RPC, Northern Ireland) who preached a series of five sermons on the theme: Behold The Lamb of God – the Lamb in the Book of Revelation. We were richly blessed by Warren’s clear and compelling exposition of God’s Word.
At each conference, the keynote addresses are supplemented by other times when we can discuss, ponder, and further apply what we have been learning from God’s word. A panel discussion and group discussion times are important features of our conference. So too are break-out sessions where other speakers lead a workshop which combines teaching, questions and discussion on topics related to the main topic. As Warren preached on the Lamb of God in Revelation the three main workshops approached this topic from different angles.
Dr Stephen Lewis (OT Lecturer at the Reformed Theological College) led a workshop on the place of sacrifice in the biblical story of salvation. He helped us to understand and explain the necessity of the substitute dying in the place of sinners – an idea which many people today find abhorrent.
Rev Isaac Overton (Box Hill Reformed Church) lead a workshop on how believers can build one another up within the Church in order to face the pressure which comes upon us from the world outside the Church. Thankfully we do not face the violent opposition which the first readers of Revelation faced. However, we do face a culture just as toxic. The Lamb is also our Shepherd, and as his disciples we are to care for another.
As Revelation is a letter from Christ Jesus through his servant John to the Churches, Rev Andrew Stewart (Geelong RPC) lead a workshop on John, a prolific NT writer, but a person who is an enigma to many Christians. The workshop considered what we can learn from John’s spiritual development from being one of the “sons of thunder” to the pre-eminent “apostle of love.”
As well as offering programs for adults, a full schedule of activities was offered for children and young people, from babies in the creche to high schoolers, who had their own elective sessions. We were blessed by the willing participation of members of our congregation and denomination who made this all happen.
Our busiest day was the Saturday, when we had over 160 people registered to attend. Many attended our Lord’s Day services the following day and our Church Hall was barely able to contain those who stayed behind for lunch. It was especially encouraging to meet up with brothers and sisters from other congregations who over the years have adopted the Geelong Bible Conference as a place to go for spiritual food. A number come from smaller denominations and isolated congregations, and it is a blessing that we can encourage one another by coming together under the faithful preaching of God’s Word.
Andrew Stewart minister of the Geelong RPC