Pastor Dave Stone spoke on how to win the struggle with sin during Liberty University Convocation on Monday. Stone is the senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Ky., one of North America’s largest churches with 21,000 in attendance weekly. He is also the author of seven books, including his Faithful Families series.
Stone asked students, “Will you decide today that you will no longer be held hostage by the guilt of sins that God has already forgiven, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead?”
He encouraged students to evaluate their struggle with sin and offered three main points: sin is enticing, avoid it; sin gets worse, so confess it; and Christ offers forgiveness, accept it.
“You are the only one who knows of the struggles and temptations that are lurking beneath the surface and under the water,” Stone said. “But in your heart of hearts you have begun to dabble with things you could not control.”
He showed a short video about Taylor Storch, a 13-year-old girl who died in a skiing accident. Her father and mother, Todd and Tara Storch, donated her organs. Patricia Winters, a 39-year-old wife and mother, received Taylor’s heart in a transplant and is able to live a normal life again after suffering with a heart condition. The video showed the Storches meeting Winters for the first time and listening to Taylor’s heart beat in her body.
Stone used the story of a heart transplant to demonstrate the power of the gospel.
“God specializes in taking our sins and making something beautiful out of our lives. He banishes our sins as far as the East is from the West. He rebuilds, He restores, He redeems,” Stone said.
In addition to Stone’s message, John Strohman, an attorney from South Dakota, spoke during Convocation about how Jesus pardons our sin. Strohman has been involved with Liberty for several years; two of his daughters are students and he led a mission trip with Liberty students this past summer.
Strohman encouraged students to repent of their sin, recognizing the importance of accepting God’s grace. In addition to practicing law, Strohman has authored Application Commentary of the Gospel of Matthew.