By Michael McEwen
O.S. Hawkins has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Guidestone Financial Services since 1997. Prior to Guidestone, Hawkins served as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas and First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Hawkins earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. He has graduate degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Luther Rice Seminary as well as several honorary doctoral degrees.
Hawkins began his message with five common characteristics that are intertwined in culture today: All people are in search for meaning in life; a search for immediate gratification; they want something for nothing; they desire a guilt-free living; and all people are thirsty for prosperity.
Before preaching his message, Hawkins described the common cultural ideas in the past five decades. He said, “At the heels of World War II, church attendance was at an all-time high, and the Judeo-Christian worldview permeated the world. In the new world of the 21st century, we look around at the church and there are a couple of generations who have neither sung a hymn nor never heard the gospel message.”
Reading from Ephesians 1:7 – “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” – Hawkins drew together his five points and Paul’s verse: “We should know something that makes the generations around us tick.”
After reading the first two words from Ephesians 1:7, Hawkins said, “If the culture is searching for meaning in life, the church has the answer: it is found ‘in him,’ in Christ alone.”
Looking again at the culture, said Hawkins, “we see that they exclaim, ‘Give it to me and give it to me right now.’ This manifestation permeates the culture. For instance, credit card debt paralyzes our culture because of the yearning for immediate gratification.” The hope, Hawkins clarified, comes “in him the redemption,” the true immediate gratification.
Exegeting his next two cultural points, Hawkins said, “People want something for nothing and guilt-free living, and through the cross of Christ, redemption is neither earned nor deserved, and sin will haunt you, but in Christ, there is guilt-free living.” Concluding his fifth point and his sermon, Hawkins echoed Paul’s verse, “In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins; God is rich in both grace and mercy, and fortunately, the church has the answers for all of these things. We have the true riches found in Christ.”
The mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperate Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.