Watch Live

Solemn Assembly Service

“A Call to Repentance” 2 Corinthians 7:8-12

Date:November 26, 2023
Author: Wayne J. Edwards


Please prepare your hearts and minds for a very different format for our Solemn Assembly Worship Service on Sunday. Please enter quietly, reverently, and prayerfully.

In her book, “A Royal Waste of Time,” Marva Dawn dared to expose the absolute worthlessness of today’s postmodern, media-saturated, man-centric worship services. While the doctrinally-light churches focus more on the emotional elements of worship to inspire one’s feelings about God, the doctrinally-sound, theologically-conservative churches focus on the intellectual aspects of worship to challenge the worshippers to learn more about God. The problem is that both models are focused on the people rather than upon worshipping God, and in John 4: 24, Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

So, as Marva Dawn asked in her book, “Are our worship services really designed to fit the royalty of our King?” In our preparation for worship, are we visualizing our divine appointment with the Creator and Sustainer of the universe?

A true worship service is a time to put God back in His place through our adoration and praise and ourselves back in our place through confession, repentance, and thanksgiving.  Worship, then, or “worth-ship,” is an act of affirming God’s worth–not using the name of God to boost our self-esteem. When believers assemble on the Lord’s Day, fundamentally, we are declaring that God alone is worthy of all glory, all honor, and all praise.

Therefore, the goal of our worship service on Sunday is to keep God at the center of our worship, for only that act of worship, which is filled with the splendor of God, will lead to genuine adoration of God. And, beloved, if we are to make God attractive to those who are lost, they need to see our reverence and respect for the God we say we love.

Download the following translated Sermon guides:

English translated Sermon Guide
Spanish translated Sermon Guide
Portugal translated Sermon Guide
Filipino translated Sermon Guide
Swahili translated Sermon Guide
Heritage Baptist Church Sermon

“Consecrate a fast!
Call a sacred assembly!”

“Gather the elders
and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God and cry out to the LORD.”
Joel 1:14

A Call to a Solemn Assembly
“A Call to Repentance”
2 Corinthians 7:8-12

Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor

Dear Heritage Family and Friends,

   I make this statement without hesitation, reservation, or equivocation: God’s hand of judgement is already upon this nation, and unless we, as Christians, truly repent of our sins and return to Him, the pains of His judgement will continue to increase. God is letting us experience the consequences of our sins and our decision to leave Him out of our lives. As Isaiah said of the people of God in His day, We have become like those of old, over whom God never ruled, those who were never called by His name.” (Isaiah 63:18)

   Beloved, there is no human solution to our situation, for the heart of the problem is the problem of the heart of most of God’s people today. The silence of the Church regarding the rise of evil in our society is a shame. In fact, I believe God is using the increase in iniquity and the deep levels of depravity to awaken His people and call us to repentance.

   I know the term “Solemn Assembly” is an unknown concept for today’s church members. Even the word “solemn” is certainly not a part of the vocabulary of today’s vibrant worship services. However, solemn also means earnest, sincere, fervent, sacred, sober, serious, and holy. A call to a solemn assembly is a call to God’s people to look into the mirror of God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and see if there is any unconfessed sin in our lives and then to confess those sin, repent of them, so we can restore our personal relationship and fellowship with God, and with God’s people.

   As the Spiritual leader of this local assembly of the Body of Christ, I have called us to a Solemn Assembly. Please remove any hindrance to your full participation in these worship events, and be sure to refrain from doing anything that would distract others from their time of worship.

   At the end of the service, we ask that you leave quietly and continue to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us all.

Pastor Wayne

Call to Worship –

This is the Day the Lord has made: We will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the Lord’s Day: Let us worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

Responsive Reading –

O Lord, my God, would You turn Your eyes toward this place of worship and toward those gathered here to worship You, and would You hear from heaven and allow the glory of Your Presence to flood our hearts?

(All) If the heavens are shut up, and there is no rain because Your people have sinned against You, if they confess their sins, will You hear their prayers and open the heavens again?

If there is famine in the land, whether pestilence, blight, or mildew because Your people have not honored You with Your tithes and their offerings, if they confess their sins, will You hear their prayers and make the land fruitful again?

(All) If there is sickness in the land, whether plague, disease, or affliction because Your people have not respected their bodies as the temples of Your Holy Spirit, if they confess their sins, will You hear their prayers and make their bodies whole again?

If Your people are being defeated by their enemies, because they did not trust in You with all their heart, if they confess their sin, will You hear their prayers and allow them to experience Your victory?

(All) O Lord, let Your eyes be open to our plight, and Your ears attentive to our prayers. Let Your servants be anointed with Your power, and Your people refreshed by Your grace, as we humbly bow before You, and Your glory fills this place.

“Oh, the glory of Your Presence”

Oh, the glory, of Your presence, we Your temple, give You reverence.

So, arise to Your rest, and be blessed by our praise, as we glory in Your embrace, as Your presence now fills this place. (Repeat)


Pastoral Prayer – Reading of the Apostles Creed 

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ His Only Son, our Lord.
who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.
He descended into hell; the third day, He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost: the holy Christian church.
the communion of the saints; the forgiveness of sins.
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen!


“Holy Ground”

This is holy ground; we’re standing on holy ground, for the Lord is present, and where He is, is holy. This is holy ground, we’re standing on holy ground, for the Lord is present, and where He is is holy.

These are holy hands; He’s given us holy hands. He works through these hands and so these hands are holy. These are holy hands; He’s given us holy hands. He works through these hands and so these hands are holy.

We are standing on holy ground, and I know there are angels all around. Let us praise Jesus now. We are standing in His presence on holy ground.

As I walked through the door, I sensed His presence, and I knew this was a place where love abounds. For this is the temple, Jehovah God abides here. We are standing in His presence on holy ground.

We are standing on holy ground, and I know there are angels all around. Let us praise Jesus now. We are standing in His presence on holy ground.


Responsive Reading –             

Heavenly Father, Blessed Son, and Eternal Spirit, we adore You as one Being, one Essence, one Holy God in three distinct Persons. 

(All) Father, You loved us enough to send Your only begotten Son to redeem us from our sin. Jesus, You loved us enough to give Your life to pay the debt of our sin. Holy Spirit, You loved us enough to implant within us the gift of eternal life, and now to keep us saved.

(Men) Father, thank You for choosing us to be among the sheep of Your pasture.

(Women) Jesus, thank You for accepting us to be a part of Your holy bride.

(All) Holy Spirit, thank You for empowering us with the faith to believe God’s Holy Word, which gives us the assurance of our salvation, our oneness with Christ, and our eternal home in heaven.

Three Persons, yet, one God! God, we bless You, and we praise You for Your love, which is so unspeakable, so undeserved, and unlimited. We bow before You, and worship You in the beauty of Your holiness.

“Holy, Holy, Holy”

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee. Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee, casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea. Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee, which wert, and art, and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee. Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see; Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee. Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea. Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Prayer of Adoration – in unison

Heavenly Father, I come before You to lay my life before You, and to tell You I adore You, for You not only created me in Your image, You crowned me with Your glory. You not only called me unto Yourself, You adopted me as Your child, covered me with Your banner of love, sheltered me safe in Your arms, supplied all my needs, and have given me the strength sufficient for this day. You have promised never to leave me, nor forsake me. Therefore, I will not fear what mortal man can do to me. Father, I praise You for being the everlasting God that You are, the uncaused-Cause, the Creator and Possessor of heaven and earth, and yet the merciful and faithful God who is kind and compassionate to all, but especially to those who put their trust in You. Father, as I walk through this new day, let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto You, that I may serve as a reflection of Your glory to a world that needs to know of Your love. Amen!

“I Love You Lord” “My Jesus, I Love Thee” “Lord, We Praise You”

I love You, Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You, O my soul, rejoice. Take joy, my King in what You hear. May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear. (Repeat)

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine. For Thee all the follies of sin I resign. My gracious Redeemer, my Saviour art Thou. If ever I loved Thee my Jesus ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me, and purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree. I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow. If ever I loved Thee my Jesus ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life and I will love Thee in death, and praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath, and say when the death dew lies cold on my brow, if ever I loved Thee my Jesus ’tis now.

Lord, we praise You, Lord, we praise You, Lord, we praise You, we praise You, Lord. (love, thank)

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, we give You praise.

Romans 8:9-17 – to be read in unison

“Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”

“Spirit of the Living God”

Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.

Soul of heaven, heart of God, wash over me. Soul of heaven, heart of God, wash over me. Cleanse me, teach me, hold me, reach me. Soul of heaven, heart of God, wash over me.

Holy presence, love divine, cast out my fear. Holy presence, love divine, cast out my fear. Shield me, free me, call me, lead me. Holy presence, love divine, cast out my fear.

   Throughout the Old Testament, God told His prophets to call His people to gather in the Tabernacle, and later, the Temple, for a Solemn Assembly.

  • The call was for them to restrain from their regular duties and take the time to review, reflect, and renew their personal relationship with God.
  • Some Solemn Assemblies were for “feast” days to celebrate God’s blessings upon their nation.
  • Some Solemn Assemblies were for “fast” days to repent of their sins to avoid God’s chastisement upon the nation.

   While the term, Solemn Assembly, may be new to Christians today, its purpose is the same as what our grandfather’s called a “revival,” or our father’s called a “renewal,” – a time for the church family to assemble to renew their relationship with God, and with one another.

  • Richard Owens Roberts defined “revival” as: The extraordinary work of the Spirit of God among His people that produces extraordinary results.”
  • Today’s church is not experiencing such mighty movements of the Holy Spirit because:
    • We have such a low view of God that today’s church leaders are trying to manufacture that extraordinary movement of God through the ordinary methods of man.
    • Today’s evangelical church is too proud to humble itself before a Holy God and to cry out to God for His forgiveness.
  • But as God said to His people through the voices of His prophets, if we will return to Him in complete repentance of all of our sins, He will cleanse our hearts of all those sins and flood them with the joy of the Lord.

“Repent, then, and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped
away, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
Acts 3:19

With the help of Aquila and Priscilla, the Apostle Paul established the Church in Corinth around A.D. 50.

  • After returning to Macedonia in A.D. 52, Paul learned that the young church had drifted back into sin.
  • While Paul was in Ephesus, in A.D. 53, he wrote his first letter to the Corinthians, rebuking them for their carnal behavior, and he sent the letter to them by Titus.
  • A little later, Titus returned to tell Paul the good news that the believers had received God’s gift of repentance, and they were growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.

   According to one study, in his first letter, Paul addressed at least 15 different problems in the church at Corinth. Primarily, most of them related to sexual sins, but they also included the misuse of spiritual gifts, the misuse and abuse of the Lord’s Supper, the denial of the resurrection, the collection of funds, and the Apostle Paul’s schedule.

  • Having offended the church at Corinth in his first letter by pointing out their sins, then having heard of their repentance, Paul wrote this second letter, praising the Lord that all things had worked out for God’s glory.

   The missing ingredient in today’s gospel preaching and many of today’s gospel presentations is the call to repentance.

  • “Re” means to turn back or to do something again.
  • “Pentance,” is from the same root word as “Pentance, which means to feel sorrow or regret for having sinned against God.
  • The Greek word translated in our Bibles for “repent” is “Metanoia,” which means a total change of life.
  • Therefore, “Metanoia” describes the life change brought about through genuine repentance.
  • When an unbeliever is “born again,” God turns his life around, and he walks in a new direction.
  • In 1 Thessalonians 1:9, Paul said those who had received Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord in Thessalonica had “Turned to God from worshipping idols, and they turned to serve God.”

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17

True repentance is not a change of life we can decide to do when we want to by our self-discipline. The call to repentance is the work of the Holy Spirit, not only convicting us of our outward sins but also of our sinful nature.

  • The Holy Spirit shows us our need for a Savior, and Jesus as the Savior we need, and then He leads us in true repentance.
  • We turn to God – admitting our sins and our need for a Savior.
  • We turn away from our worship of idolsanything or anyone that competes for the devotion that rightfully belongs to God.
  • We surrender our lives unto the Lordship of Jesus Christ – i.e., we yield ourselves as servants of the Most-High God.

   However, this does not mean we are saved by repentance but rather by the grace of God, through our faith alone and in Christ alone.

  • Since genuine faith is a gift of God, produced from within by the power of the Holy Spirit, true repentance, is the evidence of salvation, that our sins have been reconciled with God and others.
  • Sorrow alone is a temporary feeling, but true repentance is a changed heart that causes us to change how we live.
  • Godly sorrow brings us to the point where we cry out unto God in honest confession, longing for that forgiveness that can only come through the soul-cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.
  • Godly sorrow produces repentance which is manifested in five intrinsic changes in our lives.
    • A change of mind – from a carnal to a biblical worldview.
    • A change of heart – deep sorrow for rebelling against God.
    • A change of spirit – walking in confession and repentance.
    • A change of actions – an intentional turning away from the world, the flesh, and the devil.
    • A change of focus – an intentional turning unto God and a complete surrender unto His call.

   As the Holy Spirit works within us to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ, He will surface those secret sins that we need to confess, lead us to repentance, motivate us to restitution, and inspire us to seek reconciliation with those affected by our sins. The evidence of God’s work within us is a life of a conscious, continuous repentance of all sin, so Christ’s holiness can be revealed through us.

Prayer of Confession – in unison

Heavenly Father, through the exposition of Your Holy Word, You have brought us to the valley of decision. As the prophet Isaiah said, having seen visions of You in the height of Your majesty and glory, we now see the condition of our lives is yet another story. We now see our sins, for they are ever before us. We have allowed the things of this world to take Your place in our hearts. We have grieved the Holy Spirit by resisting His convictions to avoid fleshly sins and His promptings to grow in the grace and knowledge of Your Word. We have failed to glorify the Lord Jesus by being His witnesses in this world. In many ways, we have presumed upon Your grace. Father, would You forgive us of those sins and cleanse us from our unrighteousness? Draw us so near to the cross that we may see our sins as the nails that pierced our Savior’s hands and feet, as the cords that bound Him, and the thorns tore Him, and the spear that stabbed Him. Grant that we will never lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of our sin, the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice, and the wonder of Your love in sending Him to redeem us. Now, having cleansed us from our sins, would You fill us with Your love, grace, and mercy? Set our hearts on fire with the truth of Your Word, give us a new passion for those who are lost, and may the Holy Spirit use us to draw them to the warmth of that flame, for we ask these things in Jesus’ name! Amen.

 “Only Trust Him”

Come, every soul by sin oppressed, there’s mercy with the Lord, and He will surely give you rest by trusting in His Word.

Only trust Him, only trust Him. Only trust Him now; He will save you. He will save you. He will save you now.

For Jesus shed His precious blood rich blessings to bestow; Plunge now into the crimson flood that washes white as snow.
Yes, Jesus is the truth, the way, that leads you into rest. Believe in Him without delay and you are fully blest.

Prayer of Thanksgiving – in unison

Heavenly Father, thank You for allowing us into Your presence, and thank You, Lord Jesus, for making that entrance possible through Your shed blood. Father, we now ask the Holy Spirit to seal these wonderful truths in our hearts by destroying every lofty thought the enemy tries to entice us with, break our foolish pride, and replace it with such a lowliness of spirit that we are always humbled by Your grace, chastened by Your mercy, and yet exalted by every expression of Your love. As we leave this fellowship of the faithful and enter into the world of sin, let us learn and live like the Lord Jesus, who showed us that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive. Thus, our hearts will always be prepared as a dwelling place for You. Amen.

Psalm 57:7-11 – to be read in unison          

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth. My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, and Your truth unto the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth.”


“Be Exalted, O God”

I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord, among the people. I will sing praises to Thee among the nations. For Thy steadfast love is great, is great to the heavens; And Thy faithfulness, Thy faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heaven, Let Thy glory be over all the earth. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let Thy glory be over all the earth. (Repeat the chorus)

“I Exalt Thee”

I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee, O Lord. I exalt Thee,
I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee, O Lord. (Repeat as directed)


Prayer of Benediction – “Now may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen!

A Disciple’s Renewal

O My Savior, Help me.

I am so slow to learn, so prone to forget, so weak to climb;
I am in the foothills when I should on the heights;
I am pained by my graceless heart, my prayerless days, my poverty of love, my sloth in the heavenly race, my sullied conscience, my wasted hours, my unspent opportunities.

I am blind while light shines around me:
Take the scales from my eyes, grind to dust the evil heart of unbelief.
Make it my chiefess joy to study thee, meditate on thee, gaze on thee, sit like Mary at thy feet, lean like John on thy breast, appeal like Peter to thy love, count like Paul all things dung.

Give me increase and progress in grace so that there may be more decision in my character, more vigor in my purposes, more elevation in my life, more fervor in my devotion, more constancy in my zeal.
As I have a position in the world, keep me from making the world my position;

May I never seek in the creature what can be found only in the Creator;
Let not faith cease from seeking until it vanishes into sight.
Ride forth in me, thou King of kings and Lord of lords,
that I may live victoriously, and in victory attain my end.

From The Valley of Vision – Arthur Bennett