We find the day of Atonement commanded in Leviticus 23, but for Christians who have been made at one with God through the Passover sacrifice of Christ, we might wonder why does this holy day exist? Do we need a re-run of the Passover? In this sermon Mr. Smith answers this by pointing out that God wants reconciliation with all the world and not just with the first fruits. The Atonement ceremony in Leviticus 16 shows how all mankind will have the chance to be reconciled to God. Mr. Smith then ends the sermon by showing that our fasting on this day is designed to humble us to not only make us more teachable at the upcoming feast, but also to help us develop the qualities Jesus described in the beatitudes of Matthew 5 that start with the quality of humility. These qualities will be essential for us to function as teachers in God's kingdom as we help Christ reconcile all mankind to God.
Gary Smith was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, but spent most of his youth in the Pasadena, California area. He graduated from Ambassador College in 1976 and he and his wife, Liz, moved to Peoria, Illinois. For the next six years he worked as a nursing home administrator in Illinois, Ohio, and Texas.
In 1982, he and Liz began to serve in the full-time ministry. Since that time, they have served in a number of congregations in the Midwest.
Gary and Liz now pastor in Houston, Texas near their two children and grandson.