This past week a great saint passed away. Rev. Jerry Falwell died and His Spirit has gone to be with Lord, waiting for the Resurrection of the Dead. Just as we remind you of your baptism when we bring little ones into the world and into the church, so it is fitting for us to remember our baptisms at the passing of the saints into glory.
Many of you went to Liberty University and at times have attended Thomas Road Baptist Church. Thus, Rev. Falwell had a large impact on your life. By God’s providence you ended up here where we have important and significant differences with the doctrine and practice of Rev. Falwell. But instead of thinking that where you are now is a different stream than the one you are were in there, I hope you can think of it as a deeper stream. Thus, it is fitting to give thanks for Rev. Falwell for being faithful to God and to you further up the stream. And he was faithful there until the end. There are many aspects about his life accomplishments and personal character that are great examples to all of us. Let us remember him and let us also remember God’s marking of us to be faithful over many decades. He fought the good fight. He finished the race. Let us do likewise.
Some people did not like Rev. Falwell because he sometimes said things that he should not have said. At times, he found himself having to apologize and the apology was construed to mean that he was taking back his initial assertions of biblical commands. But he was not taking them back. As far as I know, he never did so.
So, while Rev. Falwell sometimes said things that he should not have said, or not the way he did, or not at the right time, he more often said many things that he should have said. He said them boldly and he said them in a media spotlight that was particularly hostile, not just to Falwell’s brand of Christianity, but to the very tenets of Christianity. God’s will, I pray, for one man more, of such fortitude that he displayed.
Ps 71:23-24 23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. 24 My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.
While we should be careful with our tongues, we ought not to fault those bold men who display their bibles and proclaim God’s Word. Our danger is not saying what we shouldn’t. Our danger is failing to say what we should say. Rev. Falwell rarely made that mistake. He was fearless of the liberal forces around him. I would say that much of the church in America are like scared rabbits around liberals, the media, modern Academia, and perhaps even unbelievers in general. We are cowed into silence when we should speak out.
Where will we find men who are willing to proclaim not just the remission of sins, which is a grand and glorious doctrine, but Repentance and the Remission of sins? Something has gone wrong. Men need to stop doing the wicked that they are doing. To the world, this is the doctrine of death unto death but to those who are being saved, it is the aroma of life unto life. Let us not fear men, but God, and speak of the manifold glories of God in Christ, just like Jerry Falwell did.