Dr. Adrian Rogers is home. Yesterday, he went to sleep in Memphis. And then he woke up in Heaven. Adrian, who retired as the pastor of the 27,000 member Belview Baptist Church in Memphis, died of complications from the cancer treatments he has endured for the past several months.
But, while the Christian community has suffered the loss of a great statesman and ambassador of truth, he would not have us weep too bitterly. He often quipped, “When my time comes, don’t be sorry for me; I’ll be kicking up gold dust on the streets of glory.”
Indeed, shortly after being admitted to the hospital with pneumonia, Adrian asserted, “this is a win-win for me.” By that he simply meant that, whether God chose to heal him or not, he was in the hands of God's good providence. Thus, among the last words that this remarkably gifted pastor, author, and media personality uttered were, “I am at perfect peace.”
Not surprisingly, his favorite Bible passage was Romans 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Through the years, Adrian and I rallied for battle, sometimes side-by-side and sometimes on opposite lines. He always liked to pretend that he never quite understood why I was a Presbyterian. I always liked to pretend that I never quite understood why he was a Baptist. None of that really matters any more--I'm guessing he knows better now! Somehow though, I can almost hear his sonorous voice engaging the Apostle Paul--or Polycarp or Augustine or maybe even Calvin, Bucer, and Beza--arguing against the idea of covenantalism, even as he did with me, but all the while punctuating each rhetorical flourish with a familiar jolly chuckle.
I know my beloved brother, is going to enjoy being home.