Sunday, May 30, 2010

Close of Sunday's Sermon

Francis Chan tells a story about a man who stood up at a funeral that was a member of his church to eulogize a man that had passed away. He knew his dead friend to be a Christian and he shared this with the people there. He told them when his friend passed away, he was ready to meet God. Then he challenged the people at the funeral about whether they were ready to meet Jesus or not. He said several times, “Are you ready?”

He stepped down from the platform in that church. He came and sat with his family in the pew in the front of the sanctuary. He sat down, and within a minute he fell over and died. Right there in the church. His name was Stan.

His wife and children were grieving. But they were so proud of him. His son was excited as Francis came to the door. Did you hear what my dad did? He died doing what he loved! Telling others about Jesus! Francis Chan said about this man, “One minute Stan Gurlach was saying to the crowd “This is who Jesus is!” and the next moment he was in heaven and he was hearing Jesus saying “This is who Stan Gurlach is!”

Friends, I hope to live to grow old with my life and see my daughter grow. There is so much I love about my life right now! But if I die today, the one thing I hope nobody ever says was that I was a half-hearted Christian. I may be a fat, slow-witted fella that is a little spacy and stumbles over his words a little too much, but I hope you will see how much I love my Jesus. I hope you would talk about how passionate I was about how Jesus loves each of us, no matter who we are and what we have done. I pray that even though you may talk about the Hawaiian shirts I like to wear, you will also talk about how I was passionate about taking our faith beyond the four walls of our church into tangible service in our community. I pray that you will talk about my love for Jesus spilled into how I treated my wife, my baby, my momma and each one of you. You may talk about how you disagreed with some things I have said or done. But I hope and pray you will never call me a lukewarm Christian.

And I hope nobody will say that of you either. Because, I don’t think there is anything more tragic than a half-hearted Christian.

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