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‘Jesus is the one we praise,’ Rogers says in concluding sermon

CORDOVA, Tenn. (BP)–Adrian Rogers spoke of many defining moments in his life during his final message as pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church March 6.

He talked about his salvation experience as a boy in Florida and his courtship and marriage to his wife Joyce. He talked about his call to the ministry and about becoming Bellevue’s pastor in 1972.

But mostly -– as he usually does, reflecting the passion that has marked his life and ministry — Rogers talked about Jesus and pleaded for any unbelievers to come in faith to Christ.

“I am what I am by the grace of God, and we are as a church what we are by the grace of God,” Rogers said. “God has saved me by His grace. God has secured me by His grace. And God has seen us through by His grace.”

Rogers pleaded with the lost to place their faith and trust in the saving work of Jesus Christ. He warned them that good works and ritualistic religion aren’t enough for salvation, that only the sacrifice of Jesus is sufficient.

“Jesus on the cross suffered, bled and died to take your sin debt and mine with His precious blood,” he said. “I promise you on the authority of the Word of God, if you will trust Christ as your personal Savior, He will save you.”

Even though he was retiring as senior pastor at Bellevue, Rogers said that was not the end of the line for him or the Memphis-area congregation.

“It is a new day for Bellevue Baptist Church,” he said. “I intend to keep my membership here. I’m going to be sitting on the front row shouting and saying ‘amen’ to our new pastor. God has one for us. I don’t know his name, and you don’t know his name. I don’t think the pulpit committee knows his name. But God knows his name, and in God’s time we’re going to have a dear man of God to lead us.”

In summarizing his ministry, Rogers said he was merely like the donkey that carried Jesus into the city of Jerusalem.

“Jesus is the one we praise,” he said. “I am the donkey. God has given to me the privilege of just bearing the name of Jesus.”

    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth

    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.

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