PHOENIX (BP)–Jesus is still around, despite a moral decline that leaves little room for a risen Savior, Adrian Rogers told messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Phoenix June 17.
“Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. We didn’t vote him in; we will not vote him out,” said Rogers, pastor of the Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church and a former SBC president.
Modern culture has ignored, refused, maligned and minimized Jesus Christ, Rogers said, including America’s public schools in his assessment.
“I hate to say it, [but] though I love our schoolteachers in public education, we have come to a state in America where there is little room for Jesus in public education,” Rogers said.
In many public schools, he said, sexual perversion is called an alternate lifestyle, condoms and promiscuity are called safe sex, abortion is called birth control, the celebration of “mother earth and the worship of the goddess of nature is called ecology,” and the crucifixion of the standards of right and wrong is called tolerance.
“There’s room for almost everything but the name of Jesus,” Rogers said.
When Christians are asked to pray at public events, he said, they typically are asked not to pray in the name of Jesus Christ.
“I expect a rabbi to pray the way a rabbi prays. I would expect a Muslim to pray the way a Muslim prays. I would expect a Christian to pray the way a Christian prays. If they don’t want me to pray in the name of Jesus Christ, they better get somebody else,” Rogers said.
Continuing his sermon, titled “The King and His Kingdom,” Rogers said people don’t “appreciate the Kingdom” until they “see the King.”
Rogers drew the following points from the Book of Revelation, chapter 1, recounting the Apostle John’s vision of Jesus Christ, whom Rogers said saw Jesus as:
— the resurrected Christ with undiminished humanity. He became forever like us, so that we may become forever like Him, Rogers said.
— the reigning Christ, with unrivaled majesty. Recounting his departure from the inaugural ceremony of President George H.W. Bush, Rogers hailed a taxi and was asked if he was affiliated with Congress or the Supreme Court. Rogers said he replied, “I am an ambassador,” and proceeded to tell the driver about “Jesus Christ, who is King of kings and Lord of lords.”
— the righteous Christ with undiminished purity. To those who believe they can get to heaven simply by imitating the pure life of Jesus, Rogers said, “Friend, salvation does not come by living lessons from the life of Christ but by receiving life from the death of Christ.” Those who think otherwise are “abysmally ignorant of two things: You don’t know how holy He is, and you don’t know how sinful you are.”
— the revealing Christ with unhindered scrutiny. “Not only does [God] see you, He sees through you. There is nothing hidden from Him.”
— the relentless Christ with untarnished integrity. This refers to Christ as judge, Rogers said. “Your sin will be pardoned in Christ or punished in hell, but it will never be overlooked. Don’t get the idea that since Jesus is love He will overlook sin.”
— the regal Christ with unchallenged authority. The Apostle John said the resurrected Jesus has a voice as the sound of many waters, Rogers said. “Can you imagine standing there and arguing with Niagara Falls? There will no be talking back to our King.”
— the reassuring Christ with unequalled mastery. There is no panic in heaven, Rogers said. “The holy Trinity never meets in emergency session.”
— the revenging Christ with unspoiled victory. Referring to the Bible, Rogers said, “The Word of God is a sword. Be careful how you handle that blessed blade. It cuts both ways.”
— the resplendent Christ with undimmed glory, whose presence will suffice as all the light needed in heaven.
— the redeeming Christ with undiluted deity, who “took the sting out of death, gloom out of the grave, dread out of dying, and has given us a hope that is steadfast and sure.”
Rogers said Jesus is on His way back and “could arrive even before I finish these words. … I can hardly wait.”
“The antichrist gives people a number, but Christ knows our name,” Rogers said, emphasizing the return of Jesus Christ as detailed in the Book of Revelation.
“Our King is coming, and when He does, will your name be called or your number be up?”