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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (BP)--In Memphis, Tenn., at the first of this week in the economy of God’s Almighty schedule, two precious souls of the same family crossed paths on the way to each of their new beginnings without getting to see each other.
Monday, in one hospital room, Adrian and Joyce Rogers’ very first great-grandchild, Marianna Rose Luce, was struggling to be birthed into this world, while at the same time her great-grandfather, Adrian, was struggling to bound into another world, heaven. God has now blessedly fulfilled them both!
We want to believe that Adrian somehow did actually know of his first great-grandchild’s birth. But there is no doubt that this precious child will grow up to learn of her beloved great-grandfather and all his worldwide spiritual exploits for good, Christ and the Kingdom of God!
Only occasionally does a man of God like Adrian P. Rogers come upon the scene with such spiritual stature, which always begs the question, “Will there ever be another like Adrian Rogers?” Who will arise and take such a place? Is there anyone of this sort in the wake? Yes, of course! As always, God has His person for His purpose.
But make no mistake about it, for a man to continue on such an almighty and awesome journey as the life of Adrian Rogers -- those persons must have an overwhelming confidence in the verbally inspired inerrancy of the Scriptures. Further, they must be extraordinarily devoted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and His dear church, and have a fierce loyalty of love to wife and family -- while continually exhausting an entire lifetime pressing all these things and much, much more toward the one glorious goal of winning every lost soul in the entire world to faith in Christ.
The flags of Christianity in general, and of Southern Baptists in particular, should be at half mast upon this occasion because few and very, very few like Adrian Rogers -- friend, pastor, warrior, statesman, soul-winner and inspiration -- seldom arise in one generation.
Joyce said to me some hours before Dr. Rogers’ death, "Bobby, the Lord gave me a word this morning about the birth of our great-grandchild, in the middle of all of this. He said, 'Joyce, I am giving you a divine distraction in the midst of all your heartache for Adrian.'"
For multiplied millions of us, God through Adrian Rogers gave us “a divine attraction” toward the Word of God, the Son of God, the lost for whom God sent Jesus to save.
We humbly thank God for His indelible heart-prints upon us and eternity through the life and ministry of Dr. Adrian P. Rogers.
Bobby Welch is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Fla.