I have mentioned Bob Jennings over the past months at different times, asking you to pray for him in his experience of pancreatic cancer. Yesterday, a few minutes before 12:00 noon, Bob finished his race and passed into the immediate presence of Christ–race run well, fight fought like a warrior, course finished with joy, and the faith kept courageously.
A godlier man—a more humble and gracious brother-–a deeper man of prayer–a more exemplary Christian—I’ve never known in all my years as a Christian. Bob has now gone on before us, and we, as his brethren, will soon follow. The memorial celebration will be this Saturday in Sedalia.
Here is the last of approximately 300 letters to the editor of the Sedalia, Mo. newspaper that Bob wrote over the three decades he pastored Highway M Chapel in Sedalia.
— Terri and I moved to Sedalia with one child in 1983 to pastor a new church which has met at Highway M Chapel since 1987. Alas, pancreatic cancer showed up two years ago. Apart from divine intervention, I’m near the end of the road. Permit a farewell to my dear
In the almost 30 years we have raised our five children, lived our lives, gone inand out of the businesses, talked on the sidewalks, preached indoors and out, and I’ve written maybe 300 letters to the editor. This appears to be the last. The song writer says, “Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away.” Especially being a Christian, I’ve known that life is brief, death is certain, and an appearance before the judge of all the Earth is coming. Yet, my life is more of a “disappearing vapor” than I imagined. Indeed, the one great thing in life is to be ready to die. It is simple, but big.
Yes, I’d like to stay on with my family, with my church, and with the souls of men to try to serve. But God’s will is sovereign. And, I am ready to die, in that I was saved from my sins by the grace of Christ 41 years ago. Heaven is OK! This world is passing away, ruined by sin. There is no fix to all the misery. A new president cannot fix the land. Hospitals remain, law courts remain, the jail house remains, the military remains, and tears will continue to fall.
My closing exhortation to fellow Sedalians is that Christ is the only hope. Make sure you have Him. That’s all one can have, ultimately. All else is stripped away. He will fix you; He will fix it all. He conquered the grave. I go down with a glad shout, “O grave, where is your victory?” When the Lord Jesus returns I will rise again with all the Christians to a new heavens and new Earth. There is a heaven to gain; there is a hell to shun. Farewell to all. It has been a well-spent journey here in Sedalia.
Robert C. Jennings, co-pastor, Hwy. M Chapel, Sedalia
** I strongly encourage you to go to www.illbehonest.com, find the link to the Fellowship Conferences, and listen to Bob’s 2011 sermon on The Word of Christ Dwelling in You and his 2012 sermon, Behold the Lamb of God. He preached both of these messages after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. These are as good of messages as you will ever hear. – Mack T.