Today (11/27/2017) is the two-year anniversary of the evil-filled (dare I suggest demonically influenced) rampage in Colorado Springs, Colorado during which University of Colorado-Colorado Springs PD Officer
Garrett Swasey was slain. As I shared then, Garrett was not just a fellow cop, but also a fellow minister. While most law enforcement officers don't share the latter calling (ministry), Garrett's life, and the last sermon he gave at his church before he was killed, are powerful examples for us to follow (talk about a
Garrett Swasey was the officer killed trying to rescue people
at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs
. Swasey was shot while saving people at a place he abhorred. He was an elder of a church that believed in the inerrancy of Scripture, and that abortion is evil.
Let that sink in.
A man who hated abortion and hated murder-who gave his life helping others-didn't hesitate about going to Planned Parenthood to save lives.
Garrett Swasey was also a preacher.
In his last sermon
, he encourages his congregation to consider Christ and the Gospel. He seems to be a pretty humorous guy, with a low view of himself and a high view of Jesus. But one thing he said in his last sermon stuck out to me. He said he never seemed to be quoted on the things that he'd like, but he always got quoted on the things he said that he didn't like (every preacher probably knows exactly what he means by that).
Well, in honor of his heroic effort and our common love of Christ, I'd like to honor the Lord by quoting things Swasey said in his last sermon. I hope they bless you as they have me.
Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers, therefore we must not be ashamed to call each other brothers in Christ. We are not born brothers, but it is something that happened to us after birth.
We are redeemed by Christ despite our betrayal.
If we were able to be more attentive we would be able to love Christ more and be able to obey him more.
We are part of a family. Your sin affects me and my sin affects you. Exhortation comes with the territory, it's part of being part of the family of God.
We must accurately consider our fallen state, but it's easy to be self-absorbed. When we are accurately considering our fallen condition we very quickly just become focused on that and forget about Christ and forget about the Gospel. Even in an attempt to be more attentive to it! However, we're not the object of our own faith. Christ is!
One of the challenges is that the idea of Immanuel (God with us) becomes commonplace. I think it's important for us to renew and refresh in our minds how amazing it is that God walked among us.
We were once enemies of God. To truly grasp this, we need to understand man in his natural state is opposed to God. We like to think they are neutral, no they are not neutral, and it's important also to understand that God is opposed to man because of sin. So there's this clash going on between God and man because of sin.
With God we have this mentality we don't want to change. I like my sin! I enjoy my sin! so in the midst of all of that we decide to change God!
People say, "I'm a halfway decent person!" "God's going to let everyone into heaven, because He's so loving and merciful." This really diminishes the idea of what sin is, and how it impacts our relationship with God and how opposed He is to it.
We tend to want to do our own thing - "rugged individualism." But in spiritual matters we are utterly dependent on Christ. We cannot stand before God on our own merits!
Jesus is the cornerstone, we are merely stones being added to it. Jesus is the builder of the house, and He receives more glory than the house. And if we're the house, He gets more glory than we do.
Our objective is not to bring glory to ourselves but to bring glory to God. How? By transforming our lives through the Gospel. Apart from that it can't be done, not in our own strength.
Everything we have comes from the Lord and everything we have should glorify the Lord. And everything we need is provided by God because Christ is sufficient.
Perseverance is not something that we do in order to obtain salvation; it is merely evidence of us being in the house of the Lord. So if you are not in the house of the Lord, you are not persevering. Perseverance is the evidence of us being in the house of the Lord; it is not the means of us being there. If it were, it would be works (He reads Eph. 2:8-9 ). We aren't saved by perseverance; we are saved by grace!
Today if you hear His voice. If you hear His voice do it today. Not tomorrow, not let me sleep on it; today! Before it is too late! Today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts!
HE ENDED HIS SERMON WITH THESE INCREDIBLE WORDS
Douglas MacArthur says, "History of failure can be summed up in two words: too late." I think it speaks to the illustration I'm about to give, where the devil and his cohorts are devising plans to get people to reject the gospel. So one of them proposes, "Well, let's go to them and let's say there's no God." And silence prevailed over the group because, every devil knew that most people believe in some kind of Supreme Being. 'There are no atheists in foxholes!' Another said, "Let's tell them there's no hell, no future punishment for the wicked." That was turned down too because men obviously have consciences and know that sin has to be punished somehow. And so this gathering was about to end in failure. And there came this voice at the back of the room. "Lets tell them that there is a God, there is a hell, and that the Bible is the Word of God, but tell them there is plenty of time to decide. Let them neglect the gospel until its too late." And all hell erupted in a glee, because they knew if a man procrastinated on Christ they usually never accept Him.
There is much for us to consider today. ... We must consider the object of our consideration. What is it? Let us exhort one another to consider Christ, not as we would imagine Him but as He is written about in the Scriptures. And finally, let us not harden our hearts to the Gospel!
Lord, You are tremendously patient with us, and in that patience we can become inattentive, thinking that somehow your grace, patience and mercy is something for us to consider, as a default position where there is not judgment or punishment for sin. Lord, let us view grace as what it truly is: a costly tremendous gift that cost You everything, that we might be in relationship with You. And because of the high price of that gift, that we might make You and the Gospel the forefront of our minds as the most valuable thing we possess, as we sang this morning, "You can have all this world but give me Jesus!" Give us You! So Lord as we sing I ask that our hearts would be attentive towards You, that we would consider You and what You've done, and that we wouldn't just leave it here, but as we go about the day...that this would be the conversation that's on our lips. that this would be what we post on Facebook, that this would be at the forefront of our Bible studies, that we would read attentively recognizing what a precious gift You are! In Jesus name, Amen.
AMEN indeed. Jordan ended his post with these words that I echo again today: "Let's pray for Hope Chapel in Colorado Springs, pray for officer Swasey's beautiful family. And may we all learn from pastor Swasey, to value life knowing it is God who gives it. To be courageous in life, to have our eyes fixed on Heaven and to implore those around us to understand life is short, and that today is the day of salvation!"
Again I say, "Amen!"
TODAY is the day of salvation! So I ask the same question Garrett did (playing his legacy forward): Do you truly know Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Or are you one of those Garrett speaks of who believes that they can "earn" their salvation by being a "good" person or even by being a "good" cop. Understand this: Garrett is not in heaven today because of his service in law enforcement, being a preacher, or for being the good man he was. NO! Garrett is in heaven today because he repented (see below) of his sin and turned in faith to the ONLY One who could save him (and the only One who can save YOU). Accordingly, consider the following: