The Nature of Conversion and Biblical Evangelism

From Matt Click’s site.

In Honor of John Richard Mahon

The following is the manuscript and eulogy that I delivered this past Thursday at my grandfather’s funeral (worship) service.  I post it here in hopes that the Christ in this man may be an encouragement to your own soul, and that you may walk likewise in a manner worthy of the Lord.  It is with great grief and yet great joy and hope that I offer to you the sermons of this man’s life, a sure testimony to God’s saving grace in and through Christ Jesus – the same that I hope and trust abounds to you all in Him.

In Celebration of God’s Grace in the Life of John Richard Mahon

My name is Brian Richard Mahon.  I am the grandson of John Richard Mahon.  It was his desire that I speak to you this morning concerning his life and his impact upon my own life.  I have long considered one’s life to be a commentary on the condition of one’s soul, and that each soul, if watched and heeded carefully, preaches a sermon.  In my grandfather’s case, his life has been to me at least 6 sermons of God’s grace in Jesus Christ.  This morning I would like to briefly offer these to you in hopes that the gracious sermons of his life might echo in your own souls and draw you ever closer to His Lord, Jesus Christ.

His first sermon always answered the question, “Who is the object of our greatest love, and what is the overflow of this love?”  For 27 years the clearest reality that grandaddy set forth in my life was neighborly love.  He was always friendly, always smiling, always engaging people in encouraging discussion.  Whether it was at the local grocery store, his favorite restaurants, the nearest bank, his Saturday yard sales, or across the street, he was reaching out in love with the intention of lifting up the downcast in heart.  When impoverished Bob Jones students sought to sell household items, he would pay them for the items and place it back on the table to be sold again, or he, with great compassion, would take meals to those who hungered.  He sought out those in need and extended the hand of mercy to them.  Such love was, however, only the overflow of His greatest love, namely, the Lord his God.  He loved God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the evidence of which was his love towards practically everybody else he met.  In this way, his life preached to me, “which is the greatest commandment in the Law?  And (Jesus answered), ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” Matthew 22:36-39.

The second sermon of his life was his most Christ-centered example.  He loved his wife.  Grandaddy provided for his wife.  He led her in love.  He was steadfast in attendance to her needs.  He was her confidant in spiritual matters, her constant escort to worship.  Recently, I even learned of some drawings that he did for her that enabled her to illustrate her Sunday school lesson and to teach God’s Word more effectively.  In these ways and many more, his life preached to me, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” Ephesians 5:25-27.

A third sermon that streamed forth from his own life into my own concerned that grace of giving.  The most common phrase that I heard from his mouth may well have been, “Is there anything you need?”  And even if I had none, he would lovingly meet the need that he thought I was hiding.  Though he would have remained silent about it, he has been a significant contributor to my seminary education, placing an emphasis not only upon his love for me, but also upon the importance of knowing how to study the Bible, to think about God and life.  And I am but one out of a multitude that he so provided for.  In this way he proclaimed with Christ, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” Acts 20:35.

But a fourth, fifth, and a sixth sermon still did his life preach in these last days.  It was only twelve days ago, while in the hospital, that he left yet another impression upon my heart for the rest of my life.  After reading to him from Isaiah 25 and offering my seminarian understanding, he looked at me and said, “Just remember to keep it simple so that they can understand you.”  His desire was for God’s people to understand God’s Word, and to be spiritually nourished thereby.  Thus, he preached to me in keeping with the apostle Paul, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.  For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” 1 Corinthians 2:1-2.

The fifth sermon of his life considered the topic of a steadfast witness.  He was absolutely assured of the state of His soul, of the place of His rest, and of the Lord who had and even now continues to save and uphold Him.  And as he had so often done throughout the rest of his life, he offered this testimony of God’s grace in Christ Jesus to nearly every nurse, doctor, friend, and family member that attended to him in these days.  This was, indeed, a mighty sermon to my soul!  It thundered “it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me.  Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.  I am hard pressed between the two.  My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” Philippians 1:20-23.

And perhaps, the most encouraging, is that sixth sermon – that eternal peace, and calmness of soul that he carried about him at all times and especially that hope that he wore upon his heart as an infinite garment most recently, namely, the peace, assurance and hope of the resurrection.  By this hope he truly believed Jesus when his Lord said, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” John 11:25-26.  I do believe that from this verse, both my Lord and my granddaddy would have me exclaim to all in attendance, “John Richard Mahon is not dead!  In Christ, his body only sleeps!  In Christ, his soul is more alive than it ever has been on earth!”  

My granddaddy would chide me for not applying such sermons of his life to our own lives this morning, after all, he believed in biblical authority, in objective truth, in a transformed life.  So, allow me the following:  if you, this morning, do not have the faintest idea of the Christ or the life that I am talking about, I would command you to repent of your sin and embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as would be pleasing both to my Lord, and to my grandfather; and to the rest, dear friends, the marks of this man’s life that you have now heard are the marks of a life saved by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.  Let not the Christ in this man leave you only curious or cold; know and feel the warmth of it – love God supremely, love people indiscriminately, husbands love your wives, indeed, give yourself for the sake of your brides; young and old alike, forsake earthly treasures for what are these but that which moth and rust destroys, and thieves break in and steal; set yourselves to treasuring Christ, and to giving sacrificially.  Speak simply of the excellencies of Jesus Christ – this implies knowing His excellencies, and bearing witness to Him until the Lord is pleased to bring you into the everlasting glory of His presence; and lastly, live as those with hope, if indeed, you have hoped upon the Lord Jesus Christ – live in light of God’s power to raise you with Christ as He has so promised to do; “Therefore, (. . .), be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” 1 Corinthians 15:58.  If by God’s grace you do these things as the works of faith in Christ Jesus, then you will have heard the sermons of John Richard Mahon’s life.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Open Air Preaching in Lima – Paul Washer

Originally from

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Desiring God + Reach Records = “Don’t Waste Your Life”

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Steven Wellum on the Importance of Biblical Theology

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Luke 3:21-23a – “The Messiah (Christ)”: Cleaned up and Applied

Nevertheless, your thoughts on this marvelous event in Scripture (and its awesome implications for our lives today) are always welcome.  Once more, it is in the “Other Writings” tab.  Providential blessings in the Christ, Jesus.  Amen.

“The Momentary Marriage”