Modern-Day Martyr

Before heading off to prayer meeting last evening, I checked my e-mail and logged on to the Internet.  My home page is Fox News, and the cover story was about Fred Winters, a pastor in Illinois who was gunned down in the pulpit while preaching in morning service.  You can read all about it here.

I checked out the church website, and from everything I’ve seen, this pastor was a godly man who was utterly committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the authority of God’s Word.  He had a great love for the Lord and for people.  Supposedly, as the gunman walked down the aisle toward the pastor in the middle of the service, the pastor said to him, “Can I help you?” – something that another pastor on staff did not find surprising at all.  Here’s the video clip this morning from Fox News:
Yesterday morning started out like just any other Sunday morning for this preacher.  He simply got up behind his pulpit and started preaching God’s Word to his flock.  As a pastor, I am reminded of how important it is for me to “to preach … as a dying man to dying men” (Richard Baxter).  And certainly all of us should pray, as Moses did, 
Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
What are the practical implications of this verse for us as believers?  Perhaps they are best stated in the following two resolutions of Jonathan Edwards:
  1. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
  2. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

By all accounts, Pastor Fred Winters finished well.  God help us to do the same.

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