This past week, Pastor Francis Chan delivered his final sermon at Cornerstone from Revelation 21.
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Rev 21:6-8)
As Francis Chan was praying about what to say in his final sermon at Cornerstone, this one phrase stood out to him — there are no cowards in heaven.
This phrase seems fitting as he leaves the comforts of being a pastor at a mega-church and steps out in faith to an unknown future. He thinks God is leading him to the LA inner city. He feels led to places where people leave as they are ready to start a family of their own. Places with single mothers, places of poverty, forgotten places. Talk about downward mobility — from Simi Valley, a place known for large houses and pools and big screen TVs, to the inner city.
In an interview, he said he has been always challenging his congregation to follow Jesus radically and he said, he wouldn’t be able to teach with integrity if he could not step out in faith at a time when he felt God was calling him.
Francis Chan ended his sermon imploring his congregation with tears to base their entire lives on what the Bible says. To the end, he was pleading for people to give their lives to Jesus and be baptized. His greatest fear is the thought of even a single one from his flock not making it to heaven because they were too afraid to live for God.
What are your fears that hold you back from living for Jesus wholeheartedly?
Lord, forgive this coward. Give me the courage to follow you, whatever the cost. In Jesus’ name, Amen.