Hugh’s news & Views
Robert G. Lee (1886-1978) was a famous Baptist preacher whose renown was enhanced by a popular sermon that he preached titled “Pay-Day Someday.” Lee first preached the sermon in 1919 in Edgefield, South Carolina. From 1927 to 1960, Lee served as pastor of the Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Every year on the first Sunday of May he would preach “Pay-Day Someday” to large, attentive audiences. Some years the service was moved to a public auditorium in Memphis to accommodate the crowds.
When I lived in Shelbyville, Tennessee I was a member of the Shelbyville Rotary Club. One of the members of the club was retired Navy Admiral, Ed King. Ed was the husband of Beulah Lee King, the daughter of Robert G. Lee. I knew the Kings on a casual basis, and recall talking with Ed on one occasion about his father-in-law’s famous sermon. Ed said he had heard it many times. I am told that Beulah Lee King, who still lives, has donated all of her father’s sermons to the Baptist Center which is housed in the New Duck River Baptist Association, 902 Union Street in Shelbyville.
Dr. Lee’s sermon centers in the story of Ahab, king of Israel (c. 874-853 B.C.); his wife, the wicked Jezebel; Naboth, whose vineyard Ahab coveted; and Elijah, the faithful prophet of God. The sordid story is told in I Kings 21-22, with the final episode recorded in II Kings 9. The larger context encompasses I Kings 16:29 through II Kings 9:27. If one loves “Soap Opera” drama, one owes it to himself or herself to read this true yet horribly sad and gruesome story. For those interested in hearing an old fashion Southern orator with a flair for the dramatic and a remarkable ability to paint word pictures (Lee describes Ahab as “that vile human toad who squatted on the throne”), I would recommend setting aside an hour to hear Dr. Lee’s sermon on Youtube. Little wonder that he stood at the top of Baptist preachers of his day!
The point of Lee’s sermon is emphasized many times in Scripture and is a lesson of which we all need to be keenly aware. Consider the following sober warnings and reminders.
“The wicked shall be turned aside into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalms 9:17). Pay-day someday!
“Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him” (Proverbs 26:27). Pay-day someday!
“Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper” (Proverbs 23:31-32). Pay-day someday!
“Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13). [Marshall Keeble, a famous gospel preacher, used to say, “If you don’t believe that, just wait ’til rootin’ up time!”] Pay-day someday!
“Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due” (Romans 1:27). Pay-day someday!
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether it is good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10). Pay-day someday!
“Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7-8). Pay-day someday!
May 12: OakGroveChurch of Christ, Red Boiling Springs, TN
May 7, 2013