He lived to be two weeks shy of 90 years old.
I think of him as the “BE” man, but the reason for that has nothing to do with flying insects. To my knowledge, they only have a long sounding vowel in common.
To simply call him influential would be a gross understatement. Through his writing of over 150 books, he has strengthened several generations Protestant Bible preachers.
His name is Warren Wiersbe, and his permanent change of address was made complete on May 2, 2019. The home-going of this great man of God surely brought heavenly rejoicing, though it brought sorrow to many hearts left behind.
His readable and relatable style of communicating the deep truths of God’s Word helped many Bible students put words to what we believe. I will be eternally grateful for God’s gift of Warren Wiersbe to the Body of Christ.
By example, even though it was not his apparent intent, Pastor Wiersbe taught many of us how to carefully expound the very Words of God. It doesn’t take much of a study struggle at all before I start reaching for one of his commentary books. The most famous collection he wrote is simply known as the “BE” Series. Titles of each were easy to remember because they started with those two letters and then used the one-word major theme of the Bible book they were written from, such as “BE Joyful” on Philippians, “BE Right” on Romans, and “BE Determined” on Nehemiah.
My basic Bible theology was greatly shaped by his writings. And in the early days of my pastoral ministry, he unknowingly helped me out of many time constraining situations. The structure of his outlines allowed me to quickly fill in my own observations and illustrations.
Because I read from him so often in the first half of my spoken ministry, there’s no doubt in my mind that his writing ministry continues to impact mine. Did you know that writing can be a form of Christian ministry?
Pastor Wiersbe said, “Writing to me is a ministry. I’m not an athlete, I’m not a mechanic. I can’t do so many of the things that successful men can do. But I can read and study and think and teach. This is a beautiful, wonderful gift from God. All I’m doing is using what He’s given to me to teach people, and to give glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
He continued: “When you learn the joy and the privilege of Bible study, you don’t have to be paid to do it. You don’t have to be pushed at doing it, and scolded. No, no, no. It’s a privilege. It’s a marvelous, glorious privilege. You may not see it, you may not know it. But others will know that you’re walking in the light. Blessed is the man that God blesses from the Word, because that is going to last forever.”
I was never blessed to meet him on Earth, but one day in Heaven I shall thank him for his unofficial mentoring of my ministry.
So many people have mentored me throughout my ministry. Some knew, and many have not known they were being used in that manner. However, I am bound to continue by faith for the faith which has apprehended my soul.
I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes from Pastor Wiersbe, on the subject of faith.
“Whenever God works in and through your life, it is always in response to faith. The thing that hinders the working of God is not His lack of power, but His people’s lack of faith.”