Jaysun's Journal

Independent Baptist


My Friend

Mickel Ian Mosley


Ian (pronounced like the letters ‘E – N’) Mosley was a friend of mine all through High School and up until the time of his death. We got to know each other best before I was saved so I can’t discuss many of our cantankerous deeds. He was in no way a perfect person, but he was a kind hearted individual. His door was always open – literally. I got saved in March of 2001. Ever since then I tried to witness to him. Sadly, on July 25, Ian was found floating face down in the Savannah River. Early that morning fishermen in Augusta Georgia had spotted his body near a lock and dam. An autopsy revealed the cause of death was a close-contact gunshot wound to the head. Rumors spread like wildfire through our small community. Why was he gunned down at the age of 25? After new evidence has come to light, it appears the motive was nothing more than robbery. Greedy men with guns have caused an awful lot of heartaches in our land. This is a summary of the message preached at Ian’s funeral. Please excuse the grammatical errors.

Psalm 23:1-6: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

The first time I met Ian Mosley was in 10th grade at Gaffney High School. We had Driver’s Ed together and he kept everybody in there laughing. I remember Ian called me one day and wanted me to come help him “pull his car out.” He said he’d got stuck near Lake Cherokee. I grabbed some rope and headed down there. I figured he was fishing or something and got stuck on the side of the road – But when I got down there – his car was IN Lake Cherokee and I had to get a longer rope! When we finally pulled it out of the mud – I guess he was so happy he forgot to cut his wheels and ran off the OTHER side of the road!

We got into a lot of other things like that and we always seemed to find a way out of sticky situations. But now, I don’t have enough rope to get him out of this one. (And let me say this to the friends and family – when they find that low down sorry sucker that shot our friend – yall ought to be there for the trial and tell the judge you want to see him fry in the electric chair!)

[You may not hear that kind of preaching at your church – but I believe the Bible! “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed…” (Genesis 9:6) Yeah! I’d witness to the fella – I’d even pray with him. But after I said, “Amen,” if you think I wouldn’t throw the switch – you’re crazy!]

But you know – even if we could bring Ian back today – I’m not sure he’d want to be brought back. 2Corinthians 5:8 -tells us – that for the Christian – to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And when we place a coffin in the ground today – we won’t be burying Ian Mosley – we’ll be burying Ian’s body.

Someone drew a picture once that illustrated that truth. A man painted a picture of caterpillars conducting a funeral service. Six of them were carrying the corpse of a cocoon to its final resting place. Those poor caterpillars stood around that grave, crying their eyes out. And all that time a beautiful butterfly fluttered high above them – forever freed from its earthly shell. And I believe if we could ever see death from God’s perspective it would change our lives.

The family’s asked me to say a few words about Ian today and I’m honored and humbled by it. I’m no better than anybody else. In fact I’d say I’ve lived a whole lot worse than most of the people in this room. In High School I started taking drugs and before my senior year I was a full-blown junkie.

But on a Wednesday night back in March 2001 I told God I was a filthy rotten sinner and asked Him to forgive me – He did. And that was the greatest day in all my life. It wasn’t long after that I went over to Ian’s house. Now you got to remember – the last time he’d seen me was in the newspaper with a list of charges under my name. And here I burst through the door with a shirt and tie on, and a Bible in my hand. I said, “Ian let me tell you about a Saviour who loved you and died for you.” After the shock wore off and he realized I was serious– he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Where is Jason and what have you done with him? (You’d have to know Ian to appreciate his sense of humor.)

But over the next few years I guess I went over to his house hundreds of times. And one day – I said, “Ian why don’t you get saved?” Now, I can’t quote him exactly but he said, “Jason, I know what you’re saying is right but I have things in my life that I’m not willing to give up right now and if I get saved I want it to be real.” And I can respect that. We’ve seen so many flimsy – shallow professions of faith it’s pathetic. He’d seen so many people walk down a church aisle whose religion didn’t last them till they got home. I tried to tell him that there’s more to life than just living. And there was a Salvation that brought “Joy unspeakable and full of glory.” I prayed – I witnessed to him – but for the longest time he kept saying, “No, I’m not ready right now.”

But one-day tragedy came a knocking on Ian’s door. His daddy had got real sick and the doctor said there was nothing he could do. And though his daddy professed to be saved – Ian must have got to thinking about what I’d told him – How a saved person is a changed person; How a salvation that wouldn’t take a man to church – probably wouldn’t take him to heaven either. And one day Ian called me on the phone – his poor heart was broken. He said, “Jason, if I thought my daddy was in Hell – I don’t know what I’d do! And he literally begged me to talk to his daddy.

I tried my best to witness to Mike Mosley but he kept saying he was already saved. Now my heart was broke and there was nothing I could do but pray. (It takes the Holy Ghost of God to show a man he’s lost.) But then one day when it seemed like all hope was gone – I got a call from Ian. He told me his daddy was sitting in the back of a church-house somewhere – heard the gospel and got saved by the grace of God. And as if that wasn’t good enough Ian said, “I got saved too! I almost had a Pentecostal fit right there!

You may not believe in deathbed repentance – but tell that to the thief on the cross! My God can save: anyone, anywhere, and anytime He wants to! In fact, I believe God sends trouble our way sometimes to wake us up. Had Ian’s daddy not got sick, but died suddenly, both of them might be in Hell right now. I say thank God for a loving Saviour who rocks our boat now and then and reminds us that DEATH IS COMING and we’d better FIND OUT how to deal with it.

But wait a minute – if Ian would literally beg me not to let his daddy go to hell, surely he would want me to tell his friends and family how to stay out of Hell. Hey! (1) THERE IS A PLACE CALLED HELL! And if you’ll read your Bible – you’ll find out – Jesus said twice as much about Hell than He did Heaven. In Luke chapter 16 – Jesus talked about a rich man that died:

And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (Luke 16:23-24)

Here on Earth – there are limitations to what a man can suffer. If the pain gets to be too much – God designed us to pass out. And at least until you wake up – you don’t feel any pain. But in Hell – there is no threshold of pain – there is no limit to what you’ll suffer. If the thought of Hell doesn’t scare you – you ought to take a candle tonight, put your finger in the flame and try to hold it there for just a minute. Can you not take it for just one minute?  Then what will you do when your whole body is cast into a lake of fire?

After I graduated High School within a six-month period three of my friends died. One incident involved alcohol and an automobile. The other two overdosed on painkillers. They may not have been the best folks in the world, but they were my friends. And I would like to believe that they’re in Heaven tonight. But I don’t believe people who live like Hell will go to Heaven. Yes! They could have gotten saved, refused to live right, and God took them home for it. I do believe that happens. [A saved person will either live right or die young.] But it was an awful night in my Christian life when I realized that in a place called Hell – it could be that my friends, my loved ones, are crying out, “Oh God! Please send Jason by my daddy’s house – my mama’s house – don’t let em come to this awful place called Hell.” And like the Rich man of Luke 16 they beg and plead for one drop of water – but to no avail!

If you want to know who will be in Hell – just read Revelation 21:8

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

That means if you’re a Sodomite, drunk, thief, fornicator, whoremonger, or an adulterer, you’ll never make it to heaven when you die. You sleep with your whores and drink your liquor all you want to. You’ll never smoke enough dope to change the reality of a literal, burning, devil’s Hell! By the way – salvation is not in a sinner’s prayer – You can walk down a church aisle and repeat a prayer, all you want to – but if your heart’s not in it you still go home lost and headed for Hell.

It’s not about getting baptized. If water washed away sins they’re in revival in Myrtle Beach! But the power’s not in the water – the power’s in the Blood.

What can wash away my sin?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus?

What can make me whole again?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

You trust Buddha – you’ll go to Hell. You trust Mohammed – you’ll go to Hell! Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (Joh 14:6) You may be a church member. You may tithe and do all kinds of good things… But if you bypass the Blood – you’ll die in your sins and go to Hell!

But there is good news – (2) YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO HELL! Jesus said, “I love you so much, I’d rather die than see you go to Hell!” And 2000 years ago that’s exactly what he did! He condescended into this sin cursed world He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, Opened blinded eyes, Walked on water, and Raised the dead. Then one day they took my Saviour and beat him with a cat of nine tails. They plaited a crown of thorns on His head – bowed the knee before Him and said “Hail King of the Jews.” Then they slapped Him – spit on Him – But even as they drove those nails into His hands – He cried out “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Jesus died on an old rugged cross. Was buried in a borrowed tomb. But on that 3rd glorious day He got up from the grave. And because He got up – one day – we’ll all get up. That’s the Gospel! If you’ll turn from your sins and believe that you can be saved. But wait a minute! Have you ever stopped and wondered why Jesus had to die? I mean why couldn’t God just forgive us? I’ll tell you why – its because though God loves us – God is HOLY and He must punish sin.

Let me illustrate: a young girl got stopped for speeding. When her court date rolled around she stood before the judge trembling. The judge said, “$200 or 30 days in jail.” And He slammed the gavel. Now she was really worried – she didn’t have that kind of money. But then the judge did a strange thing – he stood up from behind his bench – slipped off his robe and walked over to the clerk. He then took out his wallet and paid her the $200. Why? Because he was that girl’s father. He loved her, but as a judge he could not just let her go. He had to judge her crimes and then pay for them himself. And that my friends – is exactly what our Saviour did 2000 years ago!

Let me remind you of something. You weren’t ‘raised’ a Christian! If you ever got saved there was a time, a place, and a way that you got saved. When did you get saved sir? I wonder, will people gather round your casket and say, “I hope he was saved?” or will you leave no doubt in the minds of your friends and family that you were a child of God?

[Many folks raised their hands during the inquiry time, indicating they weren’t 100% sure they were saved and that they wanted someone to pray for them. If you’re a child of God reading this – please help me to pray for these precious souls. If you are not saved – I urge you to come to Christ before its everlasting too late!]

Jason Elder

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