My friend, Robert — you will be missed

Published 8:23 am Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Charlotte County lost an exemplary citizen two weeks ago. Drakes Branch Baptist lost a pillar of our church. The Napier family lost a husband, father, grandfather and much more. I lost a friend.

As I reflect on my friendship with Robert Napier, I am reminded of what drew us together. Robert and I were not drawn together by age  Instead we were separated by over 50 years.

Robert and I were not drawn together by similar interests. Robert could build anything, but when I use a hammer, a sore thumb is a sure result. The first 30 years of Robert’s life were very different from the first 30 years of my life.

Obviously none of those things were what drew Robert and I together. The thing that drew Robert and I together was our shared faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I had the privilege of serving as Robert’s pastor. He would affectionately greet me by asking, “How is the No. 1 pastor?” To which I would often respond, “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him.”

I was privileged to pray with Robert on numerous occasions and hear very clearly his love for our Savior as he prayed. I spent two weeks with Robert in Honduras a few years ago and got to see him in his element.

My memories of Robert are numerous. And as I sat by his bed in the hospital reading to him the promises of God in the Bible, I wept.

This was not just a man in a hospital who needed comfort in his last days. This was not just a man who was a member of the church I pastor. Robert was my friend.

I was honored to have the opportunity to lead his funeral service. I so much enjoyed hearing the testimonies that were shared of Robert’s impact in people’s lives. In fact, there was a room full of people with stories of Robert’s impact that could have been shared. I appreciated that Robert’s destructive past was not glossed over. But the grace of God was magnified as we celebrated the change that had taken place in Robert’s life.

Robert came to a point in his life where he recognized that the path he was on would lead him to destruction. He came to a point where he recognized that he was powerless to change his own life.

And at that point of despair, Robert repented of his sin and placed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as his only hope of being made right with God. And God saved him. Just as He promises in Romans 10:9 — “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

See, we might be inclined to think that the reason Robert is with God in heaven today is because he turned his life around, and all the good things he did in the second half of his life outweighed all the bad things he did in the first half of his life.

That is not the case. Robert is with God in heaven today, not because he was a good man, but because He trusted in the only good man to ever walk this earth, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Robert’s hope was not in his own good works. His hope was in the grace of Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross. Where is your hope? There is nothing you can do to earn heaven. The only hope for you and I is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus lived the life that you and I could not live. And then He went to the cross and died in our place.

You too can experience the same hope that Robert and I share, the hope of eternity with God in heaven. This hope can be yours if you would turn from your sin and place your trust in Jesus as your only hope of being made right with God.

Want to hear more about this hope? I’d love to share with you more. Contact me.

Adam Blosser is the pastor of Drakes Branch Baptist Church. He can be reached at