Today, much of the Christian community around the world will be marking and celebrating your birthday. What an impressive number of birthdays to contemplate, 500 of them! You had 54 birthdays it seems on this earth as we know it and now, some 446 in heaven. I would not imagine that they mark birthdays in heaven but how heaven has marked your life. I can not add anything to the hoopla, conferences, messages, and books, and all the adulation that have been and will be going on for quite some time. So, I will simply write you a note of congratulation's and thanks. If I understand scripture correctly you have not been rewarded yet for that which you accomplished for Christ and his cause while in the flesh. The dividends are still pouring in to the accounting room of heaven, even as I type these words. Only God knows the full and total impact your life will have made in the Christian community at large, in theology itself, and in the lives of individuals just like me. I remember early in my ministry hearing you vilified as an ungodly, unbearable, and worthless heretic. The acronym that came to be known as TULIP was hated and became a pejorative in my former circles. Of course, no one in my former circle understood the scripture or the character and nature of God as graciously revealed to us in His love letter that we know as the bible. I have come to understand the doctrines of Grace since the early days of my ministry. As a matter of fact I have come to not only understand them but to love them dearly, and would defend them, if need be with my life. John, you have helped me understand God more deeply and for this I am grateful. Thank you for accepting the pulpit at St Peters Church in Geneva. Thank you for the Institutes of Christian Religion. Thank you for your commentaries on the word of God. Thank you for your preaching and writing which by the way, has led me to a deeper understanding, appreciation, and love for our God. By the way, what is he like now that you are face to face? Thank you for being a theologian, pastor, servant, expositor, and such a man of God that I can emulate and hope to be like one day. I especially want to thank you for your dedication and devotion that has led me to make a similar commitment: my heart I offer to God promptly and sincerely!
So, happy 500th birthday, John!