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From Rebellion to Redemption

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
March 12, 2024 2:00 am

From Rebellion to Redemption

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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March 12, 2024 2:00 am

Duck Dynasty’s Phil and Al Robertson lived portions of their lives in direct rebellion against God, until they were redeemed by the work of the Holy Spirit. They share their moving testimonies and the simple truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which has led to an incredible family legacy. In this discussion with Jim Daly, you’ll be inspired by their story and emboldened to share your Christian faith.


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I'm so thankful to the Lord for that, that I heard that message that night and it just really gripped my heart. Roxanne worked second shift, which meant getting home late every night. But one evening was different.

Instead of her favorite rock station, she found Focus on the Family on the radio. I didn't find out until sometime later that I actually, you know, got saved or born again or, you know, gave my heart to the Lord that night. I just knew that I prayed the prayer at the end. So I just, you know, was probably by that time almost 1230. It would take me about half of an hour to drive home and just driving in my car, crying and filled with peace and joy and and just feeling the presence of the Lord.

It was wonderful. I'm Jim Daly working together. We can save more families like Roxanne's every month. Become a friend to Focus on the Family and invest in this ministry.

Call eight hundred a family or donate at Focus on the Family dot com slash family. Therefore, as we have opportunity, you live your life. Let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

So I ask everybody out there listening here, what is the downside to that? That's Phil Robertson sharing from the New Testament book of Galatians about serving our fellow man and sharing the gospel as we do so. He and his son, Al Robertson, had a good visit with Jim not too long ago. Welcome to Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. I'm John Fuller.

And today we'll hear an inspiring conversation about telling others the good news. John, I got together with Phil and Al recently in their home stomping grounds in Louisiana down in the bayou. You've been down there much? Not much, but I'm familiar.

Yeah. Well, people know them primarily from one of America's favorite reality shows from a few years back, Duck Dynasty. Actually, Trent and Troy got us hooked on it. I mean, they were already watching it one night. I sit down to watch it with them.

I'm going, this is good. But far beyond entertainment, they care most about spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. And that comes through in every interaction I've ever had with them. And I had a great dialogue with them about their lives and how they came to Christ after some really hard times. Their testimonies are powerful. Both had a time of living in rebellion from God, but their lives have been redeemed. And you're about to hear their amazing stories. And Phil has a brand new book out. It's called I Could Be Wrong, But I Doubt It.

Why Jesus is Your Greatest Hope on Earth and in Eternity. Call us for a copy, 800, the letter A in the word family, or check the link in the program notes. And you'll also find there a link to some information about the movie regarding Phil's life.

It's called The Blind, and it's really powerful. Let's go ahead and join the conversation now with Phil and Al Robertson. Phil, with his Bible in his hand, began by sharing about his own path to self-destruction as a young person.

Here he is now on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. I just never put Christianity into practice. Mom and Dad, they were faithful to the Lord.

But I don't know how you look at the kids today somewhere along the line. I just didn't get it when Jesus said, The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him. And on the third day he'll be raised from the dead.

Well, he says that, every time he says that, if you're looking, I put a little yellow paint on it. I'm going to die, be buried, and raised from the dead. I missed it.

I missed it. There's nothing here. You know, you turn two chapters. We're going up to Jerusalem.

Sound like what he said a while ago. You know, and the Son of Man will be betrayed into the chief priest. Very religious.

Teachers of the law. Very religious. They will condemn him, oh no, to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, flogged, and crucified. He said he's outlining the most brutal thing a person could have had to have just beat him to death, string him up like some kind of animal.

Well, if you start there, that's the middle of Matthew. He just keeps saying that all the way through. And look, when you get to the end, he says after he beat death, they did string him up. Peter and all of them hit the road. They said, we need to get out of here.

You know, they're going to kill us too. So everybody deserts him. He dies on a cross. He's buried and raised from the dead. And look, therefore, here's Jesus talking after he was raised from the dead.

I missed this. I didn't know you could live forever. It didn't get down to me. That's the one that gave it to eternal life. I'm like, eternal life? Well, let's see. One of the reasons you think about it, I didn't get any gospel, which is what I'm quoting here.

I didn't get it from anywhere. My high school teachers, not a word. College professors, eight years.

I went to school over there, got my master's degree. No Jesus. None. None. Not one person.

Let me push you a little bit. You sure nobody said anything? Or did you not hear it if it was said? Whatever.

I don't think they said it. Peter told me that. He had at least got my attention. All authority after he was raised from the dead in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples. That's what we do now.

That's what I do. In other words, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I commanded you. When I ran onto the guy who showed me this, I said, give me a little time because I'm going home and I'm going to look over my notes on what you've told me about this Jesus. I'm going to find out if you're telling the truth or lying because that almost sounds too good to be true. I said, remove everything, rotten, filthy thing you've ever done and raise you from the dead? Give you eternal life? I said, I missed that.

I need to check this out. How old were you in that conversation? I'm 28. By the way, I'm 28, so I've gone across the country since that time for the last 50 years telling people Jesus died, was buried and raised from the dead. He'll raise you from the dead. He'll remove all your sins. I said, you get it all when you come to Him. When I figured I went home and studied what the guy had showed me, I said, how in the world did I miss that?

That's a fair question. I mean, that's what gives you the passion today to say it the way you say it, right? You want to make sure everybody hears it. Try my best.

Yeah, and you do a great job. Al, you're the oldest son. You kind of saw the change in your dad. How old were you and kind of what environment were you in? From my perspective, Jim, we started out, dad wasn't quite where he got to. Usually that bad lifestyle takes a while to accrue, and that's the way it was with dad. So my earliest memories when we were there, small town, South Arkansas, dad was teaching school. He walked me to school every morning. There were a lot of good memories. I mean, I looked up to my dad a lot.

So even when things got bad, from a kid's perspective, it's still your dad. Boy, I know that feeling. Yeah, and you still love it.

It's not healthy, it's not good, but you still love him, you respect him. And so that's the way it was for me. So we moved to that bar situation, and at that time I was seven years old. And so I had an awareness of everything that was happening, but I didn't know yet that this wasn't good. This is life. And so when dad would come out and beat some guy up for doing something inside the bar and I'm watching the fight, I thought, man, that's my dad.

I mean, he's the baddest dude in South Arkansas. And that's all that matters. And that's all that matters. So that's kind of, I think, how it was for me. Mom relied on me a lot to help with my brothers because we had this small family that was so fractured, and I didn't realize they were having the problems they were having because, again, they kind of shield that from their kids. And so I just thought it was my role to take care of my brothers. Oldest son. Oldest son, and that's what you do, and you're the responsible one.

Phil, that fork in the road, this is probably the most common thing we face as human beings. My dad didn't make a great decision. He was an alcoholic. I remember the night he and my mom started their divorce. I was five years old and I came home. My older brothers and sisters were at the house and he was drunk and he had a hammer and he was hammering holes in the wall and telling us he was going to kill mom when she got home. And it was chaotic. The police came, arrested him, put him away, and that was really, for the next six years, that was the last time I saw him.

I went and lived with him for a year after my mom died when I was 11, and it was better, but he never made the decision that you made. It had to have been rough for a 10, 11-year-old. Well, it was.

It was. But the point of that is it's like that's what I miss as a boy. I didn't get a dad to say, okay, I believe in Jesus.

And what a blessing that had to be for your kids and for Miss Kay. And that takes courage. I mean, a lot of men don't have that courage for some reason.

Why? It took a while for me to get on my feet, but it was just step by step. You know, it was hard for me to introduce the thought that my sins were not being counted against me because I was like this. But I was moving in the right direction.

It was just kind of a slow get-go. I tell the story about one of my buddies. They came down, and I wanted me to go up the road and get drunk with them. And I said, they tracked me down to this place right out here, about a mile from here. So I said, boys, the one y'all are looking for, I'm a different one.

And of course, they're sitting there, you know, they take a drink. They say, what? I said, I'm not the one you're looking for. He died. I was speaking to my baptism. I said, he died, was buried.

I said, this is the new one, been raised from the dead, you know. And they're looking at me, you know. Of course, I noticed they kind of didn't mind hitting the road. They said, I don't know, but he done gone nuts.

So they left. Twelve years later, after I sent them all down the road, one of them called and said the doctor said he could die at any point, had an aneurysm near his heart. He was telling me that. I said, remember 12 years ago, you wanted me to go get drunk with you? You want them to know why I didn't go get drunk with you?

Because if I had an aneurysm, and it might pop anytime, I'm going to need some help. Or I'm going to die here, hell bound. Because he said, go back over the whole thing and let me hear it. So I preached the gospel with him, baptized him. And look, he fell dead about two months later.

Standing on third base coaching, you know, he's a coach. He just fell dead right there. But he made it.

But he cut it pretty thin. Right, don't get it. Then they asked me to come to the church to do the funeral.

And I'm like, wait a minute here, wait a minute. I don't do funerals. I'm not actually a preacher or anything.

You're not a preacher. They said, well, he said if he died, he wanted you to do the funeral. So I said, well, that's what he wanted.

I'll give her a whirl. So I got up there, you know, well, I had a pretty good packed house there. I said, I'm fixing to preach the gospel to everybody now, based on where he was right in the casket right there, you know.

My final word with him when I was giving the sermon was, I'll see him again. Yeah, man. This is interesting.

I just heard it the other day. I was talking to a psychologist, a Christian, but he had done some research and his expertise is cataclysmic events, like school shootings or hurricane survivors. And they found one element that a human being needs to possess to get through those catastrophic events and thrive.

And I'm thinking, okay, here it comes. You know, resiliency or something like that. He said it's humility. And as I hear your story, I mean, that ends up being the element that you can be humble enough to say, I need help.

And that other guy, your old guy, probably wasn't, right? I found once I had turned to Jesus and said, you will be Lord from this point on. I found that the greatest thing he gives us is peace of mind. Peace of mind. Peace of mind is a hard commodity to reach, but only in Jesus will you ever find peace of mind.

He's the only way to do it. See, I'm looking at it now, I'm like, boy, you're never going to get peace of mind throwing drunks, you know, and being immoral, you know, and cursing. It's not going to give you peace of mind.

It's just the opposite. But you have to be humble to recognize that, I think, and that's the thing. This is a fascinating conversation Jim Daly had with Phil and Al Robertson. And as Phil has been sharing the simple truth of the gospel of Christ, we want to invite you to learn how Jesus can set you free and become the best friend you've ever had. Get a copy of Phil's new book from us.

I could be wrong, but I doubt it. And you can call us for that, our number is 800, the letter A in the word family, or stop by the program notes for the link. And while you're there, you'll also see a link to more information about the movie of Phil's life.

It's called The Blind. All authority in heaven and earth had been given to me, therefore go make disciples of all nations, baptize them. So that's marching orders. So when I read that, I thought, I said, you know, when you get right down to it, it's not rocket science.

Right. And he wrote it down for you. Here's how you should behave.

And then we say to ourselves, how should we behave? It's not rocket science. You know, people say, I don't know, it's so hard to be a critic. I said, it's so hard.

I said, so it's not hard out there running up and down the road, getting drunk high, ended up in the prison, and then all these different things they've erected for y'all. I said, why don't you just repent and receive Jesus as Lord and do what he says? Phil, let me push on that in Galatians, the fruit of the other guy, as I like to refer to it.

Those are the big ones, the sexual ones. And we as Christians say, oh, good, I'm not doing that. But in that list are some things that we do do, like division, gossiping, sowing, dissension.

These are things that we tend to do. So listen to this. Do not be deceived. He goes on to say here, don't be deceived. A man reaps what he sows.

Did you say yes? The one who sows to please his sinful nature, I did it from 18 to 28, about a 10-year run. The one to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction. The one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest and we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, you live your life.

Let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. So I ask everybody out there listening here, what is the downside to that? Just get up and behave yourself. Somebody said, are you talking to me?

I'm like, yeah. I mean, you're out getting drunk, high, tearing up stuff, dangerous. I said, your parents don't know where you are?

I said, why don't you just try following Jesus and you will reap benefits that was far beyond your thinking. So true. It's the best way to roll. And that's why we're here. Al, listening to your dad, I mean, talking about being a hellion, basically from 18 to 28, you decided to start a little earlier, about 14, right? I mean, that's your story. And people would say, you know, the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree, but he changed.

Right. And you were still kind of caught in what was, and probably modeled, and not all, your dad's fault, but just what you saw all around. So what was your story at 14?

You know, I think, Jim, just from my experience now, being in ministry for so long, teenagers all have to face a decision when they kind of get to that age of awareness. You know, when it kind of one day, girls look different, things look different, and I'm starting to think differently. And you usually will follow a pattern one way or the other.

Yeah. Either how you came up, you don't like it at all, and so you want to do something totally different, or you fall into the pattern of what you knew. And so I think in my case, it was that. Like, I had been a solid kid, like I said, dependable, the oldest son. You know, I had been in church. Like, Mom and Dad never went, but all those years when Dad was running the bar, the preacher and his wife came and picked me up and took me. So I had every advantage, even coming out of a non-Christian home, to still have a Christian experience, a spiritual experience, because I feel like now, looking back, God put people in my life to give me things that I would need later. But when I got to 14, I had a decision to make. But instead of making the right one, you know, now our lives are so good, I chose the other path, and it was just a darkness that every, I think every person has to face at some point in their life.

For me, it was 14. By the time I was 17, I had graduated school early, and Dad, now my lifestyle, I was a double secret agent for a long time. You know, I was living this life on the weekends, but then Sunday I'm at church, I'm trying to do right. Mom and Dad, you begin to hear things, because when you're a double secret agent, your truth comes out. And so finally Dad sits me down in his truck and says, Al, you know, your life is out of control. I've got people showing up here, you know, you're doing things with their daughter.

I mean, now that you can't hide it anymore, it's there. And so Dad's like, you know, we love you son, but, you know, you've got to make a decision. You've either got to change the way you're living and get back in here with us and do the right thing, or you've got to hit the road and go see what it's all about. And he just gave me that choice. And, of course, at that time I wasn't ready yet, you know, just kind of like he was. And you're how old at this point? At this point, 17 years old. Seventeen.

Just graduated high school. And I was like, all right, I'm out of here then. And so I just chose my path. The one good thing I've always appreciated about Dad all through my years is he knows that we have to make our own call. And so he didn't like run after me and, oh, please don't go. He was like, okay, you've got to go see, go see. You know, and I'm sure he and Mom spent a lot of nights praying during that next two years that I was off in the world, that I would come back. But at the same time, he knew he couldn't make me do it anymore. Then when I got into it, I went to New Orleans and lived down there in just debauchery.

It was terrible. And then I finally, down there, came to my senses. I was just like that kid in Luke 15, you know. I was like, I literally looked around my surroundings and thought, why am I here? I mean, I'm going to die here. Like, somebody tried to kill me.

It was terrible. So I thought about home. And you said that kind of fast, somebody tried to kill me.

Yeah, that's the whole story. So I was seeing this woman. By now I'm 18 years old.

But I got a fake license that says I'm 21 so I can bar hop and all that. And so this woman that I'm seeing that I was working with, she was a nurse. She was 26.

So I'm 18. But she thinks I'm 21 because that's what I'm telling everybody. She's married but says they've been separated for a year. Well, it turns out they've been separated a month, which I've worked with enough couples now through the years to realize that's not even a cooling off. You're still together. So this guy, this husband, finds me one day, which is totally understandable. He's from the world.

He was 23 or 24, I think. Turned out to be a drug dealer on top of that. And I'm sleeping with his wife.

Well, how do men respond to that? He took a crowbar and tried to end my life. That was the deal. And so it created this huge scene. It's in New Orleans.

Actually, it's in Kenner, which is outside New Orleans. And there's cop cars everywhere. It was a deal. It was amazing I survived it. But when I was sitting there with all that going on, with the police lights and all that stuff, I mean, that's when it hit me. I thought, this is not going to end well.

Like, if I stay on this path, I'm going to die here. And it turns out he was a police informant, so nothing was going to happen to him, and the police let me know that. New Orleans cops are pretty tough, but one guy, the last guy, was a believer. And so all the cop cars left, and one guy was left. And he saw an opportunity.

He saw me in that place, and he sat down next to me, and he just had a conversation with me. And it wasn't super preachy, but it was like I understood because I grew up a Christian. And so when he said, you need to go home, I was like, man, that was music to my ears. And then I was thinking, well, can I?

Will they take me back? Then I was like the kid in Luke 15. So I worked up my speech.

I put in my notice at the hospital I was working at. And when I got home, Mom and Dad came out to meet me in the yard, just like the father did in Luke 15. And it wasn't even, I was gonna give my speech and say, here's what I'll do.

I know I've messed up. And I had all this stuff planned to say, and I thought about it for that five-hour ride. And Dad just says, welcome home, son.

Mom hugged me. And Dad said, we got duck calls to build. And so I tell people now that we killed a fattened catfish and had a celebration.

The fattened catfish. Because the lost son had come home, right? Man, it's a dead parable.

I mean, it's exactly what is in scripture. I was just saying, what's gone is gone. But if Dad had not made that decision, I wouldn't have had a home to come home to.

Well, yeah. Like you were talking about earlier, about not having a father that makes that decision. Because maybe I would have never come home.

Because there wouldn't have been anything to come home to. And Phil, in that regard, you look at the family now, starting with your decision and Miss Kay supporting you, sticking with you. She had every right to leave you. Oh, yeah. But she did what a good woman would do and stuck with you. I'm sure glad she stayed.

And then you look at the boys now. Of course, Al had become a pastor. Yeah. You've gone from all that.

I mean, some people are gasping going, he had an affair with a married woman? What? That's right. But you know what?

Here's the reality. God uses broken people probably more than people that are trying to be perfect because they know who they are. That's right. And they know what they are.

And they know they need the Lord. That's right. I'm contemplating even buying a suit. No, I'm kidding. I'm just joking. Don't get nervous.

Because you're so happy. Dad and I both look at, we're both emboldened when we see the story of Saul becoming Paul to know that God can do anything with anybody. If you can be a killer of Christians. Yeah, he even said, I'm the worst of the worst. The chief of sinners. And so when I look at my own things, which are bad enough, and I look at those and I thank God for His grace every day, at the same time, I'm like, you know what? I didn't kill Christians. And yet I still find a pathway to Christ.

So if Saul could become Paul, then he can do anything with me. You bet. Well, I feel that's where we're drawn to a close here. I mean, give it your all. Someone listening right now, there's going to be several people that are on the bubble spiritually. They have made that commitment. You've kind of laid it out there pretty clearly what needs to happen. But A, see the movie.

It's a great film, and it will be even more descriptive than we could get to in this time together. But that's Saul that's just going, I don't know if he's full of you know what, or he's really onto something here. What do you say to that person?

Who's that? That person listening that's just going, maybe Phil's right, but hasn't made the decision. Look, I know of two things. I know we've all sinned. Everybody is guilty of sin.

And number two is we're going to die. Well, if you run up on somebody and his story is I will remove your sin, take it away, considering you perfect, if you'll just trust me here, and I will raise you from the dead and give you eternal life. You will live forever over this. Remove your sins, and I'll make sure you live forever.

That's what's in this. I'm just asking them, you got a better story? I mean, what's your story? If that's not it, all your sins removed, you're going to be raised from the dead. You're going to live forever. Or just die in vain and with not having a chance at all.

I'm like, whatever. Phil Robertson on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly, sharing the promise of God for those who put their trust in Christ. And Phil and his son Al have shared a really clear message of the gospel today. You can hear the passion that Phil and Al have for Christ. And the Robertsons are a very special family that we've gotten to know over the years, and it's been great. They've shared the good news with millions of people through the platforms God has given them. And it's easy to see that's what they're all about. And what you hear is really who they are.

I spent, I think, three or four trips down there with them. And that's Phil. You sit there in the chair with him and he just talks about the gospel and pulls his Bible out and goes to different verses.

And it's part of who he is. And you can know that same peace and that same contentment that both Phil and Al are sharing. Ask us for Phil's new book.

I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Why Jesus is Your Greatest Hope on Earth and in Eternity. And John, you'll give all the details in just a minute. Let me turn to a very important aspect of the ministry here. Families are facing so many troubles today. And as the Robertsons have shared, Jesus is the answer to every single one of them. When families are weakened, our country becomes broken.

And I think you can see it and feel it. But you can help save America's families by joining our Friends of Focus on the Family membership drive. We're asking for a thousand people to join our community of monthly sustainers who care about families. So please, become a member of Friends of Focus on the Family with a gift of any amount and we'll say thanks by sending you Phil's great book. And if you're not able to make a monthly pledge, please consider a one-time gift. And we'll be glad to send the book to you as well. You can call 800, the letter A in the word family, to donate today. That's 800-232-6459. Or stop by the program notes for the link. And while you're at the site, be sure to look for the link to the really terrific movie about Phil's life.

It's called The Blind. Well, thanks so much for listening to Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. I'm John Fuller inviting you back next time as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. I feel alone when things get tough. Everything they share is practical and well practiced, and I can use it right away. Listen to Practice Makes Parent wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-12 05:14:40 / 2024-03-12 05:27:41 / 13

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