Dr. Robert Sumner passed away in December 2016. The Biblical Evangelist newspaper is no longer being published and the ministry of Biblical Evangelism has ceased operation.

The remaining inventory of his books and gospel tracts was transferred to The Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles and may be ordered here.

Letters We Love
Dr. Robert L. Sumner

For our first letter this time we are quoting from a prisoner in Texas. He graciously wrote:

“Please find enclosed a donation for the $40,000 for 40 Years drive. Though I wish it could be more, I call it $40 for 40 years. Not as exciting sounding, but maybe more (persons) could donate this amount and it will eat at the total. I pray that by the time this makes it through the processing here and reaches you the total $40,000 will have been met. [Editor: It hasn’t, but his idea is a good one!]

“I thank you, and I thank God for your ministry, for the excellent magazine you produce. It has not only been a blessing at this point in my life (wilderness sabbatical) but it has been a valuable learning tool. Thanks for staying true to the Word and its contents. May God continue His blessings on this ministry of yours. Thanks also to all the contributors of articles that make the magazine what it is.”

Wasn’t that a nice letter?

The next one comes from a lady in Indiana – whose town has the same name as where the editor went to church in another State. She wanted prayer for children “rebellious about Christianity” and that is a major problem in this land these days. She also commented, “I have read The Biblical Evangelist for several ears and I appreciate it very much.” And she said about her children, who were raised in the church and even attended a Christian school, “When I try to talk to them they always bring us how some one in the church offended them.” While that is only an excuse – and one God will not accept when they answer to Him – it does pinpoint a serious problem. Every Christian ought to realize that his or her actions in church are being watched by others and wrong actions will have an adverse reaction on those watching – especially the young.

Unfortunately, in this hurry-bury world we live in today we sometimes lose track of our friends – and vice versa. This next letter comes from a brother we held meetings with over 45 years ago and wrote to order our Hebrews book from an ad in the Baptist Bible Tribune. He wrote, in part:

“Enclosed is a Money Order in the amount of $20 for the book I saw advertised entitled, HEBREWS: Streams of Living Water by Robert Sumner. I was privileged to have Evangelist Robert Sumner in my church way back in the early ’60s here in the Garden State of New Jersey. We had a two-week meeting in the month of July in a church that had no air conditioning and we like to roasted to death. But it was a great meeting and I still have the tapes of the messages which, in that day, were put on ‘reel to reel.’…

“The last time I saw Brother Sumner was at a ‘Sword Conference’ which was held in Indianapolis, Indiana in the early ’70s…

“I have said all that to say this, I don’t know if the Robert Sumner who wrote this book on Hebrews is the same one I knew many years ago or not, but if it is, I would appreciate even a post card and let me know how you are doing. I followed Brother Sumner’s column in the Sword of the Lord for a long time, but I have lost contact…

“I am still preaching, this being my 50th year in the ministry…”

Wasn’t that a nice letter? And, yes, this editor is the same rascal. And we sent him more than a postcard; we went hog wild and sent a real letter! And as I explained in that letter, “I no longer write for The Sword (they lost their ‘first love’ for me after Dr. Rice died)…”

A preacher’s wife in Louisiana – husband pastored for 4½ decades – sent a nice gift and added: “We surely do enjoy your paper. My husband was a pastor for 45 years. He now has dementia, but still loves the Lord and his attitude is always Christlike even in his sickness.

“God is good! We are now 88 and 80.

“My husband was several years before his time. He took a stand when no one would stand with him. But now, SBC has seen the light! Praise the Lord. Love to you and yours.”

Wasn’t that nice? And thank God for her husband and others like him who objected to the inroads of liberalism in the convention – and were willing to pay the price to do something about it, whether anyone stood with them or not. As Adrian Rogers said, “it was a hill on which to die.”

And speaking of the late Dr. Rogers, our next letter, from Arizona, said in part:

“We do so enjoy your magazine and hope that you are able to keep it alive for many more years.

“We were thankful for your report on Adrian Rogers in the Jan.-Feb. issue. We record his message Sunday morning to watch that afternoon or later in the week. We knew he had retired, then later herd he passed away, but nothing was said about it on ‘Love Worth Finding,’ or if there was we missed it.

“Also surprised to see the article on Don Bunge. Boy, you sure do get around. We belonged to the Temple Baptist in Omaha for several years, but left Omaha in 1987 when I retired… Don was in very poor health the last few years but kept on going… The last time we were in Omaha he was teaching the adult Sunday school class, and also served as interim pastor at times. He was basically blind before he passed away. As you said, we need more Uncle Dons. They don’t come much more committed and devoted to the Word than he was.

“Thank you so much for a very informative, interesting, teaching and true-to-the-Word magazine. Pleas keep sending it to us. May the Lord bless and keep you.” And they enclosed a gift of $100 for our ministry.

A long-time friend in California requested a relative be placed on our mailing list, sending along a gift to help with it, and then asked, “I was looking on your book list for ‘Incidents and Illustrations.’ You do such a great job on these. I thought they might be in print.”

Well, they were for a time. We published a large hardbound volume, Sumner’s Incidents & Illustrations back in 1969. There were 110 categories from “Adultery” to “Young People,” including Multum in Parvo, which is Latin for much in little and was a section of sentence sermons good for church bulletins and outside message boards. The huge book was 11¼” by 8¼” in size and contained nearly 500 pages, yet sold in those pre-inflation days for a mere $7.95. It has, of course, been out of print for years. You might find a copy in a used book store – but this was the kind of book preachers and Sunday school teachers held on to. We’d like to release Volume II if we ever found time to compile it.

Some other folks, these in Florida, wrote who previously ordered the editor’s Jesus Christ IS God!: “Thank you so much for sending the book! My husband is reading it with much pleasure. Please accept this gift for the furtherance of your very much NEEDED paper and writings. Our prayer, along with the prayers of many of our family and friends, is that the Lord’s people will ‘wake up’ and stop being lulled into complacency by those who are seeking to take away The Word of God, anyway and anywhere they are able.” And they sent a very generous gift, too.

A North Carolina vocational pastor wrote kindly: "I am still reading the article 'Where are the Prophets.' I will be re-reading it as well as the rest of your wonderful newspaper (I am one issue behind in my reading). Every issue inspires me as a Pastor. I am currently Bi-Vocational and with two full-time jobs (my church and my other job) I hardly have time to read each issue from front to back. But if God blesses me and my family this weekend as I see what He is going to do, I will finally have the time to sit down and pore over the articles and absorb each one. I am up for a vote to go to a church full-time that will support me at the point that I can minister to God's people as He has purposed my heart to do. I have the most wonderful wife and family who support me in God's call on my life as well as His guiding each of them into ministry as well. God is so good.

"Your paper is such a blessing to me and much of my congregation as they are the recipients of the wealth and biblical support and practical application that flows from each and every page. God's Word needs no support as it stands on its own. But your paper provides incredible application in spiritual richness that gives me opportunity to expound in some incredible areas. Thank you for all you do. I know it can and probably is very tiring to do what you do to produce this paper. A heartfelt thank you. You touch many lives, mine as well!"

Wasn't that a nice letter? By the way, he received the call and will soon be a full-time pastor!

The editor appreciated all the cards, phone calls and e-mails on his birthday. Here is a sample e-mail: “Thinking of you on your BD. Hope I have the date right this year and that you have a great day with family & friends. Your life has indeed made a major difference in the lives of others. We thank the Lord for your blessed ministry.”

From Georgia came a good word. "I really appreciated this issue of The Biblical Evangelist. Lots of interesting and enlightening articles. I always enjoy the book reviews and your insights on current events. What you shared about Wheaton was interesting. 

“[We] will be sending a small gift for your ministry. I thought the letter you published from the lady who was an ‘H’ worshiper was quite interesting.”

A brother in Pennsylvania sent a gift and a criticism (one we’ve heard before): “I love your paper, but I do have one criticism and that is your paper’s format. Like most people I read it from cover to cover but sometimes have trouble following the articles through all the pages. I also like to save articles and sermons for my files. This, of course, is basically impossible. If I cut out an article (which is very difficult to do) I am cutting up other articles. I have tried to photocopy articles, but this is equally difficult…”

He has a good point. Your editor has had the same problem in years gone by (now, everything is on my computer of course, simplifying it for me but not others). Alas, I have no solution. Even going from a newspaper to a magazine format would not help much, I don’t think.

One of our pastor friends sent us a copy of his recommendation to a couple of friends regarding our book, HEBREWS: Streams of Living Water. We will offer it here as our final letter this time. He wrote:

"I have decided to throw in my 'two cents worth' on the discussion about the blood of Christ. I would have thrown in more, but this is all I presently am worth, unless you want play money. 

"So, may I suggest that you read Robert Sumner's homiletical Hebrews commentary on Hebrews 9:12. Having just read it, I must say his argumentation in favor of what might called 'the more traditional view,' in contrast to the view that Christ literally took His blood to Heaven, is quite impressive.

"I well-know that commentaries do not equal Scripture. But, Sumner gives 6 pages to the question under consideration, giving quotes from others, etc. And, having read it all carefully, it confirmed my view, and even considerably strengthened it."

As he noted to his friends, the book may be ordered from our BiblicalEvangelism website, or by e-mail at kjsher@msn.com. He added: "You might find it interesting that some impressive men give high marks for his commentary on Hebrews: Henry Morris wrote the Introduction. And on the back cover are pictures of the following men, and their recommendations of the book: Adrian Rogers, Warren Wiersbe, Charles Wagner, and Elmer Towns."

The book is $23.95, plus postage and handling, but we are offering it postage paid for $20.

Remember, “It’s right to write!” We’d love to hear from you.