By Phil Robertson, in Happy, Happy, Happy, pages 189…195f, Copyright, 2013.
Phil Robertson began making duck calls in 1972 and has built the Duck Commander Company into a multi-million dollar international family business. He is the patriarch of the Robertson family which is featured on the popular A&E television reality show Duck Dynasty. He graduated from Louisiana Tech where for a while he was the starting quarterback. But he got tired of missing out on duck hunting season to play football, so he quit the team in his junior year. This gave second string quarterback Terry Bradshaw a chance to show what he could do. Phil Robertson also does a little Gospel preaching.
For the first twenty-eight years of my life, I didn’t know the gospel and I didn’t know Jesus Christ. Now I’m trying to make up for lost time. Jesus said all the authority was given to Him, and He told us to go preach the gospel and make disciples of all the people we baptize. Basically, Jesus is telling me to share with people what I didn’t know until I was saved. So I’ve been sharing everything I’ve learned since I was converted. Nowadays, I get asked to speak to churches, colleges, hunting clubs, and other groups around the country…
One of the first opportunities I had to speak to a large crowd was at the Superdome in New Orleans in the early 1990s. I was invited to speak and demonstrate duck calls during a hunting and fishing show. I had a crowd of about one thousand people listening to me, and I blew my calls and gave them some hunting tips. Then I reached into my bag and pulled out a Bible. I told them, “Folks, while I’m here, I think I’m gonna preach you a little sermon.” I thought I owed it to them to share the gospel.
“I’m standing under a sign that says, ‘Budweiser is the king of beers,’ and everybody’s got their beers here today,” I told them. “But I’m here to talk about the King of Kings. I know I might look like a preacher, but I’m not. Here’s how you can tell whether someone’s a preacher or not: if he gets up and says some words and passes a hat for you to put money in, that’s a preacher. This is free. This is free of charge, which proves I’m not a preacher.”
I preached for about forty-five minutes, and afterward several men came up and thanked me for sharing my story. A few of them even invited me to preach at their churches, so that’s kind of how my road show started… Because of the success of Duck Dynasty, I’m getting more opportunities to speak to larger audiences now. But I don’t care if I’m talking to one person or one thousand; if I can help save one lost soul and bring him back to Jesus, it’s well worth it to me.
The good Lord leads us to lost souls in many different ways. We meet some of them at our speaking engagements, others at church, and some simply stop by the house. I’ll never forget the time when someone called my house to order duck calls, back when Duck Commander was still being run out of our living room. The man kept using the Lord’s name in vain during his conversation with me.
“Let me ask you something,” I told him. “Why would you keep cursing the only one who can save you from death?”
There was silence on the other end.
“You got my order?” the man asked.
“Yeah, I got your order,” I told him.
Click. He hung up the phone. A few minutes later, the phone rang again.
“Mr. Robertson, I’ve never thought about what you said,” the guy told me.
“Well, you ought to,” I told him. “Let me ask you something: Where are you from?”
“Alabama,” he said.
“You’re about ten hours away,” I said. “You ought to load up and head this way. I’ll tell you a story about the one you’ve been cursing.”
About a week later, there was a knock on the front door. This young buck stepped in the house and asked, “You know who I am?”
“I don’t reckon I do,” I told him.
“I’m that fella from Alabama who was cursing God,” he said.
The man had a buddy with him, and I told them the story of Jesus Christ. By the time I was finished, they were on the floor crying like babies. I took them down to the river and baptized both of them that night.
I remember another time when I gave a duck-call demonstration at a sporting goods store… I blew on some duck calls and then preached from the Bible. When I was finished, I concluded with what I always tell my audience: “Where else can you go on a Friday evening in America and get first-rate duck-call instruction and a gospel sermon at the same time?”
Well, about five years later, a guy who was there wrote me a four-page letter. He said he went to the sporting goods store to listen to a duck-call guru because he wanted to become a better duck hunter. However, he wasn’t prepared to listen to what I had to say about the Bible, about how we’re all sinners, and we’re all going to die. He thought I’d taken advantage of him. When the man went home, he burned every one of my duck calls, and for the next several years told anyone who would listen to him that I was the sorriest, most low-down man he’d ever met.
He shared that story on the first two pages of the letter he sent me, but I didn’t hold it against him and kept on reading. On the third page, he told me he woke up one morning and realized he couldn’t get what he’d heard out of his mind. He couldn’t forget me telling him that God loved him, his sins had been paid for, and that he could be raised from the dead. After a couple of years of romping on me so badly, he asked himself why he was so mad at someone who loved him enough to tell him that story. So he picked up a Bible and started reading it himself. It confirmed everything I’d told him. He told me his wife was thrilled, his kids were happy, and they were a much closer family now. He felt guilty because he thought I knew he’d been poor-mouthing me, which, of course, I didn’t, and he wanted to apologize for being an idiot.
Here’s the point of his letter: if you really love someone and want to tell them about what God’s done for us, there’s no way to escape without being persecuted. I usually tell anyone I talk to that I’m going to share the gospel because I love them. I tell them it’s not contingent on how they feel about me. If they hate me, I’m not going to hold it against them. If they don’t like me, they can walk away. But I have to love my enemies.
If anyone has a better explanation as to how I can be resurrected, I’m open to listening to new ideas. I’m all ears when it comes to an alternative, but I’ve never found another way in which I’m going to make it out of here alive. I don’t know any other way, so I’m sticking with what I know to be the gospel.
Phil and his family tell their story at:
Matthew 28:18-20 — Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Romans 10:9 — If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Acts 16:30-31 — He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved– you and your household.”
Joshua 24:15b — (Joshua said), “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Almighty God, have mercy upon us, forgive us all our sins,
and deliver us from all evil; confirm and strengthen us in all
goodness, and bring us to life everlasting. Amen.
—Book of Common Prayer, Scotland