After Ligonier Ministries founder Dr. R.C. Sproul passed away at 78 due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a number of pastors and religious leaders took to social media to remember the life and ministry of the famed theologian.
"The Sproul family has shared the sad news with us that our founder, Dr. R.C. Sproul, went home to be with the Lord this afternoon. Please pray for the Sprouls," Ligonier Ministries announced on its Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon.
"He died peacefully after being hospitalized twelve days ago due to severe respiratory difficulties exacerbated by the flu and complicated by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)," the ministry said on its website.
Following the news, a number of pastors and religious leaders took to social media to honor Dr. Sproul's memory.
Pastor John MacArthur tweeted: "Today my friend, co-defender of the truth and theological giant is standing in the presence of our Lord whom he loved and served faithfully. R.C. Sproul has stood with me for decades in every major theological controversy and I will dearly miss him. There is no one like him."
John Piper, founder of DesiringGod.org, linked to an article reflecting on how the famed pastor impacted his life and ministry.
"I love R.C. Sproul," he wrote. "I am sure I owe him more than I can even recall. My reverence for the holiness of God and the truth of his word would not be the same without his influence. I will miss him (for a short while)."
He later tweeted: "One of the great, joyful, God-centered, Christ-exalting influences on my life. My tribute to RC Sproul."
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, tweeted: "I am grieved to hear of the death of R.C. Sproul. It is hard to overestimate his influence on gospel-resurgent evangelicalism."
"His tombstone wouldn't be able to hold the words of what he's meant to so many," tweeted Kansas pastor Gabriel Hughes. "Well done, good and faithful servant. Now great is your reward."
Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, tweeted: "Thanks be to God for the life, ministry, and legacy of Dr. R.C. Sproul, now with the Lord he so faithfully served."
Christian rapper Shai Linne tweeted: "R.C. Sproul. Man...His teaching had such an impact on me, especially as a new believer. I remember where I was when I first read The Holiness of God. Literally changed my life. So grateful for his ministry."
Ligonier Minstries first revealed the pastor and author had been hospitalized on December 3 after experiencing "respirality difficulties" and was relying on a ventilator to breathe.
"The doctors believe this is not pneumonia, but an exacerbation of his emphysema due to the flu so he has been put on a ventilator to help his breathing," the update explained. "He is in guarded condition at the intensive care unit and receiving expert care and attention."
A week later, it was revealed that Dr. Sproul "is not improving as we had hoped and so these next few days are critical."
"He has a fever today due to the infection he has been fighting. Moreover, he is not decreasing in his reliance on the ventilator to support his breathing," the ministry said.
Ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), Sproul hosted the popular radio show Renewing Your Mind, his ministry's Tabletalk magazine, penned over 300 lecture series, 90 books, and dozens of articles.
"Through his teaching ministry, many of us learned that God is bigger than we knew, our sin is more deeply rooted than we imagined, and the grace of God in Jesus Christ is overwhelming," wrote Ligonier in a tribute.
"R.C. now sees the object of his faith, the risen Christ, high and lifted up. He now hears the seraphim's song before the throne, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!'"
Dr. Sproul is survived by his childhood sweetheart and wife of fifty-seven years, Vesta Ann (Voorhis); their daughter, Sherrie Sproul Dorotiak, and her husband, Dennis; and their son, Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr., and his wife, Lisa. The Sprouls have eleven grandchildren, one granddaughter deceased, and seven great-grandchildren.
A memorial service for Dr. Sproul will be held on Dec. 20 at 2pm. Opportunities to leave notes of appreciation for Dr. Sproul will be made available on the website Dr. R.C. Sproul.