At what age should you “retire”?

A more full treatment of the topic may come at a later time but as I was studying on Daniel 6 and contemplating the great things God was doing with a 90 year old man, I ran across the following from a sermon posted by John MacArthur on Robert G. Lee’s comments related to age and serving the Lord.

So, we see again Daniel. But this time, rather than looking at him as a young man, as we have been in the past, we see him as a very old man. In fact, mark this, in chapter 6, Daniel is pushing hard at 90 years of age…90 years of age, and he’s still God’s man. He’s still God’s choice. And he was still the choice of the king to be the prime minister. You know, the…the power of a virtuous life extends into old age.

Dr. Criswell at Dallas First Baptist tells of Robert G. Lee who was a great preacher in the south and Robert G. Lee on his 84th birthday, which was in 1970, November 11, was asked this question, “Are you going to keep on preaching, Dr. Lee?” This is what he replied: “When there are so many unsaved people around, when there are sorrowing hearts to be comforted, when so many young people are throwing away their life in folly’s court and carnal pleasure’s mart, when there are so many evils against which protest must be made, when so many old people are lonely on the sunset trail, when in 1910, at my ordination, I was married to preaching until death do us part, why should I not in the 85th year of my life keep on preaching?” Dr. Lee added some fortifying statistics, by the way, that ought to bless and encourage any of you who are pushing 90 or 80. This is what he said: “Newman Darlan, a scholar of accepted standing, made an analysis of the lives and achievements of 400 foremost characters of history. The analysis showed that nearly 80% of the world’s greatest figures closed active lives between 58 and 80. Twenty-five percent continued beyond 70, twenty-two and a half percent beyond 80, and six percent beyond 90. Consider what has been done by men beyond 80. When 83, Gladstone, for the fourth time, became Prime Minister of Great Britain. Michelangelo, at 89, executed his Last Judgment, perhaps the most famous single picture in the world. John Wesley preached with almost undiminished eloquence at 88…closing at that remarkable age, the most remarkable career of his time, having traveled a quarter of a million miles in an age that knew neither electricity nor steam, and he had delivered, someone estimated, 4,000 sermons and written volumes and volumes of books. Edison was inventing at 90. Wright, at 90, was considered a creative architect. Shaw was writing plays at 90. Grandma Moses was painting at 80. J.C. Penny, the great Christian, was working strenuously at his desk at 95.”

And we say – Oh, I’m 55, I’ve got to get out. And we forfeit the richness of age…the richness of age.

Daniel was pushing 90 and he was God’s man. And God put him right where He wanted him and the politics of Medo-Persia had little to do to withstand it.


About Kevin M. Adams

M.Div.: Biblical Studies M.A.: Biblical Studies B.S.: Criminal Justice Diploma: Business Management 20 Years Youth Ministry 12 Years Food Service 9 Years School Teacher 7 Years Bus Driving 7 Years Church Planter/Pastor Enjoy Camping, Canoeing, Photography, Tennis (not good!), Reading
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