Meet Jesse Custer. A man who cuts all ties to his life of crime and returns to dusty Annville, Texas, to take over his father’s church. His goal is to “save this town.”
Played by Dominic Cooper, he is the main character of AMC’s “Preacher”, the comic book-based show, also starring Ruth Negga and Joseph Gilgun, that just began its second season.
As a young pastor, Jesse Custer, commonly called “Preacher”, struggles with the demands the church people place on him. He struggles to keep attracting visitors as a megachurch starts up nearby. But, most of all, he struggles with knowing whether or not God is really present, whether he is hearing from God, and whether he is telling people what God wants them to hear.
However, he isn’t the only one in Annville who wants to know where God is.
Sheriff Hugo is losing his faith because the world, as he sees it, is one big “monster swamp,” and it doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better.
It is believed that Eugene, the sheriff’s son, tried to kill a girl who rejected him. She doesn’t die, but ends up in a coma. Eugene then tries to commit suicide but only ends up disfiguring his own face. Now, he wonders if God can forgive him.
Emily, Preacher’s trusty assistant and a single mother of three, works hard to make sure the church is running smoothly. But she secretly wonders if God really makes a difference in what happens in the world.
Then, there’s Tulip, Preacher’s ex-girlfriend. She comes to town to convince Preacher to join her in getting revenge on a former partner in crime who betrayed them. Despite Preacher’s role, Tulip believes that, deep down, Jesse Custer is the same bad boy she once knew. She thinks she can get him to give up the church, trying to persuade him that God is in Heaven and that He doesn’t really care what happens on earth.
Odin Quincannon, the owner of a cattle slaughterhouse and Annville’s most powerful businessman, becomes an atheist after all of his family members die in a ski lift accident. Now, he says he serves only the “god of meat” — the things that can be seen and touched — and he repeatedly challenges Preacher to publicly denounce God.
After a series of dramatic and violent events, Preacher Custer gets hold of an angelic telephone. He invites the entire town to the church, advertising that he will “bring God to Annville.” With the sanctuary packed and more people watching on a video screen outside, Preacher calls God. Heaven answers, but it soon becomes apparent that God is not there. The congregation is told that God might be on Earth.
Leaving the townsfolk upset and confused, Preacher and his friends set out on a roadtrip to find God.
The feelings expressed by the people of Annville are not uncommon. Many people wonder if God is real… if God is there… if God is listening… if God cares.
The Bible tells us exactly where God is, however. He is omnipresent, which means he is everywhere at the same time. He is in Heaven and he is on Earth. He is billions of miles away at the furthest edge of distant galaxies and he is in the smallest, dustiest Texas town. Psalm 113:4-6 tells us, “The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!”
In Jeremiah 23:23-24, God himself asks rhetorically, “Am I a God at hand, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? Do not I fill heaven and earth?”
And Deuteronomy 4:39 declares, “Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.”
There is no question about God being in Heaven or on Earth. The one question that remains to be asked is: Is God in your heart? Is God living inside of you?
God’s Presence in your life is the only way you can survive the challenges of life without losing heart. The people of Annville felt hopeless because they did not know for sure that God was present in their lives. Is there a way to know that God is always with you, that he will never leave you, that he can and will forgive you of your sins — even sins as terrible as Eugene’s? Yes, there is. Allow me to show you how you can have this assurance of God’s Presence and His personal Hand in your life and how you can be saved from sin and hell.
First, you must realize and admit that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.
Second, you must understand that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…” This is both spiritual death and physical death. We die physically and go to the grave because of sin and we die spiritually and go to hell because of sin.
Third, you must understand that you are on the road to hell because of your sins. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Fourth, you must accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Fifth, you must accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Because of God’s love for you, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for your sin. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Because God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, we can live with God in Heaven for all eternity after we die.
Finally, with these facts in mind, you must repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me the following simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour!
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.