Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
                                                        Faithfulness - A Key Step to Happiness
June 23, 2010                         "The Last Sermon I'd Preach!"

Wed Pm Worship                         If I knew I would die today

Text: Revelation 3:20 and Psalm 90:12 (King James Version)

 "Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."

Our test will be taken from Revelation 3:20 and Psalm 90:12
Rev. 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Today's true story is about John Harper, a minister born in1872, to a solid Christian family in Scotland. As his young life unfolded, he was consumed by the word of God, and, by age 17, he was preaching the gospel on the streets of his village. A few years later, his calling led him to London, England, where his giant passion for the salvation of others became the defining mission of his ministry.
Empowered with courage and compassion, he started his own church in September of 1896 in Glasgow. His congregation grew dramatically over the next 13 years. He married during this time but was widowed shortly after God blessed their union with a beautiful baby girl. She was six years old when she boarded Titanic in Southampton with her father and his sister-in-law. They were on their way to Chicago where Harper was scheduled to conduct a series of revival meetings.

Psalm 90:12 tells us to number our days.
That is good advice for all of us. Life is but a vapor! It appears for a little while and vanishes away. The only thing in this life that will matter is what we have done with Godís Son. He will not ask us how much money we had in the banks he will ask us how faithful was we with his provision.
He will not ask you how many friend you had he will ask how many you were a friend to.
He will not ask you how much food you had in your cabinets he will ask as to whom to fed.

He will not ask about all our possessions he will ask how we used our possessions for him.

Life really is very short and  Yes Preachers die too and we really should be aware our life is so brief.
I think the biggest mistake we make in this life is the mistake of taking for granted tomorrow will arrive on schedule. Business as usual, I have all the time in the world to get my priorities in order. 

 

So What would I say if this was my last sermon?

The First Part of My Sermon Would Be to Those I Love My Family, My Friends, My Brothers and Sisters in Christ that are not living a Holy Example before the Lord.

We all have responsibilities to those closest to us!
I would 1st assure my family of my absolute faith and trust in Jesus Alone, which gives me eternal life.

Many people leave loved ones wondering whether they will see them again. I do not want this to be an issue with my family.

I would tell them of the time and the place I trusted Jesus as my Savior. Going to work one morning in Dalton Ga about two blocks from where my oldest son lives.

I would describe all the times God spoke to my heart about His love and his amazing grace.

I would give thanks before all my family for all the memories I have shared by Godís Grace...

I would give thanks for all those who lived the true Christian life before me and persuaded me to follow pattern in full trust.


I would describe the personal times of revival in my own heart when my heart would become cold and indifferent and  would try to sway my decisions to serve and to Pastor.

(1) I would recall the heart wrenching words of compassion of the preacher at the invitation.

(2) I would tell my loved ones the miracle of that moment that Darrell was translated out from the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of Godís dear son.

(3) I would share Bible verses that gave assurance of my salvation John 6:37
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

1 John 5:11-13
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Let's find out more about John Harper on his Titanic voyage.

On April 14, 1912, at 11:40 p.m., an iceberg scraped the ship's starboard side, ripping open six watertight compartments. According to reports, John Harper rushed his daughter to a lifeboat, kissed her goodbye and handed her over to his sister-in-law, promising they would see him again someday. As the freezing waters began to fill the ship, Harper was heard shouting, "Let the women, children and the unsaved into the lifeboats." Survivors reported that Harper took off his own life jacket and gave it to another man. "Don't worry about me," he reportedly said, "I'm not going down, I'm going up!"

Point #2. The Second Part of My Sermon Would Be to Show Where I'll Live

When I die, I will move to heaven, where Jesus has been preparing a place for me.

John 14:1-3
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

At death, the souls of Christians leave this earth.

Just like receiving an important letter in the mail. You donít keep the envelope and throw away the content. You discard the envelope and KEEP the important content.

That is exactly what God does for us. He takes the important part and temporarily discards the envelope.


2 Corinthians 5:6   Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

2 Corinthians 5:7   (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

2 Corinthians 5:8   We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

 

2 Tim. 4:6  For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.

We simply move to a better place!
Philip. 1:21-23 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

We immediately leave our bodies and our souls move to heaven.
2 Cor. 5:8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

Let me tell you about this place where I'm moving.

Heaven is a place of singing.
Rev. 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by
Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
Heaven is a place of rest.
Rev. 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' " "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."

Heaven is a place of happiness and rejoicing.
Rev. 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."

Heaven is a beautiful place.
Rev. 4:1-6 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this." 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. "The Praise of Judah" 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.

When I die, I'll be alive in a better place.

Will John Harper survive the sinking of the Titanic?

As those in the icy water gradually drowned or froze to death, John Harper was seen swimming from one passenger to another, pleading with them to accept Jesus. Only six of the people struggling in the water were later rescued. John Harper was not one of them.

Is that the end of the story?

Not quite!

Point #3. The Third Part of My Sermon Would Be an Appeal to the Lost. My goodness we have a world of hurting people with no hope, no food, no clothing, no homes,  no future, and no direction and the church for the most part is showing no signs of mercy on their behalf. Folks we are only one blessing away from becoming these people.

Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
Luke 19:10  for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

My last sermon would be an urgent appeal to be saved.

I would preach sin as deadly and damning of the soul.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death,...

I would preach the love of Jesus as wonderful.
John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.

I would preach the cross as the full and final payment for our sins. By Grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. Salvation is and always will be a gift freely given by a holy God alone.


Romans 3:24-25  being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,

1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

My last invitation would be pleading-my final calls!

Lets' send how the John Harper story ends.

Four years after the Titanic went down, a young Scotchman Aguilla Webb rose in a meeting in Hamilton, Canada, and said, "I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a spar that awful night, the tide brought John Harper, of Glasgow,
also on a piece of wreck near me. 'Man,' he said, 'are you saved?' 'No,' I said. 'I am not.'
He replied, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.'" "The waves bore him away; but, strange to say brought him back a little later, and he said, 'Are you saved now?' 'No,' I said, 'I cannot honestly say that I am.' He said again, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,' Shortly after he went down; and there, alone in the night, and with two miles of water under me, I believed. I am John Harper's last convert."
Closing:

John Harper spent his final minutes of life trying to lead people to a saving faith in Jesus.

This could be my last sermon before I die.

If it is...listen to me carefully!

We are not guaranteed that we will still be alive tomorrow.

Today Is the Day of Salvation!
2 Cor. 6:2 Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Come to Jesus for Salvation today. Tomorrow may be too late!