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Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


Last Sunday After Pentecost 

Option One: Rev. Kelly Bedard

"Vanishing Points"
Isaiah 51:4-6

Note: there is an intended double meaning in the sermon title:
1) "...the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a
garment and its inhabitants die like flies" (new meaning to "Lord of the
Flies"!), verse 5; and
2) these "vanishings" point to and ultimately leave the one and only true and lasting phenomenon--Jesus!

A. Quick Fixes
    1. Vanishing kingdoms
    2. Worn-out subjects

B. The Eternal Fix
    1. An everlasting kingdom
    2. Servant-led sufferers

Charles Spurgeon re: "On mine arm shall they trust." (Isaiah 51:5) In seasons of severe trial, the Christian has nothing on earth that he can trust to, and is therefore compelled to cast himself on his God alone. 

When his vessel is on its beam-ends, and no human deliverance can avail, he must simply and entirely trust himself to the providence and care of God. Happy storm that wrecks a man on such a rock as this! O blessed hurricane that drives the soul to God and God alone! 

There is no getting at our God sometimes because of the multitude of our friends; but when a man is so poor, so friendless, so helpless that he has nowhere else to turn, he flies into his Father's arms and is blessedly clasped therein! When he is burdened with troubles so pressing and so peculiar, that he cannot tell them to any but his God, he may be thankful for them; for he will learn more of his Lord then than at any other time. Oh, tempest-tossed believer, it is a happy trouble that drives thee to thy Father! 

Now that thou hast only thy God to trust to, see that thou puttest thy full confidence in Him. Dishonour not thy Lord and Master by unworthy doubts and fears; but be strong in faith, giving glory to God. 

Show the world that thy God is worth ten thousand worlds to thee. Show rich men how rich thou art in thy poverty when the Lord God is thy helper. Show the strong man how strong thou art in thy weakness when underneath thee are the everlasting arms. 

Now is the time for feats of faith and valiant exploits. Be strong and very courageous, and the Lord thy God shall certainly, as surely as He built the heavens and the earth, glorify Himself in thy weakness, and magnify his might in the midst of thy distress. 

The grandeur of the arch of heaven would be spoiled if the sky were supported by a single visible column, and your faith would lose its glory if it rested on anything discernible by the carnal eye. ("Morning & Evening," C. H. Spurgeon)

Option Two: Rev. Wayne Dobratz

Stay Awake Until The End
Mark 13:32-37

Introduction: Every so often we have September weather that carries into October and November. You enjoy it while it lasts because you know that those wintry blasts are coming. You just don't know when. Just so with the end of the world. That's what Jesus tells us in today's text. He urges you to...
STAY AWAKE UNTIL THE END

1) Because you don't know when it will come
A. Jesus, in the weakness of His human nature, didn't know--Text, v. 32
B. We are skeptical about prophets who claim to know, cf. Lk. 17:23-24.
C. But we make the same mistake if we fail to realize that it could be
TODAY! Text, v. 33; see also Lk. 12:45-46

2) Because you have work to do
A. Text v. 24; See also Matt. 21:28
B. As in Matt. 25:14
C. As in 1 Peter 4:10

3) Because you will have to give an accounting
A. Text--vv.35-37
B. As in Lk. 16:2ff.
C. As in Lk. 19:15
D. As in 1 Peter 4:5
E. Thank God that Jesus' righteousness covers our sins, as in Ps. 32:1
F. Thank God that our Savior is our Defense Attorney! Cf. 1 John 2:1-3.

Matthew Henry writes: "We have the application of this prophetic sermon. As to the destruction of Jerusalem, expect it to come very shortly. As to the end of the world, do not inquire when it will come, for of that day and that hour knoweth no man. Christ, as God, could not be ignorant of anything; but the Divine wisdom which dwelt in our Saviour, communicated itself to his human soul according to the Divine pleasure. 

As to both, our duty is to watch and pray. Our Lord Jesus, when he ascended on high, left something for all his servants to do. We ought to be always upon our watch, in expectation of his return. This applies to Christ's coming to us at our death, as well as to the general judgment. 

We know not whether our Master will come in the days of youth, or middle age, or old age; but, as soon as we are born, we begin to die, and therefore we must expect death. Our great care must be, that, whenever our Lord comes, he may not find us secure, indulging in ease and sloth, mindless of our work and duty. He says to all, 'Watch, that you may be found in peace, without spot, and blameless.'"

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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Director

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:32 PM