Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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

Third Last Sunday
Series B

Option #1: "Daniel's End-Time News"
Daniel 12:1-3
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.S., M.Div.

1) The facts (2a)--Isa 26:19; Hos 13:14; Matt 22:29-32; 1 Thess 4:14; Rev 20:12ff

2) The good news and the bad news (2b)--Matt 25:46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15

3) The really great news (3)--Prov 4:18, 11:30; Matt 13:43; John 4:36; James 5:19-20

Note: The concept of "reward" is unfamiliar to some Christians. Should the preacher wish to remedy that circumstance, here are some verses: Matt 5:12, 6:18, 10:42, 16:27; Lk 6:23, 35; Col 3:24; 2 John 1:8; Rev 22:12

Albert Barnes: And they that be wise--this is the language which, in the Scriptures, is employed to denote the pious, or those who serve God and keep his commandments. See the book of Proverbs, passim. True religion is wisdom, and sin is folly, and they who live for God and for heaven are the truly wise. The meaning is that they have chosen the path which true wisdom suggests as that in which man should walk, while all the ways of sin are ways of folly.

Shall shine as the brightness of the firmament--as the sky above us. The image is that of the sky at night, thick set with bright and beautiful stars. No comparison could be more striking. The meaning would seem to be that each one of the righteous will be like a bright and beautiful star and that in their numbers and order and harmony they would resemble the heavenly constellations at night. Nothing can be more sublime than to look on the heavens in a clear night and to think of the number and the order of the stars above us as an emblem of the righteous in the heavenly world.

And they that turn many to righteousness--referring to those who would be instrumental in converting men to the worship of the true God and to the ways of religion.

As the stars--the meaning is that amidst the hosts of the saved they will be conspicuous, or they will be honored in proportion to their toils, their sacrifices, and their success.

Forever and ever--to all eternity. This refers to those who shall turn many to righteousness; and the meaning is that they shall continue thus to be distinguished and honored to all eternity.

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Visual: any picture of stars, perhaps several taken by the Hubble Telescope

So you want to be a star? What kind of star? (Allow for answers) Movie star? TV star? Baseball star? Football? Basketball? The first Bible reading talks about the kind of star that God really appreciates. It says that if you really want to shine before God, He wants you to take some people to heaven with you. The angel told Daniel: (Dan 12:3) Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

If you were to be a movie star, you’d have to memorize all your lines and say them perfectly. If you wanted to be a professional athlete, you’d have to get in really good shape and stay that way, even when your season was over. God’s stars are WISE; that means they know his word. They know right from wrong and they live that way. That’s the first part. To be a star before God you are to tell the Good News about Jesus to people who don’t know him. Tell them the old, old story of Jesus and his love. Tell them that he loved us so much that he went to the cross to die for the sins of the whole wide world. God’s stars love to talk about him, share him with their friends, neighbors, and family.

So you want to be a star? Look here at how God will see you as one of His stars. Here are some of the stars God made as pictured by the Hubble Space Telescope. Remember: (Dan 12:3) Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.


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Option 2: "God's Star Search/Church"
Daniel 12:1-3
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

Point: God causes us to rise for and shine in Him!
Problem: We sometimes sleep through life and elude God, leading to possible shame and everlasting contempt.
Promise: Because God made Jesus to "sleep" for our sins, we awake to everlasting life and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, lead many to believe in Him.
1. Michael = "who is like God"; one of the chief or the first archangel who is described as the one who stands in time of conflict for the children of Israel.
2. Note that the after-life (hell's side) is described in verse 2 not as physical death but, instead, as everlasting shame and contempt, the former (physical death) seeming more desirable.
3. "Life everlasting" (verse 2): per the Concordia Self-Study Bible, the only occurrence of this phrase in the entire Old Testament.
4. "Shine" = to admonish, warn, teach, shine, send out light, be light, be shining.
5. "Stars" = of Messiah, youth, numerous progeny, personification, God's omniscience (figuratively).


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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 03:13:10 PM