Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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

Second Last Sunday Of The Church Year
Series C

Option #1:"Always Confident"
2 Corinthians 5:1-10
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

Paul the Apostle was a tentmaker by trade. He knew how important it was for a tent to provide shelter in a storm. Our bodies are a lot like those tents Paul used to make--well-crafted but limited in their ability to withstand the storms of life--and yet Paul was ALWAYS CONFIDENT...

  I. Because this earth is not our final home

    A. As he reminded us in Philippians 3:20-21

    B. As Jesus told us in John 14:1-3

 II. Because we have the Holy Spirit as a down payment on the future

    A. As in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

    B. As in 2 Corinthians 5:5

    C. As in Ephesians 1:13-14

III. Because Jesus the Righteous Judge is Himself our Righteousness, Peace and Hope

    A. It does not depend upon our own inadequate works--Ephesians 2:8-9

    B. It does depend on the solid legal foundation of Jesus being...

        1. Our Righteousness--Jeremiah 23:6

        2. Our Substitute--2 Corinthians 5:21

Matthew Henry: Observe particularly the believer’s expectation of eternal happiness after death, v1. He does not only know, or is well-assured by faith of the truth and reality of the thing itself--that there is another and a happy life after this present life is ended--but he has good hope through grace of his interest in that everlasting blessedness of the unseen world: "We know that we have a building of God, we have a firm and well-grounded expectation of future happiness."

Notice: 1) What heaven is in the eye and hope of a believer. He looks upon it as a house, or habitation, a dwelling-place, a resting-place, our Father’s house, where there are many dwelling places, and our everlasting home. It is a house in the heavens, in that high and holy place which as far excels all the palaces of this earth as the heavens are high above the earth. It is a building of God, whose builder and maker is God, and therefore is worthy of its author; the happiness of the future state is what God hath prepared for those that love him. It is eternal in the heavens, everlasting habitations, not like the earthly tabernacles, the poor cottages of clay in which our souls now dwell, which are decaying, and whose foundations are in the dust.

2) When this happiness shall be enjoyed--immediately after death, so soon as our house of this earthly tabernacle is dissolved. Note that the body, this earthly house, is but a tabernacle, that must be dissolved shortly; the nails or pins will be drawn, and the cords be loosed, and then the body will return to dust as it was. When this comes to pass, then comes the house not made with hands. The spirit returns to God who gave it; and those who have walked with God here shall dwell with God for ever.

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Object: map of Florida, then a picture of hurricane devastation

Let’s see how good you are reading a map. I have here a road atlas, a collection of road maps for when your mom and dad take you on vacation. Let’s see if you can tell which state I am pointing at. (Point at 3 states in succession.)

This one (Florida) was in the news a lot late last Summer and early Fall. Can anyone tell me why? HURRICANES! That’s right. Florida is a beautiful place, but it’s dangerous to live there during some parts of the year.

In today’s Bible reading, Paul says that our bodies are like this house destroyed by a hurricane--well-built and beautiful, but in danger when strong winds are blowing. Sooner or later, we will all die unless Jesus comes back first.

Paul tells us that we are not to worry about this. That’s because we have another home to look forward to. It’s our heavenly home. There aren’t any hurricanes there. No one gets sick there, you won’t need a flu shot there, there is no danger of any kind there.

Paul wrote: (2 Cor 5:6-8) Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. {7} We live by faith, not by sight. {8} We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. I don’t know if you will ever have to live through a hurricane or clean up the damage, but I do know that God will be with you in the storms of your life and that someday Jesus will come back and take you to your Heavenly Home.

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Option #2: "God Repents!"
Jeremiah 8:4-7
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

The Point: God desires that we repent of our sins, to win us back to Himself and not to punish us.
The Problem: When it comes to responding to God we sometimes don't know as much as do animals, who intuitively and instinctively obey the ordinances God has established. 
The Promise: God exiles His own Son and punishes Him for our sins, accusation and execution falling on Him instead of us, and empowers us with contrition, repentance, faith and godly living. 
Inspired and adapted from a homiletical help by Timothy Saleska
1. We need but watch the crowds struggling to get into the temples of amusement, there to offer their money and their time to the idols of this world (1 John 2:16-17), and we shall see one of the modern forms of ancient idolatry and deception. (Theodore Laetsch)
2. How low do/will we go? Not so low that the Holy Dove can't or won't swoop to our rescue, through Jesus crashing into the cross in the process and, at the last resurrected, leaving us free to soar around the earth and ultimately to heaven!
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:34 PM