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"Your end?"

Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 12 Jan 2014

 

John 1

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Here we read of the Lord Jesus before His birth but also of His greatness.

What did Christmas do to you? Was it just something that came and went or did it do something in your life? Has a change taken place in your life?

Did you just hear about Christ being born or did it happen in your life? Are you even amazed at what the Lord did in your life?

Thousands of years before His coming they had prophesied about His coming, and eventually He did come. What did it do to you? Have you been blessed by His coming? They've prophesied that He will save His people from their sin. Has it happened with you? Has all things become new in your life?

There were many signs that He was the Messiah. But which one or more would have convinced you that He was the Messiah? His virgin birth, or that He was born at Bethlehem etc?

Why did the heathen emperor of Rome made such a proclamation, that each person had to return to their parental home town? So Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem, although Mary was heavy with child.

Joseph didn't waste time in carrying out the Lord's instruction but obeyed immediately and meticulously. We don't know how they travelled but they came safely to Bethlehem. Once there, there was no place for them so they ended up in the stable. And that's where the Creator was born!

What does He mean to you?

Pastor Nicolas Bengu was a great preacher and a man among men. He went through many trials where other men would have fallen, but he continued and proclaimed the Gospel so that thousands believed and followed the Lord. They had little money and once bought cheap sheets of the highest quality from someone who offered it on the street. He and his wife prayed for revival, but then the Holy Spirit convicted him that those sheets could only have been stolen. He obeyed and burned them and then God's Spirit was poured out and He worked mightily among them.

A certain girl grew up in a Christian home. But she had no time for the things of God and was rebellious and fought with her siblings, was disobedient to her parents, and partied with her friends. She went to church but it did nothing for her even though it meant a lot to her parents. She also simply went with her friends and Jesus meant nothing for her.

Her mother prayed for her.

Then she got sick until she had a high fever. She was very sick. One morning she asked her mother what was written in Ezekiel 7:8, 9, for she had a terrible dream instructing her to read those verses.

Ezekiel 7

8 Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations.

9 And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the LORD that smiteth.

And that's how that girl died. She lived her own life but the day came that God judged her.

In the 18th century, Archibald Boyle was the leading member of an association of wild and wicked men known as "The Hell Club" in Glasgow, Scotland. After one night of carousing at the Club’s notorious annual meeting, Boyle dreamed he was riding home on his black horse. In the darkness, someone seized the reins, shouting, "You must go with me!" As Boyle desperately tried to force the reins from the hands of the unknown guide, the horse reared. Boyle fell down, down, down with increasing speed.

"Where are you taking me?" The cold voice replied, "To hell!" The echoes of the groans and yells of frantic revelry assaulted their ears. At the entrance to hell, Boyle saw the inmates chasing the same pleasures they had pursued in life. There was a lady he’d known playing her favorite vulgar game. Boyle relaxed, thinking hell must be a pleasurable place after all. When he asked her to rest a moment and show him through the pleasures of hell, she shrieked. "There is no rest in hell!" She unclasped the vest of her robe and displayed a coil of living snakes writhing about her midsection. Others revealed different forms of pain in their hearts. "Take me from this place!" Boyle demanded. "By the living God whose name I have so often outraged, I beg you, let me go!"

His guide replied, "Go then—but in a year and a day we meet to part no more." At this, Boyle awoke, feeling that these last words were as letters of fire burned into his heart. Despite a resolution never to attend the Hell Club again, he soon was drawn back. He found no comfort there. He grew haggard and gray under the weight of his conscience and fear of the future. He dreaded attending the Club’s annual meeting, but his companions forced him to attend. Every nerve of his body writhed in agony at the first sentence of the president’s opening address:

"Gentlemen, this is leap year; therefore it is a year and a day since our last annual meeting." After the meeting, he mounted his house to ride home. Next morning, his horse was found grazing quietly by the roadside. A few yards away lay the corpse of Archibald Boyle. The strange guide had claimed him at the appointed time.

Judgement day is coming to each of us. How will your end be?

(Summary in Italian)

 

 

 

 

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