The final sermon.
It is a bittersweet moment for any pastor and the church he shepherds. The pastor who was now giving his last sermon had served as the senior pastor to his church for the past 27 years. As he preached, he recounted the last words and teachings of many great Saints and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Bible. The salient themes were not a reflection upon their lives and accomplishments but rather a look forward, directed solely upon God. This pastor’s last sermon was no different.
“I call you to pray that you will live for Jesus without reservation. Work as if the mission of the church doesn’t depend on the next Senior Pastor, or on what leadership does or doesn’t do-work as if the future of the church depends upon you and your faithfulness to Jesus and His call on your life and this church.”
The pastor then lovingly turned to the congregation and confidently declared, “I’ll see some of you again soon, but will see all of you on the other side!”
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
Philippians 3:8 (ESV)
My faith was greatly strengthened by the preachings of this great servant of God. His final sermon was a poignant reminder that regardless of our accomplishments in this lifetime, our eternal significance is measured by how our efforts advanced the Kingdom of God on this earth. The legacy of any true believer in Jesus Christ is measured by their devotion to Jesus Christ. God will ask everyone on Judgment Day, “What did you do with My Son?” I pray all believers will confidently declare, “I trusted and obeyed Him.”
Godspeed to this pastor and his wife, who faithfully served his church and congregation for so many years.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.