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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20180121 IMAGES OF DEATH

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       Senior Pastor Phil Roland

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              Pastor Ray Scott

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IMAGES  OF  DEATH

SERMON STARTER

          My father chose his own death. He got into a small plane with an inexperienced pilot, overloaded it with full gas tanks, Linotype machinery parts and loaded himself and his pilot with a few beers. The pilot took off with the wind, couldn't get altitude and crashed the plane. The impact threw my dad's body out of the plane. The impact burst the gas tanks and drenched their bodies with gasoline. The resulting fire did the rest.

          Rescuers attempted to put out the burning bodies with handfuls of dirt, since the airstrip they stopped at had no fire fighting equipment. For months I was haunted with images of charred bodies still smoldering with flames. I hallucinated the smell of burning flesh and gasoline. The images troubled me awake or in my troubled attempts at sleep. It was months before I could lose myself in sleep again.

          The first time you see a loved one in a hospital's ICU it can leave you breathless. The IV's, feeding and elimination tubes, and electrical lines are shocking the first time you visit. You feel helpless as you approach your loved one's bedside. That is especially true if it is possibly the last time you will see them. The strong Images of Death can trouble you long after your loved one is either healed or pass away.

          Lois and I felt that way Friday when we paid a visit to our friend and elder, Maxine Miller. Her daughter, Irene called and told me she had called in hospice. Their standard procedure is to withdraw all medications and give them morphine to ease their pain. Our loved ones in hospice care usually sleep away their final days. The drawn image of Maxine's sleeping face will be hard to forget.

          My sermon this morning has to do with the strong images of death that often cause us not to resolve the grief over the loss of our loved ones. Jesus is our hope when we are faced with the strong images of how our loved ones die. Keep your eyes on His. Only Jesus will take you into and out of the Valley of the Shadow of death. 

Pastor Phil  <><<

January 21, 2018 - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland

 

IMAGES  OF  DEATH

1 Corinthians 15:50-58 - Revelation 21:2-4

 

"Maxine Miller our good friend and Sheepfold Elder passed away yesterday, Saturday morning at 4 am. She suffered for decades with Rheumatoid arthritis. Her pain was unspeakable. She dealt with each problem life dealt her with courage. She loved Jesus and is now in His Arms. Lois and I will sorely miss her."                      Pastor Phil  <><<

 

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (NIV)
54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." 55 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Psalm 116:15 (NKJV)
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.

 

Four Ways the Power of Jesus Erases Our IMAGES OF DEATH:

I. JESUS GIVES US A PRESENT-TENSE PROMISE - “Today. . .”

          A. Jesus says to the Thief: Today. . .Today. . .Today! - Luke 23:42-43
            42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your                         kingdom." 43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you                      will be with Me in Paradise."

                    1. There is no sleeping in the grave

                    2. There is no waiting in cemeteries

          B. Our Loved-Ones are with Him Today - 2 Corinthians 5:8

                    8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and

              to be present with the Lord.

                    1. We are ”. . .absent from the body. . .present with the Lord!”

                    2. One second after closing our eyes in death. . .

                    3. We open our eyes on the Face of Jesus and our loved ones

 

Second Way the Power of Jesus Erases Our IMAGES OF DEATH:

II. JESUS PROMISE IS COMPANIONSHIP - “You will be with Me.”

          A. He Promised to be with us - John 14:8

                    “I will not leave you comfortless. . .I will come to you.”

                    1. He does not abandon his children in the hour of their need

                    2. He does not leave us as a mother-less child

          B. In the Aloneness of Death. . .He is there -

          “. . .there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” Prov. 18:24b

                    1. Remember Andrew in "Touched by an Angel?"

IMAGES OF DEATH, cont., p.2

 

                    2. Physically, we hate to be alone when leaving anything

                    3. This is especially true when it comes to death

                    4. His bedrock promise is to be there

          C. We will be with Him and be Recognizable - John 11:43

                    43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus,      come forth!" 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with                       graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them,                     "Loose him, and let him go."

             “Lazarus!  Come forth!”

                    1.  Jesus told Martha, - John 11:43

                       “Your brother shall rise again!”       

                    2. Lazarus was Still her Brother on Either Side of Death!

                              a. Rising, he bore no Death Mask, no Images of Death

                              b. He was just covered with the burial garments

                    3. At the Call of Jesus Death's Power is reversed

 

Third Way the Power of Jesus Erases Our IMAGES OF DEATH:

III.  JESUS HIMSELF IS THE POWER OF THE PROMISE

          A. Isaiah saw Him coming - Isaiah 9:2

               2 The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who                       dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.

                    1. Look at Jesus and have His Peace

                    2. Replace your Images of Death with His Face

                    3. Use Faith Imagination to see your Loved One in Jesus' Arms

          B. His Promises are Awesome -

                    1. Matthew claims Isaiah's Promise for Jesus - Matt. 4:16
                   
16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon                            those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned."

                    2. Jesus is God's Expression of Resurrection - John 11:25

                                        25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who                                       believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever                                   lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

                    3. Jesus is in the Father, the Father is in Jesus - John 10:30

                    30 I and My Father are one."

                    4. Not just knowing about Jesus, it's keeping his Word-Jn. 8:51

                                        51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall                                    never see death."

                    5. To us they are Dead, but they are Alive in Jesus - John 5:25

                                        25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when

                          the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear

                          will live.

                    6. The Prophet's Promise is Fulfilled - Isaiah 25:8

                    8 He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord GOD will wipe away                             tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away                                    from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken.

 

 

IMAGES OF DEATH, cont., p.3

 

Fourth Way the Power of Jesus Erases Our IMAGES OF DEATH:

IV. JESUS' WORD PROMISES ETERNAL LIFE - 1 John 5:12-13

12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

 

          A. God's Special Life is in Jesus

                    1. Bible's Greek word for Life - ζωή = Dzo-ay = His life in us

                    2. We receive His Life Now, Present-tense

                    3. He that has the Son HASLife, not SHALL HAVE Life

          B. Have Jesus, have Life / No Jesus, no Life - John 1:12

                    12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become

               children of God, to those who believe in His name:

                    1. Question, Have you received Jesus into your heart and life?

                    2. If you HAVE the fear of death and it's images will be gone

                    3. Have you entrusted your future and all that you are to Him?

          C. If you have totally trusted Him w/ your future this promise is true

                    4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more

              death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former

              things have passed away."    Rev. 21:4

 

Eg. Lois' Vision of Aunt Vista

            A member of our first church, Rosemary Straub was a professional caretaker. She cared for elderly people in her home. The last lady she did caretaking for was "Aunt Vista." She wasn't Rosemary's aunt, but it was an affectionate name she called her. We called her Aunt Vista whenever she came to church.

            Aunt Vista's health was failing in late Fall of 1976, and Rosemary told us to pray because her death was close. One day that fateful week Lois was doing laundry in the basement of the church parsonage. She paused and thought for a moment of Aunt Vista and said a prayer. Suddenly, she saw in a vision that crippled, arthritic old lady radiant, walking without pain up a ramp into a shining Presence. Then, she vision was gone and Lois knew Aunt Vista was with Jesus and there was peace in her heart.

            Our Sheepfold Elder and Personal Friend, Maxine was like that at 4 am Friday night. She heard the Lord's Call, stepped out of her crippled, pain-wreaked body and ran into the Loving Arms of Jesus who wiped away all her tears and comforted her. She was no longer alone.

001. .

IMAGES OF DEATH

1 Corinthians 15:50-58 (NKJV)
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
55 "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"
56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

002

IMAGES OF DEATH Text, Cont. p.2

 

IMAGES OF DEATH

Revelation 21:2-4 (NKJV)
2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

 

 

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (NIV)
54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
55 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

You are the Wind Beneath my Wings / Images of the Film

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iAzMRKFX3c