7/30/23 A Note from Pastor Ben

Church Family,

This past week, I read an article entitled “You Don’t Know When Your Last Sermon Will Be" by Steve Bateman. The article challenged preachers to consider a few truths: they will one day preach their last sermon, they probably won’t know when it will be, and they will probably be forgotten within a generation.  This may seem nauseating, but as Flannery O’Connor said, “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”  The article goes on to list preachers from church history who preached their last sermon without knowing it would be their last: John Calvin, John Flavel, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

While there are many points of application, the thing that stuck with me is the fact that all our efforts in everything we do will one day come to an end. This is extremely sobering.  I spend untold hours preparing for sermons, sitting in meetings, planning for the future of this church, thinking through the vision God is giving us and how to lead us through it. I’m sure my activities are very similar to what you do as well, whether you’re a teacher, coach, pilot, business owner, or something else.  It’s not that we shouldn’t be doing these things, all of it matters and all of it is important. It’s just good to be reminded that it will one day come to an end.  Coaches will coach a last game, teachers will give a last lecture, pilots will take a last flight, and business owners will make a last deal.  And then, we’ll all die and be forgotten in a generation.

That may sound dark and dreary, but it’s actually freeing.  We serve an eternal God who intends to use us in all of our vocations and callings.  We can work with diligence and eagerness as unto the Lord, all the while knowing that neither our successes nor failures define us or signify our worth. If we know God and believe in Christ, then we are redeemed children of God who will live eternally with Him.  With that truth ever on our hearts and minds, we can have confidence and joy in the weightiest of tasks and also in the smallest of responsibilities.  Moreover, we have the assurance that no good work will end with us.  God always raises up gifted leaders after we’re gone to carry on His work.  

In light of these truths, let us be a people who make every day count.  We don’t know when our last day will come.  So with God-centered sobriety, let us fearlessly embark upon each day treasuring it as a gift and diligently accomplishing all that God has entrusted to us—be it prepping for a sermon, a game, a lecture, a flight, or something else.  May God receive the glory.

-Pastor Ben

1 Comment

Calvin - December 16th, 2023 at 9:32pm

Something to think on is that although a person may be forgotten within a generation their actions and acts will echo through history through the lives they have touched. A mother and father that raise their child well will in turn be a good parent to their children. An inspiring teacher or pastor can give someone a vigor for life they did not have before. Every action no matter how small will echo in some way through eternity. It is with both of those thoughts that we are so small and finite and yet capable of such impact that we must always strive to be the best people that we can in all things.