MISSIONARY Gregory Fisher writes: "What will he say when he shouts?" The question took me by surprise. I had already found that West African Bible College students can ask some of the most penetrating questions about minute details of Scripture.
"Reverend, I Thess. 4:16 says that Christ will descend from heaven with a loud command. I would like to know what that command will be."
I wanted to leave the question unanswered, to tell him that we must not go past what Scripture has revealed, but my mind wandered to an encounter I had earlier in the day with a refugee from the Liberian civil war.
The man, a high school principal, told me how he was apprehended by a two-man death squad. After several hours of terror, as the men described how they would torture and kill him, he narrowly escaped. After hiding in the bush for two days, he was able to find his family and escape to a neighboring country. The escape cost him dearly: two of his children lost their lives.
The stark cruelty unleashed on an unsuspecting, undeserving population had touched me deeply.
I also saw flashbacks of the beggars that I pass each morning on my way to the office. Every day I see how poverty destroys dignity, robs men of the best of what it means to be human, and sometimes substitutes the worst of what it means to be an animal. I am haunted by the vacant eyes of people...Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)