Sermon Illustrations

Nietzsche said “A man can undergo torture if he knows the way of life,” but Christian Reger said, "here at Dachu, I learned something far greater. I learned to know the who of my life. He was enough to sustain me then, and is enough to sustain me still.”

Christian Reger was a minister with the German confessing Church they opposed Hitler. He was arrested and turned over to the authorities by the Church organist. He was taken 100s of miles away to Dachau where he spent 4 years in the concentration camp. After his first month in Dachau, Reger abandoned all hope in a loving God. But in July 1941 he received a letter from his wife, which it read about their love towards him. But at the bottom she had written a Bible verse

Acts. 4.26-29.: “The Kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers gather together against the Lords anointed One. Indeed Herod and Pontus Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this City to conspire against your Holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed . They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.”

That afternoon Reger was to undergo interrogation the most terrifying experience in the camp. He had been called upon to name names in regard to other Christians. If he succumbed those Christians would be captured and killed but if he refused to cooperate there was a good chance he would be severely tortured. At the time the verse meant little to him but as he was waiting in the waiting room trembling another minister came out who he had never meet before. As he passed by he slipped a matchbox into his pocket. After his interrogation he had remembered the earlier encounter with the minister and looked into the matchbox to find a written verse Acts:4.26-29.

To Reger it was a message from God This man was a stranger and had never seen his letter. Had God arranged this event to show he was still alive still able to strengthen still worthy to trust? Christian Reger was transformed. Reger said “God did not rescue me and make my suffering easier. He simply assured me that he was alive, and knew I was here. I simply know that God meet me at Dachau.”

Friends Jonah like Christian Reger meet God - at extremity point in his life – For Jonah God provided a fish and delivered Jonah. For Reger it was as simple as a verse in a match box form his wife and the confirming words from a minister he had never meet.

Be assured God will meet us too in our extremity points, when we turn to him for salvation and he will continue to meet us and be with us when we surrender ourselves to the situation and to God he will often meet us in the most unusually way