Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Jesus offers us a way to live forever that is better than the fountain of youth. If only Ponce De Leon spent more time looking into Jesus’ way to immortality.

-I love the Indiana Jones movies

-I love them most of all because they usually deal with something of a spiritual nature

-Raiders of the Lost Ark is about the Nazis trying to find Israel’s lost Ark of the Covenant in order to use its power for their evil plans

-The Temple of Doom is about Indiana Jones discovering a cult in India that practices magic

-The Last Crusade is about Indiana’s and his father’s search for the Holy Grail, the cup that Jesus used at the Last Supper, because of its power to grant everlasting life

-Basically, that is the same thing that Ponce de Leon was looking for.

-The Spanish explorer travelled all over Florida trying to find the fountain of youth

-Everyone has a desire to live forever, don’t they

-The great theologian Woody Allen once said, “I’m not afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens. {PAUSE}

-But sometimes our plans don’t work out the way that we would hope that they would

-Sometimes in the midst of our feeble attempts at success, we find a better plan

-For example, after I graduated from West Point in 1991, I thought that I’d serve at least 20 years as an Infantry officer in the Army, retire and then work in the computer field, which was my major in college

-After seeing how messed up my Army bossess were, it was easy for me to get out. My company commander forgot his anniversary while we were out in the field and had to buy his wife a new wardrobe and new set of furniture to appease her. My battalion commander who drives the training calendar, chose to go out to the field during his child’s birthday. I wasn’t married at the time but I knew that I’d like to be and I didn’t want to subject my family to that kind of lifestyle.

-So I got out and finished my service obligation in the Wisconsin Army National Guard. I actually served in the same brigade as the Wisconsin Army National Guard unit that is here right now.

-I worked as a computer programmer/systems analyst for a company in my hometown in Wisconsin for a couple years.

-Not having to put in as many hours as a programmer allowed me to get involved in my church back home again.

-My pastor approached me and encouraged me to consider going to seminary. I applied and then let me in amazingly.

-After graduation, I wanted to be a church planter like my dad had been so I got a call to start a church in Iowa. As we wrapped up that phase and starting looking for other plants, the economy started to tube and other church plants were unavailable.

-Folks had been encouraging me to the military chaplaincy for awhile but I had resisted. I knew that I didn’t want to go back to the Army. I called up our church body’s ministry to the Armed Forces but neither of the retired chaplains were in. I talked to the secretary who had been prior Army. She encouraged me to go into the Air Force.

-I set up an interview with a chaplain at Offutt AFB in Nebraska and the rest is history.

-At the time, I didn’t see God’s plan at work but now, looking back, it all makes sense.

-God’s plan was better than my own.

-I’m glad that my plan didn’t work out. {PAUSE}

-It’s always better in the long run when God’s plan plays itself out

-That is what our text for today is about

-People, like Ponce De Leon, have tried to find life everlasting

-People, especially Americans, try to turn back the hands of time by getting cosmetic surgery done

-As I like to say, “The mortality rate is still 100%.”

-Actually, it is a little more than 100% since a bunch of people from both the Old and New Testaments were brought back to life and obviously died again

-There was the son of the widow of Zarephath, the widow of Nain’s son, Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter, the people who were raised after Jesus died on the cross and Eutychus

-However, any attempt to live forever on your own is going to fall hopelessly short

-How about you?

-As service members, as guards, as folks who stand in harm’s way as a part of what we do for a living, we face the possibility of death every day

-Have you ever deluded yourself into believing that you can live forever apart from God’s plan?

-Or have you ever tempted God by doing things that are extremely dangerous, putting your life at risk for lack of a good reason?

-Jesus, in our text for today tells us how one can live forever

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