Summary: Here's a sermon for the Sunday before Halloween. It includes an amusing yet creepy story to hold your audience's attention.
9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,
11saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
12Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
14His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
15His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;
16He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.
18I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
19Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.
20The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.
Today is October 30th.
Tomorrow night is Halloween Night!
It's supposed to be a night of scary things!
So with that in mind...
today I'm going to tell you about a frightening thing...
that happened to a man by the name of Edgar Jansen.
One dark, foggy night...
Edgar Jansen was walking along the side of the road...
On Dead Man's Highway.
This particular highway was called Dead Man's Highway...
Because many people had been killed in accidents on that road.
Edgar was walking because his car had run out of gas.
It was late and no cars were passing by.
The fog was so thick...
Edgar could hardly see a few feet ahead of him.
Suddenly, Edgar heard something coming up from behind him.
What was it? Ohhhhhh!
In our Bible text, we read about John.
He was on a rocky island 10 miles long and 5 miles wide.
Banishment was typical Roman punishment for political prisoners.
John...subject as we all are to the weakness of the flesh,
may have been overcome by doubt.
As a prisoner, he got weaker on that barren island.
Nobody is immune to the attacks of Satan.
John may have been tempted to question the accuracy...
of all he had preached and all he had believed.
And then...In the midst of his testing and his isolation...
Jesus came to John and said: "Fear not!"
Those are words for all of us.
We can "fear not" for good reason:
WE CAN FEAR NOT BECAUSE JESUS COMFORTS US:
And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid;...
John is terrified at the sight of the Living Lord!
He falls on his face in a dead faint.
But Jesus has comfort!
He touches John and says "Fear not!"
Think about what that means:
The strong hand of the Mighty Jesus
rests gently on the shoulder of the frightened!
The powerful touch of Jesus delivers calm assurance!
It did for John...and it can for you!
We can have comfort when facing death:
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me." Psalms 23:4.
We can have comfort when people are against us: "Show me a sign for good, That those who hate me may see it, and be ashamed, Because Thou, O Lord, hast helped me and comforted me." Psalms 86:17.
We can have comfort when our sins are forgiven: "Comfort, O comfort My people," says your God. "Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the Lord's hand Double for all her sins." Isaiah 40:1, 2.