Summary: The most important markings on your gravestone is the DASH between the dates.
Sermon: What will be “your” famous last words?
The Last Words of David…
2Sa 23:1 And these are the last words of David, the saying of David the son of Jesse, and the saying of the man raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet singer of Israel:
2Sa 23:2 The Spirit of Jehovah has spoken by me, and His Word is on my tongue.
2Sa 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: One ruling over man righteously, who rules in the fear of God,
2Sa 23:4 is as the light of the morning, as the sun shines; a morning without clouds; through shining after rain the tender grass sprouts from the earth.
2Sa 23:5 For is not my house so with God? For He has made an everlasting covenant with me, ordered in all things, and sure; for all my salvation, and all my desire, …will He not make it grow?
The last works of David…
1Ch 18:14 And David reigned over all Israel, and he executed judgment and justice among all his people.
My sermon text reveals the last printed words of David, King of Israel. Last words will many times reveal the passion or the purpose of a person’s life.
Do you remember Jesus’ last words on the cross just before he died? “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” “IT IS FINISHED”
What was finished? ---His Mission. …and what was Jesus’ mission?
The Father had sent Him on a mission to die for sin; He had completed that mission and is now returning to the One who sent Him. When a believer dies, their mission is finished and they then return to the One who sent them.
Eccl. 12:7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
The Apostle Paul’s last words are found in 2 Timothy 4 as he speaks to Timothy…
2Ti 4:2 preach the Word, be urgent in season, out of season, convict, warn, encourage with all long-suffering and teaching.
2Ti 4:3 For a time will be when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own lusts, they will heap up to themselves teachers tickling the ear;
2Ti 4:4 and they will turn away the ear from the truth and will be turned aside to myths.
2Ti 4:5 But you -be clear-minded in all, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully carry out your ministry.
2Ti 4:6 For I am already being poured out, and the time of my release is here.
2Ti 4:7 I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith.
Those famous last words by Paul are beautiful last words, don’t you think?
I read somewhere that the most important marking on a gravestone is the Dash between the Dates. Because that is the time you live your life between your birth and your death.
Paul’s last words were words of encouragement to young Timothy, a protégé who will carry on the gospel after Paul has died.
I attended the funeral of Fred Hamman a few months ago. At the funeral several people read letters that were found in Fred’s chested drawers, that he had written to God. They started out…Dear Jesus, and they ended, Love Fred. They talked about the weather and what was going on with his treatments. They were just random thoughts that Fred felt like sharing with his Lord. They were so sweet and so sincere, and so beautiful. They were poetic in nature but sincere and intimate. I’ll never forget that. To me, those were Fred’s last words.
The last words of King David were not on his death bed either, but were the last recorded poetic psalms of David. David went on living for awhile as explained in Chapter 24 of 2Samuel. Those words are of David in deep distress and in desperate need of repentance.
Do you believe in “deathbed” repentance? Many Christians don’t. I was speaking about someone that repented a few months before he was taken by cancer. A person said to me, “well, if he is in heaven, he’s the janitor!” I said what’s wrong with being the janitor in heaven - if hell is the other choice? Amen?
I truly believe that if God didn’t forgive at the last minute, the section with the thief on the cross would not be in the Bible, where Jesus promises the thief that, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.” I knew some people that waited until the end, and I believe that the angels sang glorious songs when they accepted Christ before they died. I have also read about others that have said things like – “Don’t you dare, pray for me!” …and that, my friends, is very sad.