Summary: If you knew your next sermon would be your last, what would you preach. That's what this sermon is about and includes the true story of a preacher who died when the Titanic sank.
The Last Sermon I’d Preach .
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
In the 30 years I served as a church pastor
I preached numerous sermons.
I started preaching on Facebook Gospel Preaching
every Sunday since May of 2020.
I am 72 years old and I have no idea when I might die.
So I started asking myself a question this past week.
What would I preach if I knew this Sunday's sermon
would be my last?
The title of today’s message is:
The Last Sermon I'd Preach If I Knew I Would Die Today
Today's true story is about John Harper,
a minister born in1872,
to a solid Christian family in Scotland.
John Harper almost drowned several times during his life.
When he was 2 1/2 years old,
he almost drowned when he fell into a well.
His mother rescued him from the well
and used artificial respiration to revive him.
At the age of 26, he nearly drowned again
when he was swept out to sea by a reverse current.
At 32 he faced death on a leaking ship in the Mediterranean.
Perhaps, God used those experiences
to prepare this Christian man for what he would face.......
On the last Sunday of March in 1886,
when he was 13 years old…
John Harper received Jesus as the Lord of his life.
He began to preach about 4 years later at the age of 17.
Harper would go down to the streets of his village
and pour out his soul…
pleading with people to be reconciled to God.
As John Harper's life unfolded, one thing was apparent...
he was consumed by the word of God.
When asked by ministers what his doctrine consisted of,
he was known to reply "The Word of God!"
After 5 or 6 years of preaching on street corners
and working in the mill during the day,
Harper was taken in by a preacher in London, England.
That set Harper free to devote his whole time to preaching.
John Harper started his own church in September of 1896.
(Now known as the Harper Memorial Church.)
That church which Harper had started with just 25 members,
grew to over 500 members when he left 13 years later.
During the 13 years Harper preached at his church…
he got married and a beautiful daughter was born.
But Harper’s wife died shortly after the birth of the daughter.
His little daughter was 6 years old
when she boarded Titanic in Southampton
with her father and his sister-in-law.
They were on their way to Chicago
where Harper was going to conduct a series of revivals.
More of that story later.
Psalm 90:12 tells us to number our days.
That is good advice for all of us.
Preachers die too and should be aware life is so brief.
What would I preach today if this was my last sermon?
Point #1. The First Part of My Sermon Would Be to Those I Love
We all have responsibilities to those closest to us!
I would assure my family of my faith in Jesus,
which gives me eternal life.
Many people leave loved ones...
wondering whether they will see them again.
I would tell them of the time I trusted Jesus as my Savior.
I would describe the times God spoke to my heart about His love.
I would give thanks...
for those who lived the Christian life before me.
I would describe the revival service...
when I opened my heart to Jesus.
I would recall the words of the preacher at the invitation.
I would tell my loved ones the miracle of that moment.
I would share Bible verses that gave assurance of my salvation.
John 6:37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
1 John 5:11-13 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
Let's find out more about John Harper on his Titanic voyage.
On April 14, 1912, at 11:40 p.m.,
an iceberg scraped the ship's starboard side,