The Last Sermon You Ever Hear

Romans 1:15-16 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Have you ever thought about the possibility that today may be the last time you ever hear the gospel being preached? What a sobering thought to sit back and consider that this life may end abruptly without any warning or signs that something may happen. In some senses, we recognize that we are not here upon this earth for all eternity. We know that we will die and that we will face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Even with this knowledge, many live their lives in such a way where it is hard to tell if they really consider the notion that our preparation for eternity is necessary.

James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Going through life haphazardly is extremely unwise and this was a very real concern for the brethren in the first century, just as it is a concern for us today. This is why Paul always made sure to preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:25-27). In this instance, he speaks of the very fact that they will no longer see him. This was his final opportunity to preach the gospel to them and he held nothing back. Our own very lives speak of this very truth.

With our lives being described as “even a vapor”, we should seek out every opportunity to present the word of God to everyone. If we all held this view near to our hearts, then in turn, we would consistently hear God’s word from those who are near and dear to us. Do we value the whole counsel of God?

2 Peter 1:14-15 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

Peter makes it abundantly clear that if any man speaks, he needs to do so as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11). He also understood that his time with others was going to be limited just as our time will be limited. There were things that Peter wanted them to know and remember. This was extremely important in their day because they did not have physical copies of the Bible, smart phones, or tablets with Bible apps. The teachings they had were copies of letters being passed around in the first century, they had spiritual gifts, and the things that they remembered from what they had heard.

What we should note from Paul and Peter is the fact that not only did they proclaim the whole counsel of God, but they gave final warnings of dangers that would come up in the future.

Acts 20:29-31 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Take a moment to think about the last sermon you heard. Were you given the whole counsel of God?

Were you warned about the realities of false teachers and ravenous wolves coming in to cause trouble? They are not there to be your friends; they are there to twist the truth to their own destruction.

Matthew 7:15, 21-23 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Just because someone says “Lord, Lord”, does not mean that they are teaching truth. It does not mean that the Lord recognizes them. Even Jesus gives us warnings of false teachers and their destructive heresies.

If someone comes to you bringing a doctrine that says that you can remain in your sins, you need to reconsider your relationship with that individual or at the very least, stop listening to their nonsense. There is nothing in God’s word that ever permits anyone to remain in their sins. If someone comes to you saying that you can worship God however you want, you really need to think about the information you are taking in. If another person comes to you and says that “you don’t have to be baptized in water for the remission of sins”, again – do yourself a favor and stop giving people like these a platform in your lives. Paul makes it more than clear when he wrote to the Christians in Galatia – if anyone teaches another gospel, they are to be accursed (Galatians 1:6-9).

Today begins another wonderful week for us all. We will have the privilege to sit at the feet of an excellent gospel preacher who is going to proclaim to us the wonderful words of life. If today is the last opportunity for you to hear God’s word – how will you respond?

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Lee Elkins