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Looking Forward to Christ's Return (2 of 10)
Series: Eternal Matters
2 Timothy 4:1-8; 2 Peter 3:10-13
Introduction: Jared Strode, our CCCB ministry intern, will be preaching for us next week. The semester is almost over. Jared will be graduating and moving on to other things. He has preached for us on Sunday night a couple of times, but this will be his first morning sermon. I am looking forward to that. Jared always does a good job preaching. That hasn't always been the case.
One of Jared's very first preaching opportunities was in a small country church across the river in Illinois. He really wanted to do a good job and impress everyone with his preaching. He worked up a great message from the end of Revelation, prepared and practiced it over and over again. He decided to put icing on the cake by memorizing the entire sermon including the scripture text.
The Sunday for his sermon arrived. He was primed and ready. The little church building was packed. Everything went like clockwork--music, offering, everything. The further along the service went the more nervous Jared became. By the time for the sermon, he was shaking in his boots. But he had prepared hard. He confidently walked to the pulpit.
Jared planned to begin by quoting his text from memory--Revelation 22:12. With a flair for the dramatic, he intended to step back from the pulpit and as he stepped forward grab the sides of the pulpit and recite his text in his deepest pulpit voice. He stepped back. He took a giant step forward and bellowed, "Behold, I am coming soon ..." Suddenly he went completely blank. For the life of him he couldn't remember the rest of the verse. But he could remember the coaching he had received in piano lessons as a child. "If you ever forget what comes next, just start over!" So Jared stopped, backed up, and started over. "Behold, I am coming soon!" Poof! He drew a blank again. His eyes glazed over. His face turned red. The a ...
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