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Sermon outlines
by Edward Thomason
The Best is Yet to Come
text: I Corinthians 2:9-10a

Source: written by Edward E.Thomason Ė Preachtoday.com
Date _______  place: Church of Christ
Objective: Consecrative
Sermon Plan Theme: Our schoolmaster

The Best is Yet to Come
I Corinthians 2:9-10a (read)

1. I can remember as a child eating occasionally in a nice restaurant.. First they would bring the appetizers, snack food to me, which was pretty good. (But I knew that it would soon get better.) The main course was always mouthwatering. The aroma and the appearance of the food made you think (It canít get better than this, but I knew it would.) Mom would say, "Eat everything on your plate and you can have dessert."

I didnít have any trouble eating the pork chops and potatoes but those green foods especially the green beans were a struggle to get down. I ate around them until they were the last thing on my plate. Then I complained and moaned and gagged... but I ate them because I wanted what was next on the menu. Then at long last, out came the dessert. (Mmmm heaven.)

2. In your Bible studies you may recall that when the Israelites left Egypt they gained their freedom. They must have thought, "What a blessing to be out from under bondage!" It must have felt like they had been born anew. (But it would get even better.)

The Egyptians not only gave them their freedom, but also their gold and silver and precious jewels and clothes and what ever else that they could carry with them. Again, the impoverished Israelites must have thought, "It just canít get better than this!" (But it would.) They saw the awesome miracle of the dividing of the red sea and then they experienced the satisfaction of watching as Godís wrath brought justice against Egyptís army as the horses, chariots and soldiers were swept away beneath the Red Sea. (But there was something better yet to come.) At Mt. Sinai - they heard the voice of God himself! As the ground trembled beneath their feet they must have thought, "What could be more exciting and more awesome than this?" And then they received the law of God. A light to guide them thru the darkness.

As they marched thru the wilderness, God himself was their guide, protector and their provider. Their clothing didnít wear out and even in the dessert there was sufficient food and water to sustain them. We shouldnít diminish the fact that it was sometimes a struggle to move thru the wilderness. The heat, sand, and work made it difficult. There must have been days when it seemed that they would never get to enjoy the "dessert."

Their patience and faith was being tested. Would it ever get better? It would of course because there was something better yet to come. Something worth the struggle and worth being patient for! The day was approaching when they would cross the Jordan river and enter into the land of promise which flourished with an abundance of food and game and prosperity. (Truly the best was yet to come!)

3. Life is much like that... it progressively gets better. Our youth is full of adventure, vitality and freshness. We discover the world and our self. (But thatís only the appetizer.... it gets better) The young adult years are fun and joyful as we start a career and a family. (But it gets better.) At mid-life your in your "prime" (choice meat.) You're beginning to see and enjoy the full course meal. There is satisfaction and fulfillment in life. (But you know it gets better.) With seniority in years, there is wisdom and the joyful appreciation of grand children and meaningful relationships with friends and family. There is a closeness with God that did not exist in your youth. You can look back now and reflect upon Godís goodness and provision and see his hand in your life. (Truly the last can be best of all... itís the dessert.)

4. Spiritually the same is also just as true. There is the joy of the new birth as we discover Jesus and find salvation. (But it gets better.) There is the joy of growth and maturity as we cultivate Christian virtues and grow in our knowledge of the Bible. (But again it only gets better.) As we learn to care about others and share our faith by reaching out to those who are lost there is a growing sense of satisfaction and spiritual happiness unlike any we have experienced so far. To study with someone and teach them of Christ and watch as they are baptized into Christ seems as exciting as it can get! And yet, we know that it can still get even better because heaven awaits.

5. In this life we enjoy the spiritual blessings that are ours in Christ Redemption, prayer, help in times of need, friendship with God, virtue, wisdom, inner peace, joy, contentment, even worship and work can bring satisfaction and encouragement that uplifts the soul. Christian friends and family bring social enjoyment and camaraderie.

6. As good as all this is - it will still get better. Heaven is a concept that almost staggers the imagination. (I Cor. 2:9). As wonderful as life is and as joyful as all the spiritual blessing in this life are Heaven is the dessert yet to come.

Illus: A small child and his father were looking heaven- ward one bright starlit night. After quietly and reverently observing the stars for a long time, the small boy, holding his father's hand, said, "If the bottom side of heaven is this pretty, then how beautiful the other side must be!"

7. The sad thing for the Israelites was that while the best was yet to come, the majority of that generation did not get to taste the dessert that was yet to come. Because of a lack of faith and a rebellious heart, they perished in the wilderness and never set foot into the promised land. Instead of praising God and trusting him in this last leg of the journey, they began to complain and murmur.

Illus: Did you know that some think Complainers Live Longer? Itís true. "A recent medical survey states that chronic complainers live longer than people who are always sweet and serene. It claims that their cantankerous spirit gives them a purpose for living. Each morning they get up with a fresh challenge to see how many things they can find to grumble about, and they derive great satisfaction from making others miserable. We might question whether those who complain actually do outlive those who donít. Maybe it just seems that way to everybody around them." óHerbert Vander Lugt

For many in Israel, who had come so very far, the best was yet to come and yet they missed out.

8. Unfortunately, the same can happen to us today. We can taste of the "heavenly gift" of salvation, taste the good word of God and "the powers of the world to come" and yet having once been enlightened and enjoyed these blessings we can turn away from our Lord in rebellion and disbelief. (Heb 6:4-5.) We may have tasted the graciousness of the Lord but faltered in our Christian walk. (I Pet 2:3.)  2 Peter 1:10 says, Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: Why stop before the dessert is served? Why quit? Yet, many do just that. They have enjoyed the blessings of God in their youth and prime but as the years come on, they get weary and tired and come up short. To them we plead... Be patient, be faithful, be steadfast, endure to the end. (The best is yet to come. )

9. Illus: "Keep Your Fork." There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order," she contacted her preacher and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the preacher was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. "There's one more thing," she said excitedly. "What's that?" came the preacher's reply. "This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand." The preacher stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked. "Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the preacher. The woman explained. "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming ... like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful and with substance! So I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?'. Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork.....the best is yet to come.'

The preacher's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of Heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better was coming. At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the preacher heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. During his message, the preacher told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The preacher told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you oh so gently, that the best is yet to come.

Close:
We may have to eat a few green beans before we get to enjoy dessert... We may have to walk thru the heat and struggle thru our own wilderness before crossing Jordan... We may have physical infirmities of the flesh and heartbreaks and stress in our lives before we get to see the face of God! But before we begin to murmur or complain or give up, letís remember that the "Best is Yet to Come!"

What about you? Are you able to look ahead and know with confidence that the best is yet to come? Are you living a faithful Christian life that trusts in God? If not, you can begin today...

INVITATION

 

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