Shaun Craig Speaks About Being Fit for Eternity
The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on April 25, 2015 began with an introit by Jacqueline Miller on the piano. Robert Zollinger had the announcements.
Elizabeth Castle then had the personal ministries period. Four students this morning took part in the Sabbath School program in the nursing home. Lucas Johnson helped with this program. People are needed to feed some of the patients in the nursing home; training will be available for those who wish to help in this area.
The congregation had a silent invocation. The congregation then sang “I Surrender All”. Robert Zollinger then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”. Matthew (9th grader) and Paul Frechette then collected the morning offerings; the loose offering went to the local church budget. The congregation sang the doxology, and Robert Zollinger prayed for the offering.
Paige Sansonetti told the children present a story. Barry Snyder played a trumpet solo for special music, accompanied by Caleb (senior) on the piano. Shaun Craig discussed the topic “Fit for Eternity”. The congregation sang “Because He Lives”. Shaun Craig had the closing prayer.
The printed bulletin used for both Sabbath School and church was put together by Kamia (9th grader) because David and Juanita Smith were attending David’s 50th Reunion at Mount Vernon Academy.
Personnel Other Than Students:
David Smith – Laurelbrook Elementary School teacher / teaches Bible and English to the academy 9th graders
Jacqualine Miller – semi-retired nurse living on the Laurelbrook campus
Juanita Smith – academy registrar
Lucas Johnson – academy boys’ dean
Paige Sansonetti – works with her husband in the nursing home / attended Laurelbrook Academy several years ago
Paul Frechette – retired Laurelbrook business manager / head church deacon
Robert Zollinger – past Laurelbrook president and board chairman
Shaun Craig – works for Wildwood Sanitarium and Hospital, a self-supporting ministry in Wildwood, GA
Following are some notes on the sermon by Shaun Craig:
- My cell phone told me this morning (despite general lack of service at Laurelbrook) that has been an enormous earthquake in Nepal with at least 600 dead.
- Fitness is not just for an event, not forgotten afterwards. The fitness we are discussing is for eternity, not just an event.
- The four gospels give four different perspectives of Jesus, Matthew as fulfilment of prophecy, Mark as a person of action (Cliff’s Notes version), Luke as the gospel for the Gentiles, and John as a personal Savior.
- Fitness for eternity is in the first three gospels.
- Matthew 24:1 “And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to [him] for to shew him the buildings of the temple.” Jesus has just condemned the Jewish attitudes and ways of doing things.
- Matthew 24:2 “And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” To the Jews this meant the end of the world.
- Matthew 24:3 “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” these three things are not together.
- But Jesus didn’t shatter the disciples. Matthew 24:4-5 “4 ¶ And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
- Everyone is on edge. Matthew 24:6-7 “6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all [these things] must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”
- The original Greek says that nation shall be against nation and race against race.
- Are you convinced we are living at the end of time? People get so used to disasters that they write them off as ordinary.
- Matthew 24:8 God’s Word to the Nations “All of these are only the beginning pains of the end.” It is similar to a woman giving birth, an intense pain.
- As we get closer to the end, these events come closer and closer.
- Jesus is coming soon, but what do we get ready for these events?
- Matthew 25 has three parables to show how to be ready – the preparation (or lack of) of the ten virgins, the master going to a far country and results of three servants being given talents, and sheep and goats.
- The foolish were good Christians, but they didn’t have enough of the Bible or the Holy Spirit. They stopped short of praying or walking with Christ that they needed for preparation.
- The returning master rewarded those who actually did some work, not the servant who simply buried his talent. God gives each of us talents to use in His work so each can have a part in that work.
- Jesus says that we are saved by the use of the talents we are given and used.
- The difference between the sheep and the goats is that the sheep (the Lord’s actual people) actually use their gifts and talents for the benefit of the world around them.
- The whole point of your existence (fit for eternity) is to live your lives in service for others.
- You should be living your life today with so much the spirit of heaven that the next day you could be in heaven with little change. The goats wouldn’t like heaven because they are too self-centered, not helping others.
- John 17:25-26 “25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
- The Father’s love for the Son is boundless. The Father wants Jesus to put this love in their hearts.
- When we have this love, we are fit for eternity.