Letters to a State, Volume 1, No. 3: On the Verge of Eternity

Perhaps you have heard of and even read about the 18th century missionary David Brainerd.  Recently I read the following quote of his from a letter he wrote to a close friend from his death bed.  He wrote, “It is on the verge of Eternity I now address you.”

Where are the men and women like that today?

Where are the sober minded, diligent people who are aware that all of us are just one heartbeat away from eternity?

I have a template that I build all my sermons from.  At the bottom of every page I include a quote from a 17th century pastor, Richard Baxter that came from his personal journal after a long day of preaching.  He wrote, “I preached as a dying man to dying men never sure to preach again.”

That is what I ask of each member and minister of the Church of God in Illinois – live, minister, preach, teach, worship, give, serve from the verge of Eternity.    

What we do matters.  It matters now.  It is urgent.  It is essential.  It is mission critical.

The Church of God in Illinois has a “salty” purpose for existing.  We must be a roadblock on the road to hell in our communities.  We must remind people that it is appointed for all to die and after that the judgement.  We are called to remind people that there is a heaven to gain and a hell to lose. 

I say this on good authority – our Lord Jesus – who said, “Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14)

We MUST help people find it!

Why the somber tone this month?

Maybe it’s because of a maniacal egomaniac in Russia with his hand on the ignition of nuclear missiles that could reach Illinois in 30 minutes or less.

Maybe it’s the craziness of our culture and total disregard for biblical morality and justice.

But I’d like to think it is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary that revealed the desperation of man’s condition but also demonstrated the amazing, over-the-top love of God for us. 

Ministers and laity of Illinois, we have good news, essential news, eternal news.  Let us live, worship, and work like it.  Let us Run2Win for the Gospel’s sake.

With prayers for your success in all that matters,

David L. Kemp

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