Sermon Manuscript . . .
Thanksgiving Eve 2018
To truly be thankful from the heart, where thanks pours out of you naturally and not forced or unnatural, you must have an eternal perspective. You must recall that this world is not our home. That our comfort here is not God’s highest aim. That our circumstances here are not guaranteed to be easy. That our relationships here are often difficult. That our failures here are too frequent, our weaknesses here are too apparent, our struggles here are never ending.
What helps you become more thankful is embracing what you thank God for in eternity. What causes our hearts to sing thanks now is to know what we will sing thanks for in Heaven, which is mainly two major truths–two facts which create thankful hearts.
The 24 elders, which most believe represent the Church in Heaven, praise God in Revelation 4:11 saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” The family of Christ, the redeemed, the true Church, those who are saved will praise God for creation, for giving us life.
Even on your worst day on Earth, you can thank him He made you alive. For now, it might be unjust, unfair, uncaring, abusive, hurtful, hateful, harsh, and/or mean. But in the future, life will be full of Christ–Christ in you, Christ through you, one in Christ, the most perfect, the most beautiful, the greatest being in the universe, in perfection for all eternity.
You will have life in its fullest and you will praise Him for His creation, and you will praise Him for giving you life. “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”
When you forget He is the one who created you, gave you life, designed you, and made you, apart from your sin, who you are, you will remain unthankful. But remembering He is the one who not only made you, but all you know, the beauty of this world, the wonderful vastness of His creation, pointing to His glorious greatness–you will give thanks.
Then Christ Himself will open the scroll, as He breaks the seven seals and those present will sing. Revelation 5:9 to 13, “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.’ 11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’ 13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’”
In Heaven, you and I will sing of our redemption. Yes things get bad–we fail, brothers and sisters stumble, we make mistakes, we say hurtful things, we fall into patterns of rebellion, we make bad choices. But He paid the price, He died for your sin, He forgave all your sin–past present and future. And you will praise Him, thank Him and worship Him for it.
Creation and redemption are the true truths which result in a thankful heart. Christ gave you life. And then, even though you were a rebel opposed to His will, He chased you down, grabbed on to you even though you were kicking and screaming, changed your heart and made you His child.
He forgave all your sin, washed you, made you new, blessed you and keeps you as His child forever. Christ gave you life, then He gave you new life. So we give thanks to the God of life–the God of eternal life. We owe Him thanks for our very existence, and we owe Him thanks for our eternal existence in Him, in heavenly bliss forever.
And any day you are not in Hell, now or later, is a pretty good day. Can you say, “Thanks,” from the heart? There’s no earthly life without Christ. There is no heavenly life without Christ. To be unthankful is to insult Christ–it is to say, “I don’t like what you’ve done. I don’t approve of your creation, and I am not thankful for your salvation.”
Now you know why Christ questioned, “Where are the nine lepers that were healed?” Only one returned to glorify God by giving thanks. Remember who made you, who made this world, and who–even though you rebelled, fought him, went your own way, didn’t just provide a way, but actually applied salvation to your life now and forever. Let’s pray.