Famous Last Words-Rev. Megan Cloninger
Texts: Deuteronomy 33:26-29, 2 Samuel 23:1-7, 2 Chronicles 24:20-27, Luke 23: 40-43, John19:30
Every one of us is born into this world with an expiration date. We will all meet our Maker one day, and those last words we speak will likely be the way many remember us. I would like to share a few famous last words of some celebrities that have gone on. These last words speak of their life and some are just nonsense.
-Bob Marley- “Money can’t buy life.”
-Whitney Houston- “Jesus loves me.”
-Steve Jobs- “Oh Wow, Oh Wow, Oh Wow”
-Chris Farley- “Don’t leave me”
-Elvis Presley- “I’m going to the bathroom to read”
-Winston Churchill-“I’m bored with it all.”
What will your famous last words be? Will they be words of praise or words of sorrows or wishing you had one more day to live. The last words we will utter before we leave this world will reflect who we were, how we lived our life, and what we are trusting in.
The Bible contains many people whose words left an ever-changing mark in the lives of people. Let’s look at some of these famous last words and how those words might cause us to think about our spiritual journey on our way to Heaven.
The first person I want to look at is:
We find Moses’ famous last words in Deuteronomy 33:26-29 which states, “There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendor. The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. He drives out the enemy before you; he cries out, ‘Destroy them!’ So Israel will live in safety, prosperous Jacob in security, in a land of grain and new wine, while the heavens drop down dew. How blessed you are, O Israel! Who else is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your protecting shield and triumphant sword! Your enemies will cringe before you, and you will stomp on their backs!”
It is with Moses’ last breath that he was magnifying God and telling the people what he knew about God. His words were filled with blessings, truth, and wisdom. They casted vision for the future—a future filled with hope and assurance.
Moses’ words reveal that:
- We serve a unique God.
- In verse 26 he makes it clear that there is no one like the God of Israel!
- There is no god like him because his the only one true God.
- God is three in one. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- There is no other god like our God!
- God is eternal.
- He is from everlasting to everlasting.
- He knows no bounds and people find refuge in him.
- Every believer is at home in God.
- God saves us and shields us.
- God has made a way for you to be saved through Jesus Christ.
- We are protected and preserved by God. We are highly favored.
- God has given us the power to be overcomers.
- Those who keep close to God will be kept safe.
When it comes to the end of our life and we breathe our final breath may we be like Moses and magnify God and tell others about who God is. May we not do that just with our last breath but with every breath we breathe.
What message is on your lips today? If you spoke your last words today, what would they say about you and the God you love?
Billy Graham was a well-known evangelist who spent his life talking to others about the God that he knew and believed in. His ministry made an impact on many people and tens of thousands of people were saved because of his obedience to God and his calling.
On February 21st, 2018 in his North Carolina home Billy Graham met the God that he spent a lifetime telling others about. In his last will and testament Rev. Graham left us with this, “I urge all who shall read this document to read and study the Scriptures daily and to trust only in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.”
Billy Graham’s famous last words were about the saving power of God. He went out magnifying God in all his splendor! Moses and Reverend Graham wanted people to know about God, know about his saving grace, and know about the future that God has for them.
Both Moses and Rev. Graham spoke powerful last words that still can pierce our hearts today and bring into perspective what life’s focus needs to be.
Another person in the Bible that spoke powerful famous last words is:
We can find David’s final words in 2 Samuel 23:1-7 which reads, “These are the last words of David: ‘David, the son of Jesse, speaks—David, the man who was raised up so high, David, the man anointed by God of Jacob, David, the sweet psalmist of Israel. The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; his words are upon my tongue. The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of Israel said to me; The one who rules righteously, who rules in the fear of God, is like the light of the morning at sunrise, like a mourning without clouds, like the gleaming of the sun on new grass after the rain. Is it not my family God has chosen? Yes, he has made an everlasting covenant with me. His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail. He will ensure my safety and success. But the godless are like thorns to be thrown away, for they tear the hand that touches them. One must us iron tools to chop them down; they will be totally consumed by fire.”
David’s famous last words reveal three things about his life which are
- David knew where he came from.
- In the first verse David is reminiscing about his past and how God worked through each stage in his life. God had raised him up. God was getting the glory and credit for anything David had accomplished. David was proclaiming the grace that God had placed in his life when he took him from a mere shepherd boy to the King of Israel.
- David knew who called his name.
- David knew that he was called to be King by God.
- David had a love and obedience for God, and it showed.
- He believed that his faith in God should rule over his life and position.
- David knew he was being used by God.
- David allowed the Holy Spirit to speak to him and through him.
- David believed that the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy would be accomplished through his family line. He knew his family had been chosen to be in a special covenant relationship with God.
David was telling the people of Israel and us here today about how God’s grace changed him, and how God would keep his covenant promises with him and his descendants.
Will your last famous words speak of a journey of grace spent with God and the keeping of God’s promises? Will they be words proclaiming the grace that God has given you to get through life’s challenges or will they be bitter words filled with sorrow that no one was there to help you through the valleys of life? Will they be filled with fear of leaving this world and into eternal separation from a God you never knew?
David knew the direction he was going and strove to live obedient to God because he loved Him and wanted to spend an eternity with him. It was in his final words that we see where David was going to end up and he wanted his famous last words to point the people in the right direction.
Moses spent his final breath speaking about God and who God is and David spent his final breath talking about the journey of grace that God brought him through.
Other famous last words were spoken by:
Zechariah’s famous last words can be found in 2 Chronicles 24:20-22 which states, “Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands and keep yourselves from prospering? You have abandoned the Lord, and now he has abandoned you!” Then, the leaders plotted to kill Zechariah, and King Joash ordered that they stone him to death in the courtyard of the Lord’s Temple. That was how King Joash repaid Jehoiada for his loyalty—by killing his son. Zechariah’s last words as he died were, “May the Lord see what they are doing and avenge my death!”
We learn from his final words that:
- Zechariah had great faith in God.
- Zechariah was obedient to God even though he lived in a culture that rebelled against God.
- He was bold about proclaiming the word of the Lord regardless of what the repercussions would be.
- Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit.
- Verse 20 talks about how the Holy Spirit came upon Zechariah and he prophesied.
- Zechariah was obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and he told people that they weren’t living right because he loved them, and he didn’t want to see them spend an eternity separated from God. This essentially is what led to his death.
- Zechariah knew who would fight his battles.
- His final word were not words filled with revenge because he knew he had to proclaim the truth and that this was all a part of God’s plan.
- Zechariah knew he didn’t need to worry about anything because God was right there in the battle fighting for him. God would have the final say.
Zechariah lived a life to please God and preach the truth and not to tickle the ears of the people he led. He fearlessly proclaimed the truth which ended his earthly life, but it secured his eternal life in heaven.
Will your famous last words be ones that are flowing with truth from the Word of God or will they be filled with lies of this world? Will you twist the truth to fit your lifestyle or will you live and die with integrity on your tongue? We need to live a life boldly leading in truth so, that our final words may lead someone to truth!
The famous last words of Moses reveal his love for God and his passion to tell others about God. David’s last words show the amazing work of grace that God had done in his life. Zechariah’s last words were filled with boldness and truth.
Another set of famous last words come from:
- The Thief on the cross
We read his story in Luke 23:40-43 “But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Through the thief’s final words:
- The thief came to know Jesus as Lord.
- He believed that Jesus was different.
- He believed that Jesus truly was the Messiah, that He was the true King of the Kingdom.
- The thief confessed his sins.
He told the other thief on the cross that they we not innocent and they deserved their punishment. It was there in that moment he was confessing his wrongs.
- The Thief received salvation that day.
- He humbly requested that Jesus would, remember him when he entered heaven.
It was in that moment that this thief who had lived a life in rebellion to God humbled himself, confessed his sins, and invited Jesus to be Lord of his life. This man knew that it wasn’t too late! There was still time for him to make things right.
In your famous last words will you be calling on the saving grace of God and wishing you would’ve done it sooner or will you continue to harden your heart and not utter those words that would bring about salvation and the promise of eternal life. Don’t be like the thief and wait till you can’t wait any longer! Time is short. Life is short. Eternity is forever.
By his own admission, old Joe was not a religious man. He had never gone to church. He lived a pretty wild life. He drank too much, gambled a lot, swore without even thinking about it, and was not above lying and cheating when it was to his advantage. He thought that Christians were missing out on all the fun in life. He never thought much about God until now.
Joe had retired and was looking forward to doing a lot of fishing. He had been having some stomach troubles. Probably too much beer, he thought. But then the doctor’s report came back: cancer. It had spread to several organs. There wasn’t much they could do. Joe might have six months to live, maybe less.
Joe had a nephew who was a Christian. One day his nephew’s pastor dropped by the hospital and began to talk to Joe about spiritual things. For the first time in his life, Joe listened with interest. What the pastor was saying seemed to make sense. It dawned on Joe that he had lived his whole life in a selfish, sinful manner. He knew that if he died, he would face God’s judgment and would miss Heaven. But the pastor said that Jesus Christ had died on the cross to pay the penalty that he deserved. He offered forgiveness of sins and eternal life as a free gift if Joe would receive it. Joe prayed to receive Christ. He died in peace shortly after.
The thief and Joe had much in common and in their last moments here on earth they accepted Jesus as Lord and moments later I am sure they met him again in heaven. As long as you have breath, it isn’t too late to receive salvation. God is waiting on you to call on his name and invite him in.
The final famous last words are the most important words ever spoken and they came from
Jesus’ famous last words are found in John 19:30. He cried “It is finished!” Say “finished.” Doesn’t that sound strong? Complete?
- This was a VICTORY cry!
- Jesus had fulfilled Scripture!
- It was through him that the world would be reconciled to God.
- When he said it was finished He was speaking to 3 different people:
- The Devil: You have been CONQURED!
- To God: Mission ACCOMPLISHED!!
- To Us: Death has lost it STING!
- It was a cry of OBEDIENCE!
- Jesus gave up his life so that we could have life!
- The work that God gave to Jesus was done! Finished! Complete! GLORY!! Jesus’ last words remove all doubt about how God feels about us!
It is finished! All our sins are taken away. The guilt and shame that should have been placed on us has now been taken care of. Our salvation is won. Our sins are forgiven! Jesus announced it so ALL could hear that it is FINISHED. We can shout hallelujah it is finished!
Jesus’ famous last words tell us we have nothing to fear because our debt has been paid and our eternity in heaven is promised to all who trust in Him to be their Savior.
Will your famous last words reveal that you have completed the mission God has for you? The words that you utter for the last time, will they point to a life of an obedient follower of Christ who would stop at nothing to tell others about the God they love, or boldly proclaim the truth no matter what the cost is, or will your final words be full of unfinished business, empty dreams, and no prayers for God’s saving grace. Our words reflect, what is in our hearts. What will your final words say about your heart?