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Logo of ASI 2017: Called. Chosen. Committed.

One Hour to Live. The Gospel

Andi Hunsaker
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How does a Christian react in the face of death? Are we filled with fear or does the gospel sustain us? Martyrs like Huss and Jerome sang when facing death. Do we only have an intellectual knowledge of the gospel or has the gospel transformed our hearts and lives and given us a living experience? What part of the gospel story has so captivated your heart that, despite life's challenges, including death, you will agree with the Apostle Paul when he says, "None of these things move me"?


Andi Hunsaker

Practices Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts.




  • August 3, 2017
    9:00 AM


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To my knowledge I have not faced imminent death. How about a year and a half ago I did walk through the share value of the shadow of death with my friend and colleague during her battle with an aggressive form of leukemia a battle which she lost three months following the day of diagnosis. Because of the severity of the diagnosis she was hospitalized from the moment of diagnosis until three days before she died. When she was released home to die. Being hospitalized in the same hospital as we both would allowed me to visit her every day and our visits became sort of like Tuesdays with Morrie I said it was every day with Beatrice she was an Englishwoman crisp very stoic race Catholic but not particularly religious. And initially our conversations were very general things like work her children things like that but about a month before she died it became increasingly obvious that she was not going to make it and our conversations turned to more serious topics topics like heaven and God What is he like and death how was she going to face this death that was unexpected. These visits always ended with my praying with her. And as I turned to go she would always say Andy. Please come back I enjoy your visits. About two weeks before she died she looked me straight in the eyes and she said Andy. Have you considered what you would do if you were facing imminent death. I hadn't. And taking in the look on my face she said you should. At about the same time there was going to. Through this experience with Beatrice I was telling the book of second Timothy. The last book Paul ever wrote his swan song he was facing imminent and certain death at the hands of Nero and on this backdrop the book of second Timothy was written. And it is a window into how he faced death and I was reminded of a quote made famous by Sir Isaac Newton. If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. And today I would like us to stand on the shoulders of giants giants like the apostle Paul and see not further than they saw but what they saw as they faced death. In second Timothy Paul is writing with a chilling urgency to Timothy he says Timothy be diligent to come to me quickly and when you can bring my cloak and my books especially the parchments why the parchments or the Bible commentaries tell us that the parchments were his copy of the Septuagint and only copies of the words of Christ. Paul in his final hour. In this urgent message uses a very interesting phrase in second Timothy one verse three says dimity grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began some translations say before the world began. For several years that phrase scriptures that contain that phrase before time began. Before the beginning of the world up from the from days of the world have arrested my attention and captivated my imagination. And for the Apostle Paul to use this phrase in this urgent letter means that. This is not just some poetry some vague theory but one with profound gospel implications and probably eight helps us understand that. And it was not until I read a paper by Anders University seminary and Dr Richard Davidson are probably eight twenty two to thirty one that this took on significance for me. Probably eight full stories very well known to us because it describes the relationship of God and Jesus that they had in heaven before Jesus came to the surface he says then I was daily his delight I was beside him. Rejoicing always before him and we acknowledge that is Jesus that is saying these words but it's interesting because the first thirty has a context and the context is was there twenty two to thirty one there's a story being told in verses twenty two thirty one which incorporates us as human beings. Verse twenty two it's the dawn of creation. And someone identified as wisdom is speaking in the first person and telling a story that person is identified as wisdom. But it is not just any old stories his own story it's obvious from the surrounding texts that there is not just a personification of wisdom but an intelligent person telling a story and that person is the Son of God himself telling his own story. He says the Lord possessed me at the beginning of his ways. Before his works of old I've been established from everlasting from the beginning before there was an earth I was brought forth strange words strange language language which can mean misconstrued as someone being created how the Hebrew. Was helpful here because in the Hebrew those words actually mean anointed to appointed to a new office set up or installed into a new role a new job. It has nothing to do with someone being created. It is the dawn of creation. And they are about to do something risky create man thinking self-willed man with the ability to choose the ability to choose to accept and love them or the billeted to rebel. This being the case. They make a decision one of us needs to step down into a new role that of a savior and so in this passion is the divine second person in the Godhead the Son of God Himself is describing for us in the short autobiography. His formal installation into a new office a new role that of a son. A faithful and obedient son who thought it not robbery to be equal with God but made himself of no reputation took the form of a servant. Came in the likeness of men and became a beating to death even the death of the cross. Before time began. The Lord cared about us. The cross was manifested not just at Calvary. But before time began John the Revelator says it this way that he was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world but I don't want you to miss problems thirty one thirty one it's my favorite part of this passage it says. And my delight was with the sons of men they did this because they delighted us even though they knew that we could be. Bell they delighted in us. And the fullness of the times he shows up in Isaiah nine verse six it says foreign to us. A child is born. At Christmas time many of us like to participate in or attend performances of panels Messiah. And these were the best courses foreign to us a child is born on to us our son is given and the government should be upon his shoulders it's some of the triumphant jaunty lilt. The choir continues soaring in emphasis and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor the mighty God the Everlasting Father the Prince of Peace. But have you considered. The first few words foreign to us. A child is born. Unto us. A son is given. What did that cost. What did that cost heaven. Zechariah describes their relationship this way says that. They were friends. He was his companion. Says he was his. Best friend his best beloved the one who stood close to him. Most of you know that I have an identical twin sister. Lindy who I love very much and to whom I'm very close and before Bob and I got married. We underwent premarital counseling on our pastor gave us a questionnaire. He knew Bob and me but he also. I knew the relationship I held my twin sister. So he added a question true or false your family comes before your spouse. Tough question. God the Father and God the Son were even closer than my twin sister and me. Never the less God the Father agreed to separate from his best beloved and give him to us. And one day. Like a poof he was gone from heaven. And there was a long period of silence when there was no communication between them. Because he was in the womb of Mary. Absolute silence. Someone who was your best friend your best beloved in the bosom of the father now absolute silence. A loss was sustained in heaven that day the Incarnation cost eighty dearly. The Godhead was radically changed but not just for nine months but forever. He was given to us willingly even though we rebelled. And then. It's time. He thinks back to heaven. When before time began a plan was laid and now he's in get seventy and he trembles he remembers three days before when the Greeks came to him and he said Father what should I do save me from this hour. I can't do that. Because for this reason I came into the world. And he says to disciples watch and pray that you enter not in temptation the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak How did he know that. How did he know that. Most of us interpret that as as being a teachable moment for the disciples is giving them a lecture. But I want to submit that the divine Son of God. Was speaking from the flesh that he took when he joined himself to us and became one with us and was telling them listen my spirit is willing but the flesh that I took it is weak and I'm trembling at this hour Abba Father. All things are possible for me for you take this cup from me I want to go home but praise God as the law now her song says when he saw in full just how much his love would cost he still ran the final mile between me and heaven so I would not be lost. In February of one thousand nine hundred. Twelve years after its launch Voyager one wished the edge of the solar system and was commanded by Nassau to turn around and photograph. Photographed the planets rather. They returned several photographs. To earth and one of them was this one. You probably cannot see that very well. It's circle here for you it's called The Pale Blue Dot. And my cooker is not working very well. Carl Sagan the late great Carl Sagan rich. Elected on that dot in a lecture given a Cornell University in one nine hundred ninety four. And he said this. Looking at that thought that's here that's home that's us. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great and cosmic dark in our obscurity all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves that is one man's opinion but I want to submit to you that as the Godhead looked on that pale blue dot. The shadow of a cross arose upon a lonely hill. And they made a decision to save men at any cost to them to themselves This is what the Apostle Paul saw the giant the Apostle Paul saw he saw that there was a God who before time began loved him even though he was the chief of sinners he saw that there was a total before time began decided to save any cost to themselves so he turns to to be that he says to Timothy Timothy grace was given to us before time began and then he says in verse ten and is now open revealed at the hearing of. Jesus Christ. With this medium was produced by audience for. This layman's services and industry. If you would like to learn.


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