************ Wedding Sermon on 1 Corinthians 13:8a ************

By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman

This sermon was preached on March 30, 2001

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:4-81
Text: verse 8a

Love, true love, bride and groom, never fails. It never ends. lasts and lasts and lasts. Love, true love, is forever.

We can't say that about any other element of this life. Just ten year ago the Berlin Wall, the cold war, and the communist regimes of Eastern Europe all seemed to be a permanent part of the human landscape. Yet, where are they all today? They are all gone, doomed to oblivion. In fact, there will come a day – the day of Jesus' return – when heaven and earth and everything in them will be destroyed. The result will be a new and better life, in a new and better body, on a new and better earth. And, in that life there is no place for what we think of as permanent fixtures in this life: there will be neither marriage nor giving in marriage, there will be no sun or moon, there will be no sea, there will be no stomach, there will be no death or mourning or crying or pain, there will be no church or temple, there will be no swords or guns. In the future life there is no need for prophecy, tongues, and knowledge (1 Cor 13:8-12). In the future life there is no need and no room for faith and hope (1 Cor 13:13).

Everything in the present life either has no place in the future life or it needs to be transformed and perfected before it has a place in the future. The one feature of the present life, however, that enters unchanged into the future life is love. "Love never fails." Love never ends. Love abides. Love, true love, never dies.

"Love never fails." It never ends. It abides. It never dies. Robert & Staci, think about that for a moment. Think of what it means.
Topic: Love
Index: 2200-2209
Date: 3/2001.101
Title: I Will Never Give You Up!

A New England girl had just become engaged when the Civil War broke out. Her fiancé was called into the army, so their wedding had to be postponed. The young soldier managed to get through most of the conflict without injury, but at the Battle of the Wilderness he was severely wounded. His bride-to-be, not knowing of his condition, read and reread his letters, counting the days until he would return. Suddenly the letters stopped coming. Finally she received one, but it was written in an unfamiliar handwriting. It read, "There has been a terrible battle. It is very difficult for me to tell you this, but I have lost both my arms. I cannot write myself. So a friend is writing this letter for me. While you are as dear to me as ever, I feel I should release you from the obligation of our engagement."
The letter was never answered. Instead, the young woman took the next train and went directly to the place her loved one was being cared for. On arrival she found a sympathetic captain who gave her directions to the soldier's cot. Tearfully, she searched for him. The moment she saw the young man, she threw her arms around his neck and kissed him. "I will never give you up!" she cried. "These hands of mine will help you. I will take care of you."
This woman demonstrates to us the nature of love, true love: love never gives up, never ends, never dies, never fails; it abides and endures forever. But you know an even better example of this love? Jesus – Jesus, Who loves us and keeps on loving us in spite of the bad and dumb and sinful things we do.

If love never fails, how come so many marriages are marked with quarrels, fights, separation, and divorce? The fact is, Robert & Staci, true love is not natural to human beings. Because of sin it is not natural for anyone of us to totally give of ourselves for another. Love, true love, is possible only in and through and because of Christ Jesus.

Robert & Staci, do you want to stay married for life, until death do you part? Do you want a love that endures forever? If your answer is "yes" then let me tell you the secret to love, true love: the love of Jesus must be in your heart. Then, and only then, can yours be a love that endures.

Both of you have appeared before the elders of Trinity United Reformed Church. Both of you have said you love the Lord and want to live for Him. I hope you meant those words. For, it is only by being joined to Jesus that yours is and can be a love that endures, that lasts, that abides, that never fails.

Robert & Staci, my hope and my prayer is that in Christ yours is and always will be a love that endures.
You can e-mail our pastor at: Pastor, Trinity United Reformed Church
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