Recently I have been profitably engaged in reading a book called “Life, Letters, and Sermons of T.B. Larimore, by Mrs. T.B. Larimore”. Theophilus Brown Larimore (1843-1929) was a Gospel preacher and founder of Mars Hill School near Florence, Alabama which operated for 17 years. There were many men who graduated as faithful Gospel preachers from the school.
It is fascinating to read of his life as well as a few of the sermons he preached. It is amazing the Bible a person can learn from the writings of faithful Gospel preachers even though they have long gone on to their reward (“he being dead yet speaketh”).
In “Life, Letters and Sermons” there are a series of four sermons based on Matthew 16:13-20 entitled “The Rock.” In the fourth lesson, he has this to say about the church:
“No human institution has had to endure a thousandth part as much opposition as this divine spiritual institution has had to endure; no human institution could have endured a thousandth part of what the church of God has endured…Kingdoms may be founded, may flourish and may fall; but the church of Christ can never fall, can never fail. Atheism may assail, infidelity may sneer, skepticism may smile, and anxious hearts may fear for the safety of Zion; but Zion stands secure, backed by the promise of the great I AM that it shall never be destroyed, the literal, living, abiding fulfillment of the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ: “Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The sun may be blotted out, the moon cease to reflect light, the stars may fall from the withering vault of night, and the heavens be rolled up like a scroll, the wreck of matter and the crash of worlds may come and the judgment day be set; but, when the angel of the Lord shall descend on pinions dipped in the lovelight enveloping the throne of God, and, planting one foot upon the land and one upon the sea, shall declare by Him who plants his footsteps upon the sea and rides upon the storm, that time was, time is, but time shall be no more – even then the church of Christ shall stand, secure as the throne of God itself: for our Saviour promised long ago, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it;” and Jehovah hath declared “it shall never be destroyed;” and the Holy Spirit, by the pen of Isaiah, the prophet, says: “The word of our God shall stand forever.” pp. 130-131.
How true and oh, how much does the world need to be taught and the people of God reminded of this fact. In a world where we wonder is anything certain, is anything sure, is there anything we can rely on? We need to remember and proclaim to the world that God is certain (Malachi 3:6), Christ is certain (Hebrews 13:8), the Word of God is certain (Matthew 24:35) and the church of Christ is certain.
-Jerry D. Sturgill