New series, Scriptures to Pray for your children

Introduction to the new series: Leading Children Spiritually Means Knowing, Obeying and Passing on the Bible  (Deuteronomy 6:1-9)

Prepared and Preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, April 29, 2018

Opening about the power of Deuteronomy:

I recently heard a sermon by Colin Smith on Moody Radio. “The program is called Unlocking the Bible” and it was the April 2 episode. Evelyn Queen recommended that I listen to it. So, I did. He talked about being in seminary and he was required to read all of Deuteronomy at one time. Deuteronomy is 34 chapters, so that is quite a block of time. However, as he read this book all in one setting he noticed the great love of God. Did you know that in Deuteronomy 17:18 it says that when they select a king he is to write out this entire book? In Deuteronomy 31:11 they were instructed to publicly read Deuteronomy every 7 years. This is a powerful book of the Word of God. However, this is also a neglected book of the Word of God. So, today we will talk about Deuteronomy 6:1-9.

The reason I am talking about this particular passage is I am introducing a new sermon series. I have been convicted to pray Scripture from a very young age. I would learn Scripture and the Lord would convict me to pray these passages. Sometimes God would prick my heart with a passage and it would become part of my prayer life. I have learned Scriptures by praying them. Tony Evans says that when we pray Scripture we are praying God’s Word back to Him. So, over the next few months I am going to be preaching on Scriptures that I have been convicted to pray for my children and descendants. These are not just Scriptures that I pray for you and the church, though I do, these are Scriptures which I pray for my descendants. This is really a sermon series on leading Spiritually, though I am calling this series the “Scriptures to Pray for Your Children” series.

In the next couple months we will have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Soon after you will have family vacations. Think about the ripple effects spiritually of parenting:

Max Jutes was a no-account horse thief, drunkard whose 1299 descendants were studied. 310 became vagrants, 440 lived in debauchery, 180 became prisoners, including 7 murderers, 100 alcoholics, 60 habitual thieves, and 190 prostitutes. Contrast this with the family of the great 18th century preacher, Jonathan Edwards. A study done by A. E. Winship revealed that of 1700 descendants, 13 became college presidents, 65 were professors, 100 studied law (one dean of a law school), 30 became judges, 66 were physicians (one dean of a medical school), 80 held public office, 3 were US senators, 3 became mayors of large cites, 3 were elected governors, 1 was vice president of the US and 1 became Controller of the US Treasury. Long term studies of just these two lives and families show we are the products of over 100 years of our forefathers’ actions and decisions and that WE affect our descendants’ lives for over 100 years.

  Name some “ripple effects” you’ve seen go on for generations in your family, good and bad (Deut 5:6-10; Gal 6:7-10). Do you believe you can break bad cycles and be life-giving as you pass on a godly legacy?

Today my theme is: Leading Children Spiritually Means Knowing, Obeying and Passing on the Bible  (Deuteronomy 6:1-9)

This sermon series will be about Scriptures we can pray for our descendants.

First, let’s agree to value the Bible and value passing on the faith.

The application is not just for parents. All of you can pray Biblical prayers for the next generation.

Please read with me Deuteronomy 6:1-9:

“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

  1. In Verses 1-3 we see the setup of the Great Commandment.
    1. Notice that in verses 1-3 we see the repeated emphasis on parents teaching their children spiritually.
    2. Moses is passing on the commandments, statutes and judgments to them.
    3. Moses says that the Lord has commanded him to teach them.
    4. Moses was commanded to teach them so that they might do them in the land where they are going to possess.
      1. Hit the pause button after verse 1.
      2. Right now, most of Israel is younger than 60 years old. This is because everyone who was 40 and younger has died off in the wilderness. There were three people who could keep living: Moses, Joshua and Caleb. We see this in Numbers 14:20-38. They were sentenced to die in the wilderness because of their lack of faith that Israel could take the land.
  • Now, it has been 40 years of the people wondering around the wilderness. But it is time to go in and take the land.
  1. However, Moses is giving instructions.
  2. Deuteronomy is a sermon, or a series of sermons, given by Moses to the people before they enter the land.
  1. In verse 2 we see a purpose. Moses is to teach the people so that they will obey and this includes their sons and grandsons.
  2. Verse 3 is urging them to listen and obey.
  3. I notice a repetition in these first three verses that if they listen and obey they will multiply and live long on the earth.
  4. Israel’s life in the promised land is contingent on their obedience to God.
  5. We, today, are not Israel, but we will usually be blessed by obedience to God and His ways. We will naturally be cursed when we disobey God’s ways.
  6. If you do not believe the previous statement look what happened to David’s family after his sin with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel chapter 12 and following.
  1. In verse 4-5 we see the Shema.
    1. Shema is the Hebrew word for “hear.”
    2. Notice first the simple statement “The Lord is One.”
    3. This may seem basic to us, but not to them. Think about it, most societies in that day and age were polytheistic. They believed in many Gods. But this is saying that there is one God and He is the Lord. Notice the repetition: The Lord is our God. This is the Lord. This “Yahweh” is our God. This is the unique name for the Lord as opposed to “Elohim” which is translated “God” the second time.
    4. Theology matters.
    5. Then we have three words to describe our love for the Lord. They are nouns:
      1. Heart
      2. Soul
  • Might
  1. This means we love the Lord with all of our being.
  2. They did not have a word for the brain at that point so they would use the word for heart. Jesus would quote this and include “mind.” We see Jesus quote this in Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27.
  3. As an interesting note, the only individual in the Old Testament—of whom it was said that he turned to the Lord with all his heart, soul, and might—was King Josiah (2 Kings 23:25).
  • In verses 6-9 we see the idea of taking every opportune time to talk about the Word.
    1. Verse 6 says that these words should be on our heart.
    2. What words, the words of Deuteronomy, Moses’ sermon, but we could apply it to all the Bible.
    3. Verse 7 tells us to teach them diligently to our sons.
    4. In Hebrew we have one word that the NASB translates as “teach” and “diligently.” This word carries the idea of engraving. As we recite something over and over again it is like it is engraved on our heart.
    5. Pastor, author and Theologian J.D. Greear writes that many parents talk about their teenage or adult children wandering away from the Lord. They will talk about how they would bring them to church. But he would ask about the family life. This next generation has a hypocrite meter on them.
      1. Are you leading the family spiritually?
      2. Are you taking every opportune time to talk about the Bible, God and the spiritual life with your family?
  • Are your prioritizing not just Sunday morning church but spiritual disciplines with your family?
  1. Are you prioritizing Christian community with your family? I am talking about prayer partners, small groups, mid week Bible study, Sunday School.
  2. Do you model Biblical repentance with your children?
  1. You may do all of the above and your children may still wander from the faith and that is why we pray, pray and pray they come back.
  2. We must pray spiritual prayers. We must pray Biblical prayers.
  3. Remember, however you stray from the faith your children will take it to the next level. That is a documented fact. We can trace it. In the 1980’s people viewed church commitment as Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. Now people view church commitment as a few times a month. If you are skipping church to go fishing, hunting, to a football game, or because you do not feel like getting up, and suppose you have that excuse once a month, I guarantee, but by the grace of God, your children will give that excuse double. Or, actually, they will grow up and see that church really is not that valued if it is skipped for sporting events and hunting, so they will get rid of it altogether.
  4. Actually, there was a study that showed that the more liberal, what we call mainline churches, are dying fastest because the children grow up and think church is just about moral values and they can have those without church.
  5. One wites: “The reason for this emphasis on the children is clear. Deuteronomy is always aimed at the next generation. It takes the present (next) generation back to the past and brings the past afresh into the present. The children are now the ones before whom all the choices are laid, and some day their children will be there and the divine instruction will confront them (e.g., 30:2). Can they learn afresh what it means to love the Lord wholeheartedly?” (Dr. Contable, soniclight.com)
  1. Let’s make some applications:
    1. I always have to think through how a message can encourage. This was rather difficult with this message. However, I hope this message is encouraging in that God has given us everything we need to lead Spiritually in His Word. Listen you have every resource you need to lead your family spiritually. The Bible, the church and most of all the Holy Spirit.
      1. Application:
    2. We must study the Word of God.
    3. We must love the Lord God with all our being. We must love Him with all our heart, soul and might (verse 5).
    4. We must do our best to keep all of the Lord’s commandments (verse 2).
    5. We must do our best to listen and be careful to obey God’s commandments (verse 3).
    6. We must understand and take seriously proper doctrine that God is one (verse 4).
    7. We must have the Word of God on our heart (verse 5 and see also Psalm 119:9-11).
    8. We must teach the Word of God to our children and grandchildren wherever we are and at all opportune times.
    9. We must repent.
      1. Let me explain. Many of your children are grown and maybe your grandchildren are grown. Meet with them and apologize for not being a spiritual leader when they were being raised.
      2. I think modeling repentance goes a long way. Say something like:
        1. You know when you were being raised I worked a lot. I valued working and building the business rather than leading the family in a Biblical way. That was not right. I am sorry and I ask your forgiveness.
        2. You know as I was raising you I did not lead family devotions. We did not pray much as a family. I am sorry, please forgive me.
  • You know when I was raising you I allowed sports to be prioritized over our church commitment. That was not right, I am sorry. Please forgive me.
  1. As another application: our job as parents is never complete. I hear to many parents think that it is none of their business to say anything once their children are raised and out of the house. So, they will not say anything when their adult children stray from church. I think that is Biblically wrong. I think that is wrong for society as well.
    1. Would you not say anything if your children were shooting up heroin with their children in the back seat of the car?
    2. Would you not say anything if your adult children were drinking and driving?
    3. Why do we view spiritual things differently?
    4. This is eternity.
  • The idea of teaching children is repeated all throughout the Old Testament. Why have we forgotten that if faith is important we want to pass it on.

This sermon series will be about Scriptures we can pray for our descendants.

First, let’s agree to value the Bible and value passing on the faith.

I read the following:

A Japanese girl who studied at an American college enjoyed living in the United States, but one thing she longed to see was the inside of a true Christian home. She spent her Christmas vacation in the home of one of her classmates, and she had a delightful time. As she was about to leave, the mother said, “How do you like the way we Americans live?” “Oh,” said the girl, “I love it! Your home is truly beautiful. Yet, there is one thing I miss.” A faraway look came into her eyes as she continued, “I have been with you to your church and have seen you worship there, but I have missed God in your home. In Japan we have a ‘god shelf’ in every home, so we can worship right in our house. Excuse me, but don’t you Americans worship God in your homes?” Her host felt convicted, for there was little to reveal that theirs was a Christian home, not even a time when the family prayed and read the Bible together.

Dr. Constable shares:

One day in a seminary class, I asked my students to suggest some ways that parents can perpetuate the knowledge of God in their children. A young man proceeded to explain that his wife had grown up in Brazil, where her parents had practiced the custom of writing down evidences of God’s faithfulness to their family, and putting the paper into a matchbox. At the end of each year they glued that year’s matchbox onto others from preceding years. While the girl was growing up, she saw her parents construct a house made out of these matchboxes. When the family ran into trouble, they would open up one or more of the matchboxes, read the record of God’s faithfulness, and be encouraged.

Friends of ours used to keep a special gallon iced tea jar on the counter in their kitchen. When God showed His faithfulness in some dramatic way, they wrote what happened on a slip of paper and put it into the jar. Then, when the going got tough, they opened the jar and reminded themselves of how God had been faithful to them in the past.

Do you know Jesus?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

Advertisements

All Paths do not lead to God

 

All Paths Do Not Lead To God (John 3:18)

(John 3:18; 14:6)

Prepared and Preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for Bethel Friends Church on Sunday, April 8, 2018 in Poland, OH 

Another time, another place, I was in high school, it was 199—–, we won’t finish what year it was, I was in high school and I was talking with a fellow senior about Christianity. She said, “I make my own religion Steve.” Another time, another place, I was working at Jack’s Aquarium & Pets. They were a local pet store in the Dayton area. I loved that job! I was in eleventh grade and at this time I was growing in my faith. I was beginning to take my faith seriously. We were opening the store, cleaning the dog cages, the cat cages, the cages for all the small animals, snakes, etc. I remember doing this while I was having conversation with another high school employee. I said to a co-worker that someone was a Christian and she responded, “Everyone is a Christian Steve.”

These high school students have good Theology, right?

How many think these views are correct? Raise your hand if you think you can make up your own religion…

Raise your hand if you think everyone is a Christian…

What is wrong with those views?

Those viewpoints do not fit with truth or Christianity, do they?

We have been studying Theology together since January, so think about what is wrong with those views. First, it is obvious everyone is not a Christian. Second, the point of religion is to earn our way to Heaven. If we have to earn our way to Heaven then we cannot make that up because we have to earn our way to Heaven by what God requires. But the Bible teaches that we cannot earn our way to Heaven and if we could earn our way to Heaven, Jesus would not have needed to go to the cross. Christianity is not about a religion. Christianity is about a relationship with God who sent Jesus to pay our debt and thereby save us. We cannot make this up. We need Jesus’ death and resurrection to forgive us for our sins. We need atonement, we need justification, we need redemption, we need what only Jesus provides.

A few months ago, I attended a seminar through the C.S. Lewis Institute on this subject and Dr. Andy Bannister shared, he asked, “How do we navigate the religious diversity?”

One way is to say: every religion is essentially the same… We can’t say the mountain illustration… This is that, God is at the top of the mountain and we all go up to the top. Each religion goes a different path. But the illustration Fails: Dr. Bannister climbs mountains and every path doesn’t lead to the top of the mountain. Some paths lead the wrong way… Where do we stand to see that every path leads to the top?

The top, no that doesn’t work… we would have to float several hundred meters above the mountain.

If God is at the top of the mountain we don’t want to worship Him because that is the wrong god. These things that flatten religions and say every path leads the same way it takes away the doctrine. Every religion is exclusive. Truth is exclusive. We see exclusive claims in the Bible.

This is why Theology is important. So, today let’s talk about the God of the Bible versus the god of the koran.

My theme:

All Paths Do Not Lead To God (John 3:18)

Application: Make sure you are on the right path.

(I have taken the points below from Dr. Banister’s seminar)

  1. The Bible teaches, God is relational.
    1. Adam walked with God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8).
    2. Rev 21:3: the dwelling of God will be with men. God is described as a Father, Friend, husband.
    3. The whole Bible is about God desiring a relationship with humans.
    4. Banister shares that in the Koran god is not a relational god. Allah is distant and remote. No relationship is possible with him The Koran borrows stories from the Bible but takes away the relationship nature.
  2. The Bible teaches, God can be known.
    1. Jeremiah 9:23-24: Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.
    2. The Koran:
    3. Allah does not reveal himself Only his commands are made known in the Koran.
    4. No invitation is made to know God.
    5. Muhammad did not even know God.
    6. In the Bible God reveals Himself time and time again.
  • The Bible teaches God Is Love.
    1. Romans 5:8: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
    2. God made the first move.
    3. John 3:16 teaches this: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
  1. The Bible teaches that God suffers for us.
    1. Isaiah 53:4: God carried our sorrows and took up our infirmities.
    2. Jesus suffered and died for us. Jesus suffered and died to be in a relationship with us.
  2. The Bible teaches that God handles Justice and mercy without compromising either.
    1. This is really important.
    2. Bannister shared the following: The Koran talks about the justice of god and Mercy of god a lot.
    3. Many religions talk about Mercy and justice.
    4. But Mercy and justice conflict with each other. They are conflicting.
    5. In the Koran: Mercy is always offered at the expense of justice and justice is always offered at the expense of Mercy.
    6. One is ignored. This is a contradiction in most religions including Islam.
    7. The Koran never reconciles this. In Christianity this problem is solved.
    8. In the Bible: There is justice and mercy. The punishment is on Jesus. In Christianity, God does not exercise mercy and forgiveness at the expense of justice, but through His justice.
    9. God offers mercy and forgiveness through justice. Jesus takes our place. Every sin will be revealed. Jesus pays our price, or if we reject Him than we pay. Either way, justice will be paid.
    10. Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941) He helped people escape from the Nazis. He was captured and taken to Auschwitz. Some escaped. They were going to make an example of 10 people who were locked up to die being starved or dehydrated. Maximilian took the place of one of those men. There is no other God besides the God of the Bible. He is unique.
    11. Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God.
    12. Trinity: Love requires a subject and an object. It makes no sense to say there is love without saying there is someone to love. The Trinity solves a lot. It shows that God Is Love and there is love in Himself. Since God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit He can be love even before He creates things. Otherwise, He would have to create things in order to love. He did not have to create me in order to love.

Conclusion:

Who knows John 3:16?

Who knows John 3:18?

John 3:16-18:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:18 shares that it is important to not reject Jesus. Rejecting Jesus bring judgment. Rejecting Jesus is rejecting God. Knowing Jesus is knowing God.

Do you know Him?

 

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

Easter Sunday, Christ is Risen!

Easter Sunday 2018

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Choir Anthems:

Did you notice the choir anthems? Did you notice the words? They were composed of some of our favorite Easter hymns. They have such rich truth. I want to begin by reviewing the choir anthems, think about these words:

The King is Coming:

The King is coming
The King is coming
I just heard the trumpets sounding
And now His face I see
O the King is coming
The King is coming
Praise God, He’s coming for me

Christ Arose:

He Arose! He Arose! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Christ Arose!

Rejoice the Lord Is King

Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King Adore! Rejoice, give thanks, and sing, and triumph evermore. Lift up your heart, lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say rejoice! Lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say rejoice, Rejoice!

Crown Him with Many Crowns

Crown Him with many crowns,
The lamb upon His throne:
Hark! How the heav’nly anthem drowns

All Music but its own!
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of Him who died for thee,
And hail him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of life!
Who triumphed o’er the grave,
Who rose victorious in the strife
For those He came to save.
His glories now we sing,
Who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring,
And lives that death may die.

Crown Him King of Kings

The King Is Coming with Amazing Grace

The King is coming
The King is coming
I just heard the trumpets sounding
And now His face I see
O the King is coming
The King is coming
Praise God, He’s coming for me

The marketplace is empty
No more traffic in the streets
All the builders’ tools are silent
No more time to harvest wheat
Busy housewives cease their labors
In the courtroom no debate
Work on earth is all suspended
As the King comes thro’ the gate

Happy faces line the hallways
Those whose lives have been redeemed
Broken homes that He has mended
Those from prison He has freed
Little children and the aged
Hand in hand stand all aglow
Who were crippled, broken, ruined
Clad in garments white as snow

I can hear the chariots rumble
I can see the marching throng
The flurry of God’s trumpets
Spells the end of sin and wrong
Regal robes are now unfolding
Heaven’s grandstand’s all in place
Heaven’s choir now assembled
Start to sing “Amazing Grace”

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Jesus is our King! To quote another hymn, we serve a risen Savior, He is in the world today…

Jesus’ resurrection is one of a few things that separates Christianity from other faiths.

POSSUMS AND THE GRAVE

I have heard that possums are smart animals. You wouldn’t think so because you hardly ever see one except when it’s dead on the road. There’s a joke that goes, “why did the chicken cross the road? To prove to the possum that it could be done!”

But possums, it turns out, are smart. They won’t enter a hole if there’s just one set of tracks going into it. They know there’s something in there. But if there are two sets of tracks. The possum will enter and not be afraid.

The message of Easter is that we can enter the grave – we don’t have to fear death because there are tracks leading out of the tomb. Paul preached the proclamation of Easter: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

This is the message that we need to hear this Easter. Jesus is risen!

So, now, let’s read the passage that gives us the resurrection account, read with me

Matthew 28:1-10

28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

  1. Notice first that women went to the tomb.
    1. Mary Magdalene and another woman named Mary went to the tomb.
    2. All 4 of the Gospels record this and this a proof of the gospels. Jesus even uses the women later in verse 10 to tell the rest of the resurrection.
    3. Now, these women are very upset. They are mourning. Jesus, whom they were following, had been crucified and now they are going to put spices on His body. The Jewish people did not do anything to prevent the decay of a body. Within three days the body would be decaying. Yet, not in this case.
  2. Verse 2 records a great earthquake and an angel had descended and rolled away the stone.
    1. I believe this earthquake was caused by the angels.
    2. Why did the angel roll away the stone?
    3. Jesus did not need the stone rolled away. The stone was rolled away to let the world in, not to let Jesus out!
    4. Verse 3 describes the angel and notice in verse 2 the angel is sitting. Sitting means that his work is complete.
    5. In verse 4 the guards, these Roman trained guards were shaking. The word used to describe them is the same root to describe the earthquake, seisma.
  • In verses 5-7 the angel tells the women what to do.
    1. The angel acknowledges that they are looking for Jesus.
    2. The angel tells them that He has risen.
    3. The angel tells them to look in the tomb.

In the villages of Northern India a missionary was preaching in a bazaar. As he closed, a Muslim gentleman came up and said, “You must admit we have one thing you have not, and it is better than anything you have.”
The missionary smiled and said, “I should be pleased to hear what it is.”
The Muslim said, “You know when we go to Mecca we at least find a coffin. But when you Christians go to Jerusalem, which is your Mecca, you find nothing but an empty grave.”
But the missionary just smiled and said, “That is just the difference. Mohammed is dead; Mohammed is in the coffin. And false systems of religion and philosophy are in their coffins, but Jesus Christ, whose kingdom is to include all nations and kindreds and tribes, is not here; He is risen. And all power in heaven and on earth is given unto Him. That is our hope.”

  1. The angel tells them to go and tell the others.
  2. Notice again the commonality of the Gospel. Jesus uses women to tell of His resurrection.
  1. Now, they see Jesus in verses 8-10
    1. Notice that they see Jesus and they fell at His feet.
    2. This means humility, but it also means they realize He is not an apparition. They realize He is real. They then worship Jesus.
    3. We must worship Jesus. This is why we worship on Sunday because Jesus rose on Sunday.
  2. This brings me to something else I want to talk about: why does the resurrection matter? What is the importance of the resurrection?
    1. In 1 Cor 15:3-8 the Scriptures write about Jesus appearing to the disciples and later over 500 people all at the same time. Again, Jesus showed many that He has been resurrected.
    2. Later on, in 1 Cor. 15:13-15 the Scriptures tell us that if Christ was not raised from the dead our faith is in vain! This means that our faith is useless. Later on, in that same chapter, the Scriptures write about our hope in the resurrection. You see, because Christ rose from the dead we have hope. We have hope that when we die it is not the end. We have hope that when our family members and friends who are Christians die they are not gone, but with Christ in eternal paradise. We can see them again because they will have resurrected bodies as Jesus did. Paul wrote, “Where O death is your sting.” (1 Cor. 15:55) There is no sting because we have eternal life in perfect bodies.
    3. Also, Christ’s resurrection shows that this is not simply His normal body coming back to life. No, this is a renewed body. In John 20:11-18 Jesus enters a room when the doors are locked. It seems as though our resurrected bodies may not be as limited as our current bodies. Jesus’ resurrected body will not die. Neither will yours. If you are a believer in Christ, you will have an eternal, perfect body.

Close:

Our bodies are weak and frail. That is why we die, but the resurrection gives us hope as death no longer has a sting. This happened because Jesus went to the cross. The cross is something that has caused many to stumble. To think that a King should die on a cross!

Cicero, the Roman author and orator, said, “Let the very name of the cross be far away from Roman citizens, not from their bodies only, but from their thoughts, their eyes and their ears.”

But the cross was the way that Jesus died. In His death He paid the penalty for the wrong things we do and then He rose from the dead, the first fruits of the resurrection. Our bodies are frail, but because Jesus went to the cross we have this hope that someday we will have perfect, eternal bodies in an eternal home where there is no death.

One once wrote:

He is risen!

Christ is risen! Sing it out with joyful voice!

He has burst the three days’ prison, let the whole wide earth rejoice! Death is conquered, we are free, Christ has won the victory.[1]

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

 

 

 

[1] “Resurrection Victory”