THE IMPACT OF RESURRECTION DAY
Sermon by Bishop George Lockhart, Pastor
What do you know about the resurrection and how has it impacted your life? Has it changed your conduct or conversation? Surely, the awesome message of the resurrection of Jesus Christ has made a difference. Such as - where you are going to spend eternity, how you treat others, and how you worship God. Jesus Christ came into the world, lived, died on the cross, was three days and nights in the heart of the earth, arose, and is coming back again.
Let’s review our Christian faith. Hebrews 10:12 - But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Firstly, we trust Jesus Christ is the all-sufficient sacrifice for the entire world. That we are forgiven and we are eternally secure in Him. Many do not trust the security in their faith. Rather, their conduct will determine heavenly. Being good does not promise an eternal life.
Secondly, we go to church, pray, pay our tithes and offerings, but when asked “Do you believe you are going to heaven?” The reply is “I hope so” or “Sometimes I think I am sometimes not” or “Sure, based on recent deeds.” Their insecurity looms because they do not understand the Word of God. Ephesians 1:13-14 notes you are sealed. Not by conduct but by the Holy Ghost.
Thirdly, we say we believe because the result of the resurrection is that we are going to live forever. John 3:16. We can quote verses with belief. But, many question how long is eternally…really. A reign for a thousand years? Friend, the bible is complete in answering all relevant questions to living a godly life and that saints are going to heaven when we die.
Fourth, our belief in the resurrection states that we, too, shall be resurrected. 1 Corinthians 15:42 says we are going to do so. Others think about how they look and what physical shape they are in. this verse notes “It is sown and incorruptible body…that’s the promise of the resurrection. That you will rise perfect.
Revelation and other gospels speak on heaven’s description. Jesus said “I am going away to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:3. Not “I’m going away”. Rather, He made it personal for you and me. With God, it is His will each of us have a relationship with Him allowing us to enter heaven sinless, holy before the almighty and righteous God. That’s the reason why Jesus came. Heaven is our home. John 14:2-3.
RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS
Just think. Our relationship with Jesus Christ is intimate, warm, and personal. He loves us, forgives over and again, and cleanses us because he knows we are not perfect. We cannot be perfect in this life. David said in Psalms 51:5 “In sin did my mother conceive me.” But, we can (by faith) become one of his children and live eternally. All of these promises and the result of it falls to one purposeful question. Does this mean we have permission to sin? Of course not. Romans 6:1 notes “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” In fact, Jesus notes “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
Here it is. What impact has the resurrection had on your life. After Sunday’s service when all are dress in white and roses our pinned, and a wonderful dinner is served, what impact will it have on Monday morning? The truth of God’s word should make a difference in our holy living. That is, it should make us want to live holy. Receiving Jesus in our life and being sealed with the Holy Ghost creates a total way of life (how to eat, sleep, marry, and eventually die). Isaiah 35:8 “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”
As a friend, Jesus came into our life to make an eternal difference. If a friend came to you and asked what difference has Jesus made into your life, how would you answer? What about answering to an unbeliever? The answer is not visible or tangible. You should say ”One who has been saved and sealed by Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That’s who I am. I am changed.”
You have accepted what he says as truth and have settled that issues in your life asked Jesus to forgive of your sins. If a person asked you if you are a Christian what would you say? Simply, God gave his only begotten son that I if I trust him as my eternal savior I would have the ‘gift’ of eternal life…and I have it! Not because I am good or I deserve it but because he promised it and I believe him.
CAN WE BE PERFECT?
It is our goal to live a holy life committed to Jesus Christ and have our name written in the Book of Life. Can we be perfect? We live in a human body but our goal is to a holy life. You can be Holy. Our goal should be to live a holy life no matter what your friends say. Sinless? No, but strive to walk in the living example and keeping of the pattern of Jesus Christ. Perfect – no. Holy yes. A godly life committed to being obedient to God in every way. Holiness is God’s goal for each of us.
1 Peter 1:15 “Be holy yourselves in ALL of your behavior.” Being holy does not mean live sinless. We try but “All have sinned and have come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Paul noted ”This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Tim 1:15).
The story of the resurrection should transform our life. The story should make each of us to want to become a guiding light for the truth of Jesus. How can we keep it to ourselves?
That is - fail to tell others how to be saved and express how they can go to heaven after death. How can we possess the blessings of eternal life every day and never tell anyone else the source of our internal joy? How can we keep this good news to ourselves?
EMPOWERED AND EQUIPPED
Being saved and full of the Holy ghost equips you to do God’s will. Oh! How the disciples jumped for joy upon learning not only did Jesus Christ arise from the dead, but when he ascended. It accentuated everything He ever taught them. Now, you and I have the Word of God – written genuine promises of almighty God. Although we did not see Jesus rise to heaven, we have witnessed his remarkable commands and awesome truths and verses of truth which is a true foundation. All within you makes you a follower of Jesus. You cannot afford to keep it to yourself. Sending missionaries all over the world is not as potent as going next ‘yourself’ and spreading the good news. You have been sealed by God – a seal that cannot be broken. Being a vessel for the spirit of the Holy Ghost. We are empowered and equipped to do God’s will He has set for you.
If you doubt ability, the Holy Spirit will speak, guide and give you courage to spread God’s news (Matthew 10:20). Having Jesus in your life will make you love another to tell them the truth…no matter how much it hurts.
The approach is the key. Be friendly. A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Jesus came offering a fullness and a wholeness. We all know somebody that needs to be saved.
Be on alert. The enemy is aware of your potency to share the good news and he will try to make a mockery of the resurrection. Making this day about bunny rabbits, chocolates, and Easter egg hunts. These events are not harmful but ensure the point of the resurrection is being delivered.
We all know somebody that needs to be saved. If you care about them, you will share the wonderful news of how to be saved. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 and sealed with Holy Ghost (Acts 8:15). This is what Resurrection Day is about.
That Jesus is the Light of the world. Amen. John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Isaiah 53 1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed