Add new comment

Hal Warren's picture

A Resurrection Sunday Message

Topical Index of Hal's BlogsUnknown Object

Have you been excited to hear good news?  Most of us get a rapid heartbeat or a surge of exhilaration that goes throughout our body.  We feel overwhelmed, overcome by a sense of joy. (2)

 What if you heard some Good News that gave you a fulfilling, lasting sense of tingling in your mind, body, and soul?  What if you learned of something so life-changing that you would then wonder how you missed something so important?  You’d be amazed that your life could be so changed and different in every way.

Guess what?  This Resurrection is the perfect time to share this Good News with you.  Perhaps nobody has ever shared this life-changing news with you.  So, take a couple of minutes to read, ponder, and make a decision for yourself.

Perhaps you’ve had an experience in your life when you found yourself in a dangerous situation and had someone rescue you, or maybe you know of someone who has been rescued or seen the news of a brave and heroic rescue.  People can get in positions that require help to get out, like a burning house, an auto wreck, a bad relationship, stranded in a desolate location, or just being too far out in the water.  Do you remember the sense of hopelessness you had, or you witnessed in another?  When without help the situation would become tragic quickly!  The victim couldn’t swim or move to safety.  Bewildered, confused, or lonely desperation surfaced as the only descriptors of the seemingly hopeless situation.  The emerging thought was likely “if I had help, I could get out of this situation”. Help was needed immediately, and the victim’s very life was at stake.

And then, the rescuer swept the victim from certain death.  There was no payment to take such a risk, but someone came to aid and reverse the situation.  Actually, you did not even know them.  But here they were, risking their life for you.  They enter the danger zone; come into the burning building, approach the wrecked vehicle, swim out to save you, extending a saving arm as you are about to be consumed by your tragic circumstance.

As you are pulled from your desperate situation, you are filled with gratitude that doesn’t compare to any other experience in your life. Your very existence is because of that person.  We call them heroes, and through selfless acts, they risk all to save someone they don’t even know.  They enter unspeakable chaos and danger for a total stranger and free someone from certain death.

I tell you, friend, there is a Hero that extends His arms to you, to deliver you from a wrecked condition in our present life situation.  He left His place of safety and comfort, He entered the danger zone, and He gave His life for you.  He extends His arms to you, to pull you from the flames of destruction.  His Name is Jesus Christ.

You say, well I’ve heard all that stuff, and I’m not interested.  Well, perhaps you don’t understand the magnitude of what Christ has accomplished and done in your life.  You see, there is really no difference between the rescues described above and our situation.  The only thing left is to recognize is that each of us has the “need” to be saved from our accident (our imperfect, sinful state).  During a hazard, the victim becomes confused and doesn’t know the “why” or “how” to exit the entrapment.  This is our status.  We must have the extended hand of a Rescuer to save us in our time of need and remove us from our tragic circumstance.

God (Who is perfect) created man and woman (Adam and Eve) in His likeness – in a near perfect environment.  God gave them a “free will” to enable them to “choose”.  For God wants us to willingly and happily enjoy a relationship with Him.  He is our Father, and we can become the sons and daughters of His family.

Adam and Eve chose to “do their own thing” and through their actions, removed themselves from God’s family.  They separated themselves (sin) from the Garden of Eden when they chose to break harmony with their Father.

When Adam and Eve were removed from Eden, they entered a different world (sinful). Replaced was the lasting wholesome relationship with God and all His blessings with a counterfeit lifestyle of temporary happiness mixed with troubles, tears, and heartaches.  For we are told the “wages of sin is death.”  Mankind had betrayed their eternal relationship with God, and the perfect nature they enjoyed came to an end.

So people were now living in a “fallen” state where the “lie and sin” had superseded the “truth and perfection.”  And now, death entered the picture as the result of that choice.  As heredity today passes traits down from our parents from generation to generation, so too was the sinful state passed on throughout each generation.

The proverbial “catch 22” was in place.  How could a perfect God, Who is Love, Justice, and Righteousness, accept a fallen humanity (imperfect, sinful, self-focused), and remain perfect Himself?  For God is Holy and can not accept the sinful, disobedient behavior.

So, how could a man, unable to change his fate, come into a right relationship and become harmonious with God, his Maker?  Since we are unable to do this by our own means, we need outside help, like the accident victim who needs the help of the rescuer.

God (the Father) sent Jesus Christ (His Son), Who knew no sin but was perfect like His Father, to intercede on our behalf.  He came to do what we could not do ourselves because of the destiny we inherited.

Jesus Christ, our eternal Rescuer, came and provided the only means (perfect) that God the Father could accept for us to regain a rightful relationship with Him.  Jesus Christ came from heaven, was born of God’s Spirit (the Holy Spirit), and lived among us some 2,000 years ago.  This undisputed fact is readily known throughout historical writings of the great historians, teachers, philosophers, artists, law and history archives, and in God’s Word (the Bible) itself.  The same documented evidence confirms His sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection (by witnessed accounts and writings).

Why should you care about all this?  Well, the most important reason is that those who die in a separated state from God will continue eternally to be separated from Him in Hell. They will reside with the one that they did chose to identify with (Satan, Devil, Evil One, Accuser).  You see, you either team up with God in harmony with Him, or you don’t.  You either come into agreement with God, or you side with the one who will become your accuser. 

The only example that suffices to illustrate this “eternally fallen” state (separated from God) would be if the earth were removed from the warming rays and light of the sun.  Without the sun, we would cease to have a life.  This is also true with the Son (of God), without His Light, and protection, we cease to have a life.  Without the sun, total darkness and blindness would prevail.  Thankfully, we do not have to experience everlasting separation from God who is the Source and Foundation for everything that most take for granted. 

“Normal” is whatever we know of everyday life experiences.  When something changes that perception of our “normal” view toward the world around us, then we change our minds.   For instance, those with good eyesight don’t consider wearing glasses to see properly.  However, those who wear corrective glasses recognize the need to see properly.  Today, we can have corrective surgery and have our vision corrected.  Those who’ve undergone this procedure are able to relate to their previous condition of needing vision improvement and now appreciate their newfound improved sight.  This comes from having been on “both sides of the fence” and understanding the issues relating to both sides.  The same example could be used when a parent attempts to instruct their child of the problems that can come from poor choices.  It’s not until you’ve been a child and then a parent that you are able to distinguish the situation and discern the proper course.  This happens when one comes to know God.  We have been on the other side and are quite aware of that lifestyle and its traps.  Then, when we reached out for the lifeline of the Rescuer, we become conscious of the better life circumstance available.  Now, we want others to know what joy each day brings when God is in your life and blesses your every situation.  The present and future are filled with joy, knowing that we have a God Who knows everything, is eternal and is all powerful.  He is our great Hope, our Savior, fulfilling our needs and giving us eternal salvation.

As an accident victim, perhaps immobilized or unable to get out of the dangerous environment on your own, would you turn down the help of a rescuer who would surely save your life?  Certainly not!  That would be a terrible and terminal decision.

What decision will you make about your eternal destination?  Will you enjoy an everlasting joy, happiness, and perfection with God?  Or, will you turn down the hand of the One who seeks to rescue you from your inevitable permanent despair?  Will you live in pure perfection, where there is no more pain, tears, or sorrow?  Or, will you choose separation, isolation, darkness, crying, despair, and pain forever?

The choice seems so simple.  But, many do not see the train wreck up ahead.  They focus only on the daily life of the “here and now,” and ignore all eternity.  It’s like focusing on one granule of sand and ignoring the entire beach.  Would you put your entire worth at such a low level?  Or, do you consider your personal worth much more valuable than that?  God thinks you are worth much more.  He feeds the birds and clothes the fields with beautiful flowers.  Are you not worth more than the birds, grass, and flowers?  Of course, you are!

One of the certainties of life is that each of us one day will die.  Another is that not a single one of us knows when or how that will happen.  People take risks in many things in this short life.  Let me assure you, friend, your eternity is not one of those things you want to risk.  Don’t gamble with the beach by only focusing on a single granule of sand.

If you died two hours from now, tomorrow, next week, month, or year – do you know for sure where and under what conditions, you’ll spend eternity?

The bottom-line is if I’m wrong, you’ve lost nothing.  But, if I’m right, you’ve lost eternal happiness and peace with God.  Is that a risk you’re willing to take?  The small risks we take in life are entirely different than taking a chance of losing everything forever.  Losing all forever is not the kind of terms you should want to accept.

If you want to be sure that you will spend all eternity and enjoy the life-changing blessings that God has for the rest of this life, follow the simple steps below.  It’s free, a gift from God, and will make you a permanent member of His family now and always.

 

God’s Plan for Your Salvation

God Loves You and Offers You a Plan for Your Life

God so loved the world, He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)

Christ came that all might have life, and might have it abundantly (John 10:10)

Man is Sinful and Separated from God

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

The wages of sin is death…. (Romans 6:23)

Jesus Christ is God’s Only Provision for Man’s Sin

God demonstrates His love for us, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)

In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us (John 1:1, 14)

For Christ died for our sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.  He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit (1 Peter 3:18)

To all who receive Him and believe on His Name, He gives the right to become children of God (John 1:12)

Christ died for our sins… He was buried… He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures… He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve.  After that He appeared to more than 500… (1 Corinthians 15:3-6)

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification (Romans 4:25)

Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me (John 14:6)

We Must Individually Receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10:9-10)

Repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away (Acts 3:19)

Repent, turn to God, and prove their repentance by their deeds (Acts 26:20)

As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even those who believe in His Name (John 1:12)

By grace you have been saved through faith, not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of your works for we are not able to boast (Ephesians 2:8-9)

No one can see the Kingdom of God unless he born (again) of water and the (Holy) Spirit…the Spirit gives birth to the spirit (in each of us).  You must be born again.  The wind blows whatever way it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit (John 3:1-8)

…The gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23)

Faith is more than just believing facts about Jesus, “You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that – and shudder” (James 2:19)

Surrender yourself to Jesus by giving Him control over your life.  For not all who say, “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21)

Giving evidence that you identify with Him by publicly confessing yourself with Him (Matthew 10:32-33) and following His example in baptism and church membership (Acts 2:41)

Receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord Involves Change

Christ stands at the door and knocks, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him (Revelation 3:20)

Turn to God from self (repentance)

Trust in Christ to come in our lives and forgive us our sins (faith)

Accept Jesus Christ by faith as an act of the will. Embrace His plan for a new course in your life. 

Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1)

Whoever has My commands and obeys them, they are the ones that love Me.  He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show Myself to them. (Trust in His Word by faith and do not be led by your feelings.) (John 14:21)

Receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord Now Through Prayer

God knows your heart and is not concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need You and I open my heart to You.  I accept You as my personal Lord and Savior.  Thank you for dying for my sins, for forgiving me, for giving me eternal life.  I look to You and want to change my life so that I now do things pleasing to You.  Please help me to do what You want me to.  Lead me in putting away my old ways and replace them with new ways that You will show me.  I believe in my heart that Jesus came and died for my sins, rose again on the third day, and provides the only way acceptable to You Father for my salvation and eternal life with You.  Thank You, Jesus for loving me.

The Bible Promises Eternal Life to Those Who Receive Jesus as Savior

God gives us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; and, he who does not have the Son, does not have life. These things are written to those who believe in the Name of the Son of God, that you will know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:11-13)

God will not leave or forsake you but will be your Helper (Hebrews 13: 5-6)

I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you will be where I am (John 14:3)

Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13)

Now That You’ve Received Jesus as Savior

The moment you accepted Christ as Savior, the following happened:

Christ came into your life (Revelation 3:20; Colossians 1:27)

Your sins were forgiven (Colossians 1:14)

You became a child of God (John 1:12)

Rejoice that your name is written in heaven (Luke 10:20)

You received eternal life (John 5:24)

You began the plan God has for you (John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Suggestions for the New Christian

Pray daily to God (John 15:7).  Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Be specific in your prayer.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)

Read God’s Word (the Bible) daily (Acts 17:11), begin with the Gospel of John.

Like newborn babies, crave spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation

(1 Peter 2:2)

 Obey God moment by moment (John 14:21)

 Witness for Christ by your life and words (Matthew 4:19; John 15:8)

 You will be My witnesses (Acts 1:8)

 Trust God for every detail of your life (1 Peter 5:7)

 Allow the Holy Spirit to control and empower your daily life and witness (Galatians 5:16-17;

Acts 1:8)

Assemble and fellowship with other Christians in a good church (Hebrews 10:25)

Find a church that honors God, and preaches His Word.  Start this week and go regularly.

Identify with your new family by confessing Jesus publicly.  Those who accepted His message were baptized…. (Acts 2:41)

May God bless and keep you in His grace and mercy for all times. (2)

I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."  After he took the children in his arms, he placed his hands on them and blessed them (Mark 10:15,16 NET)


(1) Left click on underlined phrase to open another article in a new tab with more explanation.

(2) An Easter Message by Dave Palmer

 

 


Blog Category: 

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.