We have hope in life because we have hope in death. Because of Jesus’ resurrection we have the promise of resurrection.

 

The Resurrection

Matthew 28

 

Thanks to the guys who filled in for me the last two weeks – AM and PM.

Thanks to everyone who helped at the fair.

 

It is good to be able to visit other congregations but it is also good to be home.

I have visited 3 different churches over the last 2 Sundays and they could not have been more different.

Vicki and Seth visited a 4th church the Sunday before.

 

Let me give you some observations that will hopefully teach us how to treat guests at Oak Forest.

 

The Christian church Vicki and Seth attended had– young ladies serving communion in short shorts

What is happening with the doctrine and morality of our churches?

We need to stand firm on God’s word in every area.

 

Two weeks ago we went from the ball field to church – I was dressed for baseball but did change my shirt to look more presentable.

We arrived at the Sunday School hour – I held the door for a lady entering the building I said hi and she looked at me from head to toe and walked in – I don’t think she spoke – I was wearing my bright orange tennis shoes.

One guy saw we needed help and got us to the information desk.

The lady walked us to our class – people spoke to her and did not acknowledge us

We entered a small Sunday School class room – 6 people were there

Sat down – no one spoke – the teacher came in later and said hi to everyone – he did not greet us personally – one fella was helpful when the teacher passed out a handout.

 

I hope this does not happen here – speak and smile at everyone that you come close to.

At Wal-Mart there was a corporate rule – speak to everyone who is within 10 feet of you.

As Christians we should be the friendliest people anyone knows.

 

This past weekend Seth remarked how all the hotel staff spoke to everyone walking down the hall. It is sad to think that the hotel staff at Best Western was friendlier than a church full of Christians.

 

I know we think we are friendly but make sure you are friendly –

If I was not a Christian I would not ever attend the congregation in Columbus – why?

I didn’t feel welcomed at all

 

Get out of your comfort zone and greet people – introduce yourself – I haven’t introduced myself before

So they have been coming for a year – it is still true you have not introduced yourself or you don’t remember their name.

Better late than never

 

Last Sunday we went to a congregation and everyone we passed smiled and said hello. Wow, what a difference – I felt welcomed and not looked down on.

The only difference was I was in slacks and not shorts

Would the way I dress cause people to treat me differently?

If you see someone not dressed to your standard then be more friendly and accepting.

 

Which congregation would you want to be a part of?

I want to be a part of a group of Christians that love Jesus, love each other, and willing to love me – at least be nice to me.

 

As Christians we should be the friendliest and happiest people. We should always have a smile on our face. Not because life is full of gumdrops and rainbows but because Jesus resurrected from the grave and we have the promise of being resurrected also.

 

I am not saying that Christians won’t be sad – even Jesus wept when Lazarus died and was sorrowful as He faced death on the cross. We grieve with hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

 

Because of Jesus’ resurrection we have hope.

 

We can rejoice in difficult times.

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

Listen to what Paul wrote after he had been arrested for preaching the gospel and was rotting in a Roman prison.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

I am not sugar coating life – I as well as you know life is hard and full of grief and difficulties. But I also know that having the hope of Heaven gives me an underlying joy.

 

When King David’s son died he said, “I will go to him.”

2 Samuel 12:21 His servants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” 22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

 

That is the verse we put on Michael’s grave marker, almost 19 years ago.

 

When the crowd of disciples walked away from Jesus because of His teaching – Jesus asked the 12 if they want to leave also. Remember Peter’s reply?

John 6:66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

 

Jesus has the words of Eternal Life – He is Life – He is our hope and resurrection.

 

But sometimes we are just like Peter and the other disciples. We can make a great declaration of faith and later hide in fear and lose all hope.

 

Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”

Peter denied he even knew Jesus the night Jesus was arrested. Where was Peter when Jesus was crucified? Where was Peter after Jesus rose again?

John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

 

Peter like the other disciples had lost all hope and were hiding in fear.

I believe to two on the road to Emmaus describes the feelings of all the disciples.

Luke 24:17 …They stood still, their faces downcast. 19 … “He [Jesus] was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.

 

They had hoped but they were walking hope in despair. Jesus had died and now His body has disappeared. They were in a sad state – they had given up.

 

Somehow the disciples forgot that Jesus said He would rise again on the third day.

 

Matthew 17:22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.

 

Mark 8:31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this.

 

Do you know who did remember what Jesus said? The religious leaders.

Matthew 27:62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

 

The disciples had lost all hope – they were hiding – they would not have stolen the body.

It is interesting that the religious leaders remembered Jesus’ promise but His disciples did not.

 

Even after they saw the empty tomb they were confused.

John 20:6 Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

 

What we believe about the resurrection will give us hope or leave us in despair.

We have hope in life because we have hope in death. Because of Jesus’ resurrection we have the promise of resurrection.

 

Romans 6:3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

 

When we are baptized into Jesus’ death for the forgiveness of our sins we gain the promise of being resurrected.

 

Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

 

Because Jesus rose we know we will rise.

1 Corinthians 15:54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Praise God – We can have hope in this life because of Jesus’ resurrection.

 

Remember Jesus’ resurrection power means you will be resurrected to Eternal Life if you accept Jesus.

 

Will you be baptized today into Jesus’ death and resurrection so you can die to sin and be raised to a new life?

 

Come as we sing