28 Jun Father’s Day 2021
– [Narrator] Welcome to The Trinity Church.
– Well, happy Father’s Day dads, happy Father’s Day. It’s just incredible and a great honor to have you dads join us for this amazing and special event and this great weekend. I mean, our culture has a lot of problems, and let me just tell you this. If you’re a dad, you’ve got one of the most significant ministries that there could possibly be. The statistics indicate that if you have a good dad, odds are you’re gonna have a better life. And if you don’t have a good dad, your life’s gonna be more painful. So one of our great missions and values here at the church is to help men get to know God, the Father, and then parent their own children with a father’s heart. So I just wanna say for those of you who are dads and joining us live as well as online, we love you, we praise God for you. It’s an honor to have you, and I’ve got a special sermon for you this weekend, and we’re gonna learn about God, the Father and God, the son. And here’s the big idea. During Father’s Day, we tend to buy gifts for our dad. Now, admittedly, not as nice a gift as we buy mom for Mother’s Day, but what we tend to do, we tend to buy gifts for our dad. I want you to see this year that you don’t just have an earthly father, you have a heavenly Father. And as you’re giving gifts to your earthly father, know that your heavenly Father has a gift that He gives you. And what He wants you to understand is how He gives salvation, eternal life, forgiveness and love through His Son, Jesus Christ. And I’m gonna be working from the big idea, and one of the most famous verses in the whole Bible, John 3:16, most people this is the first verse that they memorize. And if you’ve not seen it, you’ve never watched football, ’cause it’s always in the end zone, that’s where it always is. And it is this, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but receive eternal life.” And the point is this, that God the Father gave us the most incredible and precious gift that anyone could give, and that is His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Savior for us sinners on the entire planet earth. Now that being said, as we get into this, I’m gonna tell you about Jesus. And if you’re new, the most important person in the history of the world is Jesus, and He should be the most important person in your life. Jesus is the person that we literally have time based upon, BC, Before Christ, AD, Anno Domini, the year of our Lord. The biggest holidays are about Jesus, His birthday celebrated every Christmases, resurrection every Easter, more paintings have been painted of Him, more songs written to Him, more books written regarding Him than anyone who has lived in the history of the world. And ultimately there is no one that has had the global impact of Jesus Christ. And I want you to know that He is the greatest gift that has ever been given, and He is the Father’s gift to you. And so for you and I, what I want us to do is spend some time together just hearing from Jesus, who He says that He is. Because in addition to being the most famous, He’s also the most controversial person in the history of the world. And it seems like everybody has an opinion about Jesus. What I wanna look at is eight statements that Jesus Christ made about Himself. For those of you who are Christians, I want this to strengthen your faith. For those of you that are Christians but maybe you’ve walked away from the Lord for awhile, this is your prodigal moment to return to your Father. For those of you who are not Christians, I’m just gonna come right out and say it, my hope and my prayer and my goal is that you become a Christian today. And if you’re saying, “What are you trying to do? Get me saved?” Exactly, thank you for paying attention. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do. We believe that life is better with Jesus. We believe that eternal life is only better through Jesus. We believe that everyone needs Jesus. We believe that everything needs Jesus and we believe it’s all about Jesus, Amen?
– [Congregation] Amen.
– And so what we’re gonna look at is eight things that He said. Number one, He says He came down from heaven. This is an incredible claim because you came here today from your house or your home. Jesus shows up in the earth and He says, I came from the Father’s house. He says it this way, John 6:38, 41 and 42. He says, “I have come down from heaven,” massive statement. Those who heard it began to grumble, they didn’t like what they were hearing about Him because He said, “I came down from heaven.” They said, “Is this not Jesus, the Son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know, how can He now say, I’ve come down from heaven?” And this is really incredibly important. Every once in a while, there’s a person who says that they have a near death experience, that for minutes or hours, they got to see into heaven and they got a glimpse into God’s presence. And never does anyone say they came down from heaven. Jesus Christ makes this incredible claim. This means that He is God, that He preexists human history and that before He walked on the earth, He lived in heaven. And this is a statement of His eternality and His glorious divinity. Now you and I, we all come from somewhere, I come from Grand Forks, North Dakota, right? As soon as my parents could afford a full tank of gas, we left Grand Forks, North Dakota. And so we all come from somewhere, Jesus tells us where He comes from. He comes from where, He comes from heaven. This is an incredible statement. Jesus says things that no one else says and Jesus does things that no one else does, because Jesus is someone that no one else is. His second statement is not only did He come down from heaven, that is that He also is more than just a good man. And now some of you, when I talk about Jesus and I love you, and it’s a great honor to have you, but some of you will bristle. You’ll say, “I’m not ready to become a Christian, to join team Jesus, to have Him be my God, but I do think He’s a good Man.” Well, Jesus doesn’t allow that possibility. He says it here in Mark 10:17-18, a very handsome name I might add for book of the Bible. “As Jesus started on His way, a man ran up to Him, fell down on his knees before Him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” How do I live forever with God? “Why do you call me good.” Jesus answered, “No one is good except God alone.” Some people wanna say Jesus isn’t God, but He is good. He’s not God, but He’s good. And a man comes up to Him and says, “You are good.” And He says, “You can’t call me good, unless I’m God.” Jesus doesn’t allow us to just call Him good unless we also call Him God. And what Jesus is doing here, He’s saying that God sees humanity differently than we do. We tend to see good people and bad people. God sees perfect people and imperfect people. God’s categories are totally different than ours. We tend to think there are good people and bad people, and as a result, we just assume or presume that God prefers the good people and not the bad people. What Jesus here is referring to is that God only sees perfect people and imperfect people. That’s why Jesus tells us elsewhere, be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. And so what Jesus is saying is the categories are different from God’s perspective. You can’t call Him good unless He is God and perfect. And now I want you to see this my friend because some of you have turned Jesus into sort of a psychologist that improves your mental and emotional state, or a life coach who gives you a good example and some encouragement. Some of you have turned Jesus into a philosopher with some interesting ideas, or maybe an enlightened spiritual leader who’s attained another level of understanding and insight. Some of you have turned Him into a justice warrior for those who are poor or needy or hurting or outcast, and He is an advocate and a representative of social justice. And what He says is “I’m God. And I’m not just good, I’m God.” And I want you to know that you’re either going to receive or reject Jesus but it needs to be on the categories that He provides. And let me just tell you this, if Jesus says He comes down from heaven, and I’ll share with you in a moment, the rest of His claims, if He says He’s perfect, sinless and God, and that He’s the only way to eternal life, and He’s just a good man and He’s not God than Jesus actually isn’t a good man, He’s the most despicable and damnedable man who’s ever lived. If I told you, “I’m God, I came down from heaven, I have no sin and if you trust in me, you go to heaven.” If that’s not true, I’m not a good man, I’m an evil man. And so you need to understand what Jesus says, and you need to wrestle with who Jesus says He is. The most important decision you will ever make is who you believe Jesus is. And the most important part of you is whether or not your soul is connected to or disconnected from Jesus Christ. And you can’t just say He’s good because either He’s God or He’s not, and if He says He’s God and He’s not, He for sure is not good. In addition number three, His third claim, He says that He is perfect. Something that none of us would claim, Amen? How many of you would not right now get on the internet and just say, “You know, I’ve lived a perfect life and if anyone would like to disprove that, please comment.” Okay, and if you’re watching on the internet, I’m not saying this, so please do not comment. But here’s what Jesus says publicly. John 8:46, “Can any of you prove Me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe Me?” We have this little statement in our culture, even people who aren’t Christians and don’t believe the Bible, they say nobody’s what? Perfect, Jesus would be like, “Oh, one of us is.” That’s a massive statement. He’s saying this openly and publicly, we live in a day where there are well-known leaders and we’re well aware of all of their shortcomings, faults, flaws and failures. When you live in a public way, you get criticized and sometimes crucified in a public way. Jesus has lived a very open, very public life, He is quite well known, He has very large crowds, He’s highly controversial and He stands forward and He says, “I’ve lived a perfect life. I have nothing to apologize for. I have no one to apologize to. There’s never been a word that I said that should not have been said. There’s never been a deed that I have done that should not have been done. In addition, the motives of my heart are always pure. I’ve never even done something out of ill motive.” This is an incredible statement. No one would ever make this statement other than Jesus Christ. In fact, we tend to think that the best people, the holiest people are the people who are most honest about their shortcomings and failures. This is why somebody gets on TV and they’re like, “Okay, let me tell you all the ways I’ve messed up.” We tend to trust them because they’re honest. Well, Jesus is equally honest and He can’t confess to sin ’cause He never committed any sin. Let me tell you what this means, Jesus Christ alone is perfect and His life lived on the earth is one of a kind. There’s no one in the same category of Jesus and His life is what the human life is supposed to look like. And at any point that we deviate from His example, the Bible calls that sin, because His life is perfect and ours all falls short of His perfect example of sinlessness. In addition, just think of it for a moment, when it comes to sin and some of you don’t have those categories, we tend to think of our wrongdoing or our errors or mistakes or shortcomings. Sin is in relation to God. And it is this, it is the words that we say, how many of you, how many of you have said some words that you just know were not right? How many of you have done some deeds that you just know were not right? How many of you have acted with a motive that was impure? It was unloving, or it was selfish. And what Jesus is saying is there’s nothing in My entire life. And again, what I would tell you is this, if Jesus is lying, He’s not a good man. If He is not lying, then He is God become man. These are the only categories that are available to us. He’s the worst man who ever lived, or He is perfect and God, come down from heaven just like He said. In addition, He said, He’s God. Now when I was a non-Christian, I oftentimes thought that Christians made up this concept of Jesus being God. Jesus is the one who introduced this concept and He did so a few thousand years ago as a devout Jewish religious person. And if you say you are God and you are not, you’re committing the worst sin and it is actually a capital offense, they will put you to death. And that’s what they seek to do when Jesus makes this unprecedented unparalleled claim. John 10:30-33, Jesus answered, they’re asking Him, “Who are you?” He says, “I and God, the Father, are one.” Again, so here’s their response, they picked up stones to stone Him. They’re gonna immediately execute Him. This is a capital crime, if He says He’s God, and He’s not God, He needs to be put to death immediately. And that’s what they’re going to do. But Jesus said to them, “I’ve shown you many great miracles from the Father, for which of these do you stone Me?” He’s like, “Well, what have I done wrong?” They said, “We’re not stoning you for any of these, not for what You’ve done, but for what You’ve said, but for blasphemy because you a mere man claim to be God.” You my friend needs to know that Jesus Christ is the only founder of any major world religion who declared Himself to be God. Muhammad, Krishna, great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, they will all say the same thing and that is, “I am not God.” In fact, if anyone today were to say they were God, we would not call them a good teacher, we would call them a cult leader. Jesus repeatedly emphatically, openly and publicly says He’s God. And they knew exactly what He was saying. Their response is so instantaneous, there’s no need for a trial, there’s no need for a jury, there’s no need for a vote. They all heard it with their own ears. He keeps saying He’s God. You need to know that Jesus Christ says He is God and He is the only God, that’s why Christians have always echoed Jesus saying that He is our only God. And the reason that He comes into human history as a human being is this, our God is a loving Father. He created us and our planet, He gave us this planet and life on it as a gift and everything was good and very good and everything that the Father did for us was for our life and our flourishing, it was perfect. We sinned against Him. We rebelled against Him. We self destructed, and it’s madness. And then He looks at us in our fallen condition headed toward death and ultimately destined toward hell. And the Father looks at the son and says, “We’re going to fix this problem.” And the Father decides I’m going to send My Son, and I’m going to send My Son to be like these people, a human being. And so now Jesus is fully God become fully man. That means He alone can reconcile humanity and God, that He is the only bridge between this world and that world, between we who are created and He who is our Creator. Jesus alone can bridge this gap and deal with the problem of sin that leads to death and ultimately to hell. And just think about it on Father’s Day, how many of you are dads? Dads, okay? How much do you love your child? Now imagine sacrificing your own child for your enemy. That’s what the Father did in sending the Son and that’s what the Son agreed to in coming to live and die in our place for our sins. To me on Father’s Day, I want you to get to know the Father heart of God. That God loves you so much, that the Son loves you so much, that they came up with this incredible rescue mission and plan that Jesus would come down from heaven, from the Father, that He would be God on the earth, that He would live a perfect life without any sin. And that He would reveal to us who the one true God is. Let me just say this, there’s no one in the category of Jesus. There is no one like Jesus. There is no Savior apart from Jesus. There is no healthy life or eternal life apart from Jesus. He says He’s God. This is incredible, unprecedented, unparalleled claim in the history of the world. So we can’t just have Jesus be among the great leaders or philosophers, He’s just not a great spiritual example, guru or religious leader. He says that He is God and they keep seeking to put Him to death for that very reason. And you need to know the reason why Jesus Christ was ultimately crucified is because He kept saying He was God. The political leaders hated it because that put Him above the government. The religious leaders hated it because that put Him above their religious authority. And it meant that He was placing Himself above all human authority as highest authority, as God visiting planet earth. And they sought to conspire and kill Him to cease Him from saying that He is God. This is the most incredible life ever lived, these are the most incredible ever spoken. And you have the most significant decision you will ever make. In addition, Jesus performed miracles. In addition to His words that said He was God, His works showed He was God. Here’s where we read in John 10:36-39, “Why then do you accuse Me of blasphemy because I said I’m God’s Son?” Like Father, like Son. That He is the image of the invisible God. “Do not believe Me unless I do what My Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe Me, believe the miracles that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me and I am the Father.” Again, they tried to seize Him, but He escaped their grasp. He says, “Well, okay, I’ve told you I’m God and you’re not believing that. So in addition to the words that I say, look at the deeds that I do.” And Jesus performed miracles, supernatural inexplicable events in human history. There is a dead guy He rises from the dead. He walks on water, He calms a storm. He takes a little boy’s lunch and He feeds a multitude. People are sick and He heals them. There’s a guy who’s blind and he receives his sight. The lame walk, the deaf hear, the mute sing the praises of God in the presence of Jesus Christ. And so what you need to know my friend is this, that this world is created and over it is the Creator who has authority. So when Jesus shows up, the creation has to obey Him because He is its Maker and He is its Lord. And what we love so much about Jesus is He can do the impossible. And there are people in this room who would testify that Jesus has done something miraculous and supernatural in their own life. Before I was born, God healed my own mother. That Jesus Christ is over sickness. That Jesus Christ is over death. That Jesus Christ is over this fallen and cursed world. And let me just say this last year, we just came to the conclusion globally that something went wrong on planet earth, Amen? We keep trying to control creation, I mean, this week I just read it’s flooding in one place and in Arizona, it’s warm. Like I’m sweating like Mike Tyson in a spelling bee, it’s too hot. In addition, we’ve got tremendous drought all across the Southwest. In addition, in certain places they have this thing called COVID. It’s been quite a year, Amen? And what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to get creation under control. Viruses and storms and you know, food ration, supply line, broken chain, it’s just a horrible planet, and it wasn’t that way when God was done with it. When God was done, the planet was perfect. And here’s what’s happened, sin has not only entered into us through us, it’s entered into the world that God made. And we know something is broken, we know something is wrong. People are dying, they’re not supposed to die. Anyone who’s been to a funeral knows in their heart that something has gone terribly wrong on planet earth. Anytime that we’re constantly fighting to get this planet under control, just so that we can sustain human life, something has gone terribly and tragically wrong. Let me say this, Jesus has authority over the created world. This is ultimately a great hope for us. And the Bible tells us that Jesus not only does the supernatural and the miraculous, that He is on one occasion going to return once and for all, and He is going to fix everything that we have broken. He is going to heal everything that we have infected. He is going to raise the dead. He is going to lift the curse. He is going to reunite the Creator and the creation in perfect harmony. And He is going to give us the planet back that we have ruined and destroyed through sin. And what Jesus says is if you don’t believe My words, look at My deeds. And He does things that only God can do. The seas obey Him during a storm, the winds cease at His voice, because this was the same voice that spoke creation into existence, and so it obeys Him when it gives a command from Him to creation. You just need to see Jesus, here’s what I’m telling you. Your Jesus is far too small. Your problems are far too big. What seems too big for you and I is not too big for Jesus Christ. And He can and does do miracles. This is why we pray to Him. This is why we sing to Him. This is why we invite Him because we never know exactly what He will do, and when He unleashes His power, He touches dead things and makes them alive. He touches broken things and He makes them whole, He touches things that have no hope and He fills them with hope. Jesus does the supernatural. Number six, He forgives sin. This is incredible. Let me just tell you friends. Your biggest problem is a sin problem. Whatever problems you have, the problem behind all our problems is the sin problem. And Jesus says this in Mark 2, when Jesus saw their faith, He said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” He forgives someone of their sin. So then the crowd is present, says, “Why does this Man speak like that? He is blaspheming, again, He keeps saying He’s God.” In a numerous series of occasions and ways, Jesus says He’s God. Who can forgive sins, but God alone, answer? Nobody, says in the Psalms, against you only Lord, if I sin, and immediately Jesus perceiving in His Spirit thus questioned within themselves said to them, “Why do you question these things in your heart?” To me, this is funny, okay? So Jesus says, “I forgive sin.” Now, they didn’t say anything, but they were thinking it. And He’s like, “Not only do I forgive sin, I know what you’re thinking.” That had to be quite a revelation. You need to know this. Jesus not only sees your sin, He also knows the secret sin in your heart and in your mind and in your soul. He knows your thoughts, He knows your motives, He knows your lusts, He knows your desires, He knows your bitterness, He knows your anger, He knows your pride, He knows your self righteousness. Some of us, we show it. Others of us, we conceal it, but you can’t conceal anything from the sight of Jesus Christ who sees and knows all as Lord and God. Now what’s amazing, Jesus forgives sin. And let me say that we have completely lost any sense of sin in our culture. And the result is we have rebellion, we have death, we have pride and we don’t have God. Sin is in relation to God. We live in a world where you are taught that there is no authority beyond you, that you are the highest authority in your life. So you make a decision, “Well, I think I’m a good person.” Well, let me just tell you, Jesus is in authority over you. And what we tend to understand sin in terms of is the pain that we experience and the pain that we cause. Let me just ask you this, what do you regret? If you could go back, what words would you unspeak? What deeds would you undo? If you are a functioning human being with a conscience that has not been totally eviscerated through sin and rebellion and folly, we all live in with regret. Some of you are haunted by things that you have done. Some of you looking back in your life there are moments of integrity and honesty where you can’t just blame somebody else. See what we like to do, because let me just say how this works in our world, we know a lot about sin, we know a lot about their sin. We don’t know very much about our sin. So if I asked you, “Well, tell me the people that have hurt you the most.” You could tell me. Tell me the words that have been said about you that have done the most damage, you could tell me. Tell me the people who have disappointed and failed you, you could tell me. Tell me the things we were just unjust wrong, and they frustrate your sense of justice, you can tell me. Let me say, if I were to go ask that question to other people, they’d be talking about you. We tend to be as sinners, far aware of their sin than our sin. And what Jesus is saying here is you need to deal with your sin and let God deal with their sin. So this man is a sinner and Jesus forgives him. Jesus Christ can forgive you. And I’m telling you this because I love you. The reason that most people don’t want to acknowledge or admit their sin is because they don’t think that there’s a solution for it. So why would you own something that can’t be resolved? So we tend to live in denial. The reason that the Christian can be honest about our sin is because there is a way for that sin to be forgiven through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was perfect, so I don’t need to be, and He trades places with me. Some years ago, there was a pastor who was touring a mental institution for people who had literally lost touch with reality, they were no longer functional in society. And this pastor was visiting with one of the doctors and medical professionals that seeks to cause these people to live as safe a life as they can with as little self harm as possible. And it’s a horrifying place. People are screaming, people are yelling, people are delusional, people are hearing voices, people are traumatized, people are broken, they are non-functional. And the lead doctor who was taking the pastor through a tour of this facility said something very, very interesting. He said, “Most of these people could go home if they just believed that they were forgiven.” You need to be forgiven, you need that. Because if you’re honest, you know you’re guilty. And if you don’t know that you’re forgiven, the weight of that guilt is going to break your soul. There are things in life my friends, you can’t fix, they just need to be forgiven. There are things you’ve done that can’t be undone, they just need to be forgiven. There are people you have hurt, there are words that you have said, there are items that you have stolen that just simply cannot be resolved, they need to be forgiven. And Jesus Christ would tell you the same thing that He told this, man, “I forgive you.” There’s something so wonderful about being forgiven, we live in a world where everyone’s trying to be good and we’re all faking, we’re all pretending. We’re all lying and denying. And there’s something so freeing about saying, “I am a sinner but I have a Savior. The burden that was on me went to Him. I’m forgiven, my conscience is clear because my Jesus is real. My past is not my present and will not be my future. Who I am is not me on my worst day.” I want you so desperately to experience this incredible gift of forgiveness. I have seen forgiveness change people in an instant. I’ve seen broken people healed through the power of forgiveness. I have seen hopeless people find hope through the power of God’s forgiveness. I have seen absolutely acrimonious relationships reconciled because God put forgiveness between two sinners. I’ve seen couples headed toward divorce then head toward a second honeymoon because of forgiveness. I’ve seen broken dysfunctional family lines for generations healed when God drops forgiveness into the family line. I am telling you that sin is the second most powerful force on the earth. And I’m telling you that forgiveness is the most powerful force on the earth. And that God’s forgiveness is stronger than our sin. What’s really nice about this is you don’t have to hide anymore. You don’t have to blame someone else. You don’t have to change the subject by pointing out the wrongdoing of another. You don’t need to just talk about all of their sin and how you are a victim. You also can just acknowledge that you too are a villain and that you’ve hurt other people. But here’s the good news, Jesus Christ alone forgives sin. Every other religious leader comes to the earth and what they tell you is here are the things that you need to do to earn God’s forgiveness. Jesus Christ comes and says, “I do all the work and I just forgive you.” Now on the cross, Jesus prays for us, “Father, forgive them.” And then Jesus Christ dies to answer His own prayer. You know what? You don’t need to die, Jesus died so that you can live. You don’t need to live under guilt and shame and condemnation, you could live under love and grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. I am telling you that behind all of your problems is your biggest problem, and that is that you need your sin forgiven so that you can have a relationship with God. And then that God loves you, and He’s going to help you with all of your other problems. In addition to teaching us how He can forgive us, Jesus then conquers death for us. What’s really interesting to me, it was a year ago that we reopened, we were briefly closed. I pray for the churches that are still throttled and closed. But what was interesting in this last year, all of a sudden the entire planet was just gripped with the fear of death, we’re going to die, we’re all going to die. And it’s like, we knew that. This is not new revelation, right? You’re born on one day and you’re buried on another day, in the middle is life, but those two bookends are guaranteed. And let me tell you this, we can delay death, but we cannot defeat death apart from Jesus Christ. Because you can have a vaccine, wear a mask, social distance and die. If you wanna extend your life, that’s great, I’m all for it. Buckle up while you’re at it and drink lots of water, stay hydrated, live as long as you can. But at the end of the day, the wage for sin is death. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, and as a result, we all taste death. We can delay death, but we cannot death, think of it in the past year, how much effort was put in by the citizens of planet earth to deal with the death problem? It literally changed our entire life. We closed schools, we closed businesses, we have elections, we just start sending out money. We changed policies, we ramp up research, we’re giving away vaccinations. We’re giving out CDC guidelines, we’re crippling whole parts of the economy, we’re literally devastating entire businesses. Death is a real problem. We all sense it, but there’s only one who defeats it. This is why as Christians, as believers, we look at death differently. It’s not that we don’t consider death, but we don’t consider death the end. That for us to live is Christ, to die is gain. The Bible says to depart and be with Christ is far better. There’s nobody in heaven right now saying, “I really miss Detroit.” There’s no one saying that. There’s no one saying that. Right now, there’s not even anyone in heaven going, “I miss Paradise Valley.” ‘Cause they’re in paradise valley and it’s not 117, Jesus wouldn’t do that to them. That’s the temperature in hell, not in heaven, not in heaven. It’s a dry heat, so is hell, I’m just telling you. If you don’t like this, receive Jesus and avoid this forever. Summer in Arizona is an internship for hell, it just is, I’m just telling you. It’s not that bad Mark, well, you need Jesus, it’s bad, it’s real bad. Jesus conquers death, wouldn’t it be great, wouldn’t it be great if this life was as bad as it would ever be? Wouldn’t it be great if after this life, there was a reward for all that we’ve endured in this life? Wouldn’t it be great if on the other side of this life, real life began? See, for the Christian death is not a finish line, it’s a starting line. It’s when life really begins. Jesus says this in Mark 8:31, He began to teach them that the Son of man, this is a title that He takes from the Old Testament book of Daniel about Himself, it’s God becoming a Man. “Must suffer many things, be rejected by the elders and the chief priests, religious leaders and the scribes and be killed, and after three days, what?”
– [Congregation] Rise.
– Jesus told us exactly what was going to happen. You need to know that when the Bible was written, 25% of the Bible is prophetic in nature meaning it tells us exactly what’s going to happen in the future. We live in a world where we’re just always trying to predict the future. Some of you right now, you’re like, “I’m trying to figure out Bitcoin. I’m trying to figure out the stock market, or I’m trying to figure out lumber prices, or I’m trying to figure out the housing market, or I’m trying to figure out, you know, if the Suns will make it to the finals.” We’re all trying to figure something out, they are, I prophesied it. So what happens is, but only if Chris Paul gets over COVID, so pray for a miracle, back to my previous point. So nonetheless, what happens is we’re all trying to predict the future, and we can’t. And how many of us have seen people predict the future and they were wrong? Remember Y2K, remember that? Remember that, you’re all home with a loaded gun and canned goods and bottled water, and you’re like, “Okay, the computers are gonna,” nothing happened. You guys are still eating those canned goods and the preppers are like, “No, we kept them, we’re gonna use them.” Okay, fine, whatever, okay, you’re adorable. What happens is we’re always trying to figure out what the future holds. And let me tell you this, God holds the future. He knows it. So I don’t need to know the future, I need to know the one who does, and then I just need to ask Him what I need to do today, and let Him worry about tomorrow. And what Jesus tells us is exactly what His future would be. What He says is the religious leaders are gonna oppose and hate Me. And let me just say this, sometimes religious people are the worst people. See, some of you are not Christians and you’re like, “I don’t wanna be religious.” Good, we don’t want you to be religious, we want you to meet Jesus. And it was religion that killed Jesus. Religious people, they don’t think that they’re the problem, they think that they’re the solution. They don’t think that they’re bad, they think that they’re good. They don’t think that they’re wrong, they think that they’re right. And religious people love control so they killed Jesus because He’s the one who says that He is in control. Sometimes what keeps people from Jesus is just good old fashioned religion. And Jesus says the religious people, they’re gonna really hate Me, and they’re ultimately gonna crucify Me. And He says, but then three days later, I’m gonna rise from death, I will forgive sin and conquer death. Jesus tells us exactly why He came from the Father’s house to live a perfect life, to declare Himself to be the only God, to forgive human sin, to reveal the Father’s heart and to conquer sin and death. Well, let me give you just a short summary of why we believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And let me tell you that of all events in the history of planet earth, this is a big statement. Of all events in the history of planet earth, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most significant historical event in the history of our planet. If He is dead, then our faith is dead. If He is alive, then we have every reason to hope in our destiny. Couple of reasons we believe in the resurrection of Jesus. First of all, He died, He was crucified. This is how people were put to death by the state in the ancient world. To ensure He was dead, they ran a spear under His rib, it punctured His heart sack, so the water and blood flowed from His side then they wrapped Him in upwards of 100 pounds of burial linens and spices. They put Him in a tomb, hewn out of rock. They rolled a large stone over the entryway and He had no medical attention, Jesus Christ died. In addition, the recording of His death occurred shortly after He died. In 1 Corinthians 15, it is one of the earliest sections written just a few short years after Jesus’ death. And it says at that time that He appeared to crowds upwards of 500 at one time. So this was an open public fact, He appeared over the course of 40 days before He ascended and returned to heaven. And it says in 1 Corinthians 15, at the time that this was written, many of the eyewitnesses were still alive. It’s like, “If you don’t believe it, go ask the people who were there.” There was not time for a myth to occur because the eye witnesses to the event were still alive to testify. In addition where Jesus was buried was well-known. After He died, there was a more quiet follower named Joseph of Arimathea who gifted to Jesus post-mortem, His own private burial chamber. Jesus was poor when He died, He didn’t have a burial plot. So Joseph gave Him his private, personal burial plot. This was well known in the same way that you own a piece of property or your home, there’s a deed, there’s a plot number, there’s a legal registration. This was property that was owned by a man who was well-known in the community, he was a business leader. In addition, the Roman government put their seal over the entry of Jesus’ burial chamber. They placed a guard to oversee ensuring that it wasn’t tampered with. The point is Joseph knew, the government knew, and just like any city that has registered property, those who were in power and authority, they all knew exactly where He was buried. In addition Jesus’ tomb was not enshrined. On the day that Jesus died, there were enshrined tombs in that region of upwards of 50 religious leaders, holy men. In our way today, when someone dies, we memorialize them. If you’re driving down the road and you see a memorial, it means that somebody died there and they’re there honoring and remembering their passing. Jesus’ tomb was not enshrined, now think of it, there are times the tens of thousands of people take the day off of work. They walk many miles through a climate that is much like our own to sit and just hang on His every Word as He preaches and teaches. Yet after He dies, no one memorializes His grave, no one visits His grave, no one leaves flowers at His grave, no one sheds tears at His grave, why? He’s not there. If Jesus remained dead, then His location of burial would have been repeatedly visited. Then we see this transformation in His disciples, they went from cowards to courageous. Peter denied Him, Thomas doubted Him and now they are fearless and they are willing to die for Him because they have seen that He alone conquers death. And then what starts happening is the Christian Church explodes on the earth. Christianity is the biggest movement of any sort or kind in the history of the world, cause and effect. If Jesus is dead, how in the world did we get the biggest global movement that has the most diverse devotion of any movement, religion or otherwise in the history of the world? Today, there are a few billion people on earth who love, worship, follow, serve Jesus Christ as God and Savior. And we started meeting on Sunday, which is unbelievable. Historically God’s people always worshiped on what day?
– [Congregant] Saturday.
– Saturday. For thousands of years, based upon one of the 10 Commandments. And if you’re a devout Jewish person, you just don’t edit the 10 Commandments, you obey the 10 Commandments. Jesus rises from death on a Sunday as He promised, all of a sudden the believers change their entire work week. Now we’re not taking Saturday off, we’re taking Sunday off. We’re not gonna put our kids in school on Saturday, we rather take that day off and now we’re gonna take Sunday off. They changed their calendar, they changed their education, they changed their work week, they changed their business structure because Jesus was alive and Jesus makes everything different and new. So they stop worshiping on Saturday, they start worshiping on Sunday and then Christians started doing something called baptism, which we’re going to do in just a bit. And baptism is where a person who has faith in Jesus Christ, his life, death, burial, resurrection, they’re put under the water and they’re brought forth. It’s to remind us that that’s what Jesus did for us. That Jesus lived, that Jesus died, that Jesus rose, that Jesus returned, that Jesus is God, that Jesus is Lord, that Jesus is Savior, okay? And what we show in baptism is just as He died and rose, someday we’re gonna die, but because of Him, we too will rise and we’re gonna be like Him. And we’re gonna be with Him forever. Furthermore, just as water cleanses us from filth, in baptism, we’re showing that Jesus cleanses us from sin. If you’ve never been baptized, this is the day that you need to be publicly baptized. Jesus commanded us to be baptized. And what it is it’s going public with our faith, it is declaring outwardly a new life given through Jesus Christ internally. And if you’ve never given your life to Jesus Christ that’s why we’re here, that’s why you’re here. The father loves you, and for Father’s Day, He wants to give you the great gift of His Son. He wants to give you the great gift of forgiveness of sin. He wants to give you the great gift of eternal life, for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him, it doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter what you have done. There is forgiveness for you in Jesus Christ. There is new life for you in Jesus Christ. There is hope for you in Jesus Christ. There is heaven for you in Jesus Christ, Amen?
– [Congregation] Amen.
– And we show that in baptism. And so what we’re gonna do in just a few moments, if you wanna give your life to Jesus, or maybe you’ve got questions about Jesus, or you wanna talk to someone about Jesus, you’re gonna go to the back. And we’re gonna talk to you and pray with you. We’ve got shorts and t-shirts and towels. The reason that some of you didn’t know you were gonna be baptized is ’cause you wouldn’t come. So God is telling you right now, He waited till right now, but He told us you were gonna get baptized, so we’re very prepared for you. Lastly, Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life. Let not your hearts be troubled. Life on this earth has a lot of trouble. Jesus says in this world, you will have trouble. Here’s the good news, there can be trouble around you but there doesn’t need to be trouble in you. “Do not let your hearts be troubled, believe in God, that’s the Father and believe in Me, that’s the Son of God. In my Father’s house are many rooms.” His view of heaven is that it’s the Father’s house. “If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” Jesus said He would die, rise and then He would return to what? Prepare a place for you in the Father’s house. Friend let me tell you this, there’s a room with your name on it. Everything in heaven is provided by your Father. You bring nothing with you, everything there is a gift from Him to you. Jesus Christ did live, He did die, He did rise and right now He is preparing a place for you. There is a God who knows you, there is a God who loves you, there is a God who seeks you, there is a God who saves you, and there’s a God that is willing to take care of you forever as His child. He says, “I go to prepare a place for you and if I go to prepare a place for you, I’ll come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am, you may also be.” Jesus is returning, we’re waiting for that. “And you know the way to where I’m going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where you’re going, how can we know the way?” This sounds amazing, eternal life with a Father who loves us, adopts us into His family, meets all of our needs, heals all of our hurts, lifts all of our burdens. “How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way.” Friends, every other religious leader says there is the way, Jesus says I am the way. Jesus doesn’t tell you the path you need to walk to arrive at God, He is the path by which God walked toward you. I am the way, I am the truth and I am the life. Some of you have heard, well, there’s other ways. Well, that’s a lie and it doesn’t lead to life, it leads to death. Jesus is the only way. “No one comes to the Father except through Me.” And so what Jesus is saying is this, ultimately everything comes down to you and Jesus. Let me get rid of everything else in your life. Let me get rid of everything else in your past. Let me get rid of every burden in your present or fear of your future. And let me just bring it down to the most important and basic, you and Jesus. That’s everything my friend. He says, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by Me.” I’m telling you for Father’s Day, God, the Father, He wants to adopt you. God, the Father wants to adopt you as His child, into His family. So He has sent His one and only Son, the Lord, Jesus Christ. We’ve looked at what He told us, that He came down from heaven, that He’s God and not just good, that He lived the perfect life without sin, that we have not lived. That He alone is God, that He proved Himself to be God through His works and He proved Himself to be God through His words. That He forgives sin and He wants to forgive your sin. And that in addition to that, He conquers death, He’s gone before you, He’s waiting for you. Right now, Jesus Christ is in the Father’s house. And if you will pray to Him, He will hear you. If you will ask Him to forgive you, He will forgive you. If you would ask Him that you might be adopted by the Father, the Father will say yes, and He will adopt you. Jesus’ most precious and frequent title for God was Father. 165 times, He tells us that anything we need, we just need to ask our Father who is in heaven. Here’s what I want you to do. I want you to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and I want you to meet God as Father. I love you with my whole heart. It’s a tremendous honor to be a bit of a spiritual father here at our church family. But I am telling you my friend, you need Jesus. You need Jesus more than you think you do. And this should be the highest priority and the most urgent decision of your entire life. And so what I’m gonna ask you to do is to just in a moment, in your heart and in your mind, and if you’re willing with your mouth to just pray a prayer with me and then for those of you who are ready to give your life to Jesus or be baptized, just go to the back, we’re gonna show you a brief testimony video of those who are going to be baptized today, and then we’re gonna sing and to celebrate. Because in this world we have trouble, but in Jesus we have one who conquers all of our troubles. Close your eyes, bow your heads, and just repeat after me. Lord Jesus.
– [Congregation] Lord Jesus.
– Thank You for being God.
– [Congregation] Thank You for being God.
– Thank You for coming down.
– [Congregation] Thank you for coming down.
– Thank You for loving me.
– [Congregation] Thank You for loving me.
– Thank you for forgiving me.
– [Congregation] Thank You for forgiving me.
– I am a sinner.
– [Congregation] I am a sinner.
– You are my Savior.
– [Congregation] You are my Savior.
– Father, please adopt me.
– [Congregation] Father, please adopt me.
– Thank you for answering my prayer.
– [Congregation] Thank You for answering my prayer.
– In Jesus’ name.
– [Congregation] in Jesus’ name.
– [Narrator] Thank you dad for another.