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The Sunflower is probably the most amazing flowers God created. They literally follow the sun. No I don’t know about you, but one the most amazing things I have seen is a field of sunflowers. Watching one follow the sun through is cute. Watching hundreds in absolute unison follow the sun is actually quite incredible. Something I found out recently, is that Sunflowers continue tracking the suns direction long after sun set. Through 360 degree’s they ensure that they are always oriented in the direction of the sun. Their unity is totally dependant on one thing. Their relationship to the sun.
Sermon Central Staff
HE'S NO LONGER IN THE GRAVE
In 1887, twenty two years after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, his coffin was dug up and opened because there were constant rumors that his body was not in the grave. So they dug it up and the body was there. The rumors continued so 14 years later they had to dig it up again. Both times witnesses were present who testified that Lincoln was still in the grave.
Three days after the death of Jesus Christ, similar rumors began to spread throughout the land of Israel. Only this time there were no witnesses who could say that they had seen His body. In fact, to the contrary, many witnesses claimed to have seen him out of His grave and even talked with Him after the resurrection.
As great a man as Lincoln was there were witnesses to prove he was still in the grave. If one of our Presidents or another leader in our government were to cry out today to Lincoln for help, there would be no response. If a scientist were to cry out to Einstein for help today there would only be empty silence. If someone were to call out to Mohammed or Buddha or Gandhi today there would be no help. But if you and I call out to Jesus Christ there is instant power available to us... power to change lives ...why? Because He lives!
(From a sermon by David Henderson, "Overcoming Death," 5/25/2011)
WE'LL STAY OUT OF THE WAY
The Call to Worship had just been pronounced starting Easter Sunday Morning service in an East Texas church. The choir started its processional, singing "Up from the Grave He Arose" as they marched in perfect step down the center aisle to the front of the church.
The last lady was wearing shoes with very slender heels. Without a thought for her fancy heels, she marched toward the grating that covered that hot air register in the middle of the aisle. Suddenly the heel of one shoe sank into the hole in the register grate.
In a flash she realized her predicament. Not wishing to hold up the whole processional, without missing a step, she slipped her foot out of her shoe and continued marching down the aisle.
There wasn’t a hitch. The processional moved with clock-like precision. The first man after her spotted the situation and without losing a step, reached down and pulled up her shoe, but the entire grate came with it! Surprised, but still singing, the man kept on going down the aisle, holding in his hand the grate with the shoe attached.
Everything still moved like clockwork. Still in tune and still in step, the next man in line stepped into the open register and disappeared from sight. The service took on a special meaning that Sunday, for just as the choir ended with "Allelujah! Christ arose!" a voice was heard under the church shouting, "I hope all of you are out of the way ’cause I’m coming out now!"
The little girl closest to the aisle shouted, "Come on, Jesus! We’ll stay out of the way."
THE DOUBTING OF THOMAS
In 1943, Dorothy Sayers created a series of dramatic readings from the life of Christ for broadcast on the BBC. They are published under the title, The Man Born to Be King. For each of the plays, Sayers offers notes on the characters and the way they should be read. She writes this about Thomas' profession: "It is unexpected, but extraordinarily convincing, that the one absolutely unequivocal statement, in the whole Gospel, of the Divinity of Jesus should come from Doubting Thomas. It is the only place where the word 'God' is used of him without qualification of any kind, and in the most unambiguous form of words (not merely theos but ho theos mou with the definite article). And this must be said, not ecstatically, or with a cry of astonishment, but with flat conviction, as of one acknowledging irrefragable evidence: '2 + 2 = 4', 'That is the sun in the sky,' 'You are my Lord and my God.'"
I would think that ea...
MATTHEW HENRY SAID, “When Christ died He left a will in which He gave His soul to His Father, His body to Joseph of Arimathea, His clothes to the soldiers, and His mother to John. But to His disciples, who had left all to follow Him, He left not silver or gold, but something far better—His PEACE!
If you give a street drunk a bottle of expensive alcohol, he will appreciate it the same as he would a cheap bottle of booze. Why? He does not know what he has. Likewise, whoever eats and drinks the Lord’s Supper in ignorance, fails to enjoy the true richness of what she is consuming!
Sermon Central Staff
BAD NEWS, THEN GOOD NEWS
Nearly 20 years ago at the height of Operation Desert Storm, Ruth Dillow received a very sad message from the Pentagon. The message stated that her son, Clayton had stepped on a landmine in Kuwait and was killed. Ruth later wrote these words, "I can't begin to describe my grief and shock. It was almost more than I could bear. For 3 days I just wept. I expressed anger and loss. For 3 days people tried to comfort me but nothing worked ... the loss was simply too great.
But 3 days after she received that message the phone rang. The voice on the other end said ,"Mom, it's me." It's Clayton. I'm alive. Ruth said, I couldn't believe it at first. But then I recognized his voice and realized he really was alive. The message was all a mistake. She said, "I laughed, I cried, I felt like turning cartwheels because my son who I thought was dead was actually alive."
This morning we come to a story that is very similar. The disciples, family members, those who were at the cross have all received the news that Jesus has died.
(From a sermon by David Henderson, "Overcoming Death," 5/25/2011)
In September, 1938, a man who lived on Long Island ordered a very fine barometer. When it arrived he was extremely disappointed to find that the dial was stuck, pointing to “Hurricane.” After shaking the barometer very vigorously several times, its new owner sat down and wrote a scorching letter to the store from which he had purchased the instrument, and on the following morning, on his way to his office in New York, he mailed the letter....
An ancient story is told about a slave who traveled with his master to Baghdad. As he walked the busy streets he found himself in the market place where he saw Death in human form. Death looked at him with such a piercing look that it frightened the slave, & he interpreted that look to mean that Death was planning soon to take his life.
He quickly rushed back to his master & told him what he had seen in the market place & asked if he might ride his camel to Samara, 15 hours away, because he was sure that he would be safe there, for Death would not know where to find him. The master gave him permission, & quickly the slave was on his way to Samara.
A few hours later the master was in the market place where he also saw Death in human form. He walked up to Death & asked, "Why did you look at my slave with such a threatening look?" Death answered, "That was not a threatening look. That was a look of surprise. I had a date with him tonight in Samara & I was surprised to see him here in Baghdad."
THEY'VE ALL BEEN WRONG
Looking back at how Christians have viewed Christ’s second coming in the past, we find many people obsessed with figuring out all the details and making predictions.
Here is a quote: "The last days are upon us. Weigh carefully the times. Look for him who is above all time, eternal and invisible" That statement was not made by a modern prophecy expert. That statement did not come religious TV. It was made by a Christian named Ignatius, who lived in 110 AD, just a few decades after 1 John was written.
Here is another quote: "There is no doubt that the Antichrist has already been born. Firmly established in his early years, he will, after reaching maturity, achieve supreme power" That statement wasn’t made by a radio prophecy teacher. It was written by a Christian leader named Martin living in 375 AD.
In the year 236 AD a church leader named Hippolytus predicted that Christ was sure to return by 500 AD.
The years between 999 and 1030 AD were characterized by excessive speculation about Christ’s second coming among Christians, so much so that it led to social chaos as farmers didn’t plant crops for the next year, buildings weren’t repaired, and the details of daily life were neglected because they thought Christ would return in their lifetime.
In the 1500’s the Protestant reformer Martin Luther said, "We have reached the time of the white horse of the Apocalypse. This world will not last any longer… than another hundred years."
Christopher Columbus said he was sure the world would end by 1656. The year 1666 saw an explosion in end time speculation, so much so that one pastor wrote in his journal that every time a storm hit, people would go to church to await Christ’s second coming.
In the 1800s a Christian named William Miller said, "I am fully convinced that somewhere between March 21st, 1843 and March 21st, 1844 Christ will come." When Miller’s date came and went, hundreds of people walked away from the Christian faith. If their pastor was wrong about that, what else was he wrong about?
In our own generation, many modern day prophecy experts guessed that 1981 would mark the rapture of the church and the beginning of the terrible seven year tribulation period that would culminate in the battle of Armageddon. Now as we near the year 2000, dozens of prophecy experts on Christian TV, radio, and in books are making new predictions related to the year 2000.
Christian historian Richard Kyle cautions us, "Through two thousand years of Western history millions of…sincere, devout, and knowledgeable people have seen the end as [about to happen in their own lifetimes]…But they have all been wrong."
SOURCE: Timothy Peck. Citations: Richard Kyle, "The Last Days Are Here Again," pages 27, 55, 87. Abanes, "End Time Visions," pages 337-338.