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Easter - Preparation for Eternity

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Sermon shared by Melvin Newland

April 2011
Summary: We dare not forget that this life is a preparation for eternity - an eternity in which we will be among the saved or the lost forever & ever. (Powerpoints available - #110)
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK

(Powerpoints used with this message are available at no charge. Just email me at mnewland@sstelco.com and ask for PP #110.)

A. What a wonderful day this is, as all over the world people are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus as the Son of God, King of Kings & Lord of Lords, alive forevermore!

But we do that every Sunday, don’t we, as we gather together with fellow Christians around the Lord’s Table? Every time we take the bread & drink the cup, we not only proclaim that we believe that Jesus died for us, but also that He is coming again.

So we serve a risen Savior, & we look forward to that day when we shall stand with Him in a glorious heavenly home which He has prepared for all who have loved & served Him.

B. We treasure the words of the Apostle Paul who wrote, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day & not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing." (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

You know, as much as I love life, I, too, long for the day when I shall see Him, & be with Him, & be with all those people of God who have gone on before.

I want to see my father & my mother once again. I want to see my friends in China who were killed by the communists because they were Christians. I want to meet once again some of those wonderful Christians who helped me as I came to know Jesus as my Savior & my Lord.

I don’t look upon death with fear, but with anticipation.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not wanting to die. But yet, one of these days I will. At least my body will. And so will yours. But the wonderful thing is that I’m ready, because Jesus is my Savior & my Lord.

C. In preparing this sermon, as I remembered some of the people and events of the past, for some reason my thoughts went back to when my first granddaughter was around 2 & 1/2 years old. She was really cute! In fact, I feel confident in saying that she was one of the cutest & most loving little girls that God ever placed on this earth!

I can also remember thinking back then, "Wouldn’t it be nice if time could stand still? How wonderful it would be if we could stay exactly as we are & always be happy & enjoy each other just as we do right now."

D. But, of course, that didn’t happen. In fact, it would be an effort in futility even to wish for that, because we can’t stop the inevitable.

The chief priests & Pharisees found that out. After they had crucified Jesus they came to Pilate & Matthew 27:63-66 tells us, "Sir”, they said, “We remember that while He was still alive that deceiver said, ’After 3 days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day.

“Otherwise, his disciples may come & steal the body & tell the people that He has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first."

"‘Take a guard,’ Pilate answered, ‘Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.’ So they went & made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone & posting the guard."

I don’t know if you see the humor in that, but I think God must have.
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