31, March 2002
Dakota Community Church
The Day That Changes Everything
We are celebrating the focal point of human history.
How the message of Easter has changed my life.
Five Truths You Might Miss If All You’re Looking For Is Chocolate Eggs:
1. Heaven is a free gift.
2In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
- Paul was beaten, stoned, jailed several times and finally killed for holding to this claim.
- A free gift cannot be earned.
- A free gift cannot be deserved.
2. Sin made man ineligible for heaven.
2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
- We cannot live in the presence of holiness.
- People who do right bug us.
- We underestimate the seriousness of sin to God.
- We overestimate our own goodness.
3. God is both just and merciful.
(A.) God’s justice means there must be a penalty for sin.
- How victims feel when a criminal gets off.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
What this generation is experiencing because of rejecting this truth. You are just animals.
(B.) God’s mercy means He provides a way of escape.
- And that way of escape is:
4. Jesus came to suffer the penalty (death) of your sin and mine.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
18For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
- Jesus took what we deserved and gave us what He deserved.
- If this is true is everyone now going to heaven? No because:
5. We must all decide for ourselves to accept His sacrifice and make Him Lord.
- Why is His name a curse word?
- Do you have head faith or heart faith?
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
Conclusion: Listen to what C.S. Lewis writes in “Mere Christianity”:
“Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise. The longings which arise in us when we first fall in love, or first think of some foreign country, or first take up some subject that excites us, are longings which no marriage, no travel, no learning, can really satisfy.
“I am not speaking of what would ordinarily be called unsuccessful marriages, or holidays, or careers. I am speaking of the best possible ones. There was something we grasped at, in that first moment of longing, which just fades away in reality. I think everyone knows what I mean. The wife may be a good wife, and the hotels and scenery may have been excellent, and chemistry may be a very interesting job but something has evaded us.”