Summary: To get us started off for the morning, I would like to share a few things that you should never do in Church:

Easter Sunday – April 11, 2004

To get us started off for the morning, I would like to share a few things that you should never do in Church:

6. Never ask an usher to break a $20.

5. Never do a cannonball in the baptismal tank.

4. Never hold a church business meeting on Super Bowl Sunday.

3. Never tell the pastor, "We love your church so much we might even come back next Easter."

2. During youth group activities, never bungee jump off the church steeple or play chicken with the church buses.

1. After singing "Love Lifted Me," never follow up by singing the hymn "It Took a Miracle."

Will you bow with me for a Word of Prayer?

You know, I really got to thinking about this Sermon today. I knew we were going to have a larger than usual crowd simply because of all the family we had coming today – and now that I have a captive audience so to speak…I thought…what better time to review the past year?

So…I brought up every Sermon I have preached in the last year and thought we would just kick back and spend some time reviewing! (Bring out stack of Sermons)

Ok…page one…

Well, I see a few people getting up to leave – hang on – I’ll cut it down by a few pages - -

Actually, I brought these up here to let you know that although we have covered some pretty hefty stuff over the last year, today’s Sermon is one I hope you will pay close attention to. Some of you will probably start off the morning paying close attention, and then you will begin to drift, thinking to yourself “Oh, just another Easter sermon…been there, done that, spent some time underwater…”

Well, I am here to tell you – that no matter how “been there, done that” you think you are this morning – if you will give me 15 minutes of your attention, you will walk out of here thinking a little different.

I had a chance to go play golf the other day – not something I have had the opportunity to do much of lately, I used to play quite a bit – but, as we were standing out on the tee box, waiting for our turn to tee off - - - I looked out across the horizon and said to the guy next to me, “There is no way that any sane person can look out at this beautiful morning sky and smell this fresh cut grass and deny that there is a God in Heaven.”

The funny thing is, amongst that beautiful sky and fresh cut grass was a bunch of mesquite trees and cactus plants! It got me to thinking that if this old desert they call Texas is beautiful enough to enjoy – how do you reckon Eden looked?

The Bible tells in Genesis that God created the garden – that He created man to rule over all the animals of the earth – He created trees that were pleasing to the eye – with rivers – all the beauty that man could behold. Just try to picture Adam standing out amongst the sunrise – can you imagine such magnificence?

I can just see him now, standing out on a hilltop – basking in the morning sun – and then for some reason God decided it was too quiet on earth…so He created woman…

Seriously, here is this perfect world – and God tells them in Genesis 2:16 “”You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

Every time I read this story I am always amazed. Here they had everything anyone could ever wish for – at this point in the story you have to ask yourself, “ Why in the world did God put that rule in there? Why didn’t He just leave out that tree and leave them be?”

I have heard some people describe God as some great big puppeteer in the sky – making us dance to whatever tune He decides to play at the time. Well, the very fact that He gave Adam and Eve the choice to obey or disobey proves that theory wrong. God loved His creation so much that He gave them free will – He allowed them to make the choice – He didn’t create a bunch of “toys” or robots – He created man in His image – and He loves us enough to give us a choice.

I wish I could stand up here and holler out “April Fool!” That Adam and Eve really didn’t make the wrong choice – it was all a big joke – but, once they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – Sin entered into the world…we would forever be separated from God. And the wages of Sin is death.

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