Summary: In this message the fcous is on how the resurrection changed everything. One man recently told me that his church does not make a "big deal" of the cross. The cross and the resurrection are CENTRAL to our faith. Without them we have nothing.
“The Power of the Resurrection”
A crowd has now gathered to see a man who has just been healed. Imagine that for years and years they have watched as this man’s family and friends have carried him everyday to the Temple gate to beg for money. That was his job....that was his life....sitting at the doors of the church hoping someone would provide him with his daily needs because he was not physically able to do so. There was no welfare system in place and this was the only hope he had. He was over 40 years of age and he had been this way all of his life.
He asked Peter and John for help and Peter’s response is classic....he says, silver and gold i do not have but in the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk. And he does. But he doesn’t just walk, the Bible says he jumped up, stood on his feet and began to walk, then walking, leaping and praising God he went into the temple. I’ve seen people happy at church to be at church but I haven’t seen anyone jump up and down and shout when they came in. But it’s not a bad idea is it?
Now it was this miracle of healing that brought in the crowd. A miracle had happened at the front doors of the church and now people were everywhere.
So Peter used this as an opportunity to preach the gospel. Just like a preacher to do that. 9 years ago i was in Guatemala. About 100 of us from across the U.S. had gone there to preach the gospel and to encourage the pastors there. From the moment I arrived i wanted more details about where and when we would be preaching. I wanted to know who would be meeting me at the airport in this strange country. But I couldn’t find out. God just wanted me to trust and not ask so many questions.
When we arrived we immediately had opportunities to share the gospel door to door. We saw over 5000 people come to Christ that week. It was amazing. But when I would ask the pastor I was working with ....when will I preach, where will i preach, will there be a pulpit? I must have sounded like a broken record. I just got the same response from him over and over. I will tell you when. One evening we were showing the Jesus Film in a crowded area, a slum area. The homes had dirt floors, sheet metal for walls, no electricity, no running water in most of the homes. Many did not have a front door.
We did however find a home that had electricity and we got a very long extension cord. The homes were located on a hillside and down in the valley they surrounded there was a soccer field. Nothing fancy. Just a place for kids to play. We brought in a pickup truck with a screen and showed the film. We had a generator for lights if we lost power during the film, we could crank it up and continue. In fact they had a set of lights mounted on a cross that were ready to be used if we needed them. We stared the film and there were about 150 people there as I recall.
We were about halfway through the film when a child tripped over the extension cord and knocked the projector the ground. Crash! In the background i heard the generator start up, the lights came on and they pulled the lights around directly on me and the pastor pointed at me and said preach! So I did. 1-15 minutes with an interpreter. I gave the invitation and 18 people accepted Christ.