Summary: This is a sermon dealing with a series of what if’s if Jesus had been wrong about Easter.
" What IF"
We have all probably played the game of what if in our lives on more than one occasions. "What if I won a million dollars? What if married him? What if I moved to California? What if I inherited a lot of money? What if everything I wished for simply came true? What if the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Prize Patrol van came to my house?
Then there are the more serious what ifs that we hope don’t come true. What if I my husband died? What If my wife was killed? What if I lost my parents? What if I lost my job? What if I’m pregnant? What if they find I have cancer?
If any of the what ifs came true, although we are not sure of all the changes that would take place in our lives, we know that changes would take place, and somehow our lives would not be quite the same as they are today. You see there are some what ifs that have come true, that we also have come to regret. "What if I had not of run out on my wife and my children. Would I have spared them a lot of pain and suffering, and would I not be so lonely today. "
What If I had of forgiven her before she died? Would I still have this hatred eating inside my heart. " What If I had of been more loving as a wife, what difference would it have made."What if I had of obeyed my parents a little more, would I be in the mess I’m in now." What if I had of obeyed God, instead of doing what I wanted with my life. Would I have avoided the consequences that I’m now going through in my life.
Today we are here because Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross for the terrible sin of having loved us. But the death didn’t last. Because three days after they laid his dead body in a tomb, He rose from the dead triumphantly. He appeared to his followers and to non-believers. Over 500 people were gathered at a sight at one of his appearances. He spent 40 days after the resurrection upon this earth teaching the disciples, loving them, encouraging them, eating with them, and preparing them to do without his physical presence. After that, He went up into the clouds and on into heaven, with the promise that one day, He would return in the clouds to take away all who believed in Him.
Jesus said that He was going away to prepare a place for us. But let’s play spiritual what if for few minutes. Christians are often accused of talking about pie in the sky, by and bye, when most people want something to enjoy right here on the earth. What if, Jesus was wrong and there was no heaven for us to go to. How many of you would say, well if there’s no heaven, I’m getting out of this Christianity stuff right now? I’m going out to have me a good time, while I’m living. That’s the end of my paying tithes. I thought I was building me a mansion in glory. If I’m not getting a mansion after I die, I’m going to use my money to get one now.
How many of you can say, you know even if there was no promise of heaven, I’d keep living for Jesus Christ? You see having a relationship to Jesus Christ is not dependent on some future reward after death. It’s based on the realization that I need help in my life today, to live the most enjoyable life possible. How many of you realize that you have a heart that wants to do wrong. There’s something in you that causes you to do wrong even when you want to do right.
I want to love my wife more than I do this church or anything else in the world, and yet I find myself being selfish and inconsiderate and trying to get my own way in my marriage. Just having Jesus in my life to keep me in line, so that I get all kind of joy out of my marriage makes serving Christ worth it.
I have seen how Jesus have taken my parent’s broken marriage and put it back together in a way that neither of them thought possible 15 years ago, and that makes following Christ worth it, whether or not there is a reward in heaven.
I’ve seen some of you on your sickbed, just a step away from death, and you knew that Jesus Christ was standing there with you and with your spouses and how He provided you with strength and hope to hang on in there, and God has brought you from the sick bed to a new place in life. You can’t tell me, that the only rewards in a Christian life comes from going to heaven. I’ve seen the way your families have been blessed, through the changes that God has brought in your lives and your changed attitudes and I know that God rewards those today that diligently seek Him.