Summary: Post-Easter Sermon 2008

*** Please note that this sermon was edited during its presentation due to time issues... The second video clip was not shown

(Slide 1) This morning, we begin with a brief clip of two young men discussing the origins of a popular snack food.

(Slide 2) (Video clip from Bluefish TV ‘Drive-in faith’ is shown)

So: (Slide 3)

• What do you choose to believe about the origins of the Corn Dog? Was it alien in its origins and did some farmer get rich from his encounter of the third kind? Or was it the result of a surprise development in somebody’s kitchen?

• What do you choose to believe about the origins of the universe? Is all of this real or an illusion? Is it merely the end as well as the beginning?

• What do you choose to believe about what is right and what is wrong? Are there absolutes or is right and wrong a matter of ‘it depends?’

• What do you choose to believe?

But more important this morning is the question, (Slide 3a) ‘What kind of a God do you choose to believe in?’

The kind of God you believe in is the kind of God you follow. And are you following the right kind of God? Last week, I showed a video clip of several persons being interviewed as they responded to various questions regarding Easter, the cross, and heaven. Let’s look at it one more time with the question in mind, ‘What kind of God do they believe in?’

(Slide 4) (Video clip from Bluefish TV, “What comes to mind when you think of the cross?’ is shown)

What kind of God do they seem to follow? It seemed to me that there were different kinds of god that people believe in and a few who did not believe in God or a god at all.

We live in a day and age in which there are many faiths and beliefs to choose from and we do choose. Confusion, sometimes, seems the order of the day.

There was confusion after Jesus was resurrected and we walked through Luke 24:36-38 last Sunday and noted the confusion that the disciples and other followers had when Jesus appeared to them. But, they believed and continued to believe and when the Holy Spirit filled them on the day of Pentecost, they began to talk about a God that was worth following.

Before we move to our main text this morning, I want to read 1 Corinthians 15:13-20 about the key importance of the resurrection and as a backdrop to our main text:

For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God, for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave, but that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still under condemnation for your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ have perished! And if we have hope in Christ only for this life, we are the most miserable people in the world. But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again.

What kind of a God would do this? Let’s take a look at our main text of Psalm 103 to see how the Psalmist answers this question:

‘Praise the Lord, I tell myself;

with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord, I tell myself,

and never forget the good things he does for me.

He forgives all my sins

and heals all my diseases.

He ransoms me from death

and surrounds me with love and tender mercies.

He fills my life with good things.

My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The Lord gives righteousness

and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

He revealed his character to Moses

and his deeds to the people of Israel.

The Lord is merciful and gracious;

he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love.

He will not constantly accuse us,

nor remain angry forever.

He has not punished us for all our sins,

nor does he deal with us as we deserve.

For his unfailing love toward those who fear him

is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.

He has removed our rebellious acts

as far away from us as the east is from the west.

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