A World Without Easter
- Thursday, April 08, 2004
If Jesus Christ has not been raised from the dead, I'm wasting my time preaching and you're wasting your time listening. As a matter of fact, it would be hard to figure out who the bigger fool is; me standing up here preaching as if what I am saying is true, or you sitting out there saying, "Amen," as if you believe it. The truth of the matter is, if Jesus Christ is still dead, bonnets and bunnies make more sense than the cradle and the cross.
Without a risen Savior no sermon, regardless of how beautiful, how oratorical, how logical, or how stimuilating it might be, is really worthy hearing. That is why he calls that type of preaching "empty."
A little six-year-old boy complained to his mother that he had a stomach ache and his mother said, "That's because your stomach is empty; you would feel better if there were something in it." Well, that afternoon the pastor stopped by for a visit, and the little boy said, "Preacher, how are you feeling?" He said, "Well, my head hurts." The little boy said, "Well, that's because it's empty; you'd feel better if there were something in it."
Well, preaching is empty without a risen Savior. Because if Jesus is dead, quite frankly, I've got nothing worth saying to you, and you've got nothing worth coming to hear. Those of you who know me know that I have no problem with saying what I mean, and meaning what I say. There cannot be any doubletalk about whether or not Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead.
6. Have you ever in your life communicated something that you really didn't intend to say? I was reading the other day about some newspaper ads that have actually been printed in newspapers, and I don't believe they really intended to communicate what they said. Here are just a few of them:
Antique desk for sale--suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.
Earring Special--have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home.
Illiterate? Write today for free material.
Dry Cleaners--We never tear your clothing with machinery--we do it carefully by hand.
Men Wanted For Work in Dynamite Factory--Must be willing to travel long distances.
Professional Mixing Bowl Set--Perfect for a lady with a round bottom suitable for beating.
Well, if I cannot get up here and say that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead, and mean it; and if I cannot mean that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead, and say it; then preaching is profitless.
Well, let's go from the preacher to the pew. If Jesus Christ has not been raised from the dead, your witness is worthless. "Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up--if in fact the dead do not rise." (v.15)
Let me ask you some questions. How many of you would say that Jesus Christ has changed your life? How many of you would say that Jesus Christ lives in your heart? How many of you would say that you have a living, breathing, personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Now listen carefully. If you raised your hand and Jesus is dead, you just lied. Now I don't mean to be offensive, but you are guilty of spiritual perjury if Jesus Christ has not been raised from the dead.
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