First Things First

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the heart and soul of the Christian faith. Without it, Christianity would not exist.

This is the sticking point for the critics and skeptics.

But it did happen. Jesus was raised from the dead. He’s alive today.

We believers stake everything on this one historical fact.

In this lesson, find out why

What is the Gospel?

Ask 100 people what the gospel is, you might get 100 different answers.

So, what is the right answer?

The word “Gospel” means good news.

It’s news that’s happened in the past, yet benefits the hearer today.

Check out this 2 minute video and discover how something that happened two thousand years ago can radically and completely change your life today.

Good News — Sunday is Here!

Have you ever heard the sermon, “It’s Friday, Sunday’s Coming?” I was introduced to this masterpiece in high school. A pastor friend borrowed it for one of his messages. That was almost forty years ago and I’ve never forgotten the message. I found a recording of this sermon on YouTube delivered by the great S.M. Lockridge. I’ve listened to it literally hundreds of times. I still get goose bumps every time I listen.

The preacher starts softly, “It’s Friday…Jesus is praying…Peter is sleeping…Judas is betraying…but Sunday’s coming.”

“It’s Friday,” he says again, this time a little louder. “The disciples are running like sheep without a shepherd…Mary’s crying…Peter is denying…but they don’t know that Sunday’s coming.”

He keeps repeating the phrase. With every turn, that horrible Friday grows darker and more hopeless.

“It’s Friday. See Jesus walking to Calvary…His blood dripping…His body stumbling…And his spirit’s burdened…But, you see, it’s only Friday, Sunday’s coming.”

“It’s Friday…The world’s winning…People are sinning…And evil’s grinning.

“It’s Friday…The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands to the cross…They nail my Savior’s feet to the cross…And then they raise him up next to criminals.”

“It’s Friday…But let me tell you something…Sunday’s coming.”

The cadence quickens.

“It’s Friday…He’s hanging on the cross…Feeling forsaken by his Father…Left alone and dying. Can nobody save him?”

“Oh, it’s Friday…But Sunday’s coming.”

“It’s Friday…The earth trembles…The sky grows dark…My King yields his spirit.”

“It’s Friday…Hope is lost…Death has won…Sin has conquered…And Satan’s just a-laughing.”

The pastor pauses briefly. His next words are stark, emptied of all emotion.

“It’s Friday…Jesus is buried…A soldier stands guard…And a rock is rolled into place.”

Friday ends in the worst possible way, but…

“It’s Friday. It is only Friday.

“Sunday is coming!”

With those last three words, the pastor fills that darkest day with light and hope.

If you ever hear this sermon, you’ll never forget it. To me, it is one of the most powerful, evangelistic sermons ever delivered.

I shared this sermon with you to make this point – Sunday is here!

On that third day, the huge stone was rolled away and Jesus walked out of his borrowed tomb. When the women went to the garden early Sunday morning, they were shocked by what they saw. “Who took his body away and where did they take it?” they wondered.

Jesus told them on seven different occasions that he would rise from the dead. The disciples did not understand what he meant, nor did the ladies that visited the tomb. When they saw the empty tomb, they did not think that he was alive. But he was, and he is today. Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and He lives forevermore. This is the good news story.

Have you come to know this story?

I don’t mean as an historical fact. Has your dark, hopeless Friday come to an end — the searching, the restlessness, the emptiness, the guilt and shame? Have you found what you were looking for in the person of Jesus Christ? Has he given you new life?

If so, the resurrection story has become your story. Sunday is here for you. As John wrote in his gospel account, “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life” (John 6:47).

You have everlasting life.

Let that soak in.

Like Jesus, you’ve walked out of your spiritual tomb fully alive – raised to walk in the newness of life here and now. Sunday has arrived for you!

Excerpted from Simple Gospel, Simply Grace

 

He is Alive — The Christ Event!

In this Basic Gospel radio webcast, Richard and I tell the full Gospel story and share…

  • the significance of Jesus’s words, “It is finished.”
  • exactly how Jesus fulfilled the law
  • why the Jewish leaders rejected Jesus as Messiah
  • the good news that Jesus is alive!

At the end, we extend an invitation to receive Jesus as life. Sharing this message is a great way for you to help connect those you love to the resurrection story.

Forgiveness and Grace

  • Did Jesus forgive some of your sins or all of them.
  • What does Jesus do today when you sin?
  • What is grace?
  • How does the grace of God empower us to live as children of God here and now?

I answer these questions in this short interview with my good friend John Hull.

 

The Crossover — What Happens the Moment You Believe!

“I’m going to shout this message from the rooftop.” That’s what my friend Jim told me the last time I saw him.

I met Jim while working at Piedmont Hospital during my senior year in college. He was 87 years of age. He had lived an interesting life, yet he had never given much consideration to God or Christianity. The day I met him, our conversation turned to Jesus. I told Jim that Christ died for him and was raised so that he could have eternal life.

Jim was drinking in every word. I knew I was watching a miracle in the making.

We prayed together. He expressed his faith in Christ with such simplicity and ease. He was so focused on Jesus, I think I could have left the room and he would have never known. When Jim opened his eyes, he was a new man.

Jim never made it out of the hospital. However, in the three weeks after receiving Christ, he shouted the message from his bedside and told everyone who entered his room that Jesus had been raised from the dead.

What happened to Jim? I call it the crossover. As Jesus said, “whoever hears my words and believes…has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24). This is what happens to anyone who trusts in Jesus.

In this teaching message, I share the depths of what it means to crossover from death to life. Once you watch, I think you will see why this is news worth shouting from the rooftops.