"Impact of the Resurrection"
The most important day of observance in the history of the world
has the greatest impact on your life
OPENING: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58, KJV
INTRODUCTION: Debts... In the early days of Dr. Branson's job as pastor, the church building
maintenance cost was 80 cents on each dollar. Not much leftover to operate the church, especially after
taking out the remaining funds to pay for staff salaries; but God's
grace sustained the church.
Upon taking over pastoral duties at Village Parkway Baptist (VPBC) of San Antonio, mortgage papers to pay the
church off (beginning since 1998) declared the debt $1.4 million dollars. For the last five and a half
years until THIS day, for the first time in the annuls of VPBC history, the church is financially
Long hours and hard work are required by people to maintain and payoff long, overwhelming
debts. However, there was one debt paid over two thousand years ago that mankind could never work off:
the debt of your sin paid by Jesus Christ at death and complemented by your free gift of eternal life at
There is great, life-long impact when one comes into contact with Jesus
Matthew 27:32: Simon of Cyrene, whom never knew Jesus, was compelled by Roman
guards to carry his cross to Jesus' place of crucifixion. As a result, Simon not only became a follower
but his son, Rufus (meaning, "red") also came to Christ and did
the Lord's work (Romans 16:13).
Acts 9:1-6: Paul (formerly Saul), an educated Pharisee and one of the greatest
haters and persecutors of the church became one of its greatest proponents, supporters and preachers
after God came into contact with him
Acts 7:59: ASIDE: Paul was one of those who condoned the public
stoning death of the Lord's prophet, Stephen
While those men had sight-seeing contact with Jesus and God back then
(so it was easy to believe) the only difference today is we make our requests to the SAME living Spirits--we
just cannot see Them
THREE REACTIONS TO KNOWING THAT JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN AND IS ALIVE THIS DAY
#1: Give thanks (1 Corinthians 15:57)
Paul was so impacted/changed in his own Christian-hating life because he understood
the significance of Jesus' resurrection: without it, we'd be stuck living in our own sin until our death
at which time we'd pay the price for sin by spending eternity in hell (Romans 6:23)--a
miserable life with no reason for joy (1 Corinthians 15:16-19)
This gift of salvation from Jesus means that every one of your sins, from the first until
the last you will commit before your die, are already paid for!
Contrary to Catholic belief and Jehovah's Witness doctrine, you cannot "work off" or pay for
your sins against God because:
Romans 6:23: Cost of sin isn't soliciting God, door-to-door, until you die or
issuing "hail Mary's" but, as the scripture says, "death"
1 Corinthians 15:50: The dirty (us) cannot make itself clean; we need the clean
to make us clean and the only clean (perfect) person to ever walk earth is (not was--because He lives)
Jesus demonstrated re-birth (resurrection)
the same way nature works: a seed in itself is dead; planted in the ground (buried); and is eventually
born into bearing fruit
Jesus was the first fruit of the resurrection which we all can follow--but we must
believe in Him in order to have eternal life, free of the judgment we deserve for our sin
(transgressions against God)
Romans 10:9: The exact procedure for becoming
saved: "That if thou shalt confess (publicly) with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt
believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
And when you become saved and live according to God's Word, the Bible, you will
see life-transforming changes that will lead you down no other road than success which positively
impacts you and glorifies God (which is the mission of mankind)--it's a "win-win" situation
Psalm 111:10: Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom and understanding
Proverbs 1:7: It is the beginning of knowledge
John 10:10: God not only wants you to know you have
eternal life before you receive it at your body's earthly death, He wants you to experience more in your
earthly life, until that time, than you could want for yourself
God uses both bad and good events to bring together "overall good" in people's lives;
The crucifixion of God's only Son by His creation was one of the worst, darkest events in
the world's history which resulted in the greatest gift offered mankind in history
Jacob (Israel's) son, Joseph: lived a holy,
perfect life yet was born into a disgruntled family,
hated by his brothers who sold him into slavery in Egypt (Genesis 37:28), falsely
imprisoned 12 years of rape by a woman whom he would not commit adultery with (Genesis 39:10-20) ...
which resulted in what? Being made ruler over Egypt by Pharoah! (Genesis 41:41)
THE POINT: We are to give thanks in both the good times and the bad in our life because
God is working for you an "overall good." There is no reason not to have joy and give thanks at all times
because Christ's resurrection is already THE Victory (the ultimate, "overall good") even though the fight, living on earth, is not yet over
Our president may not have time for your advice during his workday...
your favorite sports athletes may not have time to sign an autograph for you after a potentially brutal game...
But every minute of every day, God is focused on meeting your needs and comforting your pain
(Matthew 11:28-30)--and he's greater than all mankind, together
#2: Be steadfast and firmly ground in your
faith and loyalty to God (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Believers do not run, abandon God, or
"take a spiritual day off" because of fear, pressure or exhaustion
The Bible cites numerous stories of people and the undue oppression they endured only to
end in victory because of their firm trust and faith in God they would not let go--Jesus and Joseph, above,
being two great examples
Today, Americans, labeled by many as lazy and populated with a generation of people who "cut
corners" and go the quick, easy route to accomplishment, will quickly wilt and quit when either
events do not go the way they foresee or if "life becomes unfair" to them
Those Americans, most likely not saved, so quickly give up because they spend all their energy
worrying about the uncertain future and how to deal with unconfirmed catastrophe.
What makes saved people different is that it doesn't matter if we succeed or fail because we, through Christ's resurrection, have already won!
It's the principal of God's working of good and bad events in your life for the "overall good."
We have NO excuse to quit--even with life's circumstances
Those who question why "bad" things happen are not looking at the "big picture"
Imagine staring, literally millimeters away, from the Cross. It's blurry and you can't see all of it.
This is an example of dealing with and trying to understand individual events that happen close to you
Now step back and notice the cross focusing and you see all of it. This is the example of
"seeing the big picture" and how all the pieces--good and bad--fit into the "overall good"--the Cross
#3: We must be unstoppable ("abounding") in doing God's
Will/work (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Ephesians 1:4: God's purpose for your life (and maybe you're doing
it now) was chosen before this world was formed in Genesis 1:1! Imagine that!
Proverbs 16:9: As Israel's king Solomon said, "man plans his day, but God
guides his steps."
Everyone becomes tired and exhausted, including Jesus Christ while on earth
(Matthew 4:2)--so God knows what you're going through; yet in all that, what makes the
saved different from the rest of this world is that we already know the end of the story--that we've
already won. Focus on that to re-motivate you to stay the fight for the simple reason that all work
done for God, whether you see the fruits of your work or not, is not in vain
(1 Corinthians 15:58)
Revelation 20:11-13: While God wants you to enjoy your earthly life more than you
could imagine and give you immortality at your earthly death, remember that while the
saved don't have to face the Judgment Seat, all of us will
give an account of our life before God on Judgment Day
Every deed you've ever done in public or secret will be accounted for, just between you and
God; no one will be by your side to comfort you at this time; doesn't that make you tremble, thinking
about some of the deeds you're soon to answer for?
You've been given God's laws to live by (the Bible), offered immortality in Heaven after
your work here on earth and have direct communication to God and Jesus through prayer, today.
Moreover, God's given you motivation and lessons learned from Bible stories ranging from the consequences
of those who actively disobey to those who, even after years of oppression, will not quit the faith.
And even while on earth, God guides you in your work.
Rejoice, be firmly ground in your Christian beliefs and do not lose faith in working for God
Matthew 25:21: The goal at life's end is wanting God to say to you:
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant:"
Rejoice, give thanks, and remain loyal to God and His work for you. This should be your
response for what God first gave you: the unattainable-by-man and unspeakable gift of eternal life--free
from God's Judgment wrath--through belief and faith in Jesus Christ