The Message from an Empty Tomb.
TEXT Various

INTRODUCTION Testimony of Ed Young Proclaim Sp.97
Ed Young shared he had a friend named Walter Carroll, who was an atheist. He was a good guy, though. One Sunday afternoon he looked at me and said, "Eddie, do you believe there's a God?" I said, "Sure, Walter, I believe there's a God." He said, "You don't live like it." I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "You live just like I do. I'm an atheist. I don't believe there's a God, and I live like there's no God. We're buddies. You do everything I do. You say there is a God, and yet you don't live like there's a God. Don't you have enough sense to know that, if there is a God, if you can get to know Him and live the way He wants you to live, that's the most important thing in life?"

That was the greatest sermon I have ever heard. God used the mouth of an atheist. I'll never forget it. I couldn't answer. I went to my room, dropped down on my knees, and said, "Lord, I know you're there. I believe Jesus is your son. I've gotten away from that, away from my background when I got away from home. Just lead me. I'm yours."

That was the beginning step of many, many steps God used in the next four or five months that led me to go home on Mother's Day to tell my mother and dad I was going to be a preacher. They were shocked. I told my home pastor, and he was astounded. I told my friends, and they thought someone had promised me a pot of money and dared me to go down the aisle and tell everybody I was going to be a preacher. I went forward that Sunday. I remember what I wrote on my card: "Lord, I give you all that I am, and all that I will ever be."

    A Message of Pardon. Rom 4:23-25

    A Message of Peace. John 20:19-21

    A Message of Purity. Rom 6:4-12

    A Message of Power. Eph 1:19-23

    A Message of Position. Eph 2:4-6
 

1.    A Message of . . Pardon. Rom 4:23-25


23 The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness-- for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (NIV)

Quote Rom 10:9

A.    The Message of Pardon in His . . Death.

B.    The Message of Pardon in His . . Deliverance.

Illustration (from "Approaching Hoofbeats," by Billy Graham, p.124-126)
Thousands have mercifully been delivered from satanic power and the occult through faith in Jesus Christ. One example is Ron Baker, who lives in Australia.

Ron was an abused child, beaten almost daily--twice with barbed wire. So he grew up to be an abusive husband and father. He had a terrible stutter, could neither read nor write, was a hopeless drunk, a drug user, and into the occult. He had a wife, Beryl, and two sons, all of whom he treated badly.

In 1959, during the Sydney Crusade, a builder who was doing construction work on their house and who happened to be a Christian, invited Beryl to the meetings. That night I preached on the home. I made the comment, "Every child has the right to a Christian home." Beryl was converted that evening, went home to a drunk husband and said, "I gave my heart to Jesus tonight." He watched her all weekend and noticed the difference in her.

Although Ron could not read, he had learned to make out road signs and had gotten a job as a bus driver. During the Sydney Crusade, he found that sometimes he had to drive busloads of people to the crusade meetings. When this happened he would sit in the bus until the meeting was over -- hating every minute of his wait. But one day a fellow bus driver asked if Ron would trade assignments with him; the other driver wanted to go to the meeting that night.

This meant Ron would have the evening off, so he accepted with pleasure.
Usually, on the way home, Ron's car "automatically" stopped at the pub, where he would have plenty to drink before going home. This night, for some reason, he drove past the pub and arrived home sober -- just in time to meet the friendly builder, who was there to invite Ron to go to the meeting with him. Ron heard himself accepting. But he made sure that he sat on the top bleacher, in the farthest seat from the platform he could find.

That evening when I gave the invitation, I do something I don't usually do. I said, "We'll sing one more verse. I've the feeling there's someone sitting on the back row who, if he does not come forward and make his peace with God tonight, will have lost his last chance." And Ron Baker found himself standing down in front of the platform.

When the young counselor with him opened his Bible to counsel with him, Ron said, "Don't bother, son; I can't read."

So the counselor gave him three verses to go on: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23); "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23); and "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sings" (1 John 1:9).

Ron lived on these three verses for the next two or three years. During that time, he met two Catholic sisters who "tucked him under their wings" and taught him how to read. He was delivered from alcoholism, drug use and the occult. After learning how to read, he worked his way through Bible school by driving a bus, then went through seminary. After seminary he pastored a church for about ten years, but since that time he has been holding evangelistic meetings and is one of Australia's outstanding evangelists.

His two sons became Christians, married Christian wives and have established Christian homes. Just this past spring he welcomed his first little granddaughter.

When his own sons had been born he had been too drunk to go to the hospital to see Beryl. But this time, when his son called and asked him to come over and see his little granddaughter, he drove all the way thanking God that he was sober enough to drive to welcome her.

Application We are forgiven - Pardoned through the

Son. We couldn't do it by our self it took His Son. The Message from the tomb is one of pardon.
 

2.    A Message of . . Peace. John 20:19-21   (NAS) 


19 When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first {day} of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, "Peace {be} with you." 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples therefore rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace {be} with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."

A.    This Peace is a . . Pronounced Peace. v 19

B.    This Peace is Published Peace. v 21

Illustration

The bathtub was invented in 1850 and the phone in 1875. In 1850, you could have sat in the tub without having the phone ring.

Illustration Five great enemies to peace: greed, ambition, envy, anger, and pride. Petrarch (1304­1374)

Title: Peace from Above
Whenever I am troubled, and lost in deep despair,
I bundle all my troubles up, and go to God in prayer,
I tell Him I am heartsick , and lost and lonely too,
That I am deeply burdened, and don't know what to do.
But I know He stilled the tempest, and calmed the angry sea,
And I humbly ask if in His love, He'll do the same for me.
Then I just keep quiet, and think on thoughts of peace,
And as I abide in stillness, my restless murmurings cease.
-- Helen Steiner Rice

Application

Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God.
-- J. Oswald Sanders
 

3.    A Message of . . Purity. Rom 6:8-12


8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal (NAS)

A    Purity by . . Consideration. v 11

B.    Purity By . . Command. v 12

At a morning prayer breakfast we were looking at scriptures concerning the word
"sanctify and "saint". Some of our people are of the Nazarene persuasion. They said we believe you are Justified and the later you get sanctified. We know some get it all at once but most do not. I told them those who get it all at once are called Baptist.

Everyone laughed. But I am sure the Nazarines said to them self "not some of the Baptist I know." The world needs to see purity in Christians. What ever the brand

Illustration
On an air plane flight the singer actress called Madonna was on board. One passenger said to another passenger (who happened to be a devout catholic) "did you know Madonna was on this flight?" The catholic person said "do you mean the Mother of our Lord?" The other passenger said "oh no I mean the real Mandonna."

Application

I watched the Oscar show intermittently. I saw Madonna sing. Her dress was suggestively vulgar and most of Hollywood did not even know it.    We are called to show purity to a lost world. It is a message from the Empty Tomb.
 

4.    A Message of . . Power. Eph 1:19-20


19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. {These are} in accordance with the working of the strength of His might
20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly {places} (NAS)

A.    This is a . . Surpassing Power.  v 19

B.    This is a . . Seated Power.   v 20

Illustration
The renowned conductor Reichel was leading a great orchestra and choir in the final rehearsal of Messiah. They had come to that point where the soprano soloist takes up the refrain, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." With the chorus quiet, her elegant voice rang out. It was marked by perfect technique in breathing and enunciation. She sang with near perfection.

As the final note faded into silence, the entire orchestra expected to see Reichel's nod of approval. But instead, he stepped down from the podium and made his way to the singer. With a look of sorrow, he said, "My daughter, you do not really know that your Redeemer lives, do you?" "Why, yes," she blushingly replied. "Then sing it!" cried Reichel. "Tell it to me so that I will know, and all who hear you will know that you know the joy and power of it!" Turning to the orchestra, he motioned to begin again. This time the soloist sang the truth as she knew it in her own soul. Those listening wept under the powerful witness.

Application

I determined if I went to Israel a second time I
would go to the garden tomb and I would sing from that tomb "because He lives. Friend, we have power in the resurrection.
 

5.    A Message of . . Position. Eph 2:4-6


4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly {places} in Christ Jesus, (NAS)

A.    We have a . . Resurrected Position. v 6 a
 

B.    We have a . . Royal Position. v 6 b
 

Illustration
A little boy wanted to get into the kings garden to see the lovely flowers. A guard stopped him but the prince saw this and thought the little boy was cute so he went and got him and showed him around the garden. In a few minutes the King came out to the garden and the prince introduced the little boy to the king.

Latter he was escorted back to the gate and the guard took him out side. The guard wanted to make sure the boy knew how he got to see the king and asked if he knew who had taken him into the garden. He said no and the guard explained it was the prince.
 

Application

The little boy had position for a moment because of the King.  We have position for Eternity because our King,  who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
 


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