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Hope Beyond Tomorrow

Mark Finley

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Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

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  • June 17, 2019
    10:45 AM

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Father in heaven we just thank you that you are the awesome wonderful God that surprises us you are the living Christ you are the one who ministers in the sanctuary above you're the one who died for us you're the one that lives for us and you're the one that comes again for us and Father we open our hearts come speak to us deeply inside and give us encourage meant in Christ's name Amen during the days of communism the communist government very often had lecture halls in the factories then they gathered factory workers together often on a weekly basis sometimes on a monthly basis to give them a lecture is on the ideology of communism they knew that they had to saturate their minds with the principles of socialism and godless atheism on one particular occasion the factory workers were gathered together in a factory in St Petersburg and Russia and one of the most learned to brilliant communist philosophers were brought was brought into that factory to lecture on the virtues of socialism and on the benefits and print of the principles and practices of communism you actually for about 2 hours in the last part of his lecture he tried to destroy Christianity he talked about the myths of Christianity and he said that no intelligent person could accept Christianity at the end of that meeting of 2 hours of the lecture he asked if anybody had any questions in an old man was sitting in the back he had a cane and he began to walk up the aisle hunched over walking with fall toward step. Bracing himself on the cane and he came up the stairs on to the platform he faced the audience and the philosopher said to him what you old man you have some question you have something to say now in the Orthodox Church the leader of worship always says to the congregation at Easter Christ is risen and the audience speaks back reason indeed let's practice and I'll say Christ is risen you say risen indeed Christ is risen. Christ is risen. The Christ is risen he the old man simply began saying Christ is risen and the audience said and the old man said Christ is risen and the audience said hey the audience said. Well pretty soon it swelled to this loud crescendo and the philosopher knew he lost the audience. And with great humility and embarrassment he bowed his head and walked off the stage because you see the resurrection of Christ is the key to understanding his divinity it's the key to understanding the cross and His 2nd coming because if Christ had not risen from the dead but only died on the cross and was still in his grave he would have been a martyr dying for a good cause. If Christ was not risen for the dead he might give you principles by which you can live but he could not give you the power to live those principles but the incredible good news is that the Christ that died for us lives for us and if Jesus was not in the 2 he's If you Jesus was in the 2 he certainly could never come again so in 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 the Apostle Paul links the 2nd coming of Christ with the death and resurrection of Christ so let's go back and look at 1st Corinthians the 15th chapter because here you have Christ's resurrection linked to the resurrection of the right shifts when Christ comes again and link to his return and his reception of the eternal kingdom so Paul begins in 1st Corinthians 14 verse 4 1st printed 15 verse 14 if Christ is not risen then your preaching is vain and your thing is Vade So if Christ is not risen from the dead your faith is what everybody is vain Why yes we are found false witnesses of God Why are we false witnesses because the Bible declares that Christ is risen from the dead and if he has not risen we are false witnesses of that and Christ is merely a good man a martyr dying for a good cause because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ whom he whom he did not raise up in if in fact the dead do not rise for if the dead do not rise and Christ is not risen in other words if there is no resurrection of Christ then the rest of the dead have no hope for the resurrection. Verse 17 for Christ is not risen your faith is futile you are still in your sins then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ to perished if in this life only we have hope in Christ or of all men most miserable why because in the grave is a dark hole in the ground that death is a long night without a morning then the atheistic philosophy is true but he goes even further verse 20 and onward but now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the 1st fruits of those that have fallen asleep for scenes by man came death by man came the resurrection of the dead for is in Adam all die so in Christ all will be made alive but each one of us in his own order Christ the 1st fruits after those who are Christ at His coming then comes the end when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father when he puts an end to all rule in all of 30 and power for he must reign till he has put all enemies under his feet and the last enemy that will be destroyed is death so the resurrection of Christ is a powerful testimony that the grave cannot hold your loved ones the power the resurrection of Christ is a powerful testimony the Jesus the divine Son of God went into the grave and he came out there for he has power over the grave therefore he can resurrect our loved ones that father that mother that saw that daughter that sister that friend who died so unexpectedly who sleeps in that grassy grave on a hillside someplace and in Michigan they have the hope of the resurrection because Christ was resurrected from the dead and Christ's resurrection is proof positive that he has victory over the grave tonight I want to share with you 5 vital lessons from the resurrection story take your Bible and turn to Matthew 28th chapter. 5 lessons lessons that are old but ever new lessons that were given in the 1st century but speak to us hope in the 21st century lessons that were given in another time in another place but speak to us in dissed time in this place lessons that break upon us like a sunrise over Lake Michigan in a beautiful morning like the dew sparkling on Michigan roses lessons that's touch our hearts in this generation 5 lessons from the resurrection story we begin Matthew chapter 28 we look there at verse one now after the Sabbath as the 1st day of the week began to dawn Mary Magdalen and other Mary came to see the 2 very often in the study of the Bible we rush over texts and fail to grasp their significance notice the simplicity yet the profound newness of that 1st phrase after the Sabbath as the 1st day of the week began to dawn I'd like you to think about the disciples thoughts on that Sabbath the last time they had seen Christ he was hanging on a cross with nails through his hands and blood spurting about out of these wrists the last time they had seen Christ there was a crown of thorns jammed upon his head and blood was running down his face matting in his beard the last time they had heard Christ they heard him cry out My God my God why have you forsaken me they saw the darkness that enshrouded the cross. The thunder that clapped the rain that fell they heard the words Father into the eye hands like a man by spirit they were disappointed and discover ridged and down hearted their hopes stance the way like a shadow like a bottle thrown against the wall and broken in a 1000 pieces like sand flowing through their fingers had they grasped a mirage had they followed cunningly divine fables think about those disciples that Sabbath it was the longest Sabbath of their life Peter and John at left a prosperous fishing business to follow him they had risked their future and their fortune on this a tinner and Jewish preacher from Nazareth but what now what was their future Jesus was dead think about Matthew he risked his entire career to follow Jesus He had a secure position as a tax collector he couldn't go back to his previous employment now with all the ridicule heaped upon him as a follower of Jesus what did he think about during those hours those long hours of Friday night in Sabbath think about the mother of Christ what if you were his mother what if you stood there and heard the sound of the hammer and the nails driven through his ads what if you heard your son cry in agony What if you saw his feet crossed and heard the nails go through bone What if you saw the blood running down his face. What if you heard the thud of the Cross put in that hole what if you were Jesus' mother your heart would be broken you would turn away from that scene weeping and crying in agony how would you have felt that Friday night how would you have felt that Sabbath and think about another Mary Mary Magdalen she was a woman until reputed who found forgiveness mercy grace in Christ for the 1st time for the 1st time in her life she found somebody that loved her with a pure unselfish Divine Love He cast the demons out of her life that had tormented her for so long in him she found new hope in him she found a reason for living in him she found new purpose in him she had a future for today tomorrow and forever but now he was dead the last time she saw his body it was broken bruised and bloody She turned away and anguish and in deep sorrow from the crucifixion she could not bear seeing the thick red blood spurting from his stance or his blood tinge face she could not bear looking at the sorrow in his eyes or the pain that racked this body she could not bear the Horowitz horror of it all but now it's Sunday morning and let's travel with her let's travel with her to the to the Bible says Matthew chapter 28 now after the Sabbath as the 1st day of the week began to dawn Mary Magdalen and the other Mary came to the 2 I would like you to imagine that the Saturday night before that Sunday morning there is a church board meeting in the upper room. Now notice I'm imagining this it's or right for a preacher to imagine is longest they tell you they are imagining the ones you gotta watch out for the ones that imagine and they never tell you that so let's suppose there is and I'm telling you this my imagination let's suppose there is a church board meeting in the upper room that Saturday night and Mary senses her responsibility the Holy Spirit convicts her and she says to the disciples I'm going to go out tomorrow and embalm the body of Jesus now remember Christ died on Friday Sabbath cave the disciples kept Sabbath over that next Sabbath so obviously the law of God The Sabbath was nailed to the cross because they kept the next Sabbath but look Mary let's suppose Mary says to Peter and to the disciples I got in bomb as by Peter says wait a minute when you leave early in the morning and go as early as possible when it's still dark because we don't want anybody to trace where we are hiding here so be careful I suppose Thomas says something like this now Mary I have a question to ask you who's going to roll away the stone see that stone was at least 35024000 pounds just a few weeks ago I was in Jerusalem. And they've discovered a 1st century to know it's not the tomb of Christ but they discovered it 1st century tomb and you can find it in a park not far from the center of Jerusalem today and it's kind of difficult to find but they've escapade it and the Rolling Stone is still there and the other time we were there in the inn at night we had some time and we always hike at night so we hike through this park and I knew where it was we had up and and take took a look at this 1st century too but to that stone was about 4000 pounds so Here's Thomas I can imagine and he says Mary I have a question for you you've got 3 problems how you ever going to roll away the stone to embalm the body of Christ secondly that Stone has a Roman seal on it and it's illegal to roll the stone away and to break that Roman seal and thirdly you've got the Roman soldiers there so how you ever going to get by the Roman soldiers Mary did not have all the answers but Mary knew this. God had placed a duty in her heart desires ages makes an interesting statement on paid $7788.00 to sarve ages says this and I quote They knew that is not there at the 2 Marys Mary Magdalene and the other Mary they knew that they could not remove the stowed yet they keep on their way they knew that they could not remove the stone now consider marriage she approached the tube what thoughts must've been going through mine she must have wondered how to make sense out of the events that had taken place the last 48 hours she must know that confused perplexed stunned by what had happened but nevertheless she stepped out in faith she had no idea how the problem would be solved she had no idea how she was going to get past the Roman guards she had no idea how she was going to get the seal and get that 2 month seal she had no idea how she was going to roll away the stone I mean Thomas was such a cynic and a doubter at that time he could have said hey Mary you've been lifting weights down at Hezekiah is Jim I mean come on now Mary how you can move that sewed you don't have to have all the answers to do what God puts in your heart faith does not mean you see Faith means you trust faith is not knowing Faith is believing faith is not having all the answers it's having confidence in God who loves me and is working out things for my best good now we go back to the story here's Lesson number one when darkness engulfs you in your life because of the Resurrected Christ light will shine after that darkness it was dark dark Friday the thunder crash the lightning flashed the disciples were discovered chin down hearted and despondent. They saw the broken bruised bloody body take it off the cross it was dark dark Friday that hallelujah Sunday morning came and Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead and Mary comes to the 2 I would have loved to have a picture that I could have taken on my cell phone of Mary's expression when she came to the 2 you see in your hour of deepest darkness Jesus the Son of righteousness will arise in your life you don't need to understand only believe believe he cares believe he loves you believe he has the best in mind for you believe that in the light of the Resurrected Christ the sun will rise again for you he is the light of the world that will chase away the darkness after your dark dark Fridays and after your confusing Sabbath when you when you can't understand it times what's going on in your life the living Christ arise for you the stove will be rolled away because the living Christ still rolls away a stove now there's a strange twist to the resurrection story and you find it in John Chapter 20 very strange twist to this resurrection story Mary comes to the tomb she finds the tomb that the stone rolled away turning here into John Chapter 20 and you're looking there at John 21st one on the 1st day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the 2 while it was still dark but the light was to dawn the darkness was to be chased away and she saw that the stone had been taken away from the 2 gods did what Mary could never have done. God worked a supernatural miracle when she stepped out in faith and as she saw the empty tomb she still did not understand and here's the stay a strange twist in the story Christ is risen Mary has no knowledge yet of his resurrection and she stands in the face of the 2 the empty tomb Crying Now notice what the Bible says John Chapter 20 The Bible says 1st 11 and onwards but Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping and as she wept she stepped down and looked into the 2 she saw 2 angels in white sitting one at the head in the other at the feet with the body of Jesus laid then they said to a woman why are you weeping she said to them because they've taken away my lord I don't know where he is now when she had said this she turned around and saw Jesus standing there and did not know that it was Jesus and Jesus said to her Why are you weeping who you seeking Where was Jesus when Mary was confused and crying her eyes out where was it where was he right there in the darkness of your life when you've gone through the greatest challenges of your life when you're confused and you say God why is this happening to me and when you cry yourself to sleep at night Jesus is they are and he says to you why are you weeping I'm They are Hebrews 13 versus. Hebrews 13 verse. Jesus speaks to your heart tonight there's somebody who's come here tonight that you are carrying a heavy burden there's somebody that has come here tonight that your heart has feel downhearted and a scar edged in crushed. Somebody like Mary is confused and perplexed somebody like Mary has tears in their eyes but Jesus says Hebrews 13 verse 5 he says the last part of the verse last phrase for he himself has said I will never leave you or forsake you so we may both really say the ward is my helper I will not fear what can man do to me notice I say of 41 1st head claiming to the promises of God There is a peace that passes all understanding faith does not mean that you see Faith means you trust it in the last days of Earth's history God allows us to go through little trials now he goes allows us to go through little difficulties now we now exercise the muscles of faith because the trials in the future will be greater than any we've seen yet according to The Book of Revelation we will go through a period where no man can buy or sell will go through a period of persecution and difficulty but we need not fear over though we may not see him he is there I love the song just when I need Him Jesus is near just what I falter just when I fear just when I need him most I say a 41 and verse Ted through her tears she did not see him but he was there where is Christ when it seems you cannot find him where he is us when your spiritual life is tried up and you wonder where he's gone he's right there by your side to strengthen you to encourage you to give you hope notice it seems a little strange that Jesus did not appear to Peter it seems a little strange that Jesus did not appear to James it seems a little strange it didn't appear to John or Matthew 1st. Why did Jesus appear to Mary 1st because he needed her most Jesus makes his presence most powerfully felt at the times of our greatest need that's why he says in Isaiah 41 verse Ted fear not for I'm with you the not dismayed for I am your God I will strengthen you yes I will help you Aleppo's you with my right hand he says don't be dismayed don't be confused with the issues of life that engulf you in darkness and disappointed I am your God he says I'm going to get you through this I'm going to strengthen you he says I'm going to help you I'm opposed you with my right hand lesson number one hold on in the darkness hold on when you cannot see believe when everything around you mitigates against the leaf and recognize that light's going to shine in your darkness recognize that Jesus is there in your darkness recognize that he's going to put his arms around you and Whisper encourage mature year in your darkness Here's Lesson number 2 with the resurrection story God has surprises for those that step out in faith to follow Him God is real surprises Matthew chapter 28 verse 2 to 6 God loves to surprise us when we step out in faith when we make decisions because they are right when we make decisions because the Spirit of God puts something in our heart that he knows that we know we ought to do. Matthew chapter 28 verse 2 and behold there was a great earthquake and the angel of the Lord ascended from the 3 descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stowed and he sat on it his countenance was like lightning is is his clothing what is snow in the guard shook for fear of him like dead men but the angel answered Don't be afraid you see Jesus was crucified verse 6 he is not here he is risen come see the place where the Lord lay Can you imagine. I bet when Mary came to that to me is like this she comes to the tomb I'm going to do it because it's my duty but she's still confused she's still perplexed but she comes to that tomb it's empty she eventually sees the glory of the largest like wow I mean she's so incredibly amazing she so surprised would it be a mad amazing if I had a cell phone picture of just her face when she saw the empty tomb when she met Christ this is my Lord what if I could flash that picture on the screen would have incredible God loves to surprise those who step out in faith some time ago I was in Angola and Goa had gone through a real crisis it had gone through a civil war it was a war torn ravaged nation when I was meeting with pastors in others to encourage them and meeting with a lot of our university students and as I was meeting with some university students. Said Tell Me war stories tell me stories of how God surprised you in the war tell me stories that that you think out totally overwhelmed by what God did one pastor stood up and he said. We were in an area where the government troops were beaten back and the rebel troops had taken possession of that area and they were in tanks in they were coming up a street and what they were doing is because the government troops were in the homes but there was an Adventist pastor who owned one of the homes in that area and the members had gathered at his home because they thought they would be secure in the midst of the government troops but the government troops had lost the battle so their homes are being blown up so that was the worst place to be so on that street the tanks were coming up and they blew up one home and they blew up another home they blew up a 3rd home and they came and focused on the pastor's will with their 30 or 35 members in the past or said I'm going to give my life for my members and he ran out into the street and he said I'm an Adventist pastor the gunner on the tank who was sitting in the Tarrant to blow it up stood up and said Pastor Pastor I know the Seventh-Day Adventists they are good people he radioed to the rest of the tanks leave this home alone the advent of so making a major difference in our community and that home was spared and the pastor said that was my most surprising moment there was another student that told me a rather amusing story he said I was a student at the university and it was my senior year and it came to final exam time and the exams were going to be on the Bible Sabbath and I said to my major professor. I am a 7th Day Adventist I'm willing to take the exam early so that it won't be as if I have any advantage may I take it my major professor said no every student takes them on the same day we make no accommodations he went to the president of the college graduation was to be on a Tuesday the exam was to be on a Sabbath or a Wednesday was graduation he went to the president of the college the president called said no you have to take your exam on 7 if you don't take your exam on Sabbath you will fail the course if you fail the course you will not graduate so you have no option or out you going to repeat your senior year that course example be on Sabbath next year so you have a real problem young man the young man said to the present the college this really isn't my problem it's God's problem because you see he believes that God rules away stones he believes that when we step out in faith God surprises us he believes that when you do what's right because it is right even if you don't know the answer God's going to surprise you so this young man was in church on Sabbath he was there seeking God The exam was given that Sabbath the students took it this this young man said God I don't know what's going to happen but if I don't pass that exam I know that I'll get an f. in the class because it's worth so much it's worth 50 percent of our grade the teacher collected the exams put them in its briefcase and was on his way home on his way home a feast robbed his briefcase. Don't ask me the theology of this I don't know if God disguised as a job is the Sto don't go there please. Oh I tell you what happens a thief robs the briefcase that that the person he thinks is money or something in it there's not just the exam the professor never gets them back so Monday morning graduation is on Tuesday or Wednesday he comes to the Presidency University says I don't know what to do my briefcase got stolen the exams are gone the president says it's only one thing you can do give the students the grade they would have gotten in their regular studies if they would have taken the exam the had been a student at an a and e. got an a in the course. God loves to surprise us was Mary surprise when she came to the tomb that day why she we deny God the opportunity of surprising us when we compromise our faith we deny God the opportunity of giving us that joyful surprise when we fail to do what got asked us to do 5 lessons of the resurrection stories wrist lesson is this in the darkness of our life Christ never leaves us he is there and he can still roll away stones Lesson number 2 not only does life follow darkness but God loves to surprise you when you step out in faith Now here's the 3rd lesson of the resurrection story it's this God is the God of the impossible when you think about Jesus nailed to the cross bowing his head and dying is broken bloody body being taken and put in a tube there is no pulse there is no breath his heart is not beating the resurrection from the dead is the impossible divine act of God know who raised Christ from the dead that God raised him to Jesus raise himself with a Holy Spirit raise. Yes. Yes and yes the Bible says God raised Him from the dead the Bible says Jesus was raised by the life within himself and the Bible says the Holy Spirit raised him you can read text on him all Christ comes out of the tomb and you mentally speaking that is absolutely impossible and if Christ is risen from the dead and if life comes where there is only death Jesus can birth new life in your heart in mind and out of the deadness of a spiritual experience Christ can birth new life when it times we become numb to spiritual things he can awaken us and give us new life when we struggle with temptation he can break the chains that bind us because the life of the Living Christ comes from the throne of God to resurrect us from the dead notice kolache in chapter 3 verse one the God we serve is the God of the impossible kolache ans 3 we are look looking there at verse chapter 3 verse one if then you were raised with Christ in other words just as Christ died and the impossible happened and he was resurrected from the dead Christ raises us from spiritual life to spiritual death he takes the old thought patterns. That tended to secular godlessness and he puts godliness in our minds if used then we're raised with Christ seek the things that are above where Christ is sitting on the right hand of God set your mind on things above not on things of earth for you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God When Christ who is our life appears then you will appear with him in glory Paul is using the resurrection of Christ as an illustration Jesus was raised from the dead we have written rays from spiritual death to spiritual life therefore focus your mind on things that an eternity don't let the world squeeze you into its mold as Paul says in Romans 121 and 2 he says I beseech you therefore brethren that you present your body as a living sacrifice on to God which is your acceptable service then he says Do not be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Philippians 2 verse 5 Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus our Lord 2nd Corinthians 3 Verse 18 for by beholding we become changed patriarchs and prophets it is a law of the mind that the mind gradually adapts itself upon those subjects which it's allowed to dwell so the battle in the last days of verse is St It's not a battle in the Middle East it's a battle for your mind in the devil is doing everything he can through mass media through television through Theo gaves through the world through the world's music the devil is doing everything he can to manipulate to mold your mind but the Christ who is the resurrected Christ wants to do the impossible in your life and the impossible is to change the thought patterns from the earthly thought patterns that the heavenly thought patterns to transform our mind into the very image of Christ and that's what Paul says when he says Let this mind be in you that was the in Christ Jesus our Lord He is the God of the impossible take your Bible please and turn to the book of Matthew and you're looking there at Matthew Chapter 19 verse $26.00 Matthew 19 verse $26.00 he is the God of the impossible what challenges our youth a city. Somebody says if you lived in my home you would know the difficulty I face Daniel lived in Babilon Joseph lived in Egypt but God kept their minds stayed about here whatever your environment he's the God of the impossibly can do something in your life that you will not believe whatever your heredity you say but you don't know my genetic disposition No but I know the God who can lift us above our environment the God of can give us victory in spite of our editing Matthew Chapter 19 Your good king at there at verse 26 but Jesus looked at them and said to them but with man this is impossible but with God all things are what With God all things are what possible he is the God that opened the Red Sea and Moses walked through with the answer alive we were there we just retraced the history of the Red Sea opening and took a boat out on the Red Sea you know it's interesting Somebody once said hey it wasn't the Red Sea that they went through the Red Sea you know is at places 345 miles across and when that red sea opened if you have a 1000000 after years or a life that would have taken them a day to go through that I can just imagine those waters rolling back and then walking through it is like a big aquarium you see the fish swimming there now somebody said well you know that wasn't the Red Sea It was the Reed Sea It was only up to their ankles you know what I said a Praise the Lord God drought drown the whole army of Egypt in the reeds see that was up to their ankles as a great American hope in the correct. It was the Red Sea God open at sea and Moses went through but think of it he Secada the impossible is that possible. It's not possible man it's impossible God and think about it God rains man a down from heaven that's impossible but he does it with with God does it God gives him a cloud in those deserts in the sun that's impossible but God does it they March around Jericho and the walls fall down that's impossible but God does that here is the good news lesson one God gives light your darkness he's there Lesson 2 when you step out in faith God's going to surprise you Lesson 3 he cuts the God of the impossible. He's done it for others and he'll do it for you lesson for God is the God of new beginnings it's a new beginning for Peter that day Matthew chapter $28.00 the resurrection story he's the got a new beginnings Matthew chapter 28 when they come to the open to when they come to the resurrected Christ they have to tell the story Think of the despair of the disciples on that Friday and Sabbath Where were they covering in fear in the upper room for fear of the Jews their hopes were go on that their future appeared dark but what happened on Sunday morning where was Jesus that Sunday morning he was in the heavenly court see it resurrected from the dead after Mary looked at him he said Don't cling to me because I go to my father look at Matthew chapter 28 Jesus ascended to heaven and before he does that Matthew 28 verse 7 he says Go quickly tell the disciples that he's risen from the dead and he's going before you. On to Galilee there you'll see him so they departed quickly from the tube with fear and great joy and ran to a bring his disciples the word Look at John Chapter 20 verse 13 to 70 John Chapter 20 verse 13 to 70 Jesus says to Mary John Chapter 20 and notice verse 17 will look at that's the key text John 20 verse 17 Jesus said to her Don't cling to me for I've not yet ascended to my father but go to my brethren and say to them I am ascending to my father and your father into my God and your God and they are Jesus a saint Stephan and the golden gleaming gate swing open and Jesus comes back he has done on earth for $33.00 and a half years and all of Heaven sings holy only holy words he is the lame that was slated to receive riches and honor and glory and they want to give him the crown of glory they want to give him to the court the the scepter of glory they want to robe him in righteousness and Jesus approaches the father in that dynamic moment as he rises to heaven as the arises and comes to heaven he's ascended higher as he's ascended hirees looked back and there was get 70 as he ascended as he's ascended higher is look back and there is the call God has mounted and he ascends higher and there's the Sea of Galilee where he walked up on the water broke the bread and as he ascends higher he's out of sight earth and inside of heaven and those gates open and now he comes before the father in the universe wants to give him praise but he lifts up his hands and he waves them back and he says Father I will that those whom you give who have given you have given me be with me where I am he will not accept the praise and the glory and the worship of the angels and the embrace of the Father. Unless he knows for certain that you are going to be there with him and the father says your sacrifice has revealed before a waiting world in a watching universe the immensity of Heaven's love justice has been satisfied mercy has been revealed love has paid the price father and son in brace and all heaven sings worthy worthy worthy is the light Jesus returns to the upper room that Sunday night and as he does he says to his disciples Go and tell the story and it's a day of new beginnings it's new beginnings for Peter and he preaches to 3000 on the day a pen a cause and its new beginnings to James and John and Mary its new beginnings to you and me whatever your past has been the doubts and the fears Peter who denied a new beginning Thomas who doubted a new beginning Mary who is so much in despair new beginnings in the disciples go out filled with the love of the Resurrected Christ filled with the power of the Resurrected Christ they go to tell the story they tell it in Jerusalem they tell it in some area they tell it in Galilee they tell it in Asia Minor they tell it across the Mediterranean world they tell not merely the story from their lips but from their hearts their hearts have been melted their hearts have been changed their hearts have been transformed Christ is done so much for them that they have to tell the story. And when men and women employees and girls in Michigan and through the middle Merican you through this union the Great Lakes Union in through North American through the world when we come to Christ and our hearts are broken when we come to Christ in our hearts are changed it is not merely a duty and an obligation to tell some formalistic ritualistic teaching but the love of Christ fills our hearts the teachings of Christ change. And we need to our passionate about telling the story tonight this can be a new beginning for you like can shine in your darkness as you step out in faith to do what Christ puts in your heart He will surprise you he's the God of the impossible Christ last point is alive Christ is alive what is the to teach us it teaches us that 5th life changing last that you see when I was in the 5th grade I was going to a Catholic school and I raised my hand once and I said to the teacher the Catholic nun and I thank God for this Adventist message that I except when I was 17 years old I said to the nun How long is eternity and she said picture the ocean I was brought up on the Atlantic Ocean there on a Long Island Sound running down the beach with sand coming up between my toes and the salt air is blowing in my face and the teacher said picture the ocean and then she said Picture a sea go he goes out takes one drop out of the ocean a 1000 year later he comes back it was old so you go a 1000 years later he comes back takes another drop out a 1000 years later he comes back and takes another drop out the teacher said by the time the ocean gets dry that's the 1st 2nd of eternity that's like a blink of your eye the 1st the ocean gets dry. By a seagull coming once every 1000 years and taking a drop out of the ocean that's the 1st 2nd of eternity I began to think eternity is a long long time is a long time a. Christ has conquered the great eternity is Yours in Christ the tomb is conquered death is lost life is one Satan can't keep Jesus in the ground when Jesus comes out the resurrection is a reality and Christ's resurrection points to the day that Jesus Christ will come every time Christ confronted death in the New Testament death lost in Jesus one Jesus faced death head on at gyrus the rule of the synagogue so many spoke the words little girl I said you will rise to death fled away when Jesus spoke the words at last the wrist too in the presence of the Resurrected Christ death lost and life won at the tomb of Christ that resurrection morning the last enemy was overcome at the tomb of Christ that resurrection morning Satan's greatest weapon was demolished which is death at the tomb a crisis at Resurrection morning our eternal destiny was sealed for without the resurrection the eternal life Christ promised cannot be realized the cross reveals God's justifying grace it sanctifying power it reveals his an pounding love but the resurrection the Ascension of Christ into heaven his high priestly ministry make all that has wrought on the cross a reality in our lives this is why the New Testament mentions the resurrection 300 times Christ's resurrection is the evidence that his power over death in Satan is real it is the eternal guarantee that scene in the grave cannot hold us it is the a surety The Because he lives we can face tomorrow because he lives all fear is gone. Bill and Gloria Gaither Everton some amazing Christians on a New Year's Eve one New Year's Eve Gloria writes this It was in the early 1960 s. Gloria Gaither was expecting her 1st child the couple was going through some real difficult challenges in their ministry bill was seriously sick. This is a time that America was facing protests and marches in the street. Illegal drugs were exploding on college campuses in the late sixty's and campuses were fomenting and they were hotbeds of instability. It was New Year's Eve. Gloria Gaither was alone and she writes this. I sat alone. In the dark. Thinking about the rebellious world. And all of our personal problems in our family I thought about my baby. Yet to be born who in their right mind I thought would bring a child into a crazy world like this but then something happened. I couldn't quite explain the next moment but sudden I was released from it all. The panic that had begun to build inside me was Gentilly dispelled by a reassuring presence and a soft voice that kept saying Don't forget the empty 2. Don't forget the empty. That I knew. That I could have that baby face the future with confidence and I sat down to begin to write out of that experience because he lived. I can say. Because he lived. All fear is gone. Because I know who holds the future. And all life is worth living. Just. Because he will. Because he lives. Light will pierce your darkness in the. Grass to the reality of the resurrection. The let the living Christ bring joy to your heart. Because he lives. As you step out in faith. Grass the promise that he's going to surprise you. He's got a surprise. Because he lives. Resurrected from the dead. Grass the reality that he's the God of the him. But he still rolls away stone. Because he lives. Wherever you are. In the journey of your Christian experience. You could have a new beginning. Whether you've drifted far away. Or whether you have a vibrant experience with. Meetings like this or times for a new beginning. For deeper. Because he lives them in Taishan says. Is mercies are new every. Because he lives. We need not fear death you believe he lives to believe you can face the future because the lives of for a father in heaven one day the resurrected Christ. One day the living Christ will stream down the corridors of the sky one day the earth will shake one day lightning will flash one day Christ will come with 10000 times 10000 angels and because he lives we can face tomorrow because he lives all fear is gone Father help us to cling to the promise of the living resurrected Christ who loves us and not that he's coming to read Demas and deliver us from this sinful polluted world Tonight Send us from this place filled with the joy of G.'s send us from this place with open our hearts send us from this place singing in our hearts. Because the way. They still are. It made its name. 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