Easter 2019

Easter 2019

Pastor Jerry Gillis - April 21, 2019

Community Group Study Notes

  1. Have someone in your group provide a brief, 2-minute summary of Sunday’s teaching.
  2. What did Jesus conquer through His death and resurrection? List the 3 things we talked about on Sunday.
  3. Read Psalm 73:25-26. Can you speak in agreement with the statement “earth has nothing I desire besides you”? What gets in the way of that being a reality in your life?
  4. How can your life demonstrate that you believe Jesus is a worthy Savior?
  5. What is one action step you can take in response to what you heard on Sunday?


Sermon Transcript

In just a few days from now, one of the highest selling or highest grossing movies of all time is going to come out. Anybody know what that is? Yeah, you know what it is. It's this. Avengers: Endgame. I know some of you are like so jacked up about this. You bought your tickets when you were three. You just saw it coming. Now, it's interesting because this is like 11 years in the making, this kind of last movie, this Endgame. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had all these movies, and now it's kind of all coming together in this last movie called Avengers: Endgame. Now, again, the Avengers series is one of the highest grossing series of all time, and this kind of promises to be one of the highest grossing movies of all time. What is it? I know that everybody's not into these. My wife's like, "I could care less about these movies." I'm like, "What is wrong with you, woman?" I didn't say that. I would never say that. The fact that I didn't say that is indicative of the fact that I'm standing here today.

Not everybody loves them, but a whole lot of people do. That's why they're some of the largest selling, highest grossing movies in history. What's the appeal? What is it that kind of resonates so deeply with people? Well, I think, first and foremost, every single one of us loves that kind of time-tested story of a worthy hero who is combating real evil. There's something inside of us that says yes to that, and we long for that kind of thing. It's where legends, like in the medieval times of King Arthur, it's where they came from, these kinds of things that go on inside of the human soul. It's where Britain wants a leader to combat the enemies that they have, but they want that leader to be a worthy one, and so it needs to be someone who can pull the sword out of the rock, who is worthy to lead England.

The same kind of idea with these movies is that we want worthy heroes who are combating real evil, but there's a second reason that I think that these movies and this movie in particular is so appealing to so many people. It's because these movies are coming out at the right cultural moment. You see, the world that we live in is a world that feels shaky and suspect and scary. These movies we find worthy heroes, and we long for them because we live in this world, and it's almost like we're projecting. We're saying inside of our hearts we would love to have worthy heroes who are combating real evil. You see, the thing is is that in the day and age that we live in, we see evil every day. It's in front of us.

Some of you, in your jobs, you see it all of the time, but all of us see it. We live now in the age of the 24-hour news cycle where, in front of our face, whether it's on social media, whether it's what we're watching on television or streaming on the internet, we are constantly bombarded with evil and abuse and injustice and brokenness. We're seeing this all the time, all the time, all the time, and it can feel a bit overwhelming to us. Maybe sometimes what we realize in our heart of hearts is what we know that, at the end of the day, there really is an endgame. This is something that's true to life. It's not just something that we talk about in a movie theater or it's some kind of scifi fantasy, but there really is an endgame.

Maybe for us, we feel like, "Man, the way the world is going, I just don't know what that's going to mean for me." Sometimes we're confronted with the endgame of death, and it scares us. Sometimes we kind of, in our minds, say, "It seems like the forces of evil are aligning themselves against God and against God's people." That's kind of what we think about. I don't know what it might be for you, but we long for a hero who can rescue us, one who's worthy to do that. Well, I've got some good news for you today. There is one. The problem is, however, that we often fail to remember that. See, life comes at us really fast, doesn't it? It seems like it just keeps coming faster and faster and faster.

Everybody's anxiety keeps amping up. Our stress levels are through the roof. Sometimes we're experiencing such deep depression and sadness when we look at the world around us, but inside, in our heart of hearts, we are longing for a worthy hero who can rescue us from all of this. Well, maybe today it'd be a good day for us to have a reminder, a perspective shift, because in this day and age, we need one just like the apostle John needed one in his day. You see, in the latter part of the first century, the apostle John, who had walked with Jesus, seen his death and resurrection, was now seeing an empire that was crushing down on people. It was crushing down on Christians, and it was crushing down on people in general. It was difficult. John was facing this himself.

In fact, he had been exiled to an island called Patmos. It was there, while he was there, he had to be thinking about his friends and family members and relatives and brothers and sisters in faith who were feeling the heavy hand of the Roman Empire that was persecuting them. Now, John had been exiled for his faith to an island that was designated, often times, for prisoners of the Roman Empire. While he was there, he got a perspective shift because he was given a vision from the Lord Jesus, a revelation of sorts. In fact, that's what the title of the book is that we read. It's called the book of the Revelation. Sometimes when we hear that, we're like, "Whoa. That's frightening." Not so much. In fact, it's a blessing when we read it, according to its own words. John, in this vision, had an opportunity to see the curtain rolled back of the control room of the universe, not so much about everything that's going to happen in the future, but kind of in that moment right there.

For us, I think it would be helpful because, in our day and age that is shaky and is insecure and is scary just like it was in his day and age, maybe it would help us to gaze into that room with him for just a minute and see what we see. Here's what it says in the book of Revelation chapter five. Beginning in verse number one, it says, "Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?' But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it." John says, "I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside." This is a little bit of a sad scene when we gaze into this room.

Here's why it's sad. John, himself, is weeping. Why is he weeping? Well, he sees Almighty God sitting on a throne, and he has a scroll in his hand. You might be thinking to yourself, "What is this scroll?" Well, scholars would tell us that this scroll, in all likelihood, was kind of one of two things that almost are synonymous. This was like what we might call a legal document. It was like a last will and testament of God or, maybe more plainly stated, it was the plan of God for the consummation of history. It was sealed up with seven seals. Seven was a sign of completion or perfection. It was the fullness of what God was going to do, this consummation of everything God wanted to do. In other words, we could say it this way. It was the endgame. That's what he was holding in his hand, the endgame.

John looks, and he says, "Who's worthy to be the executor of God's will? Who is worthy to combat all of the evil and injustice that is going to come at us? Who is worthy to fulfill everything that God wants done for the consummation of history?" John says, "I looked all around in heaven and earth and under the earth, and I saw no one who was worthy," and so he wept and he wept and he wept, but his weeping didn't last that long. In fact, notice what the next verse says. It says this. Not that one. That one. He says, "Then one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.'"

Now, this is startling, right? Because he is crying because he sees no one who is worthy. Then an elder says to him, "Hey, look. There's a lion. There's a powerful, strong lion who is worthy, who has triumphed." In a stunning turn of events, as we read, John turns and looks, but he doesn't see a lion. Here's what he sees, "Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders." Imagine this. He sees into the throne room. God is holding a scroll, kind of this consummation of history that's in his hand. John looks, and he hears the angel cry out, "Who is worthy to open the seals of this scroll, to fulfill the consummation of everything God wants done?" He doesn't see anyone. Then, an elder says, "There is one. Don't cry. There is one. He's a lion."

Where is he? John turns, and he doesn't see a lion. He sees a lamb. Interesting thing is that passage says he sees a lamb as if it had been slain but was standing. You see, this is a picture of the resurrection, ladies and gentlemen, this day that we celebrate, because this is a picture of Jesus Christ, the one who laid his life down, who was the powerful lion who became the sacrificial lamb, who laid his life down. The interesting thing is is that even though we think about the death of Jesus when we think about him being a lamb, here in this vision, he sees a lamb as if it had been slain, but he was standing. He was alive. This is what a reminder for us of the resurrection of Jesus. You know, interestingly enough, what we see here is that his worthiness wasn't just dependent upon his power as the lion. His worthiness was about his sacrifice as the lamb.

Then, look what the passage goes on to say in verse seven and eight. It says, "He went," this is being Jesus, the lamb, "He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb. And they sang a new song, saying: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.' Then I looked and I heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and 10,000 times 10,000. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: 'Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!'"

You see, this is a reminder for us, ladies and gentlemen, that the sacrifice of Jesus, not only in his death on the cross as a sacrificial lamb, but as his raising from the dead in his resurrection, is a reminder to us that he is the one who is worthy and he is the one who has triumphed. Now, when the Bible tells us that he's the one who is worshiped as worthy and he is the one who has triumphed because of his death and resurrection, what exactly has he conquered? What exactly has he triumphed over? There's a few things that come to mind. This may not be all of them, but these are big ticket items, I would say. Here's the first one. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus has conquered sin. You see, that's really good news to us because you and I can't do that. Jesus has conquered sin. Sin is everything that stands in opposition to God.

It's the idea that we missed the mark of the perfection of God. His death on the cross actually conquers sin on behalf of those who put their faith in him. One of his apostles, Peter, when he was much, much older, wrote a few things down for us that the Holy Spirit has preserved. Notice what he says in 1 Peter chapter three. He says, "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous," that's Christ, "for the unrighteous," that's us, "to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit." You see, Peter reminds us that what Christ did on the cross is he triumphed over or he conquered sin on our behalf, the righteous for the unrighteous. You know what else he conquered? Satan himself. This is a wonderful thing for us to be reminded of. If you're new here, I've just spent a number of weeks, maybe even a month and a half, on this idea of talking about evil and the reality of it and those kinds of things as it's revealed in the scripture.

If you're new and you're like, "Hey, what are we talking about?" with all of this, you can just go back to TheChapel.com, and you can check some of those messages out. You know what I'm reminded of? In 1 John, John tells us actually that the Son of God appeared to destroy the works of the devil. In 1 John chapter three verse eight, he tells us that. We're also reminded that what he did, Paul says it this way in the book of Colossians. He says, "And having disarmed the powers and authorities, Jesus made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." In other words, because of what Jesus has done, no longer does Satan have the ability to come into the throne room of God and make accusations against the people of God because he has been dealt with. God has made a public spectacle of them through Jesus Christ's death on a cross.

Satan thought that he had killed Jesus by Jesus dying on the cross when, in fact, Satan had just ordered his own death because of Jesus' death. That's the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Speaking of death, that's actually the third thing. Jesus has conquered death. That's good news because, I'll be honest with you, the thing that hangs over everybody's head, the thing that scares people so deeply is the idea of death. You can look at some of the polls these days, and they'll say, "What are the things people are most scared of?" They'll be like public speaking and not having healthcare. It's those kinds of things. Now, if they're really pressed, they'll be like, "Okay, yeah. Death. Death, really." The thing is, in this day and age, people just don't want to think about it.

We don't even want to give thought to it, but here's the deal. The statistics, when you poll them, when you research them, the statistics are still the same. One out of every one still dies. Still true, right? I'm not even a statistician, and I figured that out. You know, it's fun for us when we joke about it, when we laugh about it, and I say something glib about it, but the reality is when we really sit with the idea of death, it freaks us out because we know there's an endgame. We know it's coming. We don't know what to do about it, but here's the great news that this lion who is so powerful, who is also sacrificial as a lamb has died in our place, but he didn't stay dead. Remember, when he turned, he saw a lamb as if it had been slain, but it was standing. Why? Because he's resurrected from the dead.

Jesus conquers death. Listen to how Paul says to Timothy. He says, "It's been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." Paul says it this way in 1 Corinthians 15. He says, "For Jesus must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet, and the last enemy to be destroyed is death. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the same that is written will come true: 'Death has been swallowed up in victory.' 'Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?'" You see, this is what the power of the resurrection has done on our behalf. It has conquered. Jesus has conquered sin and Satan and death on our behalf through his death and resurrection.

Now, I know that in the time that we live in, it gets tiresome because we see the 24-hour news cycle about evil, about injustice, about violence. We see it all of the time, about brokenness, but there's a hero who is worthy of combating all of these things. There's a hero that we can depend on. He's a powerful lion who is also a sacrificial lamb. Jesus is worthy to fulfill everything God wants done. He knows how to bring about the consummation of history. In a day and age like we live in and on a day like today that we celebrate, it's a good thing that we remind ourselves of that. See this look behind the curtain in Revelation chapter five, it helps us to understand why the resurrection is so important. There is a lion who is a lamb who is the only one who can save us from sin, from Satan. He's the only one. Here's the trouble. Whether it's sin or Satan or death, this is good news, but there's bad news.

The good news is is that Jesus is worthy to save us from sin and Satan and death. Here's the bad news. You and I are not a worthy opponent of any of those. We're not a worthy opponent of sin because sin has enslaved us. We're not a worthy opponent of Satan because we've bought his lies. We're not a worthy opponent of death because we die. Only Jesus, the lion who is the lamb, is worthy enough to do that. Too often we fail to realize this. What happens is we convince ourselves that we are a worthy savior, but I need to remind us all, you and me today, we are not worthy saviors of ourselves. We simply can not do it. We've tried, right? We've tried. You know you've had those conversations with people. Maybe they're followers of Jesus, and they've tried to talk to you maybe a little bit about Jesus. You're like, "No, no, no. I'm trying to be better. I'm trying to be good." Really?

What are you basing that on? What is your idea of better? What is your idea of good? A little bit better than what you have done or is it more the idea that most people have that we compare ourselves to other people? Generally speaking, we always compare ourselves to people we think we're better than. Right? We don't compare ourselves to people that we think are better than us because that just makes us sad and depressed, so we compare ourselves to people that we think we're better than. We say to ourselves, "Well, at least I haven't done what she's done. At least I haven't done what he's done. Look at me. I'm good. I'm better." The problem is is that in all of our comparisons, whether you compare down to people that you think you're better than or whether you compare up to the people that you think you're trying to aspire to, listen carefully, you have missed it completely in terms of your comparisons, completely.

Your comparisons to any other person are irrelevant because God said there's a standard, and it's his holiness. It's his perfection. By the way, good luck with that. You see, you and I, we have fallen short of the standard of God's perfection, his holiness. We've also allowed other things to become more worthy to us than Jesus because we've let our heart's affections and our heart's allegiance be more tied to those things than we are to Jesus. Maybe it's our own personal comfort, kind of just our selfish desires. Maybe it's our stuff, our possessions. We would never say that they mean more to us than Jesus, but, man, we live like that's true. We work so that we can have money, so that we can have things. We sometimes don't give a thought in the world to Jesus except for a passing glance. Maybe it's other relationships that we have, and we've actually put them in the place of Jesus.

Now, listen. By themselves, all of these things have their place. Right? Being able to work is a good thing. Having some possessions is a good thing. I'm glad everyone here is clothed. I'm not saying that they don't have their place. They have their place. Relationships can be a real gift and a blessing of God. I certainly consider my relationship with my wife and my children and my friends a blessing of God. They all have their place, but listen carefully. None of them can save your soul. Not one of them can save you. That's what we have to get through our heads. Sometimes we are attributing worthiness to everything but the only one that can actually rescue us. That's Jesus. He is the only one. We are not, ladies and gentlemen, worthy saviors of ourselves. You see, the Bible's very clear. When the apostle Paul writes this, he's not making any bones about it when he says this. He says that everyone or all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

Now, included in that everyone is you. Included in that all is me. All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Surely I don't have to convince you that you've made a mistake. Surely I don't have to convince you that you've sinned. No one has to convince me of that. I know my life. I know what's transpired. Nobody has to convince me. We know it. As a result of that, there's a problem for us in all of our hearts because the payment for that sin the Bible says is death. Paul says it this way, "The wages of sin is death." Now, if you think that that just means physical death, you've misunderstood because if it's simply that the payment for sin is death, then the second that we sin, we die. That didn't happen to Adam and Eve, the first bearers of sin, and it certainly hasn't happen to us. I can assure you of that because I'm standing here. I know that I have sinned. This is talking about something much deeper.

Even though physical death is a reality of sin, there's something much deeper here, and it's spiritual death. Something dies inside of us. There is a death, a separation from God as a result, a spiritual separation from God. I want to tell you that's even worse. Dying physically is happening to everybody, but there are going to be people who die spiritually and who stay dead spiritually even though that's not what God's heart's desire is for you. We stayed locked into these patterns of sin, and we've created other saviors other than the only one who is worthy to actually save us. See, the deck is stacked against us. We've all sinned. We've all come short of the glory of God. We all have to be judged for our sin. Whoa. Why? Listen. If God is God, he is holy and he is righteous and he is just.

He doesn't just wink at offense. He doesn't just wink at sin. Everything that stands in opposition to God, God must judge because of the nature of who God is. He is holy, and he is righteous. He must judge sin or else what kind of God do you want to serve, one that doesn't care about evil, one that doesn't care about sin, one that doesn't care about violence? You're like, "No, no. I want a God to do that. I just don't want him to do it in my life. I want him to do it in everybody else's life. They should be punished for what they've done. They should be dealt with for what they've done," but we don't want to apply that standard to us. Remember, we've all sinned. We are a part of the everyone. We're a part of the all. The payment for that sin is spiritual separation from God.

Wrap your mind around this. Even though the deck is stacked against us, that we have all sinned, that we should be and will be judged for our sin, that God who is holy and righteous is also good and merciful and loving, so much so that he saw the predicament that we were in because we were incapable of saving ourselves. We're not a worthy savior of our own souls. God took it upon himself to rescue us when we couldn't rescue ourselves. That is the story of Jesus coming and being born of a virgin, living a sinless life, preaching to us the revelation of the kingdom of God and how we can be reconciled to God through faith in him. He went to a cross, listen to this, the righteous for the unrighteous, and he died in our place so that the just wrath of God would be poured upon the one who had never sinned in place of the ones who were so sinful. This is an extraordinary thing.

Have you ever read a story about heroes where, really, the hero, instead of just vanquishing all of the villains, dies for them to rescue them? That's the story that we find ourselves in, ladies and gentlemen. That is the good news of the gospel. The God who owes you nothing has done everything for you. He has died in your place to satisfy the justice of God. He has risen for your justification. Now, when God sees you, if you've put your faith in Jesus, he sees Jesus. Good grief. That's unbelievable. He is the one who is coming to live with us, who's going to live among us, and who's going to make everything new. He is worthy to fulfill it all. I'll be honest with you, ladies and gentlemen, I can't think of a better place than here and a better time than now to receive the worthy Savior, to see your life transformed, your sins forgiven.

You're like, "Hang on a second, Jerry. I don't know if he can forgive all of my sin. You don't know me. I've done some stuff." Listen, did you just ask me? I know I asked the question, but let's just pretend. Did you just ask me, "Can he do that?" This is the powerful lion of Judah in whom, for whom, and by whom everything has been made. Can he? You have no sin that he can not conquer, no sin that he can not forgive. Are you suggesting that his death on the cross wasn't strong enough to rescue you? Come on. This is Jesus we're talking about. Say, "Okay, Jerry. I didn't mean to say that. You got me on that. What I am thinking is I don't know if he will because I've done a lot of bad stuff. I just don't know if he will." Listen, "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son." Do you find that an extraordinary motivation of love? "That while we were yet sinners, Christ still died for us."

Will he? He will rescue all who come to him, all. Whosoever will, the Bible says, may come, and he will in nowise cast you out. I can't think of a better place than here and a better time than now for you. I don't know how you ended up here today. Some of you have been around here a long time. Some of you are brand new. You came with a friend. Maybe you came kicking and screaming, "I'll go because I've got to do this, and I don't want lunch to be crazy." I get it. I don't know how you ended up here, listen, but your ending up here is absolutely no accident. God knew exactly what he was doing, and he is giving you the grace to hear the love of Jesus extended to you this day, that your sins can be forgiven, your life can be made new.

You can experience an eternal kind of life in the now and for forever because of what he's done, not because of what you've done. Many of us have experienced that, but I know that there's many under the sound of my voice who have not. Why not today? If Jesus is knocking at your heart's door, why don't you receive him and have your life be made new? I can't think of a better day to have a resurrected new life than today. Would you bow your heads with me? As our heads are bowed, and if you don't have to move around, I'd ask you not to out of courtesy to the people that are around you. If you're here and you say, "Jerry, I know that that's me. I need to entrust my life to Jesus. I want to give my life to him. I want to have my sins forgiven, my life be transformed. I want to be made new," then I want to encourage you to do that.

The Bible says, "To as many who as Jesus, he gave the right to become children of God." Maybe right where you're seated, if you want to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior and know that he hears you and that your sins are forgiven, your life is made new, you believe that he died for you, you believe that he rose from the dead, you know that you can't save yourself, but you want to surrender your life to Jesus, acknowledge your own inability to save yourself and surrender your life to the worthy one. If that's you, then I want to encourage you to pray and talk to God, ask Jesus to come into your life. I'll help you in that. My words aren't important, but if they help you, then that's great. Make them your own. Make this with all the faith that you have.

Maybe right there silently in your own heart, wherever you're seated, pray something like this, "Lord Jesus, I know that I've sinned, and I know that I can not save myself. I believe that when you died on the cross you died for my sin and because of my sin. I believe you rose from the dead, conquering sin and Satan and death on my behalf. I confess to you that I need you and that I believe that you are truly Lord and I am not. With all the faith that I have, I receive you as my Lord and Savior. I'm asking for your life in me to forgive me and to change me and make me new." As our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed, nobody's looking around right now. If you're here in this room or East Worship Center or one of our other venues and you just prayed that with me and you meant it with all of your heart, you meant it, would you be honest enough before God as kind of a spiritual marker on your life?

Would you just be honest before God and just put your hand up in the air? I've got my eyes open, but everybody else's are not. Just put it up in the air high so I can see it, all over the room. Just put it up high so I can see it. Leave it up for just a moment. I'm looking all over the room and just thanking God in my heart for what he's doing in the lives of people. There's a bunch of us. Keep them up for just a second. There's a bunch of us all over the room, and I can't even see everybody who's not in this room. For those of you who've got your hands up, here's what I want to ask you to do. I want you to be the only ones who do this. I want you to put your hands down but lift your head up and look at me. Just put your hand down, lift your head, and look at me. I'm so grateful to God for what he's done in your life. I can't tell you how grateful I am.

I was 19 years old and a mess when Jesus rescued me. I would have never dreamed in a thousand lifetimes I'd be doing what I'm doing now and proclaiming the great news that I was rescued by, but I'm so grateful that I am. Here's what I want to ask you to do. I'm going to ask you to make a bold step. I'm not going to apologize for it because this place is the easiest place in the world to follow Jesus, this place, because you got people all around you. They're on your team. They're part of your family now. These are your brothers and sisters. They believe this. We want to help you in your new journey of faith. We want to give you something, and we want to be able to just pray for you for a few moments.

We're not asking you to sing a solo. We're not asking you to do anything like that. We just want to help you. There's a bunch of you. Pastor Wes Aarum, who's one of the pastors on our staff team, he's in this room in the center aisle. Pastor Michael Ramos, who is in our East Worship Center, is there as well. You'll see them very clearly. If you just prayed with me, you raised your hand, and you said, "I just prayed to receive Jesus," I'm going to ask you to do something in just a moment. Listen carefully. I'm going to ask you to leave your seat. It's almost a picture of this. I'm leaving my seat, and I'm leaving my sin behind. I want to follow Jesus. I'm going to ask you in a moment to leave your seat and to come and stand with Pastor Wes right here in the center of the room.

I'm promise you. You're saying, "Oh, man. I'm in the middle of the aisle. People are going to be freaked out." People are not only going to be freaked out. They might hug you on your way out. They're going to be so excited to move for you, they won't even know what time it is in their head. They're just going to be thrilled. I promise you, I know these folks, they are going to be thrilled that you're responding to the gospel. While all of us are praying with our heads bowed and eyes closed, if you just responded, I want you to come, and I want you to stand right here with Pastor Wes in the center of this room or with Michael Ramos in the other room. I want you to do it right now. Somebody's got to take the lead in this. Somebody has that courage. Thank you, girls. God bless you. Come on. God bless you, man. Come on.

Make your way to them right here in the middle of the room. There was a bunch of us that said, "I'm receiving Jesus this day." I want you to come and stand right here with them for just a moment. Come on. God bless you. God bless you. Come on. God bless you guys. Yep. Come on. God bless you. Just come and stand with them right here. We'll wait on you. Come on. Most important thing you could ever do in your life. We've got some more folks that are coming too. We'll wait on you for just a moment. We're so blessed by this. I look out here and, I mean, last worship gathering, this worship gathering, I've seen people who've come to faith in Jesus in past Easters who are now sitting out here ministering, learning what it means to walk with Jesus. God bless you guys, man. Come on over. We'll be glad to wait on you.

Here's what we're going to do. Wes is going to take you into a creepy dungeon room, and it's going to be scary. I'm kidding. He's going to walk across the atrium, take you to a place called the Fireside Room. It's clearly marked. There's lights. People have breath mints. Everything's cool. He's going to talk to you for a few moments about what it means to follow Jesus, give you something to be sent home with that's going to be a blessing to you. I just want you to know we're so grateful for what God's done in your hearts, men and women, young people. God bless you guys. If when they are making their way out, if you're like, "I should have gotten up, and I didn't," if you want to slip out with them, then do it because this is the day. This is the day.

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Subject: Easter 2019

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