Why You Need a Resurrection

Understanding Why Christians Need The Resurrection Of Jesus To Be True

Dan Franklin
Apr 9, 2023    35m
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Join us for this message of eternal hope as we explore why Christians need the resurrection of Jesus Christ to be true. In First Corinthians, the Apostle Paul tells us that without Jesus' resurrection, Paul says forgiveness is impossible, death is final, and sacrifice is pointless. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Life Bible - Why You Need a Resurrection
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Amelia: [00:00:19] Today's reading is from First Corinthians 15:16-19, "For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied." This is God's Word.

Dan Franklin: [00:00:52] Amen. You can grab a seat, thanks so much for being here. He is risen. All right, you passed the test, Good job. My name is Dan, I'm one of the pastors here on staff if I haven't got to meet you yet. So about a month ago, I was reading a book, and I like reading a lot of stuff. And so every so often you read a book that you really get into, and I was really into this book. I was trying to find any excuse to get away, it's not important to the story, but the name of the book is The Caine Mutiny. Has anybody ever read it before? All right, a few of you. It's a great book, I'm not even a military guy, but I was really into it. And I was so into it that almost everybody that I had a conversation with of any length, it would come up. and I would talk to them about it, I'm loving this book, it's so great, I kind of read it on a whim and I'm so into the story. And after a little while, there was somebody who I was talking to about the book who asked me, well, is the book based on a true story? And I kind of paused because I realized I wasn't sure, like I was two-thirds of the way into this book, and I didn't know for sure if it was fiction or if it was based on a true story.

Dan Franklin: [00:02:07] Now, I looked it up later, and it is just a novel. But the funny thing about it, when I realized that I didn't know, I was like, I'm two-thirds of the way into this book. I don't even know if this happened or not. I not only didn't know, I realized I didn't care. I was like, I'm into this book, I don't care whether or not it happened. I'm enjoying it. I'm learning from it. I'm engaged in it. And it doesn't really seem like it would make any difference, any practical difference in my life, whether this is just a story that somebody made up or whether this is based on something that really happened.

Dan Franklin: [00:02:42] Now, here we are on Easter Sunday, and even if you're not regularly a church person, you probably know that on Easter Sunday, Christians all over the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We celebrate this as an event that happened, not just something that somebody made up. But I'm going to bet in this room, and also load all of you in the garage and outside, our campus right now, we no doubt have a lot of us that we would say, I believe this, I believe Jesus truly was raised from the dead, it's not just a spiritual idea, it's not just some concept, and somebody didn't make it up. I believe this really happened.

Dan Franklin: [00:03:25] And then just because of the makeup of how many people are here, there's no doubt some people here who would say no, when push comes to shove, I don't think it happened. And you're here being polite as possible because your family had you come, or there's some other reason why you're here, but you're like, no, I'm not going to make a big deal about it to other people. But if push comes to shove, I think probably not, probably Jesus wasn't raised from the dead. But then there's also probably a whole bunch of people here, and maybe some of you are Christians and some aren't, where you'd say, I just don't think that much about it. Maybe he did, maybe I believe he did, maybe I'm not quite sure that he did, but I'm not quite sure what difference it makes to my practical life whether or not 2000 years ago Jesus was raised from the dead. I mean, obviously, it would be amazing if it happened, but I don't know what it has to do with me today.

Dan Franklin: [00:04:16] And if you're looking at the screen, you might be able to see that the theme we have for this year's Easter service is why you need a resurrection. In other words, why we need the resurrection of Jesus to be true. And what we're going to talk about today is that even though this is an event that happened in the past, our lives will be radically different based on whether this is a made-up story or a true story. And I'll tell you my goal for these services right now. Goal number one, I have two goals depending on where you're coming from. Number one is that if you're here and you have not embraced Jesus by faith, which by the way, if that's you and you're here, I'm really glad you came. My goal is that if you've never embraced Jesus by faith today, you will. Or at the very least today you will start on a journey that will lead to you embracing Him by faith. And my hope is that for all of you who are in here, who have embraced Jesus by faith, that you will leave here more solid, more hopeful, more joyful, and walking in closer faith with Jesus because of your conviction that he really was raised.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:32] And we're going to walk through the passage that Amelia read for us earlier, it's in First Corinthians chapter 15. So if you brought a Bible or if you use your phone for a Bible and you want to follow along there, you can get ready, we're going to go through First Corinthians 15, three verses, verses 17 to 18 and 19. And here's what Paul is doing in this passage, the Apostle Paul who wrote this. What he's doing in this passage is a thought experiment. Paul believes that Jesus was raised from the dead, but he does a thought experiment where he says, what would be the implications if he wasn't? How would things change? What would we lose if it turned out that this wasn't a true story? And as we walk through these three verses, we're going to see three implications of what would be true if Jesus wasn't raised, and that's going to tell us why we need so badly for him to have been raised.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:24] And the first implication comes in verse 17, and I'll put the verse up here for us. Paul writes, "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." So here's the first implication of what we're talking about today, without Jesus' resurrection, Paul says forgiveness is impossible. And forgiveness is near the center of the entire faith that we have. Some of you were here on Friday when we were outside celebrating Good Friday and the death that Jesus died, and we believe that he died to pay for all of our sins. We can have a relationship with God if our sins are forgiven, if the gap between us is taken away, but Paul says if Jesus wasn't raised, there is no forgiveness of sins. Your faith is futile, it's empty, it's pointless, and it's not a good thing to believe that Jesus wasn't raised because you're still in your sins. In other words, you still have to pay the price for your sins, and that's going to mean condemnation and separation from God. Sin is any act of rebellion or disobedience against God, and we all are guilty.

Dan Franklin: [00:07:39] And I don't know if you've noticed this, but we're at a kind of weird time in our culture right now where it seems like we believe we don't owe God anything. We may believe that God's out there, but we think I don't owe God anything and we feel like God owes us a lot. Like maybe God owes me an explanation, or God owes me a smooth life, or God owes me healing for different things. Some people will even say, hey, I didn't ask to be here, I didn't ask to be created. Which is kind of a weird thing to say, isn't it? God made us, God blessed us with life, he doesn't owe us, we owe him. And when we sin, we wrong him. When we sin, we put a gap between us, and that needs to be forgiven. And Jesus came to do that, but Paul is saying, well, if he wasn't raised, he was just another guy who died. He may have been a really great guy, he may have even done some impressive things and he may have taught some things that we want to listen to, but if he wasn't raised from the dead, he's just another guy. Because the resurrection is where God shines the spotlight on Jesus and says, this is my son, pay close attention; without that, Jesus is just another guy who died, and we don't have any solution for our sins.

Dan Franklin: [00:08:58] And I do want to pause here and just say this, there are some of you who don't see this as a big problem. We live in a culture where we kind of tell ourselves, I'm okay, I'm not that bad, we'll all admit we're not perfect, right? And we're like, I'm not perfect, I might admit flaws, sometimes we'll admit quirks, we're like, not sins, quirks. It's kind of like I'm not perfect, but we don't necessarily buy the idea that our sin is so bad that the eternal Son of God had to come and suffer and die a death on the cross to pay for all of our sins, we're just not buying it.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:36] And what I want to say is if you're just not buying it, one of the things that I've been praying regularly in preparation for our Easter services is that we will get, in the deep parts of ourselves, the depths of how badly we need God to forgive us because our culture is shouting at us that we don't need it at all. Some of you aren't there today, but I pray that you get there. And it's not because I want you to be in despair, or because I want you to feel guilty, it's because I want you to get to the forgiveness of Jesus. And you're never going to get it if you don't want it, and you're never going to want it if you don't think you need it, but there's a lot of us in here that we know we need it.

Dan Franklin: [00:10:18] There are some of you who may have even come in here and you're haunted by the fact that you've done things that you hope nobody else finds out about. You've thought things, you've done things, you've said things, and you're like, gosh, I know I'm guilty. I remember all the way back when I was four years old, and I was being brought up in the church. I didn't know a lot at four years old, but I knew I was guilty, and I knew I needed forgiveness. Some of you are living in that reality and you're like, without forgiveness, I am sunk. Paul says, without the resurrection of Jesus, if it's not true, forgiveness, don't even think about it, it's not possible.

Dan Franklin: [00:10:55] And Paul gives another implication in verse 18. He starts us off, he says, this is a big deal, if Jesus wasn't raised, then forgiveness is impossible. And then he gives a second implication in verse 18, he says, "Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost." So implication number one, without the resurrection of Jesus, forgiveness is impossible. Implication number two is, without Jesus' resurrection, death is the end. When we believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead, we believe that He is sprung wide open the gates of eternal life for everyone who puts their faith in Jesus. But if he wasn't raised, then those doors remain shut, and death is just the end of the story.

Dan Franklin: [00:11:44] And Paul uses a euphemism here, you'll see it. He talks about those who have fallen asleep in Christ, and this was a way that the early Christians talked about other Christians who had died. And it wasn't because they were in denial, it was because they saw their death as temporary. They said they're dead right now, but one day Jesus will bring to life everyone who has placed their faith in him. So it was an act of faith for them to say that they're dead, but they're asleep because one day they will be raised just as Jesus was raised, but not without the resurrection.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:22] In my life, I've been to a lot of memorial services and funerals. I've done a bunch of them, and I've also just attended a bunch of them. And I'm just going to say there are few things that are more hopeless, that are more dark than being at a memorial service where people don't have any hope of anything beyond death, it is a dark place to be. And I think it's so dark that we just can't quite handle it as Christians, I'm sorry, as humans. And so even if we don't quite believe that there's anything after death, we have to convince ourselves not to be in despair. So we say things like, you know what, they're still with us. He's still with us. She's still with us. And. And as long as we remember them, as long as we think about the things that we did together, as long as that happens, they're still with us. I don't want to be the downer, but they're not still with us. It's just not true, we tell ourselves this because we got to tell ourselves something, and I'm not saying that you shouldn't still look to remember the loved ones who have died before us, but that's part of the healing process that we remember them, but they are not still with us. And I think part of the reason we desperately try to make them still with us is because we're trying in some way to attain immortality. We're like, we've got to find some way to conquer death, death takes them away, but if we remember them, they're still with us.

Dan Franklin: [00:13:49] And maybe part of what's going on in our mind is we're like, one day I'm going to be on the wrong side of one of these memorial services, and I hope I'm not forgotten. I hope my life goes on in some way, I hope I'm still remembered. And what I want to let you know right now is for almost all of us, very shortly after you die, nobody will remember you. Right after you die, a bunch of people will, and they'll probably come to a service. And then maybe a year later, 5 to 20 people will ever think about you, and then after about 20 years, maybe once a year, like, three people will think of you, and then a little bit after that, nobody will ever remember that you ever existed, that's just the reality.

Dan Franklin: [00:14:38] And if you don't think this is true, let me try to illustrate it, let's do a little bit of a game here. I'm going to name, I'm going to give a couple of names, and I want you to raise your hand if you know who the person is, whose name I'm giving. So I'll give you a couple of them. The first name, Alvin W Barkley, raise your hand if you know who this is. Anybody? I'm looking around because at the first service, somebody did, one person in the service did. I don't know if anybody in the garage is raising their hands, here we've got about 500 people in here and nobody's raising their hands. Alvin W Barkley was vice president of the United States under Harry Truman, 80 years ago he was vice president. And just think about this for a second. If you became vice president, do you know what? You would probably think? People are going to know my name. People are going to remember me. I will be in the history books. Nope, sorry, 80 years later in the United States, in the country in which he served, 500 people in a room, I'm going to guess however many more are outside. none of us even know his name. I only know his name because I looked it up on Wikipedia on a list of vice presidents and was like, I'll choose him because nobody will know who this guy is. That's how quickly we're forgotten.

Dan Franklin: [00:16:03] I'll give you another one. Now some of you will know this name, but I'm guessing not a lot. This is somebody, the only hint I'll give you is this is somebody who is alive right now. Here's the name Connor McDavid. Raise your hand if you know who it is. All right, we do have some hands shooting up around here. Keep them up, because let me estimate. I'm going to say here, in the worship center, we have maybe 12 hands that went up, something like that. All right, you can go ahead and put your hands down. Connor McDavid is a hockey player, and he's not just a hockey player, he is arguably the greatest hockey player on the planet right now. He plays for the Edmonton Oilers, the best hockey player on the planet, and in a room of 500 people, 12 of us even know who he is. Take that in for a second. You will be forgotten; people will not remember that you ever walked on the earth.

Dan Franklin: [00:16:58] And this bothers us because in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, one of the most profound things in that book is that we're told that God has placed eternity into the heart of mankind. We are not satisfied with the idea that we're just going to live 60, 70, 80, or maybe 100 years and then just be gone and totally forgotten, we know we were made to live on. And with Jesus' resurrection, that's possible, but without the resurrection of Jesus, death is just the end, we are gone, we're forgotten, and nobody will even remember that we existed.

Dan Franklin: [00:17:35] Now Paul's got one more implication that he's going to give us in verse 19. Let's look at that one together, he says, "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied." So Paul has already said, you know, without the resurrection of Jesus, forgiveness is impossible, you can forget about it, you've got to pay for your own sins. And without the resurrection of Jesus, death is just the end, there's nothing else going on. And now, in verse 19, he tells us, without Jesus' resurrection, sacrifice is pointless. Any sacrifice of faith you make for God, it's pointless because there's no reward coming.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:19] And Paul sounds a little bit melodramatic here in verse 19, he says, "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied." And he's probably talking about himself specifically, and then the other apostles who are spreading the message of Jesus. But even more broadly, he's just talking about all Christians. He is saying, if you're in here and you're not a Christian, you should look at all Christians, and if you don't think Jesus was raised from the dead, you should feel sorry for us. You should feel like we are wasting our lives. You should say, what are they doing on Sunday mornings? Why even gather? Why are they giving their money? They could spend it on fun things. Why are they fighting against sin and temptation? It doesn't make any sense. Why are some of them going overseas to spread the message of Jesus? Why are they doing all this? There's no reward coming if Jesus wasn't raised from the dead.

Dan Franklin: [00:19:16] And by the way, for those of us who are believers, you know what this means, this means our lives should say to the world that if we suddenly found out that Jesus hadn't been raised, that we would lose greatly, that it wouldn't just be something that we would shrug off and say, well, I guess I'll get on with my life. That we would be pitied for how much we lose. That we would live lives that are so prayerful, are so generous, are so righteous, are so courageous that if it turned out it was based on a lie, people would feel sorry for us.

Dan Franklin: [00:19:54] And it's worth all of us asking the question if it turned out to all be a lie, how much would my life even change? Because if your answer is probably not that much, you're not really walking with Jesus in the way that he's called us to walk with him. Paul is saying we have doubled down, and all the chips are in the middle of the table, if this comes up bust, everybody is going to mourn for how much we've lost. Without the resurrection of Jesus, every sacrifice of faith we've made is pointless. Paul paints a pretty grim picture, doesn't he? He's doing this thought experiment, and he's like, guys, if Jesus wasn't raised, no forgiveness, you've just got to deal with it on your own. If Jesus wasn't raised, death is just the end, so enjoy that. And if Jesus wasn't raised, every sacrifice of faith that you've made is pointless.

Dan Franklin: [00:20:45] But I want you to hear the very next words that Paul says in verse 20, he says, "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead." He says the nightmare is over. This thought experiment of what would it be like, it's all over because you know the truth, Christ has indeed been raised from the dead. Yes, he was nailed to that cross. Yes, he was taken down. And yes, he was thrown into a tomb. But three days later he was alive again. And Paul is able to say this because Paul was a witness to this, he saw the risen Jesus. And it wasn't just him, there were 12 apostles who saw the risen Jesus. And not just them, but Paul says earlier in this same chapter of First Corinthians, he says there were over 500 at one time who saw the risen Jesus. He's saying this isn't just a religious idea, this actually happened. And if it actually happened, that means forgiveness is possible, that means death is not the end, and that means every sacrifice of faith will be rewarded. He says Christ has been raised from the dead.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:53] And here's the deal, we're in 2023, and we're almost 2000 years after the events we're talking about. It's easy for me to get up here and say Christ was raised from the dead because it's pretty hard at this point to falsify that. Like, how would you disprove that at this point? We have limited ability to do that, and I'll acknowledge that, we have limited ability now to prove or disprove that Jesus was raised from the dead. But at the time that the message of Jesus first went out, it wouldn't have been that hard to disprove this claim. Because the disciples didn't start talking about Jesus' resurrection 100 years after the fact, they started talking about the resurrection of Jesus a couple of weeks after the fact, they started proclaiming that this had happened. And so if it hadn't happened, it would have been not that difficult to disprove. And so what we end up having to do is we say, well, gosh, something happened 2000 years ago, something happened that led to a lot of people thinking that he had been raised from the dead and since then has led to billions of people putting their faith in Jesus.

Dan Franklin: [00:22:58] So what happened? And there are different theories. Some people say, well, Jesus had enemies, most notably the Pharisees, the religious leaders amongst the Jews. So they say maybe they stole Jesus' body as like one final insult, they not only had him executed, but they stole his body. And that's possible except for the fact that once the disciples started claiming that Jesus had been raised from the dead, the Pharisees who wanted all faith in Jesus squelched, do you know what they would have done? They would have been like he wasn't raised from the dead, he's right here, we've got the body. We stole the body, sorry, shouldn't have done it; here he is, he's still dead.

Dan Franklin: [00:23:38] Some people think that what happened is that the disciples all went to the wrong tomb. This is for real, they all went to the wrong tomb, they made a mistake, Jesus wasn't in there, and they started saying that he had been raised from the dead. If the disciples had all gone to the wrong tomb, do you know what somebody would have done? Yeah, they would have been like that's the wrong tomb. This is the right tomb, there he is, he's still dead, and it would have been over.

Dan Franklin: [00:24:04] Some people think that maybe Jesus didn't actually die on the cross. Like maybe he was really close to death, so close to death that they made a mistake, and they took him down early and threw him in a grave, and then he revived and he came out and presented himself as if he was raised from the dead. A couple of problems with this. First is that the Romans were really good at executions, they're probably not getting fooled. And number two, if Jesus somehow survived the beatings and the crucifixion and then came back out, people wouldn't look at him as somebody who had been raised from the dead because he would still be at death's door, this would not come off to them as a miracle.

Dan Franklin: [00:24:42] Probably the most reasonable thing that people sometimes say, the best alternative theory for Jesus' resurrection is that people say the disciples stole his body so that they could keep the story going. This is the most believable, at least to me, the most believable of any of the theories of Jesus' resurrection. But here is the big problem with it, the big problem is that the disciples kept their story straight, suffered greatly, being ostracized by their own people, went to prison, had rocks thrown at them, were tormented, and eventually all 12 of the apostles were martyred for their faith. When all they would have had to do is say, whoa, whoa, whoa, we made it up. Whoa, whoa, you can just stop, put down the rocks, put down the ax, you don't need to do this, we all made it up. But they were willing to die, and I don't think that they were all willing to die for something that they knew was false.

Dan Franklin: [00:25:38] Two thousand years ago, something happened that split history in half, and I absolutely believe that what happened is Jesus was put in the grave and God raised him from the dead. Jesus is now alive, and that means that everything has changed, that means that we can actually live with hope, that means that whatever sin is haunting you, whatever way you're looking at things and saying, someday I'm going to have to pay for this, someday I'm going to have to be responsible for what I've done. Jesus died for that sin, and if you put your faith in Him, there is nothing standing between you and God. There's nothing that blocks you from having a relationship with God where you're his child and he's your father.

Dan Franklin: [00:26:23] It also means that we get to look at death with hope and courage. We know that we each will die, but death is not the end. You know, the New Testament talks about Christian funerals as places where there is hopeful grief, where we're sad because we miss the people who have died, but we have hope because we know that they're just sleeping, death is not the end. And because of the resurrection of Jesus, it means that every step of faith you've taken, even a secret step of faith that nobody else knows the battle that you've been facing, God sees it, God values it, and God will reward it. It means that a relationship with God is open to us for all who belong to him by faith.

Dan Franklin: [00:27:12] And let me just make sure everybody's clear on this, we don't become Christians because we've walked an aisle or because we grew up in a Christian home, or even because of baptism. As excited as we are to experience baptism later on, that's not what makes you a Christian. What makes you a believer in Jesus is that you have placed your full trust in him, that you've said, I'm not getting into heaven, I'm not getting in good with God because I've been good or because of my ethnicity or because of my age or because of anything about me, the only way I can get in with God is if I put my full trust in the fact that Jesus has covered all my sins and opened up eternal life for me. That's open to every person who's ever lived, and that's open to every person here that we would belong to him through faith in Jesus.

Dan Franklin: [00:28:05] And by the way, for those of us who are believers, I just want to give this reminder. When Jesus talked about eternal life, he didn't talk about it just as a future reality, he talked about it as something that's going on right now. That if we walk in step with God, we are now experiencing eternal life. The hope that we have in the resurrection is not just about the future, it's about right now. So right now, if you're a believer in Jesus and you're like, I'm feeling defeated, I'm feeling in despair, I'm feeling in grief, I'm not really experiencing that full life, but at least I get heaven. What I want to say is that's a little bit like if you were like, well, I got married, we're not living together, we're not talking with each other, we don't communicate, but hey, we're married. Friends, we have Jesus, he is our Savior, and we have God as our Father. And while we still wait for the final reward that we get, we get to live in the joy and the hope that God has given us, and not wait for the future, but do that right now.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:13] Now, here's what I want to do, as you already heard Phil talk about, we've got a lot of things ahead in this service. We're going to have some time that we get to respond with songs. We're going to have some baptisms that we're going to see later on, where we're going to experience the joy of seeing some people that are going to symbolize exactly what we're talking about, they are going to go down into the water as if they are dying with Jesus and they are going to come back out up out of the water as if they've been raised to new life with Jesus. We're going to get to see all of that. But before we get to that, I want to take some time now to invite us to be able to respond in real-time to the realities we're talking about.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:53] So let me explain to you what we're going to do, and then in a few moments, I'm going to invite some of you to stand, because God has been at work in a special way, and it's going to be a calling for you to respond to him. So I'm going to invite two groups to stand.

Dan Franklin: [00:30:07] And the first is this, the first is for any of us who have placed our faith in Jesus, and we want to stand because we realize we are at a point we're in a very special way, we need the hope that Jesus is offering. Some of you are feeling crushed right now because you're dealing with something physically that you're like, this is just my new life, I have no hope because of my illness or because of my pain. Some of you are dealing with something financially that you're like, this is just my life right now, and it's just a slog and it's just difficult and it's never going to get better. Some of you right now are battling against sin and you're like, I'm trying, but I've kind of resigned myself to the fact it's never really going to get better, so this is just the best it's ever going to be, I'm always going to be defeated by this sin. Whether it's lust, whether it's anger, whether it's gossip, whether it's lying, I'm always going to be defeated by this. And some of you are struggling with hope right now because there's some broken relationship, your marriage, your parents, your kids, your siblings, there's some broken relationship that you're just saying this is never going to get better, and without this, I don't know how I go on. Some of you are believers in Jesus, but man, you're at a point where you have a deficit in hope. And the reason I want to invite you to stand is because, first of all, it gives you a chance to say, you know what, I really am going to bank on Jesus, I really am going to put my faith in him. And it's also going to give an opportunity in a special way for me and those around you to pray for you.

Dan Franklin: [00:31:40] So right now, if that's you if you're saying, you know what, I do believe in Jesus, but I have a deficit in my hope right now, I am feeling in despair, I'm feeling down, I'm going to invite you to do something brave and just go ahead and stand where you are and remain standing for a few minutes. Awesome. Thank you. Awesome. I don't like manipulation, I'm not going to do that, but I'm also not going to rush through this because I believe some of you might feel like, ah, should I stand? Should I not? I don't want anybody to miss the opportunity of doing this.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:23] Now here's what I want, I want to request that you remain standing for this next part as I'm going to invite some others to stand. I'm going to invite you to stand if you came in here not as a believer in Jesus, but maybe God has been working on your heart for a while, God has been doing things to draw you to himself and you recognize I need forgiveness, I need hope, I need to believe that God is real and that he loves me and that he would forgive all of my sins. And if today is a day for you to say for the first time I am putting my faith in Jesus, I am all in, I'm placing my faith in him, I'm going to invite you to do something brave and go ahead and stand where you are. Like I said, I don't want to manipulate, but I'm not going to rush through this. If God is moving in your heart right now and you're like, today is the day, today is the day to do this, I'm going to invite you to go ahead and stand.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:31] Now, here's what we're going to do next. In a minute, I'm going to invite everybody to stand as we get ready to respond in worship. And when I invite you to stand, here's what I'm also going to invite you to do, there are people, for some of you, there are people right next to you who have stood, which took courage. And it's them saying, I need God in a special way to move in my life right now. So if you are near to somebody who's standing, what I'm going to ask you to do is, in an act of kindness, just when you stand to reach out a hand to them, maybe to put a hand on their shoulder. Just to let them know, to be the hands of Jesus, to let them know that he is near, and I'm going to ask you to join me in prayer for that.

Dan Franklin: [00:34:10] So let's all go ahead and stand right now as we get ready to respond. Let's pray for our friends who have stood and let's pray and commit this time to Jesus. Father, thank you so much that we get the invitation to live in hope. Thank you, that Jesus is real, thank you that he is risen. Father, I pray that you silence the lies of the enemy right now. I pray that you silence the lies that would tell us that you don't care or you're distant, or we're good enough on our own. Father, I pray for each person who stood, I pray that your love and your presence would be so real to them that it would be unmistakable. I pray that today will be a marked day, that they'll be able to look back on and say, this is a day when God moved in my life in a way that I just didn't know was possible, he showed me his love, he showed me his power, he led me to victory in a way that was only possible because Jesus has won the victory. Father, I pray for all of us, I pray that you lead us to live in a way that makes no sense unless Jesus really was raised, and we look to honor him now as the risen Lord and as the King of Kings. So we pray that you receive our praise, our worship, our adoration, and our confessions, that Jesus is Lord as we lift our voices to Him now. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.



Recorded in Upland, California.
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Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848