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Chris Hodges - Crown Him

Chris Hodges - Crown Him

C'mon, give Jesus all the praise, everybody. C'mon, that's the result of a risen King. How about you give Jesus your absolute best, praise the Lord. Wow, wow, wow, wow. Well, happy Resurrection Day, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us today for this very special celebration of the greatest day in history. I wanna say a big hello to all of our campuses that have now joined us. We are one church at 24 locations, 22 here in Alabama, 2 in Georgia. God bless you guys, and as you saw on the testimony video, we have a vibrant ministry into more than 21 of Alabama's Department of Corrections facilities, and they're joining us right now. Hello to the men and women in the Alabama Department of Corrections. God bless you guys.

And then we're also streaming all of our services all day long, and that's, of course, important for those who are shut in or may be sick today. God bless you guys, wherever you are. Maybe you're traveling today, but a special shout-out to a group of people that watch all of our services, but especially on days like this and that is our servicemen and women. We had an email come through to me 2 days ago from a naval officer who was actually a part of our church at one time and now he is deployed and he said, "P.C., we're gonna have a bunch of us gathered around a computer celebrating Easter, defending your freedoms".

How about we show some love to our servicemen and women? C'mon, give 'em a good hand. God bless you guys, wow. I absolutely love that, and if you're here for the first time, I am so delighted. I know your campus pastor has already greeted you and I just wanted to give my heartfelt greeting to you. We've never wanted to be a church that was just for us. We always wanted to make room for those who are searching for God and, right now, there is a hunger for God in our country that we haven't seen in 50 years and everywhere, all across the country, churches are growing at a rapid, rapid rate right now, and that's because we're all desperate. We really need a Savior and I'm so delighted.

So if you're here for the first time, and especially if you're looking for a home church, we hope you kick the tires and figure out if this should be a church for you. There's many we could recommend in our city. We have some great churches here in Birmingham. We think we're one of them and we would give you an invitation to consider us as a home church. And if you wanna understand who we are as a church, let me just take a minute and explain that to you. We came up with four phrases that we really didn't come up with. They've been in the Bible since the book of Exodus, all throughout the Bible, that God basically has, what I call, a spiritual journey for you. So there's a progression. And I don't think people take it because they don't want it. I don't think people take it 'cause they don't know about it. And so we've always decided that we would make the path clear and that path that needs to be clear is that you can actually know God.

So this is not about building churches or denominations or religions. This is about you having a relationship with a very real and very alive God that you can know personally and intimately, to the place where you actually enjoy him and you realize that this is not religion. It's a relationship with a very alive God. And I would invite you into that. And then once you have that relationship, you'll realize now you have access to his power. We're gonna talk about that a little bit today. And that power is there to help you first to find freedom we call it. Meaning the area of your life that if it wasn't in your life, your life would be so much better. So it's that part of your life that you really don't like. It's kind of traveled the journey with you, if you will, and has marked you, and for some of you, you resign yourself to the fact that that's just the way it's gonna be.

I'm always gonna feel this way, have these habits, have these addictions, have this pain, have this problem, whatever it is. But no, no, no, listen to me. You don't have to settle. You can actually find freedom, you can be free. "Whom the Son sets free is free indeed". Can I hear a good "Amen," everybody, right? We believe this. And then but once you start settling your yesterdays, here's what happens almost every time and that is you start to see your tomorrows a lot clearer. We call it discover purpose. And you would need to know that you have one.

So, when you were created by God, he actually attached an assignment or a calling to your life and, believe it or not, you will never find fulfillment until you find it, and the coolest part is you can't find it without the one who created you, which is why I love my job so much, 'cause you have to come to God to find it. You can't find it in career or vacations or money or relationships or pleasures. It can only be found in your purpose and when you discover your purpose, then you can get doing, listen to me, what all of you are called to do, and that is not exist, not survive. You're here to make a difference. You're here to impact another person's life for eternal purposes. And we would love to invite you into this journey.

This is what our church and all of our programming is all toward this. So I tell people I'm really not a preacher. I'm a tour guide. I will take you on this journey and, starting next Sunday, if you wanna come back, I'll show you how and we warmly welcome you into the spiritual journey that God has for you. Can I hear a good "Amen," everybody? So that's who we are as a church. All right, one of our traditions, before we get into the message, one of our traditions at Easter time is actually to do an annual survey, and we've done it for 22 years, and I wanna invite you to the process for a second. So would you grab the little card that's in your seatback or your worship guide. Even if you're not gonna fill it out, would you just please hold it in your hand and look at it? Would you do that? Just follow along and that's all right, I kind of get it. I understand.

But if you'll look at it, the front side of the card is what it looks like every Sunday. It's what we call a Connection Card. I will draw your attention to the bottom where it says "Prayer Request". If you have one, every card gets prayed over individually, and we'd be honored to stand with you. Listen to me. I don't know if you believe about miracles and whether God is still working in people's lives that way, but we have had 14 confirmed miracles just in the last 2 weeks of people that we have prayed for and we believe that God will do a great work in your life, everybody. So if you'll jot it down. Notice that it's perforated, meaning we will separate your prayer request from your personal information. We talk to anybody who goes to church here. We guard your information. No one calls you, we don't send out stuff. It's a very safe card for you to fill out. On the back side of the card is the part that's new.

So we only do this at Easter and I would love, love, love for you to participate in this 'cause it really helps us. This is not a gimmick, this is a real survey, and we have used the information that we get from the congregation. You say, "Chris, why do you do it on Easter"? 'Cause it's the Sunday you all decided to come to the same Sunday, all right? So you're all here and, yeah, and so it gives me a chance to talk to the whole church in one weekend. And we've asked things like if we were to add service times, which one would you want? If we were to add new locations, what city are you interested in? Today, we have two questions at the beginning and one at the end.

And the first question, I'll go to my screen here. I want you to look up here, and that is I pray and I build the messages and we have a teaching team here that helps me do that. It is our responsibility to hear from God and bring what we think you need, but we love knowing what you need. What you would like to hear that the Bible has to say about. Which topic that you need us to talk about because you're dealing with that. And so we put some suggestions there that you can mark or, better yet, you can write one that we didn't have on there and, we promise you, we'll build some messages around those topics. But that really helps me as I'm studying and preparing 'cause I'm usually, actually, 2 or 3 months ahead in my study for the Sunday services and for the messages, and we'd love to have that information. Second question, we've never asked this question in 22 years of our church, and that is how long have you been coming to Highlands.

Now this question actually resulted in a little debate we were having on our leadership team a few weeks ago when we were trying to figure out who many of you are new, 'cause we don't take attendance roles or anything like that, so we actually don't know. And the pandemic did some weird things. It kind of displaced people and scattered people and some are still online and we, you know, we don't know how many of you are actually new. And if we knew how many were new, then we would actually perhaps tell some different stories or orient you to things that we thought you knew but you don't because you haven't been around that long. So, if you let us know and so if you're brand new, just mark the first box where it says a year or less. And that helps us a ton, and I will give you the results of this survey next week. All right, hold that card for now.

Let me get into the message and I'm gonna start with my favorite Easter verse of all time. Romans chapter 8, verse 11 says this. It says: "The Spirit of God," and anytime you see the word "Spirit," it means the power of God. So "The power of God, or the Spirit of God, that raised Jesus from the dead," so you can imagine how much power would it have taken by God to get a dead person out of the grave? Okay, listen to it. It's still alive. Like, it wasn't a one-time event. It lives in you. "And just as God raised Christ from the dead, he will give life," or resurrect the dead parts of your life, your mortal body, "by the same Spirit that lives within you". What does that mean? That means that Easter was never intended just to be a holiday where we recognize an event that took place 2000 years ago.

We are here for that, by the way, to celebrate our risen King, but it wasn't just to be that. It was also supposed to be a day where we actually realize the same power for ourselves for every place in your life, look here at me, where you feel like, "Oh my God, I'm dying here. I'm dying. Like, people don't even know it, but there's something in my life". Maybe your emotions, maybe it's your mind, maybe it's your marriage, maybe it's your thoughts, maybe it's your finances, maybe there, "I'm just, I'm not doing as well as people think". And you would need to know that Easter is a great event not only of something that happened 2000 years ago, but of one that actually can take place here today. And the way I like to say it is, is that the Resurrected King can resurrect me. And I'm praying that for you. I am serious. Like, this can really happen in your life in a variety of ways.

Now, there's a catch, and I wanna talk about the catch. Because people say, "Well, P.C., I've tried". That's what they call me if you're new. I'm Pastor Chris, they call me, just call me P.C. Please call, well, call me whatever you want. Just call me, okay? But I don't mind. But they said, "P.C., I pray, I read my Bible, I've been to church, I go to church, it's not working for me. Everything's, it's actually getting worse".

Maybe, just maybe, you've missed the catch and I wanna make sure you know about it, and it's actually on the screen and you might not have noticed it. That he's not only resurrected, but he's a resurrected King. We call him the Risen King. If I were to give this message a title, I would call it "Jesus is," 'cause we've been in a series called, "Jesus is". "Jesus is the Risen King". And we sang about it. I hope you noticed it. We were very intentional about our music and our programming this year. Every song said something about a King, crowns, throne, royal diadem, all these terms of royalty and kingship because Jesus is King. And I'm gonna make the case today, I'm gonna do the best I can to make the case, that you can't enact the power of God in your life until you make him King.

Now I don't know if you know this or not, but this was actually the charge that got him on the cross so most people don't know this. In fact, I did a little informal poll about 20 people and I said, "Do you know the charge or the thing that he was wrongly convicted of that got him on the cross?" and no one could answer the question, even one member of my staff, which is a problem, okay, everybody? All right, so. But in Matthew 27 it says that Jesus stood before the Roman governor, called Pontius Pilate, and the governor said, "Hey, I heard you're claiming to be king. Are you? Are you the king of the Jews"? And I love Jesus's answer 'cause it's kind of cool. He goes, "You already said it. Yeah, you said it". And I think this... I don't know. I don't know why I think that's, I've done six services already and no one's laughed but that is hilarious in my mind, okay?

Okay, but it gets, of course, more serious than that, and that's probably why you're not laughing because, actually, what happened next is he was flogged horrifically and I did the best I could to describe that last Sunday. And after they flogged him, they brought him into a room that's called the Praetorium which is basically like the locker room of the guard. And they privately just messed with him, and they just punched him and spit on him and then they twisted together a crown of thorns. And everybody knows this part of the Easter story or the Good Friday story, but I would point out to you that this wasn't common of crucifixions. Let me say it this way. There was never a crown of thorns on anybody else who ever got crucified, because nobody else had claimed to be King. This is unique to Jesus because of his claim that he was King. "And then they knelt before him and mocked him".

And I wanna make a statement. I know it's a little harsh and it's really not in my style to talk this way but just forgive me, but I think we still mock him. In fact, I think there's even Christians that mock him, now unknowingly or knowingly, mock him because they like parts of him, they like the... everybody loves the forgiver Jesus and the grace Jesus and the love Jesus and the humble Jesus and they love all that part, but for a lot of people, he's not King Jesus, 'cause they still don't like being told what to do, even by God. That's why so many people have had the freedom, they think, to be able to adjust the Bible to fit how they wanna live. And so, in essence, it's a mockery and in essence you're basically twisting another crown of thorns and saying, mockingly, "Hail, king of the Jews" and they even placed a sign above the cross, if you've ever seen a crucifix, there's this sign at the top. It's in three different languages. It's in Greek, Latin, and in Aramaic, and basically there's a written charge and there's the verse.

That's what convicted him, that he claims to be the King of the Jews. Well, the truth is he is. And so, and 3 days later, c'mon, everybody, the day we celebrate today, 3 days later when he got up out of the grave, he proved it that he is the King of kings and right now he is seated on the throne of God in heaven. And I don't know if you know this or not but the whole story ends with his kingship. So I went to the very last part of your Bible and in Revelation, like, you're two pages to the end of your book, and it says: "I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. And with justice he judges and wages war".

It doesn't sound like nice Jesus to me right there. "His eyes are like a blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. And he has a name written on him that no one knows but himself". 'Cause do you see that? In other words, no one ever... they know the nice Jesus, they know... and he is all that, by the way. He's humble and loving and gracious and forgiving, but he's also "dressed in a robe," like a king, "that's been dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God". In other words, I have already spoken. "And on his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: 'KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.'" Take 3 seconds and give him some praise, everybody. Oh yeah. All right, that's the theology side of it all. Now, let's get a little personal, because he is King. Whether you say he is or isn't, he is the King. Can I get an "Amen," everybody, right?

He is. But the question of the day is, is he yours? Now, I know you might have the other parts of the names of God and they're all important. I'm not diminishing the forgiving and nice and loving and gracious and kind and all of that, but he also is the Risen King. And I even had this thought that for a lot of us, it's not like we don't really want to relate to him that way. We don't even understand kingdoms and kingship because we don't live in a kingdom. We live in a democracy and in a democracy, the preamble to our Constitution begins with us, 'cause it's all about us. "We, the people". And in a democracy, my opinion and my vote actually matters. And I get a vote. And if I don't like a law, I'll change it. We'll do a referendum. If we wanna create a law, we can create it. We write the laws, because we are self-ruled people.

Now, let me be clear. When it comes to countries here on earth, I am all for this process. In fact, I think we ought to be doing it a lot better than we are right now, everybody, all right? And that's for another day. We'll talk about that another time, all right. But the Bible is not written in a democratic mindset. And I had this thought that we actually kind of treat him that way sometimes. So we bargain with God and we rewrite parts of it that we don't like and pick and choose what we like. But in a kingdom, his preamble to his... in the New Testament, the beginning of that book is "In the Beginning was the Word".

And I don't have an opinion or a vote because I am God-ruled. I'm God-ruled. And by the way, if that doesn't sound appealing to you, let me give you some good news. That when... if you make him your King, he doesn't make you one of his subjects. He brings you into the royal family. You actually get your own crown. It's like the rest of the New Testament talks about the crowns he wants to put on us which we, when we get to heaven, are gonna cast our crowns before him. But he's gonna give you those crowns. He doesn't treat you like a peasant, he treats you like a prince and a princess in his royal kingdom and he gives you the best in everything that he has, but I don't think a lot of people understand him as a King. They love his attributes, but not his absolutes. And so the resurrection power of God never works for us and you've wondered why. And could it be that it's because our relationship with God isn't clearly defined by all his roles including the fact that he is King?

Now, if you know me at all, you know that I am infatuated with British royalty. I know, it's crazy. You wouldn't think it, right, but it is true. I watch all the documentaries, all of 'em. I have watched the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, I've watched it five times. I know every step of the process: when they anoint, and when they give her the orb and she has the little staff, when she puts on this crown, then they take that one off, put on a different crown, and they bow and they walk backwards. It's like, I've watched the whole thing. Like, the whole thing. And in fact, 4 weeks from yesterday, King Charles III is gonna be coronated. Set your DVRs. I know that don't exist anymore but I've got mine set.

Okay, so anyway, it's gonna be great. And I've traveled to London many times, mostly on ministry trips and I'll just be honest with you, when I go on these ministry trips and we work really hard and then we save an extra day to do a little touring around. And many times I've been to the Westminster Abbey, been to Buckingham Palace. I've actually had lunch with one of the members of the House of Lords in the Parliament building and they called him Lord. I couldn't call him Lord but anyway, you ain't Lord. Anyways, ha, ha, I didn't tell him that, but that's what I was thinking. But not in Buckingham Palace, but actually in a separate building, and you've probably seen it 'cause it looks like the old medieval castle building, and it's on the Thames River, is what's called the Tower of London. And the Tower of London is where the Crown Jewels are. And it's a tourist attraction and I highly recommend you go there.

And you stand in line and when you get in the building, you go four floors underground into this vault and some of the greatest jewels in the world are in the possession of the British Royal Family, the Crown Jewels, including the two largest cut diamonds in the world. So you'll see it if you watch 4 weeks from yesterday, set your DVRs. If you watch this, that Queen Elizabeth held what's called the Sovereign Sceptre and King Charles will hold it as well and it's got this cross on the top but right below the cross, is a fist-sized diamond. It's the largest cut diamond in the world, 530 carats, c'mon, somebody. Ladies, turn to your husband and say, "Up your game".

The second largest cut diamond in the world is right here. It's called the Imperial Crown and it's right there at the bottom, 317.4 carats. And that's a ruby, a heart-shaped sapphire right there and ruby and it has 2,901 other jewels just in that crown. And they place this on the head of someone who's not perfect. And they bow and sing and it's all great. It's all great. And then you'll see this crown in the coronation of King Charles III 4 weeks from yesterday. Here's a thought. He's been king since the moment Queen Elizabeth II breathed her last breath. In that moment he became king. They wait to coronate them. Somebody said it this way. He's already king, he just hasn't been crowned.

And I've got a statement to make here, Easter 2023, that he's already King, but you need to crown him. In fact, I'm recommending, we sang it all day long. I'm asking you to crown him, here's the key phrase, "Lord of All". And he's not King or crowned until you treat him as a kingdom, not a democracy. Let me say it this way. This is the whole message in a sentence, that the resurrection power is available to you but it's available to you at the level of your submission and your devotion to Him. And I had this thought that people have an expectation of God without going to the level of relationship that God requires in order to receive it. Hey, look at me. He's King, and if you don't crown him, guess what? You're the king, and if you ever try to rule your own life, you'll discover you ain't good at it.

And so the whole world's trying right now. They're blatantly mocking God's Word and God's ways. Culture, can I say it like I'm thinking it right now? They've lost their minds. And I'm shocked. You don't even need me to go through the list, do you, of the stuff that's going on in our world right now that is just, "Are you kidding? Are you kidding me"? And I'm gonna tell you what's gonna happen. And that is whenever you start running your own life, it always leads you to a horrible place, and it's gonna feel like, listen, don't you ever forget these words. It's gonna feel like God is punishing you, and God doesn't punish. He removes his presence from you and when God's not involved in your life, you're not gonna like it. In fact, let me say it this way. God doesn't punish you, you end up punishing yourself, because you don't have his protection 'cause he's no longer the King covering you.

So I'm gonna close with a story. In 2017 I wrote a book and I'm not like a real author like the guys who really write a bunch of books. I just, I'm trying to steward a few messages and it takes me a long time. I'm really not that good at it, and I work very hard on this, but in 2017, I wrote a book on the life of Daniel. I called it "The Daniel Dilemma," and it's actually based off of a series that we did in 2015 and the reason why I wrote the book, is that so many people rewatched this message series because the message series was all about how do we as Christians live in a pagan culture and never bow to the culture but still have influence in it? How do we do that? And it's very hard, honestly, and I used the story of Daniel because this was a season in Israel's history where everybody was taken, the whole nation was taken into exile, it was called. Seventy years as slaves in what is today modern-day Iraq.

In the Bible it's called Babylon. Millions of Jews in exile in Babylon. And Daniel had this, of course, this conflict with culture and they were saying, "Look, you've got to bow to this idol". He goes, "I can't do it". And they said, "We'll kill you. We'll throw you in a lion's den". We have all these stories, right? You have all these great stories. And he never bowed, but listen to me. He not only never bowed, he had influence. They started listening to him and that was the thesis of the whole series.

So I wrote this book and, by the way, just recently, I was contacted by Matt and Laurie Crouch of TBN, the largest Christian broadcasting network in the world, and they actually came to Birmingham to personally ask me if I would do ten shows on the Daniel Dilemma. They said, "We'll pay for everything. Want you to do these ten shows," he said, "because, Chris, I think the message of this book is more applicable today than the day you wrote it". And I said, "I will do it under one condition, and that is you let me talk about Highlands College in every episode". So, just a free advertisement, there you go. So, and they agreed. So, in fact, they're gonna do a whole documentary on Highlands College and let us tell that story, and I'm so excited. I'm so excited, I can't hardly stand it, yeah. Anyway, all right. But one of the hallmarks of the book of Daniel is the story of the Babylonian king and his name is Nebuchadnezzar.

Now watch this. It's so cool. Nebuchadnezzar thought he was all that and a bag of chips and he kind of was, actually. He was very smart, very talented. In fact, he created under his reign, some of the greatest wonders of the world, the ancient wonders of the world, like the hanging gardens of Babylon. Go study it. It's fascinating. But he was very arrogant. Watch this. He was arrogant, followed his own way, and he was very prosperous because of how good he was at things and God decided to judge him, because he kept thinking that he was the one that achieved all of that. And so he warns him. God is gracious, and God warns Nebuchadnezzar in a dream that he couldn't understand. So in the dream, he saw this luscious tree. This is Daniel chapter 5 if you wanna go read it. He says this luscious tree and it's covering all his nations and all his worlds, his family, his possessions, but then it gets cut down to a stump and it freaks him out.

So he calls in all his enchanters and all the people who can interpret stuff and they couldn't figure it out. And they said, "Listen, there's this Hebrew boy named Daniel who talks to God and God talks to him. I bet he can interpret the dream". And so they bring Daniel in, and Daniel says, "I know exactly what it means, and you're not gonna like it". And Nebuchadnezzar said, "What"? He says, "O King, you're the tree. It's you". And he said, "Why"? He says, "Because you refuse to honor God and let God rule your life. You think you're the ruler, and God is the ruler". And he said this, watch this. This is so cool. He says, "And you will be driven away," if you don't listen to this warning, you're gonna be driven away "and live with wild animals; eat grass like a cow and be covered in dew like an animal that lives outside".

Now, scholars disagree whether this literally happened, like he actually got on all fours and ate the grass, or if it's a figurative speech of the fact that the man went insane. Either way, he went insane. And even extra biblical history records that this king went, he literally lost his mind. And when I've read this, I thought, "There are so many people who characterize their current condition as sheer insanity". "Chris, if you know the war that was going on in my mind, I think I'm losing my mind". "If you saw my marriage, it's insane how bad it is". "If you saw what I'm really feeling and thinking and doing, privately, that no one knows, there's an insanity", and I'm telling you, the world is already there. It's, by the way, why God is moving so powerfully, because people are about to lose it. And that's why we have crazy stories, constantly, like what happened up in Nashville. It's an endtime insanity, and we're living in the middle of it.

Listen to me, church, and don't normalize it. And if it's happening in your heart, this message was for you. And Daniel said to King Nebuchadnezzar, "Seven years are gonna pass. Unfortunately, God's gonna judge you and you're gonna spend 7 years insane until you acknowledge the Most High as your sovereign, until you crown him Lord of all. And the moment you do, your kingdom will be restored, but it's when you acknowledge that heaven rules". And Nebuchadnezzar ignored the warning. Twelve months to the day, he lost his mind. He lost his mind. And it goes on to say that "at the end of that time, Nebuchadnezzar repented, raised his eyes toward heaven..." And this is what I want for you. If your 7 years needs to end today, it can. If you're tired of feeling what you feel, and the insanity of the world and the struggle that's in your mind and your life, it happens when you crown him. Your sanity is restored.

"He praised the Most High," Nebuchadnezzar did. Nebuchadnezzar converted and he became a follower of God. "Honored and glorified him who lives forever. His kingdom endures from generation to generation. And when I did that, my sanity was restored, and my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom". In other words, every part of my kingdom came back in order again. I have wept, I'm not even a crier and I have wept the last 2 weeks, praying for you. I hear it too much now: "My world's fallen apart, my life's a mess". I hear it, I've been doing this 40 years this year and I'm hearing it at a level I've never heard before. We're living in an endtime insanity. And if you're ready for your insane world to come back together again, all you have to do is crown him. Crown him Lord of your... he is the Risen King and he can resurrect you.

Now, this is normally where I would say, "Every head bowed, every eye closed". And we're gonna do it a different way today. We do this at Easter, only time of the year that we actually give you a chance to respond in a very unique way. And I'm gonna ask you very respectfully and reverently if you would pull that card out one more time, everybody please, everybody. Just pull it out one more time. And just look at it and if you'll notice there's A, B, C, D boxes on the back, in the middle of that card, and that's the part we haven't gotten to yet. And that's your chance right now. In fact, we call this a spiritual survey and, listen to me, you are one of the four. You are. And I'm gonna show you what they represent. I'm gonna ask you to check the one that applies to you and then we're gonna pray. But the first one, the A stands for the word "Already". "I'm already a Christian and he's already my King".

And if you already know God, like, you're in a real relationship, check A. Even if you've been here forever and you say, "P.C., I do this every year," do it again. Just check A and just "He's already my King. I'm in a real relationship with God". B says, "I don't think I am and I wanna begin that relationship today. I'm ready to crown him". And for some of you, you've been in church your whole life and you need to do it again 'cause you've walked away from God. So I would say it this way: "I wanna begin again a real relationship with God and crown him as my King".

The C stands for the word "Consider". "I'm not yet ready. can I think about it a little bit more"? And the answer is a resounding Yes. I always dreamed of pastoring a church that didn't make everybody be Christians. Like, I didn't even want to have a church full of Christians. I always wanted to have people in here who just wanted to check it out, who were never asked to serve, give, I don't have to worship, clap. Can I just come here and think about it? Yes, yes, you are so welcomed here. You do not have to believe to belong. You can come and just check it all out and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I'm so delighted that you're here. The last one kind of freaks me out a little bit, if I'm honest with you. And it takes it to another level. It says, "No, no, no, I'm never gonna make that decision. I'm the king, and I'm not making that decision".

And if that's where you are, I'm asking you to have the guts to check it and, whether you like it or not, and you probably don't, we're gonna pray for you. Every year, we have people who check B and they write on the card, "And last year I was a D". You know why? 'Cause your world will get more insane. It will. And if it does, we wanna be the first place you come back to. No questions asked. We'll welcome you back, but it is a warning. So if you'd do me a favor and take a moment at all of our locations. Would you check the box that applies to you and then when you're done with your card, would you bow in prayer and that will let your campus pastor know you're done because I'm gonna allow the campus pastors to close the service. So finish your card and when you're done, just bow your head, that'll let us know you're done, please.
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