James Merritt - The Day Death Died
One of the things that makes Christianity so unique, so different from every other faith is unlike any other religion or any other faith movement, we actually trace our origin, we actually trace our reason for existence to one particular event that happened in one moment on one day in history. Buddha doesn't claim this. Hinduism doesn't claim this. Islam doesn't claim this. Judaism doesn't claim this. We are the only religious faith in the world that says because of one single event in one single day, when this power was unleashed on one day, there was no Church and the next day there was. So, yeah, give the Lord a hand, that's fine.
Now to fully appreciate that, you really gotta go back two days earlier to a commonplace event that actually took place 30,000 times in the Roman Empire. It was a crucifixion. It occurred on what we called Good Friday, although to the disciples, there was nothing good about that Friday, but there was nothing unusual about it because people were crucified all the time. And it was a day when a king called Herod and a ruler called Pontius Pilate and religious groups known as Pharisees and Sadducees and the most powerful army in the world, the soldiers of the Roman Empire, they threw a party that night 'cause they thought, finally, we got rid of this guy. We finally eliminated the greatest threat to our influence, to our power, to our position, to our hold on the people. We have crucified this Jesus of Nazareth.
So 11 men called disciples who had spent every day of their life for three years with this man who believed He was the Messiah, who believed He was the Son of God, who believed He was the one the Old Testament talked about, who believed He was the one they'd been waiting for. Even his own mother, Mary, thought He's dead, He's gone, it's the end. When they went to bed on a Friday night, they mourned not just the death of Jesus, it was the death of a dream. It was the death of a hope. It was the death of a vision. This is the guy that's gonna put the Romans in their place. This is guy who's gonna put Jewish people where they rightly belong, but He's dead.
Then in a book called, I invite you to turn to the gospel of Luke. Luke was a doctor. He was a forensic historian. He had done his homework. He had interviewed every witness he could find, anybody ever knew Jesus, ever talked to Jesus, ever walked with Jesus. He interviewed as many people as he could. He did his homework and he wrote these words, "But," I love that word. "But on the first day of the week at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus".
If you read your Bible like I read my Bible every day, there's a little word, don't ever pass over that word, it's one of the best words in the Bible. It's that word, "but". And most of the time, what God is saying is what you're about to read changes everything. Because in spite of those rulers and those soldiers and those religious leaders and the greatest military on earth and even the devil himself, even though they thought they'd accomplished what they tried to accomplish, the cross was not the end. Because, you see, in every dialogue and in every conversation, God always has the last word. You can say whatever you wanna say, you can pontificate all you wanna pontificate, but at the end of the day, God always has the last word. Always has and He always will.
So we go back 2,000 years, some women come to the tomb. They're going to anoint the body of Jesus with spices, that was a Jewish custom. Today, we bring flowers to a grave. Back in that day, they brought spices to a grave. But they wouldn't need spices that day. Because even though they found the tomb, they didn't find the body. And the reason why they didn't find the body is why we are all here. It's why this Sunday is not like any other Sunday. Because here's what happens to all of us and it always happens at a certain time. You could almost imagine when you knew it.
I realized it when I was a four-year-old boy. My grandfather had died. And back in the day, they brought the body home and I can still remember standing in front of the casket of my grandfather. Four years old, could barely see over the top of the casket. I had my Aunt on one side, my Aunt Grace on the other, they're crying. And I remember saying, "Why is Papa asleep"? And Aunt Grace said, "He's not asleep, he's dead". Well, when's he gonna wake up? Well, one day, but he's not coming back. And all of a sudden for the first time, death entered my mind. And there comes that point to all of us when we realize I'm gonna die. Every road of life dead ends into a street, into a place called death.
And that's why with the greatest question mankind's ever asked is this question, and it's a great question. Is there life after death? Is this it? Is this all there is? Is death just a sentence with a period at the end or is there something else? And all I wanna say to you is this. Whether you're a believer or not, whether you're a Christian or not, whether Jesus is on your radar screen or you're just not into this gig at all. If you are gonna think about life after death, you can't ignore this day. You gotta bring this day into the conversation. And when you do, there are three possible responses you can have to the resurrection.
Now, the first one we're gonna talk about is actually the most common one and it's really understood. First of all, it is natural to be perplexed by the resurrection. If I'm talking to some of you right now, if you're listening to me and you're a skeptic, you're an atheist, you're an agnostic. You're not a believer, you're not religious, you're not spiritual, you think it's a joke. You don't even understand why we even celebrate today. I want you to understand, I get it. It is natural to be perplexed by the resurrection. Matter of fact, Luke begins the story the way you would expect him to begin that story back in that day. "On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and they went to the tomb".
Now, why were they going to the tomb with spices? Because Jews did not embalm bodies. And bodies decay and the stench of death is overwhelming. So whenever someone would die back in that day, well they would take these spices and they would literally bathe that body in spices to tamp down the smell of death. But the reason why they had to wait 'til Sunday was because the Sabbath had started and you couldn't do any work on the Sabbath. Because normally you'd anoint the body the day the body died, but they couldn't do that. So those ladies had those spices. They got up very early in the morning and they go to the tomb to anoint that body.
Now I'm gonna stop right there. That ought tell all us something right off the bat. They were not expecting a resurrection. They were not looking for Jesus. They were looking for a corpse. They had gone there to do a job. Boy, they were in for a shock. "They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus". Now, when you take flowers to a cemetery, you expect to lay flowers on the grave. But if you were to take flowers to a cemetery and that grave was empty, the one thing that would never occur to you is, oh my soul, he just got up and left. I can't believe it. And he left without even telling anybody. You would think, no, I don't know what happened, but you would never think that. That explains, by the way, why Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the 11 disciples.
Why weren't they camped out at the empty tomb? Why didn't they spend Saturday night there saying, man, we can't wait to see what's going to happen today. 'Cause they didn't expect anything to happen. You may or may not know this, but neither the Romans nor the Greeks, nor the Jews believed in a physical resurrection. Now ancient people believed back in that day that what salvation was, was the liberation of the soul from the body, but not a physical resurrection. As a matter of fact, the Greeks thought the body was evil. They thought the body was dirty. They thought anything physical was just not worthy of even thought. And so a Greek would say to you, why would you want a dead body even raised from the dead to begin with? Why would you even believe in a God that would do such a thing?
So Jews, they believed at the end of time there would be like a general resurrection of people who were righteous. But there was nobody that believed right in middle of history before the kingdom came, before God put everything right, that a body would literally, physically come back from the grave. Never entered into their minds. Never even thought about it. That's why what happened next raised their spiritual adrenaline to record levels. Listen to what we read. "While they were perplexed," just think about that. It's natural. "While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, why do you seek the living among the dead"?
These women are just perplexed. That's a very strong word in the Greek language. Here's what that word literally means. The word perplexed literally means to be completely baffled, to be confused, to not even know what to think or not even know where to turn. I mean their heads were spinning. But I mean, look, let's be honest. I'm gonna give you some slack here. I understand why people would say I just can't believe you're buying into this. I understand why people would say, listen, this is no more real than Mickey Mouse. This is a fairytale, it's a myth. I wish we did live happily ever after, but we don't. Once we die, we die. Once we die, we're dead. We see it every day. I get it, I understand. Because think about the resurrection story.
You're reading this story and the first thing you come to, now listen to this, you got two angels sitting on a rock, talking to people like it's an everyday, ordinary thing. Then you've got burial clothing folded up as if it just got back from the laundromat, laying in the grave. Then you've got these crack Roman soldiers, the equivalent Navy Seals scared stiff. And when you ask 'em why they're scared, they go, "We saw an angel open the tomb". You think, okay, you had too much Mexican last night. This doesn't add up at all. You've got an empty tomb. You got no body. And oh, by the way, the last thing you expect to see is Jesus in his chucks doing a morning jog through the garden. No, that's "Mary Had a Little Lamb" stuff. But there's one problem, 'cause we gotta get one fact out of the way. This is one fact you gotta deal with, okay? No one denies the tomb was empty.
Have you ever thought about that? To this day, there is not a reputable scholar who studies the Bible, whether they believe in the Bible or not, there's not a reputable scholar that denies the tomb was empty. You can't find anybody that doesn't believe the following. Yeah, there was a man named Jesus. He was born, but not of a virgin. He lived, but not a perfect life. No, He didn't do any miracles. Yes, He was crucified and yes, He was buried, but yes, the tomb was empty. No one denied it then, no one denies it now. The Roman soldiers, they knew the tomb was empty or else they would have still been guarding the tomb. The religious leaders knew the tomb was empty or they would've paid people to make up a story that the disciples had stolen the body. The women knew that the tomb was empty 'cause they could not wait to get back to tell all the rest of the disciples. And the coup de grace is there's no other way to explain how the resurrection of Jesus was first preached in Jerusalem.
Listen, if I lived back in that day and I just so honored Jesus and so loved Jesus I didn't wanna admit He was dead and I said, oh okay, I'm gonna make up a story. I'm gonna make up the story that He was dead and buried, but that He was raised from the dead. The one place I wouldn't preach it is Jerusalem. Now why wouldn't I preach it in Jerusalem? 'Cause all somebody have to do is go to the grave and get the body and I'm dead meat. So I'd go to Greece. I'd go to Rome. I'd go to Cairo. I'd go to Africa. I'd go somewhere far away and I'd make up this story. I would never preach it in Jerusalem. So the bottom line is we're right where those women were 2,000 years ago, we have to ask the same questions.
So I'm asking you right now, what happened? Tomb was empty, we know that, but what happened? Who moved the stone? Where's the body? And why does it matter? With the answers to every one of those questions comes in what I believe is the next possible response. It is natural to be perplexed by the resurrection, I get that. However, it is necessary to be persuaded by the resurrection. It is necessary to be persuaded by the resurrection. Keep in mind, almost everyone who's ever studied Biblical history agrees, yep. I'm not buying He walked on water, I'm not buying He fed the 5,000, I'm not buying that He raised people from the dead, but I know He was buried. I know He died and I know the tomb was empty. Because the resurrection of Jesus would still be just an empty rumor, no credibility if the tomb had not been empty. Because again, all anybody had to do, just go visit the tomb, body's there, it's over. But it wasn't.
So everybody's asking, what became of it? Now watch this. Most people in the world do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus. I told you that two and a half people today are celebrating Easter. Well four and a half billion people aren't. So the majority of the world says, nah, I'm not buying it. Don't believe it. Doesn't bother me. The majority of people didn't believe it in Peter's day. They didn't believe it today and they won't believe it tomorrow. However, let me just say this. I've been a pastor 44 years, almost 45 years. I started when I was six. I'm absolutely convinced in 45 years, I've seen it over and over and over. The majority of people who reject the resurrection have never carefully researched the evidence for it. Because the truth of the matter is, there's just no way you could just bypass, go around, or ignore the resurrection of Jesus.
You've got to answer this question. Why was the tomb empty? Because in the war between what is true and what is not, oh, by the way, while I'm in the neighborhood. There's a war going on in America and I don't think a lot of you know what it is. The war going on in our country right now and it's being fought like it's never been before. It's not between liberals and Democrats. It's not between Democrats and Republicans. It's not between liberals and conservatives. No, it's not even really between black and white. The war going on in America today is what is true and what is not. What should you believe and what shouldn't you believe? And that doesn't surprise me because nothing outweighs the battle over this small plot of real estate close to downtown Jerusalem where Christians believe that death walked in the back door on Friday night and life walked out the front door on Sunday morning. That's where all the battle comes down to.
Well, these perplexed women are looking for answers. They say, well, where's the body? What happened? Well, before they get an answer, they get another question. "In their fright, the women bowed down with their faces to the ground". Why did they do that? Because they know they're talking to angels. They're not talking to the guy that runs the meat market, they're talking to somebody different. "But the men said to them, 'Why do you look for the living among the dead?'" These are heavenly witnesses and these women are all ears. Their eyes are bulging out of their head. I mean they've got their attention and they say, we wanna ask you a very blunt question. Why did you bring spices? Why did you come to anoint a dead Jesus when you should have come expecting a risen Lord?
Now I hate to burst some bubbles in this room. I really do hate to do this. It's Easter and I don't wanna be Debbie Downer. Elvis has left the building, he's dead. Our family got to go to Graceland with Elvis Presley's stepbrother. We got to go to places that nobody else gets to go to, we got to see things nobody else gets to see. But you know, one of the things we went to? We went to the mausoleum. Well it's beautiful. It's brass and it's gold and it's marble and it's got this fire going. I looked at that fire and I thought, I hope you're not a hunka hunk of burning love. James, I know that's corny, but I just had to do it for you. That's a dad joke. But you know what I realized looking at that? Elvis, you dead. You're dead. You're graveyard dead. You're four o'clock dead. And every single religion in the world is filled with dead leaders.
Judaism. Judaism says that our founder is Abraham. He died in 1900 BC at a ripe old age. He was buried and he is dead. Buddhism. Their founder was Buddha. According to their own piece of literature, here's what they wrote. "When Buddha died it was with that other passing away, which nothing whatever remains behind". You will not find a follower of Buddha who will ever say I saw Buddha alive. Nope, he's dead. Islam. Their founder, their teacher, Muhammad, died in 632 AD, 61 years of age. He's buried in Medina. Millions of Muslims visit his tomb every single year. But then you come to the founder of Christianity and I've got news for you. If you go looking for his body, you are wasting your time. He is not there. He is risen. But that's the question.
Why can't you find him? Because of the greatest statement that's ever been made in the history of this planet. "He is not here, He has risen. Remember how He told you while He was still with you in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified on the third day, be raised again. Then they remembered his words". Look, we don't have the time, we don't have the space to enter into all the evidence for the resurrection. But I wanna say something very dogmatically. If you're listening to me right now and you're not a believer, you're listening to me right now in this room and you never trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. I don't mean to offend you, I'm not trying to offend you, but I wanna say something and I want you to hear me.
You have the right and you have the freedom to choose not to believe in the resurrection. But I'll tell you what I have found in all of my years of pastoring, in all of my years of witnessing, in all the times I've had people say, no thanks, I'm not interested, rather than yes, I'd like to know Jesus and love Jesus and obey Jesus. And by the way, I've gotten a lot more nos than I've gotten yeses. And in my observation, in my experience, I've seen it time and time and time and time and time again because people do get it. Because if you ever come to a point in your life where you say, I do believe in the resurrection of Jesus, I do believe He was who He said He was. I do believe He did what He said He did. Then you also just said this, every other religion in the world is a false religion. And every other god that all these religions worship is a false god. And people don't wanna say that, politically incorrect. It's intolerant. It's phobic.
So here's the point. Here's what I found. Do you know why the majority of people don't believe in the resurrection of Jesus? Because they don't want to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. And let me give you an illustration that'll help you here. My son's a lawyer, he'll appreciate this. If you're a judge in a case and you've got a case coming before you and say it involves a company. If you're a judge and you own stock in that company, what do you have to do as a judge? What do you have to do? You have to recuse yourself, right? You got a vested interest. So if you're a judge and the company comes, you say, I'm sorry, I can't adjudicate this case because I own stock in this company. Have you ever thought about the fact that a lot of people have the same issue with Christianity and the resurrected Jesus? Just what do you mean?
So let's just say I'm Playboy Pete. I love to play the field. I love to sleep around. I love to dive into pornography. I cuss like a sailor. I drink like a sailor. I do drugs. I go where I want to go, I do what I wanna do, I watch what I wanna watch, I listen to what I wanna listen to, and I say what I wanna say. And then I'm confronted with this resurrected Jesus and all of a sudden it hits me. Wait a minute. If I give my life to this Jesus, Playboy Pete dies. I can't live the way I wanna live anymore. I can't go where I wanna go anymore. I can't do what I would do wanna do anymore. My life no longer belongs to me.
Now my life belongs to someone else. You didn't recuse yourself, you stayed in the case. And that's why I'm absolutely convinced if you really look at the evidence for that empty tomb and you understand exactly why it was empty, it is necessary to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. But now watch this. Some of you're saying, boy, you've been kind of hard on me. I'm not a believer and you kind of came down hard. Relax, I saved my biggest bullets for the believers. So if you're a believer, get ready. If I didn't offend the unbelievers, let me take a shot with you. You're sitting there and you say, well, Pastor, listen, I'm a believer. I bought Jesus hook, line, and sinker. I'm in. I believe He's the Son of God, believe He died on the cross, that He's raised from the dead, believe He's King of King, believe He's Lord of Lords. I have trusted Jesus as my Savior.
Great! If that is true, you're not just talking, you really believe this stuff, then it is normal to be proclaiming the resurrection. If you're persuaded by the resurrection, it is normal to be proclaiming the resurrection. Now watch what happens. It's all starting to come together for these women. When they first go to that tomb, it's dark, it's night. And all of a sudden, they're standing in the bright light of the sun, not just physically, but all of the sudden the lights are coming on. Mentally, they're coming on. Emotionally, they're coming on. Spiritually, they're coming on. Now they're looking at all those works that Jesus did. And now they're remembering all those words that Jesus said. He told us, He told us, He told us, He tried to show us.
If I can feed 5,000 people with a few loaves and a few fish. If I could walk on water, don't you think I can come back from the dead? He told us and the light is coming on. And you're gonna see in just a moment, just a little bit later, two of these women are gonna take a walk with Jesus that very afternoon because they now not only believe what Jesus said. They not only believe what Jesus did, now they believe who Jesus was, got it? So they're in, they say, okay, now we get it. So what do they do next? "When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the 11 and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles".
They began to tell this story. They began to tell me, they can't wait to find somebody. You not going to believe what happened today. The tomb was empty. He's not there. He's risen. All right, now watch this. Let's see how close you've been paying attention. Who told these ladies to go tell this story? Who told them to do that? Who told them? Nobody. Nobody told me to go tell anything. All right, true or false. They were trained in how to tell this story, true or false? No, nobody trained them, nobody told them, nobody taught them, nobody tugged them. Nobody twisted their arms. It was just normal to start telling anybody that you could tell, anybody that would listen about this empty tomb and this risen Lord.
So I'm gonna say something now as strongly as I can say it. So you're sitting here today or you're listening to me right now and you're saying, hey, I'm in. Man, I'm a Christian. I believe everything you've taught, I believe everything you have preached. I'm a follower of Jesus. I believe Jesus was raised from the dead. Now I'm gonna say this as strongly as I know how to say it. If you really believe that Jesus is alive, if you really believe He's risen from the dead, listen to me carefully. You don't have to share that with anybody. Say what? You heard me. You don't have to share that with anybody. But if you really believe it, you want to share it with everybody. Nobody's gotta beg you. Nobody's gotta put a guilt trip on you. Nobody even has to teach you or train you.
When you really believe this and you really believe Him and you've really experienced Him, you don't have to tell anybody about Jesus, you get to tell people about Jesus. If you believe in the resurrection and you've been blessed by the resurrection, you'll have a burden to share the resurrection. And by the way, church, we better get busy talking about the resurrection. We better get busy sharing with our neighbors and our friends and our loved ones and all lost people. We better get busy sharing the resurrection. And let me just tell you four reasons why. 35 million youth raised in Christian families are projected to disaffiliate from Christianity by the year 2050. That means in 30 years, kids that grow up in your Christian home, go to your church, when they graduate from high school, they're not just gonna be saying bye bye to you, they're saying bye bye to the church and bye bye to Jesus. 35 million.
Christianity in America will make up just 59% of the country's population by 2050 compared to 73% today. You may have seen the news. For the first time since we've been taking this statistic, for the first time in the history of this country, the majority of people in America do not attend church, do not join a church, are not a member of any church, the majority. If trends continue, as many as 42 million people raised in Christians home will leave Christianity by 2050. Think about that. Four times the population of this state. And here's the last one. We're facing the largest and fastest numerical shift in religious affiliation in the history of this country. So let me just make this real practical to all of us today that say we believe in the resurrection. And if the shoe fits, wear it. It's time for some us who say, oh, I believe in Jesus. I love Jesus, He's my Lord, He's my savior. I believe God raised Him. It's time for some of us to roll away the stone that's been covering our mouth. Can I get an amen to that even if it's weak?
It's time for some of us to roll the stone away from our mouth and let the risen Lord out and begin to share the gospel of a resurrected Jesus to our waiters and our waitresses, to our next door neighbors, to our cousins, and our brothers-in-laws, to people that we know and people that maybe we don't know that well. Because I want you to understand, the gospel's not just important, the gospel's relevant. And the gospel is practical. Because here's what people miss and I don't understand how, but they do. The resurrection is not just about Jesus being raised from the dead physically, it is about how we can be raised from the dead spiritually. When the angel said, "He is not here, He has risen".
The Greek verb for risen is in the passive tense. Here's what it literally says, oh, He's not here, He has been raised. You do know Jesus did not raise himself from the dead. You do know that. He didn't pull himself by himself up by his own bootstraps. God the Father raised him from the dead. You say, why is that so important? Because the same God that raised his Son physically can raise our souls spiritually. I've seen him do it so many times. He can change you from the inside out. I mean I have seen this so many times. In the blink of an eye, He can make cruel people kind and selfish people generous. Immoral people pure, sour people sweet, lost people saved, and dead people alive. Because being a Christian is not just turning over a new leaf, becoming a Christian is receiving a new life. And to put it simply and plainly, the same God who raised Jesus from physical death can raise us from spiritual death.
And how do I know He can do that? Because He raised him, I know He can raise me. And I know He can raise you. You see salvation is just not the, oh, so I can be forgiven of my sin because He was raised from the dead physically? It's more than that. Yeah, that's true. But one day we will be raised from the dead physically because it was the day that death died. Sweet lady sitting over here in the front row next to my wife, her husband was one of the best friends I ever had. I did his funeral just a couple of months ago. I think about him every day of my life. We played golf together almost every Friday for two years. And one of the last times I saw John alive I asked for his putter. I wanted his putter just as a keep, I keep it right by my desk.
And I was telling Terri just a moment ago, I was thinking about John coming to church. I was thinking about the resurrection and I've done something all my ministry, I'm gonna tell you something today's gonna change for me. All my life, I've said things like when John, I said, boy, did you hear about John? John died. Did you hear about Sam? Sam died. And all of a sudden, I said, you know what? James, you've been wrong for 50 years of your ministry. So Teresa, if God answers my prayer and you outlive me, you don't say I died. My body died. I didn't die. John's body died, John didn't die. Because of resurrection, the moment you draw your last breath as a Christian, you're more alive than you've ever thought you could ever be, ever. 'Cause there's nothing like resurrected life.
And if you know Virgil Williams, we wouldn't have a church today if it weren't for Virgil Williams. Married to one of the sweetest ladies I've ever known in my life. I did her funeral, celebration service. Thought about her today, Virgil, when you called me yesterday. Sarah's body died, Sarah didn't die. She's more alive than she's ever been because of the resurrection of Jesus. So I wanna just kind of close with this and we'll be finished. Back in 2006, the term "new atheist" was coined and there were four very prominent people, some of you knew who they are. Christopher Hitchens, who's now dead. Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris. They've been referred to as the four horseman of new atheism. Sold millions of books.
Well, Sam Harris and I give Sam Harris very much credit here. He wrote some words recognizing that atheism, along with every other religion, every other faith-based belief and Christianity were all on the same playing field. We're all in the same marketplace. And Sam Harris, an atheist who hates Jesus, hates God, hates the Bible, hates the Church, thinks we are dangerous. But he had the guts to write these words. "So let us be honest with ourselves, in the fullness of time, one side is really going to win this argument and the other side is really going to lose". Boy, did he ever tell the truth.
So you listen to your pastor today. Let's just say for a moment, let's just assume I was wrong. Let's assume that nine-year-old boy that was sitting in that theater 30 miles from here, that bowed his head in that theater and said, "Lord Jesus, I don't understand what you're doing with me, but I do know this. I'm a sinner and I need a Savior and I want you to come into my heart and save me. And I'm giving all that I am to all that You are this night".
Let's assume I was wrong. I mean, think about it, it is kind of crazy. You're gonna give your life to someone you've never seen? You're gonna give your life to a person you never even heard speak verbally? You're gonna give your life to someone you don't even know what He looked like? Let's say I was nuts, crazy. Just a myth, just a fairytale. Let's say you're right. I ask you a question. When I die, what have I lost? I defy anybody here to come just tell me one thing I've lost.
However, suppose I'm right. Suppose everything I preached you today is absolutely rock-ribbed true. And He, no one else before, no one else since, He came back from the grave, He is alive. He is the Son of God. He is the king of Kings. He is the Lord of Lords. He is the Messiah. You're wrong. You lose everything. You lose it now, you lose it forever. So Mr. Dennett, thank you, I agree. Somebody's really gonna win this argument and somebody's really gonna lose it. I don't know about you. I'm going with a guy that came back from the dead.
Would you just pray with me right now? Just every head bowed and every eye closed. Just be very patient, we'll be done in just a moment. This is so important. I don't know who I'm talking to today, but you may have come here today, you're not a believer. You just came 'cause it's Easter and you got a family that comes. They wanted you to come, so you came. Maybe you're watching right now because it's kind of Easter and it's kind of just a thing you do. Jesus is never even on your, maybe not even at Christmas, but this is that one time of the year you kind of give lip service, but you don't know Jesus. You've never trusted in Jesus. What a better day to give your life to Jesus than Easter. What a better day.
And if today you would say like I did as a nine-year-old boy, you know what? God's working in my heart and I need that resurrected Jesus. I need his life in my life. I need his presence in my heart. I wanna give my life to Jesus. Can I help you do that right now? Would you just right now, you could just pray this prayer and say this with me right now. Just say:
Lord Jesus, I'm sinner and I'm lost and I need to be saved. I can't save myself, but I accept by faith that You died for my sins. I believe in my heart that God raised You from the dead. And I believe You're alive right now. So Lord Jesus, I trust You as my Savior. I surrender to You as my Lord. I ask You to come into my heart. I give all that I am to all that You are. I repent of my sins and I give myself to You.