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James Merritt - Graduation Day

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    James Merritt - Graduation Day
TOPICS: From Here To Eternity

Alright, what a great day to be here this morning. You know, when you live as long as I have, you really learn a lot about people. And I've learned there are only two kinds of people that go to school. There are people who like going to school and people who don't. And the people who don't like going to school don't like the people who do like going to school. But there are two kinds of people. But those people have one thing in common. They look forward to graduation day. Everybody does that.

Now, this is a picture of my very last graduation. That's me. I graduated from high school and then college and then seminary with my master's degree. But on this day, this was when I received my doctor of philosophy degree. And I wanna tell you, there was a joy, there was an exhilaration. I knew at that moment, no more required reading, no more term papers, no more sleepless nights, studying for final exams, no more dissertation to write, no more classes to attend. It was glorious. But I wanna talk to you today and those who are watching online and on television about another graduation day that awaits for all of us. It's a graduation day. You have to attend, you have to walk. And for some of us, it will be the greatest single day, the greatest graduation day of all. Because it's on that day. We will really finally know that there will be no more death, no more disease, no more sin, no more sorrow, no more suffering.

Now for others, it will be that way. On their graduation day, it will be a day of dread, day of disappointment, discouragement, defeat, that no mind can conceive. Because you see, on this graduation day, we don't walk across the stage. We're raised from the dead. And I believe deep down the resurrection is a hope within every person. I really believe that. I don't believe there's a person in the world that deep, deep down really doesn't hope. Maybe there's life after death. Well, here's the good news. For those of us who are followers of Jesus, the Bible not only speaks about the hope of the resurrection, it leaves no doubt about the fact of the resurrection.

Now, if you're a visitor with us for the first time, or tuning in for the first time, we've been in a serious, we're actually winding up today. We've been calling from here to eternity. And what we did was we started several weeks ago with death and we've been taking a panoramic view. What's ahead? What's out there? If there is life after death, beginning from the time we die, what is going to be? So today we come to an event that every human being is going to experience. It's gonna be the same experience that Jesus had. It's going to be a physical resurrection. I want you to understand, I'm not talking today about the Easter resurrection. We talk about once a year the resurrection of Jesus. I'm talking about the future resurrection of the saint. And by the way, I'm not even talking about the resurrection of the unbeliever. That's a whole nother message.

I'm just talking about the resurrection of the believer. Because what the word of God teaches, and by the way, what life tells us is we are going to die. This body that I'm in, that body that you're in is going to die. But God's word promises God is going to raise this body because it really is his body and he's going to make it into a new body. So we'll never need another body. Now y'all to save Amen into that. I worked hard on that one sentence. I took me an hour to put that together, okay? So this body's going to die, but it's going to be raised under it because it's his body. He's gonna make it in a new body. I will never need another body. So God has promised, hey, we're going to live forever. And I know most of all of us believe that. But then the question is, but how are we going to live forever? What are we going to be like? What will be the state of our existence? What kind of a body will it be?

I don't wanna embarrass him, but one of my very best friends in the world is with me today sitting on the front row. He was my college classmate and first guy I met in college, I didn't know a soul when I went to university. And we met the very first day, that's been 50 plus years ago. And we've been best friends ever since. And you know, I take the joy of telling you that the year after we graduated, I led him to Christ. And he's just a different man. He's one of my best buddies. So this weekend, even last night, we were talking about the things of the Lord. We got to talking about this resurrection. Well, I want you to take God's word and I want you to turn to a book called First Corinthians.

So I don't know where that is. It's easy to find. It's right before second Corinthians. It said, first Corinthians 15. And in effect, I was talking about finishing my PhD. This is basically Paul's doctoral dissertation. And Paul writes to his dissertation on the resurrection. As a matter of fact, Paul talks more about the resurrection of the body in chapter 15 than the rest of the Bible talks about put together. So we're gonna learn today what God said to Paul was what this resurrection is all about. So simply put, you know, I like to give my sermon in a sentence. So here's my sermon in a sentence. Here's what we're gonna learn today. If you are a follower of Jesus, what goes down in earth comes up in the resurrection, what goes down in earth comes up in the resurrection. So what is the resurrection? Why is it so important? What is our body gonna be like?

So four things I wanna share with you. Listen, real fast. Number one, let's consider the possible manifestation of the resurrection. Let's consider the possible manifestation of the resurrection. Now we gotta go back to what brought all this up. There was this big discussion going on in the early church and I mean it is kind of a debate. And it came out of a question that people were asking Paul, and it really is a good question. We're in one Corinthians 15:35. "But someone will ask, how are the dead raised? And with what kind of body will they come"? So you had people in the church back then and they were questioning the very doctrine of the resurrection and they were really asking two questions. They were asking a question, first of all, about the probability of the resurrection. How can that even be? And then even if it can be, then they were asking about the product of the resurrection. Well, what does it look like? What kind of body will be raised?

Now, to be very fair, this was a very honest question. How in the world can a dead person be raised from the dead? We were talking about this last night. How can a body that's blown to bits in an explosion be put back together? How can a body that's disintegrated in a fiery plane crash be put back together? Or how can a body that's been buried but it's been buried for thousands of years and now it's just nothing but dust? How do you put that together? How can that happen? And so there's only one answer to that question. And actually Paul answers it in another question he asked another man at another time. 'Cause there was another time that Paul was standing before Pagan king, his name was Agrippa and he was preaching the gospel to him and he was hoping to convert him to Christ. And he asked him this question. And it's a great question.

Here's what he said. "Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead"? So if you were to say to me, so pastor, how is it possible that dust can come back in the form of an supernatural body? Answer in one word, "God", because I got news for you, with God, all things are possible. Not some things, not most things, not big things, not little things, with God. All things are possible. So lemme just be honest with you. If you're a skeptic, you're a cynic, you're an atheist, you're an agnostic and, and you're just not buying this resurrection, I just don't believe that scientifically it cannot happen. Lemme just be very honest with you. You're not struggling with believing in the resurrection. You're not even sort of believing in miracles. You're struggles with believing in God because the moment you understand there is a God who can do anything, the resurrection of a piece of cake, that's really not a real big deal.

And by the way, when I read in the first chapter of the Bible that God was able to make a human being out of nothing, it hit me. If God can create a human being out of dust in the first place, he can reconstruct it out of dust in the second place. So the answer to the question is, so how are dead bodies raised to begin with is very simple, by the power of the God who created the body to begin with. But that really isn't the big question they were asking. 'Cause they knew deep down the kind of the answer to that question, what they really wanted to know is, but what's it gonna be like? I know what this body is like, you know what your body is like, but what's this body going to be like?

So number two, let's consider not just the possible manifestation of the resurrection. Let's consider the practical illustration of the resurrection. Now for the next few verses, stay with me. Paul's going to answer the second part of the question. What kind of body will this resurrected body be? Now I'll tell you how great Paul is, how sharp Paul is. You know, Ken, we were talking last night about Paul and Jesus. Well, Paul knew all about Jesus. And Paul learned something for Jesus. And it's a great, great thing to learn. Many times when Jesus was asked a question, you know what Jesus would do? He would say, let's just walk outside. Let's just look at the birds of the sea. Let's look birds of the air. Let's look at the fish in the sea. He said, "Let's just go outside". Paul does the same thing. He said, Hey, let's just walk outside. "Because everywhere you look", Paul said, "You will see examples of the resurrection". And he takes us to three different worlds.

First of all. He takes us to the agricultural world. So down in verse 36, he says this, "How foolish what you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that it will be, but just a seed because of wheat or something else". So if Paul does a great thing, he says, look, I want you to think of it this way. Think of your body like it's a seed and a seed is planted. Now, if you've ever planted anything, my dad used to raise a garden. And so maybe you've worked in a gardener, maybe you like to plant flowers. If you've ever planted a seed, then you really understand this. Because when you sow a seed into the earth, what happens to that seed? It dies, it dissolves, it disintegrates. But just be patient because in time out of the death of that seed comes what? A stalk of corn, a living plant.

Now the plant is different from the seed, but it comes from the seed. So stick with me. Paul says, the body is like a seed. So like a seed is buried, the body is buried, but like a seed comes back to life, the body comes back to life. I read the other day about a kid in the first grade and they were studying how plants come and how seeds are planted and how, you know, how plants come out of seeds. Well, it hadn't been long before, after the study that somebody in his family had died that they loved very, very much and they had just attended the funeral. And he was thinking about that. So one day he and his mom were driving past a cemetery and the son was thinking about what he studied in class and he was thinking about that funeral and he said, "Hey mom", he said, "You see that graveyard over there"? She said, "Yeah". He said, "That's where they plant people".

You know what, Paul would've said "Amen to that". That is what happens. I'll never see a cemetery enough to do this message. That is where they plant people. In fact, maybe that oughta change the way we think when we go to a graveside service. I did a graveside service for my former administrative assistant just about three weeks ago. And I watched them as they put that grave in there and then we left before they covered it up. It was a very sad thing for me. And then I gotta thinking about it, even as I was working on this message, I thought, wait a minute, Joanne wasn't buried, Joanne was planted. That grave is not just a hole in the ground. It is a seedbed waiting for harvest. That's why you'll never see a farmer weeping and crying when he plants the seed. You ever seen a farmer do that? You ever seen a farmer plant a seed and they're just weep and cry? "I don't know what I'm gonna do". He doesn't weep and cry.

As a matter of fact, he's glad to plant that seed. He's glad because he's not crying over the loss of the seed. He actually knows, you know what, I'm planting that seed because I'm anticipating that seed to bear fruit, to give a crop, to be raised from the dirt. Well, Paul says, when you think about it, that's exactly what happens with the burial of a believer. Because in effect, the burial of the believer is at the same time the guarantee of the resurrection. The seed is the guarantee of the plant. The burial is the guarantee of the body. So Paul looks at the agricultural world. He says, you see resurrection there. But then Paul looks at the animal world. So in verse 38, he says this, "But God gives it a body as he is determined and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. Not all flesh is the same. People have one kind of flesh, animals have another birds, another and fish another".

Now what's the point Paul's making? He's saying, look, we're all going to have a resurrection body, but it won't be the same body. Just like you can tell a difference between a human and a fish and a bird. We'll be able to tell a difference between each other. I mean, you know, you look at me, right? I don't have fins. I don't have scaly skin. You say, okay, you know, you're not a fish. You know, you're not a bird. You're a human being. And even at that, there are no two birds just alike. No two fish just alike. No two humans just alike. You may not know this. Not even identical twins are exactly alike. They each have different fingerprints. And the point that Paul is making is we're not gonna be carbon copies of one another in heaven. We're going to be different just like we are. We're unique here. We're gonna be unique there. You're not me. I'm not you. I won't be you there. You won't be me, you'll be you. I'll be me.

So I will still be me and you'll still be you because God is the God of the original. God doesn't make copies because I hope you know this. When God made you, he made you an original. There is nobody just like you. When God made me, he made one and only me. There'll never be anybody else just like me. Don't say amen to that. There will never be anybody else just like me. There'll be nobody else, just like you. Just like no two snowflakes or like we're all gonna have the same type of resurrection body, but it will be different. Your body will be different from mine. My body will be different from yours. So if Paul says, when you look at the animal world, you can see resurrection. And then Paul said, well look, we've looked at the agricultural world, we looked at the animal world. Let's look at the astronomical world.

So he says this in verse 40. "There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies but the splendor of the earthly bodies is one kind. And the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor. The moon another, the stars another and stars different from stars in splendor". So what's his point? It's very simple. He says, you go out at night and you look up into the sky. Nobody has to point out the differences. You know the difference. That's the moon. That's the sun. That's the milky way, that's Mars. You can tell the difference. You know when you're looking at the sun, you know when you're looking at the moon, you know, when you're looking at a planet, you know them by their appearance.

Now what was Paul saying? What was his point? Paul was saying, just like you recognize planets when you look at them, we're gonna recognize each other. When we see each other in heaven. We're gonna know each other. Even now, you know, people ask the question sometimes they'll say, pastor, are we really going to know each other in heaven? Really? And I love the way Charles Spurgeon put it. He gave you the best answer. He said, "Well, we know each other down here, don't we? Do you think we're gonna be bigger fools in heaven"? Yes, we're gonna know each other. We're going to know Jesus as we are now known.

As a matter of fact, lemme tell you something that hit me when I worked on this message. You ready for this? We don't know how many people are going to be in heaven when we get there, more than the stars. You ready for this? You will not meet one stranger in heaven. It's amazing. My buddy, I've introduced him to several people, you know, in around the church. We were walking around the church. This is Ken. There won't be any need for introduction. You know, "Hey, I'm Paul". "Oh, I know who you are". Or "Hey", "I know who you are, James". We're gonna know each other just as we are known now. Everybody is going to know everybody. And by the way, for the first time, for some of you who like to gossip, you're gonna love heaven. Everybody's gonna know about everybody's business because nobody's got any business except God's business. So it's okay.

Alright, so Paul says, look, let's look at the practical illustration. Just walk outside. You see resurrection everywhere. But then Paul says the third thing, he said, you know, we've considered the, you know, possible manifestation and we considered the practical illustration. But now let's consider the powerful transformation of the resurrection. Now here's what Paul does. Now Paul says, okay, let's get into the nitty gritty. Let's really answer your question. What kind of body is my body going to be? Well, you really can sum it up in one word. Let's say that word out loud. Transformation. Say it out loud. Transformation. Alright? That's what you need to remember. My body. Your body. Our bodies are going to be transformed into an ageless body. This dying body is going to be transformed into a divine body. This body that will be put in a grave somewhere is gonna be headed for glory.

So Paul says down in verse 42, "So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable. It will be raised imperishable". And I know you know this, but you're like me. You're living in a body that's perishable. I'm living in a body that is perishable. Your body is kind of like milk that's left outside of a refrigerator. It's going to sour, it's going to be thrown out, it's going to spoil, it is going to die. I'm just a dying body and a dying person preaching to a dying people. My body has a terminal disease. It's called life. And inside of my body somewhere there is an expiration date called death. And at that moment it will no longer be a dying body. It will be a dead body, but it won't be just a dead body. It will be a decaying body. And I don't care how strong you are, how muscular you are, how fit you are, how much you work out, your body is perishable.

But Paul says, "but we're going to be raised imperishable". Our future bodies are going to be indestructible. So lemme give you some good news. Those of us who are older and are tired of them, no birthdays in heaven, no worry. Don't have to worry about blowing. Think about this. Wouldn't that be terrible? You've lived a hundred thousand years. How would you like to try to blow out a hundred thousand candles? But no birthdays in heaven, right? I mean, there'll be no need for Botox. No need for plastic surgery. You don't need to take vitamins, medicine. Don't need to go on a diet. Don't need to get a physical. I like the way one poet put it. I don't know who wrote it, but it's so good. He said, "The stars may live for a million years, a million years in a day, but God and I will still be alive with all the stars passed away".

See, we will be imperishable. But then Paul goes on to say this, "It is sown in dishonor, but it's raised in glory". Well what does that mean? Well, lemme give you this analogy. What is the hardest rock and the most precious jewel on earth? Somebody tell me, a diamond. Do you understand what a diamond is made of? A diamond is made of carbon. Do you know what else is made of carbon? Coal. So a diamond starts out as a lump of coal. A diamond and a coal are same element. But you take a diamond and a coal, I think you'll say they look different. They're much more valuable, one's much more worthy. And what Paul is saying is this body's going to be buried just like a lump of coal. But one day it's going to be raised as a diamond that will shine forever and never lose its luster.

So lemme put it to you in a way that you will always remember. Everybody will be somebody with a beautiful body like his body. Everybody, lets give the Lord a hand. Everybody will be somebody with a beautiful body like his body. But then he goes on to say this. He says, lemme tell you something else. "It's sown in weakness, but it's raised in power". Ken and I were talking about this coming into church this morning. We're talking about just how hard it is to understand the ways of God. And you know, we were talking about how right now our body is limited by time and space and matter and our body's subject to all kinds of diseases and injuries and pain. But then Paul says, "But not the new body, the new body will be free from all the shackles of humanity".

You won't be limited by time, by space, material substance or anything else. We will have superhuman, supernatural power. You will not need to sleep because you will never get tired. You'll never need to stop and catch your breath 'cause you'll never run out of breath. You'll never need a sabbatical or a day off. You won't need a rocket ship to go into outer space. You won't need a plane to fly. You won't even need a boat to go across a body of water. You won't need GPS. You don't ever need to pack for a trip. In other words, lemme put it to you this way. So you comic book leader lovers, you'll love this, on the resurrection days, your Clark Kent days are over. Superman is here to stay and not even kryptonite can touch your body. So the crux of the whole matter is this. Paul says, "It's sown a natural body now, but it's raised a spiritual body. 'Cause if there's a natural body, there's also a spiritual body".

Now this is so important, don't miss it. The resurrection body is not a spirit body, it's a spiritual body. It's not a spirit body, it's not a ghost, it's not a clown, it's not a mist. The resurrection body's gonna be just as real as this one. I mean, you can touch it, you can feel it. Because by the way, it wasn't the spirit of Jesus that was raised from the dead. It was his body that was raised from the dead. And it was in that body that Jesus could walk through walls. You say, "I don't understand that". Neither do I, gonna be cool when you do it. He could eat fish. He could be instantly transported from one place to another. So Paul sums it all up this way.

Verse 47. "The first man was of the dust of the earth. The second man is of heaven, as worth the earthly man. So are those who of the earth and as is the heavenly man. So also are those who are of heaven. And just as we are born the image of the earthly man, we will also bear the image of the heavenly man". Now, all of that was just Paul's way of saying one thing. If you really want to know what your resurrection body is gonna be like, just look at Jesus. 'Cause his body will be just like your body and your body will just be like his body. Our resurrection bodies are going to be just like the resurrection, the body of Jesus. And oh by the way, so how do you know that? They have to be. What do you mean? Because of what Paul says next. He says in verse 50, "I declare to you, brothers and sisters flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable".

You see, the reason why God can't take me to heaven in this body is 'cause this body can't survive in heaven. Your body couldn't survive in heaven. We wouldn't last one second. The only body that can exist in the environment of heaven is a resurrected body. Why? Because earthly bodies were equipped to live on earth. So you breathe the oxygen of earth and you drink the water of earth and you eat the food of earth. But our earthly bodies aren't suitable for heaven. We must have a heavenly body, one that is just like Jesus. I love to tell people we're not just going to see what Jesus is like when we get to heaven. We're going to be what Jesus is like when we get to heaven. He's gonna give us a body just like his.

Now that just ought to fire you up. That just ought to get you excited. That message should take away the fear of the grave and the dread of death. I love the story. You may have heard it, I don't know. It was a farmer. And this farmer had lived on a farm all of his life. He had never been to a big city, never, never ever been to a big city. As a matter of fact, he'd never seen a building over two stories tall, ever. Well, one day he got the chance he'd save some money. And so he decided he wanted go to visit this major city. And so they went there and they got a little hotel room and they were walking around for the first time. He sees these humongous skyscrapers and it just takes his breath away. He's like, "I never seen anything like it". Taller than the trees that he grew up with. He's just never seen buildings that big. And so he thought he'd go into one of these big buildings and he goes in and he sees this door and, and he didn't know what it was, but it was an elevator and it fascinated him. And he just... his teenage son was with him.

The mom had waited outside and well, all of a sudden this the door opens, he watches this old lady walk in and the door shuts behind her. He watches these numbers and they start going up, 0, 1, 2, 3, go all the way up to 25. And then all of a sudden the numbers start going back down from 25, come all the way back to one and the door opens. And this blonde bombshell walks out of this elevator. He couldn't believe his eyes. He looked at his son, he said, "Son, stay here, don't you move, I'm gonna go get your mother and run her through that thing". Now, one of these days, Jesus is going to come back and grave tops all over the world are going to fly open and bodies are going to walk into a resurrection elevator. And when those doors open, you can say for the first time, baby, look at you now, what a body this is. It's going to undergo a powerful transformation. I get chill bumps just doing this. This is just about the rapture here.

So Paul says, one last thing, you wanna know about the resurrection. We talked about the possible manifestation. We've talked about the practical illustration. We've talked about the powerful transformation. One last thing. Let's consider the positive affirmation of the resurrection. In other words, here's a question I wanna ask you. If I said to you, do you believe you're going to be raised from the dead? Oh yeah, I believe that. And do you believe you're gonna have a brand new body? Yes, I believe that. Do you believe everything Paul has told us about what that body's gonna be like? Absolutely, man I'm all in, now that I wanna raise a big question. Well, so what? So what? What difference should that make in your life? I mean, is all I've talked about just theological truth, just philosophical feel good stuff? Or is there something about what I just talked about that ought to make Monday morning a lot more meaningful to you? Is there something about what we've talked about that ought to give you a different perspective on your job and on your life and on your family and on who you are and on what you do and on how you do it?

Well, lemme just tell you this. The resurrection is not just a theological truth. You ought to know in your head. It is not just a physical truth. You can apply to your heart. It is actually a very practical truth. Paul says, I want you to apply it to your life. So listen to what he says. Now, down in verse 51, "Listen, I tell you a mystery. We were not all asleep. We'll all be changed in a flash, in the twinkle of an eye at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised in perishable. We will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, the mortal with immortality, then the thing that is written will come true. Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where O death is your victory? Where O death is your sting".

Paul says, I'll tell you one thing that ought to be very practical for you, one thing you can apply in your life, don't ever fear death anymore. And don't spend too much time grieving over a grave. 'Cause Jesus has taken the doom out of death. Jesus has taken the gloom out of the grave because what is in the ground is not a dead body. What is in the ground is a seed that's been planted that one day will be harvested in a resurrection. And then Paul goes on to say this in verse 58. Therefore, now every time you see a therefore always ask this question, what is that therefore, there for? So when Paul says therefore, he's giving you alert, he says, okay, you remember everything I just said? Yeah, I remember. What did I tell you? You told me what goes down in earth will come up in the res- Yep. Goes down in death, comes up in the resurrection.

Okay, Paul says, alright, if you believe that, "Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm, let nothing move you". Now watch this. "Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain". Now listen to what Paul said, because of the resurrection, because we're gonna be raised to live with God forever. Here's what Paul said. If you really believe that, if you really believe this is not the end, if you really believe there's more, if you really believe one day God's gonna raise your body from the dead, and you really believe one day you're gonna stand before that God who created you, who made you, who loved you, who died for you, who came back from you, and who brought you back from the dead and raised you and gave you this body.

If you really believe all of that, you above all people, ought to want every moment of your life to count for him every moment of your life. You want it to be for him and for his glory. Because what Paul is saying is we're gonna be rewarded in this resurrection day, we're gonna be evaluated. And all those good things you thought nobody saw, God did, all those good things. You thought nobody knew about, God did all those people you helped. You thought nobody paid attention, God did. So you can be rewarded. So since we have the prospect of the resurrection before us, and we have the person of the resurrection behind us, and we have the power of the resurrection within us, no wonder we ought to give ourselves fully to the work of God knowing even if we die, listen, even if we're dead and we're buried, you're ready for, you can't keep a good man down. You can't keep a good man down. So... I get chill bumps. I've got it right now.

So I want you to close your Bibles and your pens, your iPads, and I want you to put everything down, gimme your full attention for the next three minutes. We're done. Because I wanna tell you a story, one of my heroes, I love history and one of my heroes, and I think one of the greatest men who ever lived was Winston Churchill. And I've read his biography. He had some great sayings, a very wise man. Well, what people don't know about Winston Churchill was he planned his own funeral, which, you know, Churchill, you could expect that. But what a lot of people don't know is, is he believed in Jesus and he believed in a resurrection.

So he planned his funeral with a hope of the resurrection, which he firmly believed in. So you can imagine they had his funeral there in St. Paul's Cathedral. It was packed out and they did not know that Churchill had planned his funeral out. So they didn't know what was coming. So after the sermon and the eulogy and after the last prayer, Churchill had instructed a bugler to be up high in the dome of St. Paul's cathedral. And this is what they heard. You're a military man, you know what that is. That's taps that was the universal signal to every soldier that the day is over. It's time to cease from battle. It's time to lay down. It's time to rest.

Well, people thought how cool, people thought, man, what a way to end a funeral. But it hadn't ended because Paul Churchill had all instructed another bugler who was placed on the other side of that cathedral. And then they heard this, You're a military man, that's a universal signal that it's time to get up. One day, if Jesus tarries, they're gonna be playing taps for you and they're gonna be playing taps for me. But there's another day coming. Black preachers call it that great getting up morning and Gabriel's gonna blow another trumpet. And it's going to be a revel, where we will all rise to meet the Lord in the air and we will ever be with the Lord in the body we were always meant to have. So, even so.

Come, Lord Jesus... would you pray with me, with hands bound and eyes closed. I have a question, and I want every one of you to listen carefully. And if you're watching right now, I want you to very listen. One of these days, taps will be played over your body. The question is, when the revel is played and you're raised from the dead, and you will be, will you be raised to meet God as your savior? Or will you be raised to meet God as your judge? You're gonna meet God one way or the other. Your body's going to be raised. You're going to live forever somewhere. And the only way to die is the only way to live. And that is with Jesus Christ, the risen Lord, as your Lord, and as your Savior.

So I wonder who in this room today, and I wonder who watching me right now, you would be honest enough to say, I'm not ready for that day. As a matter of fact, if I died today, it'd be a bad day for me. It doesn't have to be. I wonder who among us today would say, you know, I've realized I've been religious, but I've never been redeemed. I've been born physically. I've never been born again spiritually. I need Christ. I need this resurrected Lord living in me right now. Why don't you tell him? Why don't you just say:

Lord Jesus, I believe you were raised from the dead. I believe you're gonna raise me from the dead. I believe you died for my sins so I'll never have to die for my sins. And I'm asking you today to forgive me. I'm asking you to come into my heart and save me. I'm asking you to come into my life and become my Lord and my savior. I repent of my sin. I turn away from my sin and I surrender all that I am to all that you are. Thank you for hearing my prayer. Lord, thank you for saving me today.

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