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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - Jesus Rose from the Dead... So What?

Michael Youssef - Jesus Rose from the Dead... So What?

Michael Youssef - Jesus Rose from the Dead... So What?
TOPICS: Easter, Resurrection

Jesus rose from the dead. To a lot of people, the rest of that sentence is, "So what"? Perhaps that's the attitude of many people today, some of them even church-goers. In days gone by, when people did some thinking with their minds, with their brains, remember those days when people really was thinking not with their emotions and their feelings? They either accepted the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the evidence of God's omnipotence, supernatural power, or they just rejected it altogether. But in this post-modern culture in which we live today, where most of the thinking really takes place between the chin and the nose, you'll get that tomorrow morning.

Most people say, "Yeah, whatever". When they say, "Whatever," that really is a way of saying, "I'm gonna shut down all thinking and all discussion. That's it". Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Sure, why not? Beloved, this is a catastrophic situation in which we live, and it's so prevalent that it will result in eternal horror. I know that there are those who are the preachers of the power of positive thinking. There are those who preach that if you have good thoughts, good things will happen to you, that if you have God thoughts, this is really your salvation. They will turn their backs on the absolute, factual, biblical truth that there is a judgment that is coming upon the world, and that the very reason why Jesus came from heaven, and died on a cross, and rose again, so that he may rescue everyone who believes in him from that judgment day. They say that's negative. But let me tell you something, I would rather offend someone with the truth than temporarily numb someone with a lie.

You see, I would rather that you would bless me for all of eternity in heaven than curse me for all of eternity in hell by giving you a sugar-coated poison pill. Those sunshine preachers who have been deceiving people for decades, some of them, they deny the resurrection altogether as too fantastic for the human mind to accept. Others rationalized it by saying, "Yes, well his soul rose from the dead, but not necessarily his body". And yet, the evidence of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ was witness by at least 500 eye witnesses. But listen, believing the fact of the bodily resurrection and trusting the resurrected Christ can determine your eternal future. And since there are only two places where you can spend eternity, think very carefully and very thoughtfully.

I can tell you the absolute truth, no one is gonna make it to heaven without believing whole-heartedly that God the Father raised God the Son after three days in the tomb. But don't take my word for it, listen to the man who hated Christians, who persecuted Christians, who killed Christians, and then he had an encounter with the risen Christ. Listen to what he said, "If Christ had not been raised from the dead, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain". The man who had a personal encounter with the risen Jesus makes it very clear that anyone, anyone, anyone who does not embrace the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, with all of its promises, with all of its demands, with all of its implications, that person is living on the wrong side of Easter.

And if that person is living on the wrong side of Easter, then he is living on the wrong side of God. And if he is living on the wrong side of God, then he is living on the wrong side of salvation. And if he's living on the wrong side of salvation, then you stand on the wrong side of heaven. As I said, there's only two places where you can spend eternity: heaven or hell. And therefore, why in God's name would anyone, anyone, whether you are here or watching around the world, you risk your eternity, why? For the entire Word of God, from cover to cover, makes it very, very clear, not just one place, hundreds of places, tells us that the cross of Christ and the empty tomb are inseparable package of God's plan of salvation from all of eternity. For it was by his crucifixion that Jesus paid for the sin of everyone who would come to him, believe in him, surrender to him, live under his Lordship, receive him as Savior.

But it is by his resurrection that he gives power to defeat sin, guilt, and the grave. It is by his crucifixion that Jesus ensured that whomsoever would come to him, receive him as Savior, live under his authority as Lord will escape the coming judgment, but it was by his resurrection that Jesus assured them, by his resurrection, of their own eternal life with him. By his crucifixion, Jesus took our punishment that's rightly ours, but by his resurrection, he assured us of a place in his heaven. By his crucifixion, Jesus became the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of everyone who would repent and believes in him, but it is by his resurrection that he became the Lion of Judah who reigns and rules right now on the rim of the universe, and soon coming back. It is by his crucifixion that Jesus made himself a victim for our sin, but it is by his resurrection Jesus destroyed the power of death for the believer.

By his crucifixion, Jesus reconciled us to the Father after by nature we were enemies with him, but by his resurrection, he adopted every believer to be his brother and sister. By his crucifixion, he pardoned and forgave sin of all who repent and turn to him, but it is by his resurrection that Jesus appointed us to be judges to judge the world with him. It is by his crucifixion that he washed us and cleansed us from all sin and from all unrighteousness, and it is by his resurrection, Jesus qualified us to reign and rule with him for all of eternity. By his crucifixion, Jesus opened the door of salvation to whomsoever comes to submit to him as Savior and Lord, but by his resurrection, he placed the believers on the seat of honor in eternal heaven, his heaven, with him.

My beloved, the crucifixion and the resurrection are inseparable. They're like the two sides of a coin. You split that coin, it no longer is a legal tender. Why am I hammering away at this? Listen carefully please, very important. In this church, we don't invite you to come to be a member of the church. We don't invite you to be a religious person. We don't invite you to become part of a denomination. No, no, no, we want you to come to know Jesus. The rest is up to you. Because the resurrection of Jesus is the very core of the Christian faith, and therefore it is the very core of our only hope. It is the very core of our hope of escaping from the judgment that is coming upon the world.

You know, those systems, those religious systems, I've studied them at university, as some of you have probably, compared religion, comparative religion. You've studied all these religious systems around the world. These religious systems, these philosophies, they may give you a moral code by which you live. Oh, but only Christ can give you life, eternal life, with him in heaven. Only Christ's empty tomb can give you the real hope for living. Only Christ's empty tomb can give you purpose for life and for all of eternity. Without the empty tomb, Christianity would just be another dead religion. And make no mistake about it, all the founders of the other religions, they're all dead, dead, dead, but Jesus Christ rose from the dead. And that is why, Jesus rose from the dead, it's not, "So what"?

Jesus rose from the dead, that's everything. That's everything. Either you accept it, believe it, live under his authority and obedience, and surrender to him as King, or reject him and you face the consequences. I'm amazed, if you are aware of all these religious systems around the world, if you study, even historically, you see how, through the ages and through time, men and women stood helplessly before death, didn't know what to do. They felt helpless. They felt powerless before death. Different cultures try to cope with death in a variety of ways. Some tried to avoid it or escape it, but they couldn't. Others tried to cope with its inevitability. Others tried to deal with it.

For example, my ancestors, the ancient Egyptians, well, they basically tried to preserve the bodies by mummifying them, and then they'd place gold and all kinds of stuff in these tombs in these pyramids in the hope that one day their soul is gonna come back into that body. The only people who came back are the robbers who stole the gold and sold the artifacts. Others in Asia came up with this theory called reincarnation. We're we just reincarnated, reincarnated. But if you live a good life, you can be reincarnated as a higher being, but if you don't live a good life, you can come back as a cockroach. It's a great deterrent, but it's a hocus pocus. It's a hoax.

Today, some Islamist Jihadis believe that if they kill as many Christians as they can, when they take their own lives, they will go to a place called paradise where there are women and wine. The only place they're gonna see is the fire that will not quench and the worms that will not die. Some in the West, here in this country, have thought that if they freeze their bodies in the hope that one day, one day they're gonna discover the secret of being able to live forever, and so at that moment, they're gonna defrost their bodies and able to live, making millions of dollars from what I discovered. All of this hocus pocus is man's effort to deal with life and death, but we have an indisputable evidence of how to deal with life, and death, and the grave. But there's more. All of these efforts and part of man's desperation, man's hunger for eternity, and their answer of dealing with this truth of death, life, useless, all of them, because God provided the answer to overcome death and the grave, and his name is Jesus.

This is the only answer to death and it is found in the one who said, "Because I live, you shall live also". There's only one answer to death, and it's found in the one who said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me shall never die". There's only one answer to death, and it's found in the only one who said, "I go to the Father and prepare a place for you, for everyone who believes in me, everyone who trusts me for their salvation, everyone who trusts in my resurrection". There's only one answer, and it's found in the one who destroyed the power of death, who defeated the fear of death, who has devastated the dread of death and opened the door to eternal life for everyone who would come to him. Will you come to him? Will you come to him? I don't know where you are. Whether you're a religious person or not, it doesn't really matter. Religion kills, Jesus gives life, amen, amen.

In a sense, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is like one of those good news, bad news stories. You know what I'm talking about? Well, bad news, good news. It's not all good news? No, it's bad news, good news. In fact, everywhere you turn, you hear bad news. If you turn on any news, it's all bad news. I remember a veteran of the American media said to me one time, he said, "You've gotta understand, bad news sells". Bad news sells. The economy's gonna collapse. The environment is killing us. The earth is gonna flood. The food we eat is not safe. Terrorists will kill us all. Violence is way, way, way on the increase, and on, and on, and on. I don't know how you react when you hear bad news, but I wanna testify to you. I wanna testify to you. It's not only my testimony, it's the testimony of millions of people around the world. Because as far as I am concerned, the good news of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ outweighs all the bad news of this world.

The good news of the resurrection of Jesus gives me peace whether I live or die. The good news of the resurrection of Jesus fills me with confidence of eternal life with him. The good news of the resurrection of Jesus fills me with joy unspeakable, even if the world is falling apart around me. My precious friends, my deepest longing is not the lengthening of this life. It's not the lengthening of it 'cause Jesus said, "Who of you by worrying you can add a minute to your life"? You can't, but in confidence, knowing that when I close my eyes in death, I will be with him for all of eternity. What about you? Can you say that? I pray to God not a single person who is here at the sound of my voice, or folks who are watching us all over the globe right now live, not one person who would say, "I'm not really sure. I really don't know".

Today, you can know. Today, you can be sure. And if you die today, can you be confident that you go to Jesus's heaven? Listen to me, make no mistake about it, it is Jesus's heaven. Did you get that? It is not Hollywood heaven. Hollywood heaven that they have in the movies, it's hell. They just paint it like heaven. It is not the heaven of the do-gooders. The Bible said, "Before you come to Christ, all of your good works is like a dirty rag in front of him". All your good works won't help. It is Jesus's heaven, and without Jesus, you cannot go to heaven. So, the question is, on what basis will Jesus let you into his heaven? On what basis? You say, "Well, Michael, I've done good things". I already told you, that's not gonna help you. "Well, Michael, I'm hoping that all of my good deeds are gonna outweigh my bad deeds, and I'll make it that way".

Good luck with that. The Bible said none of us, none of us, none of us, none of us, including your pastor, are good enough for heaven. Only the resurrected Jesus, and faith in him, and submission to his authority, and obedience to his Word can give you the confidence that he and he alone can welcome you to his heaven. That's why he rose from the dead. That's why it's good news, for those who accept it. Today, there are so many in our society, including some church-goers, I talk to them all the time, church-goers, who are living on the wrong side of Easter. Be sure that you are not living on the wrong side of Easter. But that's not all that the Bible tells us about the resurrection of Jesus.

The Apostle Paul tells us, as he writes to the Ephesians, that when Christ comes into your life, when you surrender to him, when you repent of your sins, when you receive him as your only Savior and Lord, the risen Christ comes into your life, and the Bible says that his Holy Spirit would give you the same power that raised Jesus from the dead to dwell on the inside of you. Did you know that? To give you power over sin and temptation, to give you joy in the midst of sorrow, to give you peace in the midst of trouble, to give you hope in the midst of hopelessness or give you confidence in the middle of discouragement. Because living in the power of the resurrection will be far, far, far, far greater than all of the challenges that this life can throw at us.

Well, I want to share with you a true story as I bring this message to a conclusion, and hopefully and prayerfully to a decision that'll be made by so many people. This story I personally heard with my own ears from the person who's involved in it. This man was an atheist, he was a Marxist, and he was a very prominent British journalist back in the '60s. His name was Malcom Muggeridge. Being an atheist and a Marxist back in the '60s, it became like a dream come true for him when his magazine decided to send him to Moscow as their Moscow correspondent, atheist paradise. One day, while he was in Moscow during the height of the Cold War, and everybody believed at that time, some of you remember that, oh, Communism, atheism is gonna sweep the world. Where are they now, huh? Well, Muggeridge was writing a story from the Soviet Union, and the story was entitled, let me read it to you, "The Virtues of Communism and the Decaying of Christianity in the Atheist Empire".

After completing all of his interviews and met with all the big schmucks in the Kremlin, and met with all the dudes, and dudettes, and all the people in the power structure in the Soviet Union, and he almost finished the story, and then he decided, "I need to go to a church. I need to see how their Christianity is decaying and dying in this atheist empire". And it turned out to be Easter Sunday. And so, he goes to this church packed with faithful people who were living under horrendous circumstances, and just by being seen in a church, when they walk outside, the Communists could actually arrest them and put them behind bars or send them to Siberia. They were watching them. Living under these horrendous circumstances. Church was packed on Easter Sunday. And at the end of the service, the priest came out and he said, "Hallelujah, Christ is risen". And these people, suffering as they were, they were joyful and they shouted back, "He is risen indeed! He is risen indeed! He is risen indeed"!

As Muggeridge looked at the joyful faces living under these horrendous circumstances, he realized for the first time, first time in his time, that they were right and Stalin was wrong. He said the following, as I personally heard him in the early '70s in Sydney, Australia. He said the following. He said, "At that moment, I did not need an intellectual argument. I did not need more historical evidence, for it was the reality of their joy that tipped the scales of my soul toward Christ". Later, he wrote a masterpiece, google it, get it. It's about Christ and Christianity. My beloved friend, you can experience that same joy of the power of the resurrection, regardless of your circumstances, regardless of where you are, regardless of where you stand, regardless of your church affiliation or your religious affiliation. You can pray this prayer with me in the privacy of your own seat, "Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me all of my sins, cleanse me from all unrighteousness, and come with the power of your resurrection and dwell in me". You can walk out of here a new man, a new woman, a new boy, a new girl.
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