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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Skip Heitzig » Skip Heitzig - The Lion Is the Lamb

Skip Heitzig - The Lion Is the Lamb

Skip Heitzig - The Lion Is the Lamb
Skip Heitzig - The Lion Is the Lamb
TOPICS: Bloodline, Easter, Resurrection, Restoration, Redemption

Why is it that you look fresher and happier today? Could it be Easter? I don't know why. You just look really good. Well, some of you don't. No, I'm just kidding. You all look really good. Anyway, happy Resurrection day. We're going to be in the Book of Revelation, if you turn there this morning. And just a word about this video series that we did with this motorcycle. So this motorcycle in the video is a 1974 Norton Commando 850 cc motorcycle. So I got it when it did not look like this. It looked like that. So that's it in its original state. Then I blew the head gasket on it, leaked oil, and then tore it apart, and made it this blood red motorcycle that you see today. So it's been completely restored.

Now, there's something about taking something old, classic, vintage and restoring it that I think makes it better than getting a brand new vehicle. There's something cool about an old restored any kind of a vehicle. So here's an example. Let's say you have a new Chevy Cruze, or Bolt, or a Silverado truck. All those are great Chevy products. So you're in your new Camaro. And you're up, pull up to a stoplight. You're digging your new Camaro. But then up pulls next to you a 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible, Harbor blue, white walls. It's like, OK. There's a whole new level of respect. Am I right?

There's just something about taking something old. And it could it be discarded, it's that old. But somebody has the vision, patience, longsuffering to make that a restored vehicle. That's what God does. God is into restoring human beings. You know, he could make perfect people and then populate heaven with perfect people. But he doesn't do that. He takes people who are dinged up, who've been beat up, bruised by time, damaged by sin, who have made wrong choices, who are weathered and scratched up. And he does a full resto job on them, complete restoration.

How does he do that? Well, restoration is based on redemption. And redemption is tied to Resurrection. And we've been doing this series called Bloodline, where we've traced that whole theme of the blood of Christ, predicted, anticipated, from Genesis, through Exodus, through Joshua, all the way now through the Book of Revelation.

We're going to be in Revelation chapter 1 in a moment and then chapter 5 as well. But today, basically, we're going to see a vision of heaven, where people and angels are gathered around singing a song of redemption and restoration when the risen Christ comes to take control. And if you know anything about the Book of Revelation, you know that it's a series of visions given to a man named John, who was one of the original apostles. John was on an island called Patmos, about 25 miles off the coast of Asia Minor. It was a prison colony at the time by Rome.

And John, when he wrote this book, was in his mid 90s. He's an old gentleman. He has been a prisoner for a while. Now he is exiled as a prisoner. And he is all alone. And there, all alone, he gets the Book of Revelation. Nice gift, right? He gets this series of visions that is a prophecy of the future but also a peek into heaven itself. And there are lots of symbols in this book. We're not going to today decipher them. But there are lamp stands, and trumpets, and bowls, and beasts, and creatures, and a very special metaphor, two of them. We're going to notice a lamb and a lion, a lamb and a lion that are exactly the same individual. The lamb is the lion. The lion is the lamb.

Now, a little bit about John. John was originally a fisherman. He lived on a little lake up in the northern part of Israel known as Galilee. But John was part of an inner circle with Jesus. He was part of the Twelve Apostles, but he was also this little inner circle you'd often see Peter, James, and John hanging out together, doing things together, with Jesus on special occasions. So we understand that John had a very close intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ in the flesh as he was here on the earth. And by the way, John is called the disciple whom Jesus loved. What's funny about that is he wrote that.

It wasn't like Matthew or Peter goes, yeah, that's the guy Jesus loved. John writes, I'm the disciple Jesus loved. And I really like that. Because I think you can write that. I think you can say that about yourself. You're the one Jesus loves with a very unique kind of love just for you. I believe that. Now, John is at the end of his life. As I mentioned, he's in his 90s. So you've just got to picture, he's an old man, completely isolated from society. He has no group of Christians around him. He might even feel depressed or dejected. And just, you might say, in the nick of time, Jesus shows himself to John in a series of these visions.

Now, I'm drawing this out because I have a hunch I may be speaking to some here who are feeling isolated, alienated. You're feeling alone. Maybe even you're feeling depression. According to the Center for Disease Control, 9% of Americans have feelings of hopelessness, despondency, and guilt that generate a diagnosis of depression, and some severely. If that's you, I want you to know I believe you could be on the verge of a breakthrough. It could be that you are on the verge of one of the greatest victories of your life, where you, in this moment of alienation and isolation, might have something revealed to you from God, hopefully, today.

So we're going to look at Revelation 1 and 5. But what I'm going to do is I'm reading it out of a different version than what I normally do, a little easier version, the New Living Translation. So we're going to throw the text up on the screen. But I want to show you the scene, first of all, kind of outline what's happening. And then from the scene, we're going to notice the Savior who steps up to do something very important. And then finally, the song that breaks out in heaven because of it. Let's begin in chapter 1 of Revelation verse 10, and we'll put the text up.

"It was the Lord's day, and I was worshipping in this Spirit. Suddenly, I heard a loud voice behind me, a voice that sounded like a trumpet blast. When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were bright like flames of fire. His feet were as bright as bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was as bright as the sun in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. But he laid his right hand on me and he said, 'Don't be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the living one who died. Look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.'"

The year is around AD 95. What that means is John had not been around Jesus physically in the flesh, he had not seen him, for over 60 years. Now, for 3 and 1/2 years, Jesus, when he was on the Earth, hung out, as I mentioned, with the apostles. John was among that group. So John knew the tone of Jesus' voice. He was familiar with facial expressions Jesus made. He knew the way Jesus walked and perhaps his unique laugh. All of those John knew. He remembered. Maybe he's thinking back thinking, oh, how I miss those days of being with Jesus personally and seeing him up close.

But then one day, in this state on Patmos, he hears a voice. And he looks back, and he sees somebody. And it's Jesus. But it's a very different Jesus than what he remembered, as you can tell by this description here. He's not like that children's poem, "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild." This is like giant Jesus, mighty and riled. It's like, whoa, listen to that. Look how bright. But it was Jesus.

And what he was seeing is not a crucified Christ. He's seeing a magnified Christ. He's seeing a deified, glorified Christ. This was the resurrected Jesus, not as a lamb, so to speak, but as a lion roaring. His voice was like mighty waves of the water, it says.

Well, the vision continues. That's chapter 1. By the time we get to chapter 5, John is transported in his vision to the courts of heaven itself. Verse 1, Revelation 5. Again, we'll put it up. "And I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne. There was writing on the inside and the outside of the scroll, and it was sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and unroll it?' But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it. And then I wept because no one could be found who was worthy to open the scroll and read it."

John is taken to heaven. There is God, seated on his throne. But what's weird is all of heaven, all the creatures, all the people, all the angels, even God himself, they're all focused on one thing, one document. One scroll gets all of their attention. They're looking at it. They're wondering. They're asking about the scroll and who's worthy.

And so we ask ourselves, well, what is this scroll? And because it involves the fate and the future of the earth, and because praise breaks out in heaven when finally, the right one comes forward to take and open the scroll, we can surmise that what we're dealing with, what we're looking at, what we're considering, is nothing less than the title deed to the earth.

The earth, it was God's by creation. God gave it to mankind in a stewardship. But mankind abdicated the rule and the right of the earth over to Satan in the garden when Adam disobeyed God and obeyed Satan. Adam acted sort of like the Benedict Arnold of the universe.

And that's why in 2 Corinthians chapter 4, Satan is called the "God of this world." You go, wait a minute. I thought God was the God of this world. Yes, it's his by creation. But I think if you look around the world, you would see it sure looks like it's crazy around here. And we're waiting for some culmination, some redemption. Yes, God created it. Adam gave it away. And Satan is called the God of this world. So Paul writes in the book of Romans, all of creation groans and travails together until now, awaiting that final and full redemption.

According to the customs of Judaism, ancient Judaism, the sign of a forfeited inheritance was a sealed scroll. And the fact that this scroll is sealed seven times indicates those are the encumbrances against the property. Those are the liens on the property. So a search is made in heaven, in earth, under the earth, for a liberator, somebody qualified to take back the inheritance. Notice the question, "Who is worthy to break the seals on the scroll and unroll it?" In other words, who is there that has the divine right, the authority, the power, to rule planet Earth at this point?

Now, that's a good question. Because there have been many people who were willing to do it, people like Alexander the Great. He wanted to take over the world. In fact, he thought he did. Many of the Caesars wanted to rule the world. Adolf Hitler, I think, had his desire to be the ruler of the world. But the question isn't who wants it. The question is, who's worthy? Who's worthy? And when the question is asked, you will notice that there's silence.

And then it says in verse 3, "But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it." No angels, no archangels, not Abraham, not Isaac, not Jacob, not Joseph, not David, not Solomon, not Elijah, not Daniel, not Peter, not Paul. No angel, no human, no devil, no politician, and I notice people kind of confuse those last two, not knowing which is which sometimes. But no one's worthy. No answer.

So John has a response to that in verse 4. "Then I wept." And it's a very strong emotional reaction in the original language. It means I sobbed in abundance. I sobbed in abundance. I audibly wept in abundance. You go, John, why? Why are you so sad over this? He is struck by the utter hopelessness that Earth is destined to remain in this condition because there is no liberator, which means we're doomed. So he started weeping. So that's the scene.

Next, a hero enters the story. The Savior comes in. Look at the next verse, verse 5. "But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, 'Stop weeping!'" A very sensitive guy, what are you crying about? And then he said, "Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David's throne, has conquered. He is worthy to open the scroll and break the seven seals." Now, we all know who this is, right? Who is this? This is Jesus. And these are titles for Jesus Christ.

By the way, a little FYI. Jesus goes by 24 different titles between chapter 1, verse 1 of Revelation to chapter 5. 24 different titles. Now, here's a few we're familiar with. He's called the Lion of Judah, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. That's a throwback to Genesis 49. The fourth son of Jacob was a guy named Judah. The prediction his dad made is that from Judah, from the tribe, this lion-like tribe will come a ruler, who will be the liberator, the Messiah, for the Jewish nation and for the world. That's Genesis 49.

He's also called here the heir to David's throne. Some of you remember that God made a promise to David that he would have offspring who would one day rule the world and it would be an everlasting kingdom. Well, John was Jewish. He knew his Bible. He knew Genesis 49. He knew 2 Samuel, chapter 7. So to hear these metaphors, Lion of the tribe of Judah, he goes, yep, Jesus. Heir to David's throne. Yep, that's Jesus. He knew that. And so when they said, look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, he turns around and he expects to see a lion, right? If somebody says, look, a lion, you expect a lion.

If I said to my grandkids if we're driving down the street, hey, look, kids, a train, they would look out the window and expect to see a train. Not a bunny rabbit, not Santa Claus, though they would prefer that, probably. They would expect to see a train. So the elder goes, look, there's the Lion of the tribe of Judah. So he turns around, and he doesn't see a lion. Didn't see a ruler. Doesn't see a king. He sees a lamb. I looked and I saw a lamb. A lamb? Why a lamb? What can a lamb do? Lambs don't rule the world. Lambs don't scare people. Ever been scared of a lamb? Ever seen a sign, "Beware of Lamb"? No. The movie wasn't Lambo, right? It was Rambo.

And by the way, the word "lamb" here refers to a pet lamb. It's a rare word used only two times in the entire New Testament, and it speaks of a cute little pet lamb. Now, here's the deal. And John would have known this. Remember, John was Jewish. So every year at Passover, families were instructed to take a lamb four days before Passover, but not any lamb, a baby lamb, one year and younger, a cute, beautiful, flawless, perfect, without spot and blemished lamb, and take the lamb home for four days. And after four days, it would be killed.

You know what that meant? For four days, that little lamb became like the pet of the family. All the kids loved it, cuddled it, hugged it, pet it, named it, probably, only to see it ripped out of their home, have its throat slit and its blood shed to cover their sin because of that Passover. So I looked and I saw a lamb, a pet lamb. But there's more. Not just a innocent pet beautiful lamb, but a lamb that had been killed, the text says. In other words, John looked and he saw this lamb that had signs of violence done to it, signs of suffering and bloodshed.

Look, the Lion of Judah. But I saw a lamb that had been killed. I believe that when you get to heaven, it's very possible that when you see Jesus, even in his glorified state, you're going to see marks of crucifixion on his body. You're going to see the wounds put in his hands, the wounds put in his feet, the wound from the spear in his side, and that he's going to have those marks of crucifixion, a lamb that had been killed, for all of eternity.

You say, oh, man, that's going to make me feel bad. No, it's going to make you feel good. Because Jesus will wear them forever, not as a shame, but as a sign, a badge, of honor. Because with those wounds, he could welcome you into his kingdom, and you into his kingdom, and you into his kingdom. And he would gladly wear those and bear those forever as a reminder that what those wounds did is purchase you and bring you into God's kingdom. Amen.

There was a song put out a few years ago, you remember it, by Mercy Me. We love to sing it every now and then. The words go, "The nails in your hands, the nail in your feet, they tell me how much you love me." Do you remember that song? "The thorns on your brow, they tell me how you bore so much shame to love me." But here's this part. "And when the heavens pass away, all your scars will still remain, and forever they will say how much you love me." I think you're going to see Jesus bearing those marks. John does. He looks to see a lion, but he sees a lamb. It had been killed.

But something odd about this. It looks like it had been killed but was now, verse 6 says, but was now standing. You know, that's interesting. This lamb, though obviously it had been tortured, and injured, and killed, was not slumped over, was not lying down, was not recumbent. This lamb is now standing. He's alive. He's ready for action, still having the scars of deadly wounds, but resurrected, raised, from that. You might say he has the meekness of a lamb but the strength, majesty, and readiness of a lion.

In fact, it's those very wounds as a lamb that makes him qualified to come as a lion and rule and reign. He came the first time to rescue the world as a lamb. He'll come the second time to rule the world as a lion. So the lamb is the lion. The lion is the lamb. Look, the lion. I saw a lamb. It's because they're one and the same. Two different features, first coming lamb, second coming lion. Well, when this happens, heaven can't contain themselves. It breaks out in song.

Look at verse 8. "And as he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they had gold bowls filled with incense, the prayers of God's people! And they sang a new song with these words. 'You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were killed, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become God's kingdom and his priests. And they will reign on the Earth.'"

Everything so far that John is describing in these visions is leading up to this defining moment, this most important moment. It's all building up to this. You say, building up to what? When the lamb steps forward to take the scroll. No one was there to take the scroll. John starts weeping. Then Jesus comes and he takes the scroll out of the hand. That is the greatest act in history. And that's what the Book of Revelation, the rest of it, will go on to describe, how Jesus is going to make better and fix all of the problems that planet Earth has created.

Now, when he does that, when he takes the scroll out of the right hand of God, that becomes the answer to all the prayers of all the saints through all the ages, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven." Ever prayed that before? Then you look at your watch and go, that hadn't happened yet. Pray the next day the same prayer. It hadn't happened yet. I've been praying that prayer for decades. Hadn't happened yet. You're right. But it will. It will happen when Jesus comes not as the lamb, but as the lion, the second time he takes the title deed of the Earth, opens it up, fixes what's broken. Nobody will have to vote him into office. He's just going to tell everybody, move over, let me show you how it's done.

Notice what it says in verse 9. And they what? And they sang. It says, then they sang a new song with these words. Do you know there's singing in heaven? You go, Skip, I know. I know there's singing in heaven. I know that I'm going to be in heaven one day, and I'm going to hear all the angels singing. I've heard that. I'm going to be part of the audience, watching the angels sing. No, no, no. You're the choir. You're going to be in heaven singing with them. And let me just say that if you don't have a good voice now, all those angels will help you out. You'll be fine.

But you're not going to be watching, you're going to be participating. And I believe every Christian should be a singing person, a singing Christian. Every Christian should be a singer. You know why? You have something to sing about. Gosh, worldly people sing their dumb songs all the time. You see them bopping down the road, mouthing the words. You've got something to sing about. You go, you've never heard my voice. You still have something to sing about, no matter how good or bad your voice might be.

And listen, worship singing is the one activity that we do on Earth that we will do also in heaven. There's a lot of things we do now we won't do in heaven. You're not going to evangelize somebody in heaven. You're not going to say, can I tell you about how to have a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ? They're going to go, excuse me, this is heaven. I'm here. You don't need to do this. I got here already. You won't need to evangelize. You won't need to disciple anybody on how to have a closer walk with the Lord. You won't have to pray over sick people. You won't do any of that in heaven. But you will sing in heaven. All the singers are clapping right now. By the way, I found an article that said those who sing stay younger-looking. Now I just got all your attention.

What, what? How do you stay younger looking? Singers' muscles in their cheeks develop to the extent that they show less wrinkles than non singers, the article said. Now, when you sing, sing like you mean it, not like, "I love you". Yeah, God gets really excited about that. Put some emotion, put some feeling into it. Now I know people are wired differently. People say, well, I'm not the emotional type. I'm not the kind of a person that is that expressive. OK, fine. But what's interesting about what you just said is when you were on the golf course the other day and you hit that great drive, boy, you got emotional. Well, how did that happen? You got all emotional. You were jumping up and down and so excited about a stupid little white ball.

Some of you get so emotional when you see a puppy. You know, I've been to sporting events, and I've watched fanatics. Somebody gets a goal, somebody makes a touchdown, somebody puts a basket in, the crowd jumps up. They get all emotional. I've been to concerts, and I've seen rock stars sing their familiar songs. And the crowd starts singing that song and swaying back and forth like it's a worship tune or something. Because for many of them, it is. My point is pagans can be really good at showing emotion and getting excited. What's wrong with Christians doing it over the right reason, the most noble reason in the universe? And that is the risen Christ.

There's a church I read about in England. I've never seen this, but I read about this church in a town called Fairford, England. And the church has a little churchyard, you know, a cemetery where they bury people in that church. And they have a monument to a cat, which is odd, unless you're a cat lover, which I'm not. But anyway, sorry, if you're a cat lover, pray for me. There is a monument to a cat. And the story is this cat used to wander in during church and would stay there all day and would wander in, like, every day. So the people in town said, you know, this cat spends more time in this church than anybody in this town. So they made a monument to the worshipping cat.

And I read that, and I said, I'm not going to be outdone by a cat. And I don't think God is particularly excited about secret admirers. I think if you love him, tell him. Sing it to him. So because you're going to be singing in heaven, why not get some practice now? OK, so notice the song, as we're bringing this to a close. What are they singing about? What's the subject of their song? They're singing about Jesus' worth, his supreme worth, and his sacrificial death.

Notice verse 9. Here's the words of the song. "For you are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were killed." This is their song. This is their worship tune. "For you were killed, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe, and language, and people, and nation." In other words, you are worthy to rule as lion because you came to die as a lamb. That's their song. And it's filled with his sacrificial death. If you want to sing anointed songs, put a lot of Jesus in there, and put the blood of Jesus in there.

I don't know why some churches are so afraid to talk about the cross and sing about the blood. They get all spooked about that. Listen, there's no anointing without it. There's no message without it. Without the shedding of blood, the Bible says, there is no remission of sin. It should be front and center. In fact, the Bible mentions blood 424 times. 424 times the Bible mentions blood. Why so much? Why does it make such a big deal over blood? Here's the deal once again. Mankind has a huge problem of getting together with God. You see, you and I can't just go hang out with God. You might say, I'm going to go to God my own way and just hang out with him. You're deluded. You're thinking you are, but you're not.

There's a big impediment between us and God. It's called sin. The Bible says, my arm is in short that it cannot save. My ears and heavy that it cannot hear. But your sins have separated between you and your God. So there's this big impediment called sin. So either you have to pay for that or somebody else pays for that. The gospel says Jesus came to pay for that. If Jesus didn't pay for that for you, then you are left to pay for your sins on your own. That's why you could sum up the message of the whole Bible in one simple sentence, behold the lamb. It's all about Jesus.

What's the message of the Bible? Behold the lamb. In the Old Testament, the question is asked, where is the lamb? That's what Isaac asked his dad Abraham going up that mountain, we remember. Here's the fire. Here's the wood. Where's the lamb? The New Testament answers the question. John the Baptist sees Jesus coming to the Jordan, points to him and says, behold the lamb. And then in heaven, Revelation 5, we're going to sing, worthy is the lamb.

There was a little boy who was told by his doctor that he could save his sister's life if he was willing to donate his blood. Come to find out his six-year-old sister was near death, and she had this disease from which that boy recovered two years earlier. Her only chance to live was to get a blood transfusion from somebody who had previously had and conquered that same disease. Since both of them had the same rare blood type, he was the best option. So the doctor bent down and said to the little boy, Johnny, are you willing to give your blood for your sister Mary? And the boy hesitated a while. And then his lip started trembling, and he said, sure. I'll give my blood. So he said, OK.

Both kids were wheeled into the operating room. Mary was pale and thin. John was healthy and robust. Neither spoke. But their eyes met. And when they did, Johnny looked at his sister and smiled. They were hooked up. And blood was siphoned into Mary's veins. And when it was, it's like could see new life come into her body. When it was almost over, Johnny said to the doctor, doc, when do I die? It was then the doctor realized why the hesitation and why the trembling in Johnny's voice. Johnny had actually thought that in giving blood, he would have to give his life and that he would die in the process. And that brave little boy made the decision, I'm willing to do it for my sister.

Jesus made a decision with you in mind. He didn't get killed. Jesus said, nobody takes my life from me. I lay it down of myself. I have the power to both lay it down and take it up again. And he did both. He made the decision to lay it down, and then he made the decision to take it back up in Resurrection. Well, you also must make your decision. If you have not had a divine blood transfusion yet, now is the perfect time. Would you bow your head with me and let's pray together as we close.

Our Father, we have over the past several weeks briefly touched on a series of Bible texts that have pointed the way to the cross unmistakably, very clearly. From Genesis, through Exodus, to Joshua, Isaiah, the Psalms, the gospel records, the life of Jesus on Good Friday, all the way to the Book of Revelation. From Eden to eternity, we see that the cross was not plan B. It was not an other option. It was not an oops moment. It was always your plan to redeem by sending your Son, the perfect one, who lived the perfect life that nobody else could ever do, and then taking our place and letting all of our sin and the punishment for it fall on Him. As Isaiah said, you laid the iniquity of us all on Him, the Lamb who would become the Lion. He's qualified to be the Lion because he was first the Lamb. He will rule as Lion because he rescued us as a Lamb. He took that punishment. It's the same gospel message with another metaphor told a different way. It's the same message. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever would believe in him would not perish, but would have everlasting life." But today on Easter, Father, it's especially poignant to us because this is the day we celebrate you taking your life up again, resurrecting from the dead, thus conquering death. Thus when you made the promise that we would live forever, now there's some bank behind it. Now it makes sense. If you can conquer your death, you'll be able to conquer our death. We'll be able to be in your presence. We look forward to being with you forever. We're not afraid of death. It's lost its sting. It has no victory over us. It's simply a graduation for us into your presence. Father, I want to pray for those who are with us today on this Easter at this service. Some grew up religiously in a spiritually oriented home. They've been told by parents and grandparents about God, about Jesus. They've gone to church. But they haven't taken a personal step, sort of crossing the line, saying, "I'm going to make it personal for me. It's real for me. I'm going to receive Jesus, not as the Savior, but my Savior. Not as the Lord, but as my Lord. I'm going to turn my life over to Him".

Maybe you've never done that. Or maybe you remember some experience you had in younger years. But today, you're not walking with Jesus, you're not obeying Him. Some of you are just kind of at your low moment. You're wondering, is there anything else in life than what I've already experienced? Could there ever be some meaningful experience in this life? The answer is yes, yes, yes. It is found in a person and only one person, and that is Jesus Christ himself. He will come into your life. He will change you. And He will rule and reign if you give Him your life and give Him the ability to do that.

But you have to ask Him. You have to be willing to invite Him. And if you're willing to invite Him, maybe for the first time, or you need to come back home to Him, with our heads bowed and eyes closed, I'm going to keep mine open. But would you raise your hand up if you're willing to say yes to the Savior this morning? Raise it up and just keep it up for a moment so I can see your hands. God bless you in the front, in the middle, in the middle, in the back, on the side.

Right here in the middle on my left, thank you for that. Raise your hand up. Just say yes. I'd love to pray for you. I want to know who I'm praying for. Right over here, family room. God bless you, ma'am. Anyone else? Right here.

Father, just thank you for honest people raising their hands saying, I need Him. You've made it so easy. As complicated as it might seem for some, we look at this elaborate plan that you created to redeem people, the easy part is our part. We have to trust. All we have to do is believe. All we have to do is commit. All we have to do is receive your gift. Thank you for that. Lord, I pray for everyone who's raised that hand around this room. I pray that the life change would be real to them, palpable to them, that their friends will see it, their family will see it, they'll experience a new level of peace and love, lightness, and forgiveness because of Jesus and this gospel message. It's in His name we pray, amen.

Can I have y'all stand up? We've got plenty of time. As we sing this final song, I'm going to ask those of you who raised your hands up to now get up from where you're standing, find the nearest aisle, and come stand right up here in the front, where on this Easter Sunday, I'm about to lead you in a prayer to receive Christ as Savior and Lord.

If you raised your hand in the front, in the side, the middle, the back, the balcony, the family room, outside, a pastor will bring you inside. We just want to wait for you, because we want to celebrate with you. And this is the day you'll always remember. This is the day I made a break from my past and I stepped into a brand new future. This is the day God put hope in my heart, hope for change. Oh, good. Awesome, you guys.

Give it just another couple of moments. We've got time, even if I didn't see your hand or you didn't raise it, but you know that you know that you should be here right now, giving your life to Christ and not just waiting it out out there. You know it. You've yearned for it. You've longed for it. You've hoped for it. You want to see change in your life. You want to know that you're forgiven before God, that you're right with God. There's no better feeling in the world than knowing I'm right with God. You can know that. You can have assurance of that. We'll give you another couple of moments to make your way forward.

Hey, those of you who have come forward, I'm going to lead you now in a prayer, OK? So this is where we interact. I'm going to pray out loud. I'm going to ask you to say this prayer out loud. OK, say it after me. Say it from your heart, mean it, as you talk to God. This is just you saying, God, take over, OK? Let's pray. Say:

Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe in Jesus. I believe He came from heaven to earth. I believe He died on a cross, that He shed his blood for me. And I believe He rose from the dead and that He's alive right now. I turn from my past. I repent of my sin. I turn my life over to you to be my Savior and Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.

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