For years Easter has been set aside as one of two or three days out of the year in which noticeably more people will actually attend a church service. In the 21st century it has been mostly just an opportunity for some little girls to wear a special Easter outfit. And at home after church sometimes there is an egg hunt or a basket of candy. But Easter’s real message for the believing Christian has absolutely nothing to do with Easter bunnies, colored eggs or baskets of candy.
Years ago when I pastored a church, I noticed that on Christmas Eve, Easter Sunday and the Sunday closest to Thanksgiving, attendance could triple or even quadruple what it normally was. And I took special advantage of those opportunities to share the true Gospel of Jesus Christ with the strangers. Those opportunities have made some of our holiday celebrations truly worthwhile. Holidays can be a good thing therefore at least in that respect. They can be reasons for our remembering big truths.
Trying to preach the gospel to a bunch of people who, mostly thanks to a flattering and memorizing tv, view themselves as brilliantly sophisticated skeptics is often a giant challenge. But today, just as back then, I know of a powerful ally who has always been working with Christ-proclaiming Christians in their evangelism. Even many preachers of the Gospel don’t seem to remember His helpful ministry. It is the voice of God himself! And He never stops in His ministry.
He is always knocking on the interiors of everybody’s hearts. Shortly before his death and resurrection, Jesus assured us that: “... it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate (the Holy Spirit) won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send Him to you. And when He comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.” (New Living Version, John 16:7-8)
The world knows about God. They can say that they don’t - but we all do, deep down. That’s why death really bothers most folks. And deep in our hearts we all know that there is a debt that is owed that we can’t pay. The apostle Paul told us that all of creation testifies to the reality of the existence of God. (Romans 1:20, etc.) Any observant person knows that we aren’t here by accident. And as far as knowing about His holiness and what He expects of us ... Just as Jesus promised, that tiny little voice of God’s Spirit speaks to our consciences.
You have heard Him before. He tenderly wounds us when we wrong others or do bad things (or at least He did when we were younger and still listened to Him). We know of His goodness when we see or feel it. And we know what isn’t of Him as well (when we are listening to Him). Just as Jesus said - and it’s just plain common sense - bad things can’t come from God. Without anyone’s help but God’s convicting voice (and He never disagrees with what He has already said in His Bible) we can know the difference between right and wrong. Today even the hippest atheist parents, when looking for a nanny or babysitter, most prefer a Sunday-school-teaching grandma over a tattooed and pierced BDSM goth. Why is that?
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