The Foundation of Hope
1 Corinthians 15:12-26
September 5, 2015
The title of our sermon this morning is the Foundation of Hope, and if you want to follow along the sermon notes on your smart phone or tablet, you can do that but you're going to need the church app, so just do an app search for Calvary Hillsboro.
As we’re getting nearer to the end of this letter to the church of Corinth, it seems that Paul has saved one of the most significant corrections for the last. As you might remember, this letter is filled with corrections to them because there's a lot of immaturities and so he's bringing to them the insight of God that they would be spiritually mature; but the issue that he wants to address here, and he spends a lot of time on it, is that there is a debate going on in the church there about whether or not there is a resurrection from the dead. Wow! Really? This was actually debated? Yes, it was. In fact, you might remember that it was also a debate during Jesus' time. There was a group of Jewish leaders that did not believe in the resurrection at all. They were called Sadducees, and, of course, the modern joke amongst pastors is, that's why they were sad, you see. It's very corny.
But they debated about this, and they didn't believe in the resurrection, to which you might say, "Well, you're kidding me. If they don't believe in the resurrection, then what's the point? I mean, is this it? This is it? We just live our lives in this world and then you breathe your last, and this is it? In fact, it's interesting. We're going to start with verse 12, but I want us to just jump down to verse 32, because Paul just takes that argument head on, and this is what he says in verse 32, "Was it from human motives that I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus? What would that profit me? Look, if the dead are not raised, let's just eat and drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Let's just call it straight out.
Look, it wasn’t for human motives that I fought with wild beasts. I fought with wild beasts in Ephesus because I was there for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I preach Christ and I preach Christ crucified. This is important for us to get hold of because otherwise, he says, "What's our response otherwise? We might just as well party it up. Let's eat, drink, be merry because this is it. We're dead. That's it.” Paul says, "No, this is not it. You are wrong. You are in error because the hope that we have is eternal in nature. It’s based and grounded on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In fact, without it, we have no hope, and without the resurrection, our faith is worthless, and you are still in your sins."
You know we gather as is common for Christians to worship on the first day of the week. Why the first day of the week? Because it's the day of the resurrection, and every time we gather the first day of the week, we are commemorating, we are celebrating, we are giving honor because this is the day of the resurrection. You know, it's interesting in Russia, in the Russian language, the first day of the week is not called Sunday. You know, our first day is called after the sun, the sun day, but in the Russian language in Russia, it's called Voskreseniye, the day of the resurrection, which, I think, is absolutely amazing. Here in godless Russia the first day of the week is called Voskreseniye, the day of the resurrection. You know what? They need it.
Actually, we need it because it's the foundation of life. It’s the foundation of hope. It's interesting. A side note... Islam teaches that not only was Jesus not crucified, they believe and teach that not only was He not resurrected, He was not even crucified. They believe that God took Jesus up and allowed someone else to die in his place, which is interesting because it is the exact opposite of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are the ones who deserve to be on that cross, but He took our place by dying in pain for our sins on the cross. This is the Gospel. The victory over death was won for us when Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day. To Paul, this is of first importance. This is of highest importance. To be wrong on this point is to miss the entire point of the Gospel. You see, when you have this grasp and it's understood, it becomes the foundation of hope and life and something amazing.
I remember when I was in Bible college—now I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 11. I grew up worshipping, learning, growing--I was worship leader in high school, played my guitar in church. I believed absolutely in the resurrection. But something happened to me when I got to the Bible university. I took this class where we just focused on the resurrection, and we were receiving every counter claim. We were taking every argument apart, and something happened to me. I did not understand that this was going to energy my faith. After that class I was so much more excited, I just started buttonholing my friends. and I was just so excited, because the faith was strong and established well.
You see, we've got to have this in our lives well understood. It is the key to God's plan of the ages. It is the foundation of the world. This is God's key to the plan of the ages, and it is the key to God's plan for our lives. It's personal. See, we have to see it as personal. If Christ was not raised from the dead, we have no hope, but because he is raised, we have hope in this life and for eternity. We have to make it personal. Do you have hope? Do you have hope? What do you put your hope in? I mean, you look around this world, and, yes, it's a good question to ask. What are you going to put your hope in? Well, well, we have a new deal with Iran. Maybe we should put our hope in that. Maybe that will bring peace to the world. I'm sorry to say, that's not going to end well. Or maybe we should put our hope in the stock market. Look at the last two weeks and I'll tell you, that's not such a good idea. Maybe the global economy will evolve to some great state of wonderment. I don't think that's going to happen. Well, the United States economy. Let's put our hope in that solid United States economy. E.F. Hutton even wouldn't advise that. Maybe we should put our hope in politics--surely politicians will save the day. I mean, what a mess we have going now. What are you going to put your hope in?
This world is falling apart. It's falling apart around us. We need hope that's eternal. We need hope that's a foundation. See, if you don't have hope, you have nothing, and if you've lost hope, you've lost everything. Things happen in life. Devastating things happen in life that can shake a person to the core of their being, but when you have hope, when you have a foundation, you have an anchor to your soul, sure and steadfast. You have something that's of eternal value. This is why it's so important. The resurrection is about newness. It's about life. It's about life now, not only hope for eternity, but now. He ignites our soul. He fills us with life. "If you don't grasp this," he says, "You'll be in error."
You know, I spoke of the Sadducees and their not believing the resurrection. They actually brought a challenge to Jesus. They hoped to trap him because they knew he believed in the resurrection, of course. He says, "I am the resurrection. I am the life. He who believes in me will never die." So they thought they would trap him in a conundrum, and so they brought this challenge. They said, "Now teacher, Moses wrote that if a man dies and his wife has no children, that the wife should then be given to the brother of that man so that the brother might raise up children for him. Now, there were seven brothers. The first man died, leaving no children so she was given to the second brother. He also died, leaving no children, so she was given to the third brother. Now he also died, leaving no children, and so forth; and finally, all seven were married to the woman, and all died leaving no children, and finally the woman herself died. Now, in Heaven, whose wife will she be?" Can you just imagine this question? Jesus looked at them and said, "You err. You are in error. You are greatly in error because you do not understand the Scriptures, and you do not understand the power of God." See, that to me is a great word for each of us. We must understand the Scriptures, and we must understand the power of God, because this is everything here. This is everything. If the resurrection is not personally true for each of us, we have no hope, our faith is worthless. We are still in our sins. Paul says, "I preach Christ crucified and I preach Christ raised from the dead.”
Let's read it. First Corinthians 15, beginning with verse 12. We'll look at the other verses on Wednesday, if you can come to that Wednesday service.
“Now, if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, then how is it that some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is vain or empty and our faith is vain. Moreover, we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witness against him that he raised Christ whom he did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. Now, if the dead are not raised, even Christ has not been raised,” which he repeats. “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless and you are still in your sins.” You've got to love Paul; he doesn't mince words. He calls it straight out.
‘Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ, they've also perished. Look, if we’ve hoped in Christ for this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied, but now Christ has been raised from the dead. The first fruits of those who are asleep for since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead, for as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. Each now in his own order Christ the first fruits, and now for those who are in Christ at his appearing. Then comes the end when he delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father where he has abolished all rule and all authority and all power, for he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last enemy that will be abolished is death. Now those are great verses. Solid foundational verses. Establishing in us faith. That's what we need. We need to be ignited.
I. Our Hope is Built on Nothing Less
I want us to look at these verses and look at them personally. One of the things I think we need to see and grasp and apply is this: our hope is built on nothing less, now you might recognize those words from a hymn, a very famous hymn in the church, but it means a lot to me personally because recently, a little over a week ago, I had a chance to be with a man as he was near death. He died just shortly after I left visiting him in the hospital. Will Southerland—maybe some of you know him. When I went to see him, he was struggling with his breathing. I stood by him, he took my hand, and we talked. It was a beautiful conversation. At one point he paused and he closed his eyes and he said, "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand." That was so beautiful. What an assurance of hope from a man minutes before his death. Solid in the state my hope is built, with the joy on his face, my hope is built on nothing less.
See, that is so important to us. We need that assurance. We need that confidence. You know, there's a belief in the world that all roads lead to God. It doesn't matter what religion you believe because all roads lead to God. Now, you may or may not agree with me on this, but I believe that's true. I think all roads do lead to God. The question is not whether or not you're going to meet God because, frankly, everybody's going to meet God. The question is, what happens after you meet God. That's the bigger question, and there's where we have that hope. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and rightlessness. On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. It's a hope steadfast and sure. By this confidence we stand before the throne of the Almighty. See, then we understand. So he refutes this argument, He picks it apart. One of the things we need to see is that no one else is going to die for us. This is important. No one else could have died for us. The Scripture says everyone sins and falls short of the glory of God, and the wages of sin is death. Everyone else, no one is going to pay the price for us because they've got their own sins to deal with.
A. No one else could have died for us
What is death anyway, by the way. Death, ultimately, is separation from God. You know, there could be different forms of death, you could say. There is what we could call temporal death. That's death while you're living. You're living dead, because your future is that there's a cloud of condemnation, and there's an emptiness, there's a void. Now, here’s a verse. Ephesians 2:12. Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ having no hope, and without God in the world. That's a tragic way to live right there. No hope. No God. That's tragic. That is just tragic.
You know, a famous quote from Blaise Pascal. You might remember him from history. He's a French mathematician, well known as a genius, but he also was a believer in God and Jesus Christ, and so this is what he wrote: "There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any creative thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ." That is such a powerful declaration. It’s true. All of us have a God-shaped vacuum, emptiness. If you don’t have God, if you don’t have the Holy Spirit, you don’t have life—you have emptiness, and ultimately it's death because it's separation from God, and ultimately, it's eternal death. See, eternal death is where you die in your sins. The problem with dying in your sins is that you're dead in your sins, eternally separated from God. Where are we going to have hope then? Where are we going to have hope then?
There's so-called religious leaders who have stood up and presented ideas for hope, but I submit to you that every one of them also sinned and couldn't help us at all. It's like someone--can you imagine someone coming before a judge and saying, "I'd like to pay that man's debt." To which the judge responds, "Really? With what? You yourself are so far in debt you have no hope. How are you going to help him? You've got your own debt." Mohammed died in his sins. No help from him. Buddha died in his sins. No help from him. Joseph Smith died in his sins. No help from him.
John 14, verses 6 to 7. Jesus said to him, "I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life. No one comes to the Father [key phrase] no one comes to the Father, but through me. If you knew me, you would have known the Father also." You can't find a more powerful statement of hope. That's why the resurrection is so important for us and what it won.
B. He gave many infallible proofs
Ephesians 2;13. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were formally far off have been brought near by the Blood of Christ, so he goes back to First Corinthians 15, and he brings infallible proofs. You see, he gave many infallible proofs, Jesus did. You know, in the introductory verses of the Book of Acts, you probably remember that Luke wrote the Book of Acts, and in the introductory verses, this is what he says [Acts 1:3] "Through the apostles, he presented himself alive by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of 40 days, speaking of the things concerning the Kingdom of God." This is so compelling. Earlier in the chapter in the early verses, he goes and starts naming names. After he was raised from the dead, he appeared to--and he starts naming names. Finally, on one morning He appeared to me also, and then he says, "And he appeared to 500 at one time." This is compelling. Eye witnesses are compelling. In a court room, they are convincing evidence.
Can you imagine a court room scene? I love to play this out. A court room scene, and we have those 500 witnesses. They're all out there in the lobby waiting their turn to testify, right? The first guy comes in. 'Yes, I swear, blah, blah, blah. "Did you see him?" "Yes, I saw him with my own two eyes. We had lunch together." Really? Very compelling. Next witness. Do you swear, blah, blah, blah. "Did you see him?" "Yes, I saw him with my own two eyes. He spoke with me." "What did he say?" He spoke of the things of the Kingdom of God." Very compelling. Next witness, please. "Did you see him?" "Yes, I saw him with my own two eyes. He spoke to me. I saw him. I touched his side." Very compelling. Next witness please. We've got 497 to go. It's going to take a while, maybe all afternoon. Next witness please. Look, at some point, don't you think I got it? Don't bring any more witnesses. I've got 300 which is enough. Don't bring me 200 more. I got it, I got it. I'm convinced. So this is compelling for us.
C. He told us in advance
Now what's interesting is that the resurrection itself becomes proof that God holds all men into account. Notice Act 17, verses 30 to 31. "Having overlooked kinds of ignorance, God is now declaring to all men that all people everywhere should repent because he has fixed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom he has appointed having furnished proof to all men by raising him from the dead, and as further compelling, convincing proof, he told us in advance. He spoke of it well in advance.
You know, one of the things you've got to see when it comes to the disciples, he provided to them living proof of who he was. He said to Peter—to the disciples at one point, "Who do the people say I am?" They gave various answers. “And who do you say I am?" Jesus said to them. Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." He was convinced. See, Jesus demonstrated who he was. He raised Lazarus from the dead. He raised Jairus' daughter from the dead. A widow’s son from the dead, and named their names. The dying were healed. Lame walked. Lepers—ten lepers at one time. He spoke by word of his authority and the sea was calmed. Cast out demons by the word of his power.
He demonstrated who he was, and then He said, "Behold I tell you in advance." He's telling them in advance. Now, isn’t this the same thing with us? I give you proof. I give you proof of the resurrection of the dead. Now behold. I'm telling you in advance the things that are coming. The hope that you have, the eternal hope that you have, is the foundation of what we believe because Jesus spoke it. Jesus said (John 14) "Do you believe in God? Believe also in me. In my father's house are many dwelling places, if it weren’t so, I would have told you; and I go and prepare a place for you, and I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am there you may be also." Oh, what glorious hope. He told us in advance, and He's given us proof that we might establish that word in our lives. "Do you believe this?" Jesus said.
II. Experience Resurrection Life
There was an interesting scene that unfolded. After the resurrection--immediately after--there were two men. They were walking together on this road to a town called Damascus, and as they’re walking, they're discussing amongst themselves the events that had just happened in Jerusalem and Jesus appears with them and starts walking along side of them. "What are you speaking of?” “Are you the only one who has not heard of these things in Jerusalem?" They don't recognize it's Him yet. “The whole city’s been turned upside down about it” and begin to share with him. “We had such hope, but we were so disappointed because he was crucified. But we heard a rumor. Word began to spread that He’s been seen, that He’s been raised.”
So Jesus—so this is the reason Jesus—This is Luke 24, verses 25 and 27. Jesus said, “Oh foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken. Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into his glory? He told you in advance,” and then, beginning with Moses, which is to say through Genesis, and with all of the prophets which is to say through all of the Old Testament, he explained to them the things concerning himself in all of the Scriptures.
Now that would have been a Bible study. I would have loved to have been there. I would have loved to have recorded—can you imagine? He starts and he goes through the entire Old Testament. I guess it’s a long walk to Damascuss, and he goes through and tells them, “Let's start with Genesis, shall we? In all of the feasts, in all of the sacrifices and everything, it was all about Jesus. He told you in advance that the blind would be healed when the Messiah comes. Look at his words. He told you in advance. Now, I love this part here. In Luke 24, verse 32, this is after their eyes were opened, they understood it was Jesus and after he left them, they said, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was speaking to us on the road, while he was explaining the Scriptures to us?" “He was explaining the Scriptures, and our hearts were burning." What was happening there? They were hearing the Scriptures. He's explaining the Messiah. Something was arising in their heart, arising inside. I love this picture. Has this ever happened to you? Has this ever happened to you? The Word is going forth, the Holy Spirit is moving on his word, and there's something going on in your heart, like there's this burning going on. This is compelling. This is touching me. I'm being transformed. Something's happening in their life.
A. In Christ we are born again
See, this is power for us. We need to have hearts that are burning after God, ignited by His Holy Spirit. Here's my point. This whole thing is to be personal. He's speaking of the resurrection because we've got to settle this matter and thereby our faith be ignited. In other words, you experience resurrection life. It's about moving from death to life, about making all things new. Well, He makes all things new now. He transforms. He even transformed the meaning of the cross itself. Back in those days the cross was a symbol of death, of fear, of torture, of pain. You would never make furniture--. You would never make jewelry out of it, or furniture either, but today the cross has changed its meaning. Now it means hope. We put crosses on graves. Why do you put a cross on a grave? Because of what it symbolizes. The message of the grave itself has been changed because of what Christ has done for us. He's defeated death. Put a cross on a grave because it represents something. He's defeated death, and He makes all things new. That's the whole point, he makes all things new. And Jesus explained it. In Christ we're born again. Born again. What does it mean, born again?
Nicodemus, he was a well-known, well-respected Jewish teacher, came to Jesus at night with a question. No doubt he doesn't want to be seen, so he comes at night, and listen to what he says. It's very revealing. "Teacher, we know that you have come from God because no one can do these signs that you do unless God was with him. Isn’t that an interesting confession. We—who’s we? But we Jewish leaders, we actually know. We know you're from God. Nicodemus was a good man. he was later seen at the cross taking down the body of Christ. So he comes to him simply sincere. Some questions--something sincere. Risked it all to come. “Teacher, I'm here for you. We know that you're from God. We know you're from God. No one can do what you do unless God was with him." Jesus answers and gets right to the point to him.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said, "Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus did not get it. “Born again? A man cannot enter his mother's womb again, can he?” Jesus said, "You are a teacher of Israel and you don't understand these things?" He began to explain of the Spirit. John 3:16. "Then came forth the things of the Spirit, being born again—using the idea born, a birth, is a really good picture because imagine the difference and the contrast between a baby in the womb and a child outside of the womb. What a difference of experiences. Inside the womb, sure, it's warm. You hear indistinguishable sounds. It's comfortable, but outside the womb the glorious, the sunset. You can see the nature of--that God has created is gloriously revealed. What a difference--isn't this the same truth?
B. Experience life even now
You think about the difference between life here on this earth and the life that we're going to have in the everlasting presence of God in Heaven. What a difference is it? You know here on this earth, it's like we're seeing in a mirror dimly, but then we will see him face to face. What he's done for us. He's making all things new. He's making us new even now. You know what, if you are in Christ, if you've received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are living eternal life right now. You've already been given eternal life and you are living out eternal life right now, and when you breathe your last on this earth, that just means you leave your body behind and you go in the presence of the Living God and the joy that you have will be expediential to what you have now.
This is why He says in Revelations 21, versus 1 and 3 to 5, "I saw a new Heaven and a new earth. First Heaven, first earth passed away, and the sea was no more. He will draw us together. We will be his people. God himself will be among them. He will wipe away the tears from their eyes. There will no longer be any death. There will no longer be any mourning or crying or pain. The first things are passed away. He who sits on the throne said, "Behold I am making all things new," and he is using the present. He means even now. "I make all things new.” In other words, it must be personal for us. Experience life even now. Born again--that means now. Living newness of life, even now, and you look at--there's so many examples of the transformed life that He brings about now to decide with themselves.
You look at Paul. Paul, who was an enemy of the church and hated and despised, but God turned him around. Better testimony. There's lots of examples of that. One in recent history you might recognize if you're old enough. The name Chuck Colson, who was special counsel to the president of the United States under Richard Nixon, nicknamed "The Hatchet Man," reputation for being cold and steel of heart. One point he demonstrated how cold and steel of heart he was when he held his hand over a candle—for what purpose I don’t get. He once boasted that he'd run over his own grandmother if it would help get the president re-elected. Religion to him was a crutch. He would say it kind of like that. It’s for the weak, until God broke him. He later said, "I was wrong, I was wrong. I was blind, I was hard." Bu God opened my eyes, and he later went on to write a book Born Again. Made new. I was so wrong. Oh, the things I did. They were so wrong, but he turned my life around. He gave me new life. He gave me joy. I’ve experienced life. Verse 22 – All shall be made alive.
You know, we live in a culture today where so many people are lost, empty. I've just got to find myself. I've got to work this thing out. I've just got to work this thing out. How many times have I heard that? I'll figure it out. Just let me figure it out. I've got to find myself. Unless you find yourself in God, you are still lost. You see, it begins with saying, "God, I want to admit it. I was blind. I was hard. I was empty. I was lost." It starts with admitting it. You know, I can use maybe men as an example. Men have a reputation for not asking for directions, and the reason is because it's truth. We don't like asking directions, and the reason we don't like asking directions, is because we don't want to admit they were wrong. Is this not true? Show of hands here. That's not a very good show of hands. You’re leaving me here all by myself. It was kind of funny, I said that at the Beaverton Campus and a woman in the back said, "Amen!" That was my Jody. That was my Jody. My wife, no, she wasn’t there.
C. Our hope is eternal
But when we admit--oh, by the way, today, of course, you know it’s cool to be lost because we can take out GPS and say, "See my new gadget." The thing is, unless we're able to admit it, we can't find hope. It's always tragic to me when I speak, especially to a young person, oh, I’ve got to figure it out. I'll get it figured out. I've just got to figure it out. I'll figure this thing out. You won't.
But God has given you the answer. God has given you the answer, and if you would just hear. John 8 verses 31 to 32 and verse 7. "If you will abide in my word. If you would dwell in my word. If you would just be in the truth, then you are truly disciples of mine, and you will know the truth, and the truth, my friend, will make you free, and if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. We were once in bondage to sin. We were bound by condemnation. We were bound by its power. He sets us free. There is no condemnation.” Romans 8, 1 and 2. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus for the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” The hope that we have, the hope that we have changes us right now. Thus, we have hope and that hope is eternal. It's a foundation.
See, for some, death is an enemy, something to be feared, but not if you have hope that's eternal. These bodies of ours--they're in the process of dying. The older you get, the more you will see it. We are in the process of dying, but our souls are in the process of living. You may be old, you may be in the process of dying, but your soul is in the process of living. The joy on Will’s face minutes before he passed is from a spirit that is alive.
7 Corinthians 4:16. Therefore we do not lose heart if the outer man is decaying--the inner man is being renewed day by day. You know, when I visited Will, we spoke, had some time, and he said at one point, "When I look back over—think back over my life, I wish I would have done more for Christ. Done more." He was witnessing to the doctors, witnessing to the nurses, and he’s got a faith that’s alive. “I wish I would have done more,” he said. You will, my friend. Don't look back. There’s joy in front of you. Fix your eyes on Jesus. [38:44:05], You will finish in him. Fix your eyes on him because I'm convinced when you enter into that joy, that presence of the Lord, you will hear these wonderful words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master. Joy is in front of you." I prayed with him, read some Scriptures, and I headed for the door. Just as I got to the door, he said, "Pastor." I turned around and he said, "See you in Heaven." How beautiful is that. Such a peaceful assurance, like I'll see you tomorrow at the restaurant. See you in Heaven.
Psalm 13, verse 15. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of our sins. Philippians 1:21. To live is Christ, to die is gain. You see, the hope that we have transforms us even now, now. Be ignited. Have that burning in you. You know, people live their lives--they just go through mundane living. They get up, they go to work, they come home, they eat dinner, watch something, then go to bed. They get up, they go to work, they come home, eat something, then they watch something, they go to bed. They get up--you know what, I think God has so much more in mind for us than just living a mundane life. Jesus says, "I have come that you might have life and have it to the full." The joy that we have which is eternal is joy to be had now. It changes us now. Be filled with the love of Christ. Let there be something burning in your life that's good. The Holy Spirit means life now.
You know, Winston Churchill, before he died, he planned his own funeral service, and he had instructed that the words of Christ be read. John 11, verses 25 to 26. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die." Do you believe this? And then, when these words were read, he instructed that a trumpeter would play taps, the famous The Day is Done. The day is done, and when the last note rang, a trumpeter in the very back would take up the call of reveille. It's time to wake up. It's time to get up. The day has now begun. What a beautiful picture for us. Newness of life begins right now. The joy that we have, begins now. God has given you an invitation. An invitation to get right with God. To have something that's alive in your life. That newness of life he won for us.