Sermon Starters

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Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Easter Sunday

Option A: From Rev. Kelly Bedard

Lifelines, Indeed!
(Multiple Texts)

Introduction: Reg is the rage! Host Regis Philbin's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" is possibly the highest-paying and most-watched game show of all time. Perhaps its true appeal lies in the lifelines which assist contestants who on their own would fail. 

Whatever the reasons for its appeal, these lifelines (A, B & C below) form the basis for the following outline based on portions of three texts appointed for The Resurrection of Our Lord, without whom of course we cannot but fail. Resurrexit!  

A. "Poll The Audience" ("Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?" [Mark 16:3])

1. Trust in vox populi; though not categorically inadvisable, ultimately unreliable apart from divine inspiration and power

2. Vox populi: "God plus one equals a majority" ("And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back" [Mark 16:4])--though He certainly doesn't even need one/us

B. "50-50" ("If for this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied" [1 Corinthians 15:19])

1. Living it up (wrong answer): seduced by the demonic powers dominating this present age, death chief among them

2. Up with Life--through Christ, the only and definite right answer--no guesswork necessary

C. "Phone A Friend" ("I thank You that You have answered me and have become my salvation" [Psalm 118:21])

1. "His steadfast love endures forever!" (Psalm 118:1, 136 et al)

2. He bears witness to our character by delivering us when things run out and others give up on us 

Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

Option B: From Rev. Wayne Dobratz

It Is Just As He Told You
Mark 16:1-8

 I The Stone was rolled away.

 A. The stone was to contain corruption

1. As a reminder of the in-born state of mankind,

a.  As in Gen. 6:11-13

b. As in Deut. 31:29

2. As in John 11:39, a reminder of sin and its wages

II The Tomb was empty, just as He had said.

A.  As He promised in John 2:19-21

B. Jesus has defeated sin and death

1. As Paul writes in 1 Cor. 15:1-4; 54-57

2. His victory gives an antidote to fear--The angel said: "Don't be afraid" v. 6

III You will see Him again.

A. To be assured of your victory over death in Him

1.  As in I Cor. 15:5-8

2. As in 1 Cor. 15:20-23

B. To be assured of absolution from sin

1. As the message from the women told the disciples--He called them "brothers".

2. To be given the task of proclaiming His forgiving love, as in John 20:20-23

Conclusion: Jesus made promises and He kept them. He will keep the promises that have yet to be fulfilled. Among them are: 

* John 14:3  "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

* Phil. 3:20  "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21  who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body." 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote: 

"Our justification, that choice blessing of the covenant, is linked with Christ's triumphant  victory over death and the grave; for 'He was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.' Nay, more, our very regeneration is connected with his resurrection, for we are 'Begotten again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.' 

And most certainly our ultimate resurrection rests here, for, 'If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.'

If Christ be not risen, then shall we not rise; but if he be risen then they who are asleep in Christ have not perished, but in their flesh shall surely behold their God. Thus, the silver thread of resurrection runs through all the believer's blessings, from his regeneration onwards to his eternal glory, and binds them together. 

How important then will this glorious fact be in his estimation, and how will he rejoice that beyond a doubt it is established, that 'now is Christ risen from the dead.'

'The promise is fulfilled, 
Redemption's work is done, 
Justice with mercy's reconciled, 
For God has raised his Son.'"

Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.S., M.Div.

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