This year at New Life Church we have decided that we are going to put on a huge push for Easter. Easter is definitely one of the most well attended days for church attendance during the entire year. Easter may not represent the same cause for all people, but for us, the people who love the Lord Jesus Christ and worship him, Easter is a big day. We don’t celebrate bunnies and chocolate and gifts and parties and liquor. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection is a big deal for us. If Jesus had not risen from the gracv, spiritually we would have no hope, whatsoever. But HE DID rise from the grave. He does live. He is alive. He is involved in our lives. We have received salvation through his blood. We have peace, joy, love, hope, and prosperity through the joy of the Holy Spirit. So, should we celebrate Easter? You better believe we should celebrate Easter, which I often call Resurrection Sunday.
The last thing we need to do, as Christians, is to keep quiet about our faith and experience in the Holy Ghost. One of the age-old, tried and true tactics of the enemy against the church is this one – to keep us quiet. Acts 4:7-18 records it like this: ”But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” It has not changed. The enemies of the cross of Christ wish to silence the people of God. No speaking or teaching in the name of Jesus. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ must become more vocal than ever before. Everybody needs to hear about Jesus Christ. Everybody needs to be given an opportunity to pray to the One True God, Jesus. There are all kinds of people and movements who are unashamedly preaching their message without fear or favor. They’re saying, “we’re here to stay and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Some of these very people and their movements are totally destroying the lives of thousands of people. The church of Jesus Christ, the people who truly repent of sin, take on the name of Jesus Christ in water baptism, and receive the Holy Spirit, and continue to walk in faith and victory, are the most joy-filled people on the planet. Nothing even comes close to a walk with God. Not a party, not a game, not a relationship, not a gadget, not a club, not a job, not a pay cheque, nothing! It doesn’t get any better than…God! Every single soul on this planet needs to baptized, immersed, plunged into a glorious experience and ensuing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. The Scripture describes this experience in the Holy Ghost as “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Peter 1:8). Often, when we get into a spirit of prayer with the people of New Life Church, God simply takes us into realms of supernatural power, victory, and anointing. Visions of walls crumbling, gates being busted open, and prisoners experience freedom from sins’ prisons of darkness are common. God speaks and operates through us as various unknown tongues flow from the inner wells of salvation that reside within the Holy Spirit filled people. Such victory is only realized and recognized in these rich heavenly places in God. Several years ago, after a really good missionary service, Missionary Allan Shalm profoundly and wonderfully answered a bothersome question that I asked: My question was, “Bro. Shalm, it seems like we are overtaken by materialism and affluence here in North America. Is there really a move of God happening here in North America? And if so, where is it?” He answered and brought me great encouragement. He said, All over North America, there is a segment of true apostolic, revivalist, evangelistic, gifts of the Spirit people – and they are going after and experiencing great revival in their churches and in their lives. He went on to say that often, after holding a service in a particular place, in discussion with the pastor and wife over a lunch, he will immediately recognize that this leader is “one of them.” He said, “I’ll say to myself as I’m listening to him speak, oh, this man is one of them – one of the revivalist element who is pursuing a move of God in his city.” HOW INCREDIBLE IS THIS! I want to be “one of them, don’t you?”
How do we preach? How do we connect Jesus with lost people? How do we make it make sense? How do we enter their world? Well……………..if I may ask, how did Jesus do it? Look at it closely. Jesus entered their lives. He attended the weddings. He got into the fishing boat. He ate big macs, up-size coke, and fries (maybe not) with the sinners and publicans. He even entered debates and arguments – lots of them. He….He…He……..asked questions. How smart. Yes, it is. Jesus asked questions. He did it all the time. How can you discern the skies and conclude that tomorrow it’s going to rain or shine, but you can’t observe the times in which you live? Wilt thou be made whole (do you want to get better)? Are you a master in Israel and do not know these things? What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?
Want to be successful? Learn to ask questions – but ask the “right” questions. Get away from the dumb, offensive type, embarrassing questions. Don’t insult, like, why are you driving that old car? What do you wear that funny hat? Why are you so bald? Why are you so……” This condescending, I’m better than you attitude will destroy any impact that you may had, or will have in the future. People who are very successful as champion salespeople have learned to ask the right questions at the right time.
Our big Easter push. Our attendance goal this year is 150. This is not an impossible task for NLC if we will simply start ASKING people to come to the Easter Celebration service with us. Let me give you an example: Sonia and I have befriended a precious lady who works at a local restaurant. When we were there for coffee last week I asked her: “June, would you like to come to Easter celebration service with us this year? Her answer, “I’d love to.” I was fixing a ceiling fan at another location. A young couple, who I know quite well, were close by. I said to them, “We are hosting a really exciting Easter celebration service this year at the Cat Woods Gymnasium. Will you to come with me as my guests?” They replied, “Sure, we’ll come. Do you want us to bring or bake anything?”
You gotta start asking. It’s easy.
You gotta start asking. It’s easy. Really, really, easy. Aaaaaannnndddd, how are you going to feel when these precious people enter the presence of the Lord during your power-packed, Holy Ghost filled service, and begin to weep, and repent, and experience, for the first time in their lives, the magnificent, life-changing, cleansing power and presence of the living God? You are going to feel pretty amazing, I assure you.
Just ask. Somebody is waiting for an invitation to an evangelistic environment.