In this Easter sermon, Pastor Neil talks about our Lord and Savior, the God of Second Chances. Here are some excerpts:
Today is my 25th Easter as the pastor of this church I love. The first time I preached here was almost exactly 25 years ago, on April 13, 1997… It was two weeks after Easter. It was the day the members of Faith voted to call me as the pastor of Faith. With two exceptions, I think I have preached every Easter since…
Beyond those two exceptions, it has been my honor and privilege to proclaim from this sacred pulpit the great good news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and its meaning for us today every Easter for the last 25 years.
Today is my last Easter Sunday as your pastor.
What do I want you to know and remember? Remember that Jesus is risen from the dead. I want you to remember that He is risen indeed. Remember that we serve a risen and living Savior. I want you to know and remember that the resurrection really happened.
Jesus came and lived and taught and healed and suffered and died for you. I want you to know that God loves sinners, that Jesus died for sinners, and that He did everything necessary for your salvation and mine. Remember that Christianity is spelled D-O-N-E. Jesus has done it all. There is nothing left for you or me to do but to believe the gospel and receive Him as Savior and Lord of your life.
I want you to know and remember that grace is the most beautiful word there is in any language.
I want you to remember that God loves failures. He delights in giving us second chances when we have blown it. Remember that His grace abounds to sinners and is sufficient for every need in every situation; to know that whatever you have done or failed to do, Jesus has a place for you and a mission for you in the family of His church.
And remember that nothing in the whole universe, including death, can ever separate you from the love of God shown to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. In His death and resurrection, Jesus did not “cancel” death; He conquered it.
I want you to remember this, too: Jesus’ word to Peter in verse 19 is also His word to you and me. He says: “Follow me.” As a beneficiary of God’s grace; as one to whom God has given a second chance and a third chance and more; as one whose many sins have been forgiven and whose life has been changed by the gospel, which is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1:16); Jesus calls you to follow Him, to serve His purposes in this world in faith and love, with heart and soul and mind and strength. In following Him, Jesus wants you to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, for this is the chief end and purpose of life.
These are the things I want you to know and remember. Lord, let it be so in us. Now and always. Amen.
The God of Second Chances. Pastor Neil has a lot more to say about this topic. Please click here to hear the message in its entirety.