EASTER: JESUS IS ALIVE
In just a few days churches across the entire world will celebrate the resurrected King Jesus on Easter Sunday. Traditionally, Easter Sunday has brought the biggest boost in attendance for many churches in our country. However, in 2013, The Christian Post reported based on a survey from LifeWay Research that one in five Americans are unsure if they will even attend a church service on Easter. For many people this is shocking.
Common statistics suggest that 40-70% of our country’s population are Christians, however, if you used common sense you’d realize those numbers are skewed. If 40-70% of our country loved Jesus, obeyed Jesus, and lived like Jesus our news cycles and our social-political climates would look drastically different. We live in a day where you can choose to be whatever you want. If you want to be a girl today and a guy tomorrow, that’s your prerogative. So, if you want be a Christians today and a heretic tomorrow, climb aboard, everyone is doing it.
WELCOME TO REALITY
In his book The Great Evangelical Recession, John Dickerson suggests that the actual range of Christians in America is 7-9 percent. This means that not everyone who claims to be Christian or self-identifies as an Evangelical is a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing Christian. Many, therefore, are what we call posers.
Let me restate the facts and help give clarity to the new reality. 92% of individuals living in the United States will not agree to all of the following four statements:
- The Bible is God’s true Word.
- Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
- Individuals need to be personally converted to be a Christian.
- Belief in the gospel of Jesus needs to be outwardly expressed.
For those who live in large cities and/or have non-Christian friends everything that has been said isn’t new to you. You’ve been feeling the effects of the no-longer-Christian America for years.
STILL CAUSE TO CELEBRATE
Easter has always been a day where the global church collectively celebrates King Jesus by commemorating the day He disarmed and defeated satan, sin, and death by raising from the grave victorious. Easter is and forever will be a day where the church of Jesus collectively appeals to a watching world with a call to contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints, as we herald the news that Jesus is alive.
“If Christ has not been raised,
your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” - 1 Corinthians 15:17
The resurrection of Jesus makes Christianity distinct from every other religion. If the resurrection is true, it means that sin, death, and hopelessness do not win—Jesus does. It means that the empty tomb is the final word of Jesus. It means Jesus really did die for our sin and really did rise for our salvation.
There is great need for people to meet the Jesus of the Bible! Many people have been sold an off-brand version of Jesus that couldn't save a soul no matter how much faith one had. It’s like they are trusting in a 500 pound stone to save them from drowning in the ocean. It’s our job to cut through all the noise and offer a life jacket that has the power to save. The Jesus of the Bible is the only one who has the power to save. He is the only one who cares enough to come to mankind’s rescue.
TAKE HEART AND INVITE YOUR FRIENDS
So, this Sunday, we have much hope to offer our friends, our families, our nation, and the world. The decline in so-called Christianity in our country and the increase of those who are opting out of their tradition of attending church on Easter this Sunday should not cause panic or despair, but rather create a stirring because there is a great need for people to meet Jesus.
I’d like to encourage you to invite everyone you know to join you as you worship the resurrected Jesus this Sunday, especially those who are openly not Christians. Here’s why: Many of your friends have graciously invited you to various celebrations that are special to them such as birthdays, weddings, and graduations. For the Christian, Easter is a special time of year for us, so in the same manner we ought to invite those we call friends to something we enjoy and celebrate. If you don’t love Jesus, chances are you won’t invite anyone, but if you do, you ought to invite everyone you know.
Jesus is alive.
Invite your friends.
Let’s celebrate together this Sunday!