Because He Lives

Posted on 10/31/2010 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:


Please help me and my husband, renew our relationship, trust, respect and be loyal to one another. Please help my husband overcome his addiction to lying, cheating, and having adulterous relationships. Please help Fred ask GOD for forgiveness and take his rightful place by his wife and have a marriage of faith. I love my husband and want women to leave him alone as I want him to leave other women alone. I really want my marriage to work and for us to be able to trust, honor and respect our selves and each other. I hurt so bad, right now. I have gave him chance after chance. But who am I to give up on him. GOD never gave up on me. Thanks for your prayers. Please pray that I be able to deal with this pain in such a way that I don't deteriorate. Thank you
   -Sarah

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Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.

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A REASON TO REJOICE

I have a reason to rejoice
I have a reason to clap my hands
I have a reason to lift my voice
and sing praises to the great I Am

I have a reason to move my feet
and take the Gospel into the street
I have a reason to lose my will
and let Jesus take full control


For you have set me feet to dancin'
You have filled my heart with joy
You have freed me from my passions
and filled me with the Holy Ghost

You have set my heart on fire
Fill my soul with your desire and
Melt me Lord 'til only you remain!

SING A NEW SONG

Sing unto the Lord a new song
Sing unto the Lord all the earth
Sing unto the Lord a new song
Sing unto the Lord all the earth

For God is great
and greatly to be praised
God is great
and greatly to be praised

I EXALT THEE

For thou O Lord art high
above all the earth
Thou are exalted
far above all gods

And I exalt thee
I exalt thee
I exalt thee O Lord


*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***


Well, today is a holiday. But, then, EVERY day is a holy day, isn't it? After all, THIS is the day the LORD has made. That makes it God's day. And that makes it holy -- a "holy day."

The day the antichrist seats himself in the temple of God and proclaims himself God, that day will be a holy day, because God will have made that day too.

But to celebrate the antichrist on that particular holy day wouldn't exactly be a holy thing to do.

Yes, today is a holiday -- or, a "holy day." But in spite of, not because of, the fact that people are celebrating death, fear, ghosts and goblins, and filling your body full of poison.

However, today, here in this place, let's just let the world celebrate the works of satan. When we're talking with someone and the Holy Spirit leads us to say something, then we should do so. After all, the Bible tells us to expose the works of darkness.

But right here, right now, let's celebrate something good instead. "Whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are noble, whatever things are of a good report... think on these things."

And the title of today's message is "Because He Lives."


We've all seen the crucifixes with Jesus still on the cross. Some people see Jesus dead so much that I don't see how they can help thinking of him that way any time he comes to mind, even if they know he's really alive and glorified.

The day called All Saints Day is tomorrow. Today is called "All Hallows Eve," or, "Halloween." On All Hallows Eve, also called "Night of the Dead," many believed the souls of their deceased loved ones would be freed from purgatory and would be able to visit their earthly homes. And they would set extra places for them at the dinner table.

Some would walk through the town that night, ringing bells to remind people that, for their own safety, they should not be wandering around. And certainly, if you are focusing on the dead, fear is a natural result.

In Mark 12:27, Jesus said that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. We know this deep down. So when we think about spirits of the dead roaming the earth, we feel the absence of God -- which is the absence of life -- and that is a fearful thing indeed.

What did Jesus tell one of the thieves on the cross beside him? "This day you will be with me in paradise." Not, "you will roam this earth until October 31st, when laws and time are suspended and you can be released from purgatory," but "This day you will be with me in paradise."

The thief was rightfully paying the price for his sins. But Jesus was paying the TRUE price for that man's sins, just as he was for yours and for mine. That thief was neither any better or any worse than you and me. And when we die, we will not be left to wander this earth waiting for someone to pray us out of pergatory or for a day in which the spirit world merges for a short time with the physical world.

Why? I'll tell you why. It's Because He Lives. As Romans 6:4 (NKJV) says,

4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we too should walk in newness of life.

And what did Jesus say in John 11:25? "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live."

There is no death for the one who leaves this earth with his or her sins forgiven. And so, if we were to celebrate the saints who came before us, we would not celebrate their death, for they are not dead; instead, we would celebrate the life that Jesus' resurrection gives us all.

If the truth be known, everyone who walks with God is a saint. They don't have to do some great deed to be a saint, for sainthood doesn't come by our own good deeds, but by the righteousness of Jesus.

So today and tomorrow, and the day after that, we can step away from celebrating death, or celebrating pedestalled believers who supposedly are in a prayer meeting right now, or celebrating any other thing. And in all our days, all our celebrations, and by the nature of everything we celebrate and all we do, we can celebrate Life. After all, anything good in our lives, and all our hope for tomorrow, is all Because He Lives.

So while others are celebrating death, fear, pranks, tooth-rotting candy, witches, ghosts, goblins, and things they don't even know, things that are not of God, let's celebrate the Life that comes only from God, and only through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Let's take just a few moments to reflect on the reasons we have to celebrate today. Let's listen to the words of this song, and feel free to sing. THIS is a reason to celebrate. THIS is what makes every day a "holy day." THIS is why, for those who are in Christ, there is no death. You see, our lives are worth the living just Because He Lives!


*** song - "Because He Lives" ***


Whatever we were planning to celebrate today, let's replace it with this: He Lives! And because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Why? Because I know who holds the future; and my life is worth the living just because He lives.


We're going to go ahead and close this service. I realize we're closing a little earlier than usual, but I don't have anything else to say. Let's let the Holy Spirit talk with us now. Let's just make ourselves available. Let's say, "Here I am, Lord. Let me hear your voice."

Whenever you need to leave, you're officially dismissed. But if you can stay, let's all get out of our seats and gather at the front from a time of corporately seeking after God.

If you'd like someone to talk or pray with you, you can instant message me, or Mariposa, or someone else on the staff. And after this time at the altar, stick around for a bit of fellowship over in the Fellowship Room to your left.

Come, or just get in His presence where you are, and let's dance around His throne, celebrating Life, celebrating the joy and the peace He give us, and the hope we have for tomorrow. Let us celebrate, because He lives!