A Resurrection Change

March 31, 2002 AM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn in your Bibles with me to the book of Saint Mark chapter sixteen. The book of Saint Mark chapter sixteen. And when you reach Saint Mark chapter sixteen, please signify by saying amen. Beginning with verse one it says,

1. And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

2. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.


3. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

4. And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

5. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

6. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

7. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.


Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for who You are and for what You do. Hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. And Father, as I decrease I ask that You would increase. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

When we look at the resurrection, it changed everything. It turned a dark Friday into a good Friday. It turned an ordinary grave into an empty tomb, somebody, if you will. It turned some weeping women into evangelists. And it turned some fearful disciples into people that went out and changed the world. Hallelujah.

The Bible teaches that every single one of us will be resurrected one day. Whether I’m a believer or not, one of these old days I will either be resurrected into eternal life or resurrected into eternal damnation. That is the program. And that’s the way He programmed it.

And this is a message today of hope to some of us. But it’s also a message of warning to others of us.

Why so much emphasis by Jesus on the resurrection? He wanted to give absolute assurance of life after death.

When we look at Isaiah chapter twenty-six and verse nineteen, it says,

19. Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

He wanted to make absolute assurance that we understood about life after death.

Number two, he wanted to provide comfort in the presence of death.

In the book of Daniel chapter twelve and verse two, it said,

2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

He is letting us know that we don’t have a reason to fear death if we believe. But the problem is, a lot of people don’t truly believe.

You see, this is not really me that you’re looking at. The me that’s really me is on the inside of me. And there’s a place that the inside of me is going to spend eternity. But I made up my mind a long time ago that I wasn’t going to be with the devil, but I was going to be with Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but I want to walk streets that are paved with gold. I want to enter into the pearly gates. And I want to hear my Master say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant. Well done. Enter into My rest.”

Number three. He wanted to encourage faithfulness until death.

Turn in your Bibles with me to the book of John chapter six, verse thirty-nine through verse forty. When you get there, say amen. Praise the Lord. John chapter six verse thirty-nine and verse forty.

39. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

40. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, (the S-o-n) and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

He wanted to make sure that we were faithful even unto death.

You see, it’s one thing (glory to God) to know that death is coming. But it’s another thing to be faithful unto death. Faithful unto Him. Who? Faithful unto the one that inhabits all of eternity. Faithful unto the one who’s Name is holy. Faithful unto the one (glory to God) that has all power in His hands.

Be faithful unto death. That’s what it said in the book of Revelations. “And I will give you a crown of life.” Listen. We are waiting for that day when we’ll be changed in the moment and a twinkling of an eye. And we’ll be just like Him. This mortality is going to put in immortality.

And I don’t have to cry no more. I don’t have to worry about sickness no more. I don’t have to worry about being broke no more. I’m going to a place, like the psalmist said, where Sabbath won’t have any end. I’m going to a place where I can just walk around heaven all day. I’m going to a place where I can lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting. I’m going to be resurrected on that day.

Saints of God, and people that are in this room, where will you spend eternity? Will you be resurrected on that day? Will you be resurrected into eternal life? Or will you be resurrected into eternal damnation?

Number four, He wanted to remind us that we have a home in heaven after death.

In John chapter fourteen (glory to God) verse one through verse three. This is what John reads. Hallelujah. He said,

1. Let not your heart be troubled...

You see, many of our hearts have been troubled. You see, we don’t understand that He left peace with us. The peace of God that surpasses all understanding, that will keep our hearts and our minds through Christ Jesus. If I will understand that I have peace, I don’t have to allow my heart to be troubled. I can command myself to get in line with the Word of God. I can tell my peace to stay with me in the midst of my warfare.

He said,

1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

And this is the part I really like. He said,

2. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.


You’re in this world, but you’re not of this world. In case you didn’t know it, you’re just a pilgrim passing through. Do you hear what I’m saying? You’re on your way to glory.

He said, “I’m going to prepare a place for you.” In other words, “I’m making heaven ready for you.” Do you hear what I’m saying? “I’m getting everything together just for you. I’m getting this place together just for you.” He said,

3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend eternity here. Do you hear what I’m saying? I want my life to line up with this Word. I want my lifestyle to be a lifestyle of the Word of God. I don’t want to have to worry or wonder in my mind whether or not I’m saved. I want to know that I know that I know that I know that I know (hallelujah) that I’m saved.

I want to do what this Word tells me to do. I want Him to prepare that place just for me. I want Him to invite me in. Do you hear what I’m saying today? I don’t want Him to close the door on me. I want Him to invite me in. I want to make my abode there. I want to live there for eternity.

Today is resurrection Sunday. And some of us are excited. But others of us think it’s just another day. It’s just another Sunday. But I beg to differ today. This is a day we celebrate His resurrection, the resurrection of our Lord. Can I lay aside every weight for just a moment? Do you hear what I’m saying today? Can I lay it down for just a little while, and thank my God that He brought me out?

What validates Jesus’ promises? Go with me to Matthew chapter sixteen. Praise the Lord.

Sometimes the Word is not deep enough for us. But let me tell you something. Eternal life is as deep as it gets.

In Matthew chapter sixteen, verse twenty-one through verse twenty-two. It says,

21. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

22. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

Keep on going.

23. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

You see, if I savor the things that be of men, I’m going to miss God. Do you hear what I’m saying today? If I worry about what men got to say, if I worry about what men are thinking, if I worry about what’s in the hearts of men, I’m going to miss my God.

He was preparing them for His death. You see, Jesus understood that when you’re with people for a long time, no matter how you try not to, you become attached to them. And He knew that they would be attached to Him, and that they would not understand His death. So He was preparing them for what was to come.

When we open up our Bibles and read our Bibles, He is preparing us for what’s going to happen to us on that last day. Do you hear what I’m saying today? He’s preparing you. You don’t have to worry about dying any more.

The world is not afraid of death. So why should we be afraid of death? They’ll bust a cap in you, and they’ll bust a cap in themselves. Why should we be afraid? They even sing about making their bed in hell. If they’re not afraid to go to hell, how come we’re afraid to go to heaven?

You don’t have to worry no more. You don’t have to fret any more. See, we’ve been worried about these bills for so long, hadn’t we? You got to pay them. But stop worrying about them.

Your body may be racking in pain. You ain’t got to worry. You’re already healed. And by chance... Listen at what I say. And if by chance you leave here, you’ve got perfect healing.

Why are we afraid to die, when we’ll be resurrected into eternal life? The Lord is speaking to us today. We are so afraid of what’s going to happen to this body. We’re so afraid of what man can to do this body. We’re more afraid of men than we are afraid of God. Because we are trained to go by what we can see in the natural. But what’s in the supernatural can harm you more than what’s in the natural.

Jesus. Look at your Bibles in chapter seventeen of that same book of Matthew, and verse nine.

9. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

He was preparing them for His death. And He was telling them about His resurrection, and all the things that it would entail. He was letting them know that, “Even when you leave this place, it is not over.” That’s when life really begins.

He raised people from the dead in their presence. There was a great transformation of the church. He was preparing, preparing, preparing them for death and resurrection.

We care so much about this flesh. We caress it, don’t we? We primp it, don’t we? We want it just so. But why not caress those things that lead to eternal life? Why not primp those things that lead to your salvation? Why not make it as pretty as your flesh, even prettier? It’s more important. It’s more important.

What if there was no resurrection? Look in your Bibles with me in the book of First Corinthians chapter fifteen, and verse fourteen. First Corinthians chapter fifteen and verse fourteen. And it said,

14. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

That means that it has no substance. It has no bearing. It is worthless, and it means nothing. Look at verse fifteen. It says,

15. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God...

That means that our testimony would be false. Look at your Bibles.

15. ...because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

Verse sixteen.

16. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

17. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

18. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

The resurrection changes everything. It changes our whole perspective about life.

Even though the Bible said in John ten, ten, that Jesus came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly, and you know we preach about living the abundant life, let me let you know something today. You don’t have to have all the things that you desire to live the abundant life. Abundant living is not based on material possessions. My life is full because of whom I belong to. In His Presence is the fulness of joy.

Let me tell you something. You want to know why the Lord gives us things gradually? Because if He gives it to us all at one time, we’ll trample it up under our feet. We’ll be like the prodigal son and go out and waste it with riotous living. That’s why He gives it to us a little bit at a time.

And when we become good stewards over the little bit, let me tell you something. God won’t have a problem giving us the lot of bit. We spend our time crying and weeping over what we don’t have. But why can’t we cry and thank God over what we do have?

“Why you crying?”

“Oh, I’m just thanking God.”

Being resurrected and understanding the resurrection, it should bring us joy. Staying focused in Him should bring you joy. It should bring you joy. There shouldn’t be anything that can happen today that can steal your joy.

I don’t care what anybody says or anybody does, my head is up in the clouds today. And I’m like the beasts and the elders singing, “Holy, holy, holy.” I’m going to make heaven my home. I’m going to make heaven my home.

What are the events that will take place? In First Corinthians chapter fifteen and verse forty-two, this is what it says,

42. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

43. It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

44. It is sown a natural body; (somebody) it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

I don’t know about you today, but one of these old days I’m going to be changed, whether it be from the grave or wether it be while I’m still living. It doesn’t matter to me. But if I have my rather, I rather be alive when He come. But I know God is sovereign and He can do what He wants to do, however He wants to do it. Anyway You want to bless me, Jesus, I’ll be satisfied, as long as spend eternity with You.

We will be raised imperishable. Our bodies will not wear out or grow old any more. Do you hear what I’m saying today? It will be a glorified body. And it will be magnified of God. It will be a body of perfection. That’s what I’m waiting on. That’s what I’m waiting on. That’s what I’m waiting on.

You see, when we first got saved, all the time... They would preach all the time, “Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming. You better get your house in order.”

It’s like it goes in phases and in waves. The messages start coming again. It’s going to start coming again after a while. And you’re going to hear preachers all over the TV stations, all over the radio preaching about Jesus coming. Jesus is coming. And then it’s going to seem like everybody’s getting ready.

But if He don’t come again when we think He’s going to come, then it’s going to wind up being business as usual, isn’t it? But every single day I’ve got to live it like it’s my last. I’ve got to make sure that I work out my salvation with fear and trembling.

The Bible says if the righteous scarcely make it in, there ain’t going to be no room for nobody else. Hello, somebody. Scarcely make it in. Scarcely. A remnant. Scarcely get into that place.

Do you want to risk it all over some worldly pleasure for a little while? I don’t want to. I don’t want to be caught on the ballroom floor. I want to be in the house of God. I want to be in a place where I’m bringing Him glory.

Today is resurrection Sunday. And you and I need to praise God like Minister John Michael was doing earlier, like he lost his natural mind. Unashamed and unafraid of what anybody might have to say about me.

See, we’re so conscious about everything about us in the natural. But Jesus is on the inside of us. Why not pay more attention to Him, and bless His holy Name?

Today is resurrection Sunday. You and I are going to be raised up one day. And when I get to heaven, I want to see you there. And when you get to heaven, I want you to see me there. Do you hear what I’m saying today?

I’m not doing this in vain. I don’t want Him to say, “Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity. I don’t even know you.”

I don’t want to say, “Well, Lord, I prophesied in Your Name.”

And He say, “I don’t know you.”

“I laid hands.”

“And I don’t know you.”

I’m wanting to make sure that He knows me right now.

Every head bowed, every eye closed.

You may be somebody today that is unsure where you will spend eternity. But I want you to know that Jesus says, “If any man come to Me,” He said, “I won’t cast them out.”

The Bible says when my mother and father forsakes me, the Lord will take me up. He’ll never leave you, and He’ll never forsake you. He’s a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. If you need Him today He’s waiting for you.

If you’re not saved in this house, or you want to rededicate your life to the Lord today, I want you to stand up right where you are. If you want to make sure about where you will spend eternity, unashamed and unafraid... Because you know that you have not been living right. I want you to stand where you are today. Give me your hand and give Jesus your heart. I’d rather know for sure than to go through life guessing about my salvation.

Is there one today? Is there one in the house today? Is there one that would like to be rededicated to God today? Is there one that has been going through the motions, but you know that you’re really not saved, but you want to be saved?

If you’re in the house today, stand up where you are. Stand up where you are. And Jesus will saved you. He will saved you. He will save you. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Lord.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise today.

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