Surprise!

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Suppressing the truth that Christ was raised from the dead is like trying to suppress surprise lily’s from coming up (I took this photo yesterday from one of our flower beds). Of course, you can dig them out or pour Round Up on them. But that does not nullify the truth: they are there and they are coming up for a reason:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them” (Rom. 1:18, 19).

After a long, sub-zero, snowy winter, something beautiful is happening – in fact, it was happening when it seemed hopeless. Underneath the still frozen layer of ice and snow, life was working itself upward, up out of the ground. What power? What glory? What reason for joy?

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made”     (Rom. 1:20).

Do you know why you feel hope in the springtime? It’s because you were made in the image of God. More importantly, you were made to know the God who raises the dead. Why is that? Because one day you will die and you can’t do for yourself what needs to be done. Are you prepared to die? Are you done with holding down the truth? Do you still deny the feelings of hope as flowers begin to burst out of the ground? Don’t be a fool and trade in your hope in God for hope in yourself (Rom. 1:21-23). If you deny this plain and simple truth of creation God may give you up to more blindness and more sexual dysfunction (Rom. 1:24-27). Your life will spiral downward into the very things that you despise in others (Rom. 1:28-31), and irony of all ironies, you will condemn yourself for judging in others the very things that you do, giving yourself a high approval rating while down-grading others as worthy to be judged (Rom. 1:32-2:1).

Two Surprises – take your pick:

One day, You will either be surprised and overjoyed with delight with what it means to be raised from the dead in Christ – to know what real human existence is all about, or,

One day, You will be surprised and bewildered with disbelief with what it means to be thrown down by the judgment of Christ – to know what real human suffering is all about.

Look at the Lily’s, then turn to Christ in faith and repentance of sins. Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead and you will be saved. Saved from what? Saved from the consequences of the very sins that you disdain in others. Saved from trying to do enough good works to earn your way into eternal life. Saved from guilt and shame. Saved from fear of dying without knowing Christ. Saved from wondering if this is true only to find out that it is. Saved from being a slave to sin. Don’t you want to be surprised with joy?

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