Jesus Christ is the Only Hope for America and for You
April 9, 2023
Jesus Christ is the Only Hope for America and for You
1 Corinthians 1:18
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
We are living in a strange time in America.
It could be compared to the time of the judges in the Old Testament:
Judges 17:6 (NKJV)
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
In those days there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing.
Today’s English Version (TEV)
There was no king in Israel at that time; everyone did whatever he wanted.
It reminds me of Isaiah 53:6:
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way…
We have abandoned our moral foundation as a culture, and now our nation is crumbling right in front of us.
The Judeo Chrisian ethics that are based on the Ten Commandments that God gave Moses when He appeared to him on the top of Mt. Sinai are in the process of being removed from life in America.
In our public schools, We now have boys being told that they can change their personal pronouns and live like a girl. Girls are being told that they can change their personal pronouns and live like a boy. And to top it off, transgender people are dancing in front of our children, introducing them to sexual immorality, homosexuality, lesbianism, and a self-centered moral compass absent of ethics and personal respect and integrity.
In our private lives, marriage has been degraded to include men marrying men, and women marrying women with same-sex marriage being legitimized by our Supreme Court in June of 2015. Sexual immorality is rampant, with most people living together before they are married.
Sexually transmitted diseases are decimating our culture.
The relational framework given by Jesus Christ is missing from our public discourse. The Golden Rule is now absent from our culture.
(NLT) “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you” is being transformed into – DO to others before they do to you.
The ethics of honesty and integrity are being replaced in our business dealings, in our politics, and in our media. Lying is becoming standard operating procedure.
In our finances, we are living on borrowed time. Our currency is in the process of being devalued, which will eventually bring hyper-inflation, poverty, and social chaos.
The results of all of this is a dark, downward spiral that will topple this nation.
If we continue on the course we are on as a nation, then the blessing and prosperity we have enjoyed will turn into poverty and judgment.
We are being encouraged to forget the future and live for the now. Live in the moment. We are being separated from our history and no one is talking about what the future will bring.
Is there any hope in your future?
Can anything be done to stop the terrible thing happening to us?
The good news is that Jesus Christ can change your life, our nation, and our future if we will allow Him back in again.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
As Christians, we have GOOD NEWS!
Romans 1:16-17 (NKJV)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Easter is about hope for a life, a nation, and a world that has been terrorized by sin and what it brings to us personally, nationally, and worldwide.
1. The entire reason that Jesus Christ came to the earth is so that He could die and be raised from the dead!
1 John 3:8 (NKJV)
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
Williams – This is why the Son of God appeared, to undo the devil’s work.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Hebrews 2:14 (NLT)
Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.
Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.
2. Our problems began when the first man and woman disobeyed God and plunged us all into spiritual death.
God created us from simple dirt, and breathed a spirit of life into us!
Genesis 2:7 (NKJV)
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Genesis 2:16-17 (NKJV)
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Death in the Bible always means separation.
Three kinds of death – Spiritual Death, Physical Death, and the Second Death.
Spiritual death came to us when the first man and woman Adam and Eve sinned.
Spiritual death is separation from God, and is the cause of all of our problems.
Romans 5:12 (NKJV)
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.
Psalms 51:5 (NKJV)
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
Romans 3:10-19 (NLT)
As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one. 11 No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. 12 All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” 13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “They rush to commit murder. 16 Destruction and misery always follow them. 17 They don’t know where to find peace.” 18 “They have no fear of God at all.”
19 Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.
Romans 3:23 (NLT)
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT)
The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
Matthew 15:19 (NLT)
For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.
It is a result of spiritual death.
Ezekiel 18:4 (NKJV)
The soul who sins shall die.
Physical death separates the spirit and soul from the body.
The Second Death
The second death is eternal separation from God.
Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV)
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.
Revelation 20:12-15 (NKJV)
And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
3. Jesus Christ was judged in our place, so that we could be forgiven of sin and have fellowship with God once again.
Matthew 27:45-53 (NLT)
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” 47 Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. 48 One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. 49 But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.” 50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.
When Jesus died, He was judged by God for our sin.
Remember that Jesus had no earthly father. His mother Mary conceived a child by the Holy Spirit. Jesus is God in the flesh, incarnated into a human body.
1 Peter 2:22-25 (NLT)
He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. 24 He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. 25 Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.
Isaiah 53:5-6 (NLT)
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.
Isaiah 53:9-11 (NLT)
He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave. 10 But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands. 11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT)
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.
4. Jesus was raised from the dead, and when He was, He guaranteed that we too can live after death, and go to heaven when we die!
Romans 6:4-5 (NLT)
For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was.
1 Corinthians 15:50-57 (NLT)
What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
John 20:11-29 (NLT)
Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” 16 “Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”). 17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” 26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” 28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
1. Have you allowed Jesus Christ to cleanse your personal sin by accepting His sacrifice?
John 3:16-17 (NLT)
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
2. If not, do what this scripture says, and your sins will be forgiven, and one day heaven will be your eternal home:
That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.