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Modern society calls it “Easter.”

The one thing I find that people most often stumble over is the fact that Jesus actually did rise from the dead.

Just a few Years ago I was gravely disappointed with Three of our community’s prominent Churches who along w/ a community university sponsored a Pseudo- Intellect who presented to our community a series of lectures attempting to explain “Why the Bodily resurrection of Jesus isn’t   Necessary to believe in.

Consider This:

Thomas Arnold (Professor and world-renowned historian)  “I can tell you that Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the “best-attested fact in human history”.

C.S. Lewis: {about the Resurrection of Jesus} ….something perfectly  new in the history of the Universe happened….. Christ defeated death.

 Tim Keller: 21st C. author and pastor in  Manhattan, NY) “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”

The Apostle Paul Said:  “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins..

The Point is Simple:

Either The Resurrection we celebrate TODAY is REAL and ACTUAL or it is NOT….

Jesus’ Resurrection did happen, it isn’t a myth. It isn’t merely a nice idea that Christians have, Rather, it is something which occurred in history.

The truth is everyone in the world is affected by the resurrection of Jesus.

Nobody can live unchanged by this great historically accurate event!

Resurrection Evidence reveals that….

* The New Testament story is not a legend:  New Testament documents were written within two generations of the events by eyewitnesses or their contemporaries. The New Testament story-line is corroborated by non-Christian writers.

* The New Testament story is not an embellishment: New Testament writers were meticulously accurate as the well over 140 historically details demonstrate.

* The New Testament writers were not deceived: The New Testament writers were not wrong about what they saw! If all their other historical details has proven to be Accurate, why do you think they would be deceived about the resurrection?

There will always be people who say that Jesus did not really rise from the dead!

Don’t be discouraged by doubters who deny the resurrection.

Instead, Be filled with hope because one day you will see the living proof when Jesus Christ returns.

What does the resurrection mean to every one who by Faith accepts it?

I can have confidence that the apostles early teaching was true.

I know I am forgiven for my sins.

Finally, Because of the Resurrection I know that  God is a Living Sovereign. The Resurrection tells the world that the kingdom of God is ruled by a living sovereign.

* The founder of Buddhism is dead and his bones lie dormant in the earth.

*The founder of Islam is dead and his bones lie dormant in the earth.

But the founder of Christianity Jesus —made a number of appearances after His death over a 40 day Period.

For Instance:

Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, the women that came to Jesus tomb (Mary the Mother of James, Salome, and Joanna),

He appeared to two disciples on the Emmaus road.

He also appeared to the remainder of the Twelve Disciples with Thomas absent.  Later he appeared to them with Thomas present.

There was also an appearance to seven disciples on the Sea of Galilee.

On another occasion Jesus appeared to over five hundred people at the same time.

There is also an appearance to James.

Finally Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus – the man who became the Apostle Paul.

Jesus is Not DEAD IN THE GRAVE

 HE IS RISEN.  Have you received HIM today?  I would love to help. Please contact me.

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

The Backstory to the U. S. House Prayer:

Congressman Doug Collins of the 9th District was gracious to invite me to open Congress in prayer on March 22, 2017.  I shall always be indebted to Congressman Collins for his confidence and support in inviting me.  I can not express enough how professional and gracious Congressman Collins’ staff was in handling all the details. Each one of the Congressman’s staff is so talented and gifted; just meeting them was an added joy to the the whole experience.

Once I cleared the date and accepted the opportunity the House Chaplain’s office began corresponding with me about working out the details. Karen Bronson, Chaplain’s Liaison to Staff, was extremely professional.

A couple of interesting “rules” included no opening comments before my prayer and the request to keep the prayer to 150 words.   The first was no problem; however, the second was more difficult….I asked for and received permission to have a total of 167 words for my prayer.

I began reading and researching previous prayers used to open Congress and reviewed prayers from previous Congressional and Senate Chaplains.

Realizing that my prayer would become a matter of Congressional record, I determined that I would leave NO DOUBT as to Whom I was praying  and what I was requesting.

I divided my prayer into 2 segments–Part One: To Whom I was Praying and Part Two:  What I was asking.

Upon arrival to the Longworth House Office Building,  Terri and I and our dear friends Mike and Jane Weaver, who accompanied us to D. C. , met in Congressman Collin’s office and visited with his tremendous staff.  Final instructions were offered. The Four of us were escorted via underground to the Capital.

Prior to offering the prayer I was given a walk through in the House Chamber and was directed where to stand before and during the prayer and how to exit.

Terri , Jane and Mike were escorted to the gallery.

Right before I entered the House Chamber, Speaker Ryan came to the receiving room. He welcomed me and we visited for a few minutes.  I followed him to the House Chamber, he called the session to order, introduced me and I prayed.

Following the prayer Congressman Collins gave a warm and welcoming introduction of me to his colleagues from the Floor of The House.

Our day concluded with lunch in the Congressional dining room and a tour of the Capital. ( The  U.S. House white bean soup and cornbread are both as good as you have heard AND the fried chicken was exceptional.)

Here is the text of my Congressional Prayer, March 22, 2017:

In the Name that is Above Every Name,

In the Name of the One by whom all things were created and by whom all things created are sustained,

In the Name of the One who was crucified for the sins of all people, raised on the third day and who, upon HIS return, EVERY knee will bow and every tongue confess is LORD,

In the Name of JESUS, my Savior and my Lord, today, I ask….

 *Draw near unto Thyself the heart of any in this body who still remain far from You.

*Give confidence and courage to all who govern from this House, to be unashamed of the judo-Christian ethic, which has lead this nation to prominence and prosperity above all other nations.

*Remind all who by faith trust You that Your love wants what is best for us, Your wisdom knows what is best for us, and Your power will accomplish what Is best for us.

In Jesus’ Name, And God’s People Said, Amen.

 

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at  tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

For many these are Spiritually Confusing TIMES and, unfortunately, even some, who stand in pulpits today in our own community, contribute to the confusion especially as it relates to Jesus and the way to eternal life.

Through a Divine Appointment, Peter was invited to speak about God, eternal life and Jesus to a man named Cornelius and his household.

Here is where the Bible gets very “21st Century”.

Cornelius is referred to as “devout and God-fearing; {even giving} generously to those in need and praying to God regularly.

Today, some tell us that ALL GOD requires in order to grant eternal life and to forgive sin is to Be Good, Be Fair, Care about Others, Fear God, Extend Grace.

Sadly, a year or so ago in our community, 3 local churches sponsored a pseudo-biblical scholar who presented the idea that “believing in the resurrection of Jesus” isn’t even required for salvation.

While I can’t judge the HEARTS of those who espouse such teaching, I can recognize False Teaching and I do know the source. It is the distinct purpose and mission of satan to discount God’s Truth and to make less of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Isn’t it “telling” that when Peter had the opportunity to speak about Spiritual things to a man who was devout and God fearing, a man who was generous to the poor and who prayed to God regularly, Peter didn’t hesitate in exclaiming the full Truth?

Peter Really Loved….

Without compromise or apology, Peter said, Jesus was killed on a Cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day…. HE was seen….by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. Jesus commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead….and everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.

Real Love of Others.

I want to Love People to the point that I will tell them the truth. I don’t want to succumb to the temptation that I welcome more the applause of man or that political correctness would trump truth telling or fear of man would cause me to be silent about the One Way to God.

God Help Me.

I will without apology affirm the Person and Nature of Jesus, His Bodily Resurrection, the Reality of Heaven and Hell, the Sufficiency of God’s Word and the amazing Grace and unconditional love offered by the One True God.

There are so many “Cornelius” around us today–good people, generous people, God fearing people, praying people. We must be faithful in telling them that Jesus is the Only Way to know the forgiveness of sin and to know God.

Eternity weighs in the balance.

 

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry and Church Well Solutions, a ministry consulting work.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307 or email at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org