"The Big Invite"
Shep Johnson
Sunday, March 26, 2017

This year Easter falls on Sunday, April 16.  Easter is one of the most important days on the Christian calendar because it marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Easter is important to us as believers because our hope is grounded in the resurrection of Christ. 

  1 Peter 1:3-4 (NASB95) says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”  In John 11:25 (NASB) Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.”

  1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (NLT) says, “Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man.  Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.”

  Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ those of us who have repented of our sins and put our faith in Him have forgiveness, eternal life, and a future home in heaven where we will live forever in a new and glorified body that never ages, suffers illness, or undergoes decay.  In Heaven we will serve God, worship Him, and live in joy and peace forever.  No wonder they call the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Good News!

  It’s hard to keep a secret when it comes to good news!  And we shouldn’t.  That’s why this year we are having a special campaign to invite everyone we encounter to come to First Baptist Church this Easter Sunday to celebrate the eternal life we can have in our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

  Our campaign is called “The Big Invite.”  The concept is simple and straightforward.  We want to invite as many people as we can to join us for worship on Easter Sunday.  Then when those people show up on Easter we want to be a blessing to them and point them toward Jesus so that they can have the same hope and joy we have. 

  Throughout the New Testament people encountered Jesus and then invited others to “come and see” the Jesus they had come to know.  In John 1 John the Baptist declared, “‘I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.’  Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and *said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’”

  “The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.”  “ ... One of the two who heard John speak and followed [Jesus], was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which translated means Christ).  He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).” “The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, ‘Follow Me.’  Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter.  Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’”

  “Nathanael said to him, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ Philip *said to him, ‘Come and see.’” John 1 (excerpts).

  Evangelism is simply going out into our world and inviting others to “come and see” that Jesus is the Savior.  This Easter let’s commit to “The Big Invite.”  Let’s go out and invite our neighbors to “come and see” for themselves.