The Resurrection of Christ: Cause of Unshakeable Joy
April 12, 2009 | Andy Davis
Resurrection of Christ
So Christ is risen from the dead, and nothing can change that fact. There's no power in heaven, earth or under the earth that can change the fact that Christ is risen. And based on his promise, based on our faith in him, we will rise again, and we will live forever with him. And that is my sure and certain foundation, the foundation of my joy. It's a foundation for unshakable joy. And all other joys are temporary and transitory and fleeting and shallow in comparison with this. I will never forget the morning of January 17th, 1995. It was 5:46 AM. Christi and I were serving as missionaries in Tokushima, Japan. Suddenly an earthquake hit Awaji Shima, Awaji Island. 7.2 on the Richter scale.
The ground under our house shook vigorously from side to side for 20 seconds, the longest 20 seconds of my life. The curtains in the house were swaying back and forth. And I remember this distinctly, that there was nowhere to hide, nowhere to go. The earthquake did its most deadly damage in the city of Kobe, across from Awaji Shima. 5100 people died that morning. The elevated Hanshin Expressway was toppled over, and many modern buildings collapsed. And I learned physically what I already believed spiritually, and that is in this world, there is nothing that cannot be shaken. Everything on the surface of the Earth has its foundation on rocks that can move and split wide open and be swallowed up themselves, if the Earth should open its mouth. And so it made me question again, what is the foundation of my life? Deeper question comes as well. Everyone seeks happiness, everyone seeks joy. This is without exception. Everyone seeks some form of joy in life and every moment of life. The question of the great Hanshin earthquake for me was, is there any unshakable joy possible in this life?
The Temporary causes of joy
Now, there are many temporary causes of joy. A wedding day, for example. The laughs, the celebrations, the photos, the rice or bird seed thrown at the happy couple as they run out of the church, joyful, celebratory music. It is joy, but is it joy unshakable? Or the birth of a baby, a quiet joy and pride that even Jesus mentions in our text today.
After the anguish of childbirth, then there is joy and holding that little one in your arms. It is joy, but is it joy unshakable? I'm gonna meddle a little bit with some of you here. There's the championship of a beloved sports team. After a lot of effort, you win an NCAA Championship, and there is a kind of joy that comes in it. But is it joy unshakable? I have some old championship t-shirts from a number of years ago. They're worn with age, and I'm telling you, they don't bring me much joy anymore. Just a warning to some of my friends here. Or there is the achievement of a treasured goal. Some of you are nearing graduation. You've worked hard, you've labored.
The time has come for graduation from high school or college, graduate school. And there's a joy there. Graduation caps thrown in the air. Celebration. Yes, it's a joy, but is it joy unshakable? A recovery of health after a severe illness makes you happy, or a reunion with a long lost loved one. I'll never forget a photo I saw in a book on the Vietnam War. It was of a teenage girl running across the tarmac to her father who had just been released from a POW camp from the Vietnam War. She was crying and joyful and just about to crash into her father with the biggest hug he'd ever received in his life. It was joy, but was it joy unshakable? There's victory at the end of a war. World War II, VE Day, VJ Day. There's celebration, wild celebration in Time Square. Peace has come at last.
But that joy can go away. Soon another war follows. There's victory in a political election. A candidate achieves the office he sought to achieve for years, and the volunteers are hugging each other and celebrating and crying and all of that, it's joy. But is it joy unshakable? Now, the older that we get, the more restrained are these moments of joy. And not just because we may have less energy to express our joy, that is true, but rather it's tempered by the increasingly sad knowledge that there is no joy here on earth, that's based on these things, that is lasting, that is unshakable.
In every case, the joy can turn to sorrow, or at least to indifference. The moment passes, the calendar changes, the season moves on, and the ground for joy changes right from under your feet. Charles Spurgeon put it this way, "I do not know whether you have noticed, but I have, that most of our joys, if they are of an earthly kind, are very expensive before long. You cannot delight in created things without sorrow coming of it. You cannot love your wife, your child with the most lawful and laudable love, but one of these days it will become a most expensive love when the loved ones are taken away, or they sicken and suffer. The more we love them, the more they cost us."
And so even the ground under your feet for that joy can be taken away. Marriage can be the happiest kind there is, but death still stands over it. A baby can die in infancy, or grow up and rebel against his or her parents. A diploma can lose its luster when you have trouble finding a job. A significant achievement becomes worthless when you're in a nursing home and nobody really wants to hear the story of your great achievements in life.
And so the advance in age and wisdom can bring some people lingering sorrow and skepticism, even a cynicism, that there is nothing in this world that can produce unshakable joy. A joy that endures. A joy that actually could grow and grow. That never perishes, spoils or fades. My friends, the truth of the Gospel is, there is such a joy. There is an unshakable joy, invest in that. That's precisely the joy we've come together today to celebrate. For today, my friends, is Resurrection Sunday. And we are celebrating the only certain ground for joy there ever has been or ever will be in this sin-cursed world. And that is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Now, the context of our message today from John's Gospel, John 16. We're looking specifically at verses 20-22. But this happened the night before Jesus was crucified. He had some precious time with his apostles. He was seeking to prepare them all for the most difficult trial they would ever face. Jesus was about to be arrested and condemned, mocked, tortured and crucified. He would die. He would be murdered. And obviously something like that would be distressing enough, if it happened to an ordinary man who was a friend, or even a beloved family member. But Jesus was far more than that, and they knew it.
Over the three years, he had been actively ministering in front of the 12. He had proven his deity to them again and again. At the time of his baptism, when John the Baptist baptized him, a voice came from heaven saying, "This is my beloved son. With him, I am well pleased." John the Baptist, the greatest prophet to come to Israel in centuries, had testified of Jesus, that he was the Son of God. As Jesus began teaching in the synagogues, he unrolled a scripture in Isaiah, clearly a Messianic prophecy. And after reading that prophecy, he said, "Today in your hearing, this Scripture is fulfilled." He clearly claimed to be the Messiah.
Jesus' teaching itself was a display of supernatural power and authority. He said in the Sermon on the Mount, "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, you shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother Raca, is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, you fool, will be in danger of the fire of hell." After such authoritative teaching, the crowds listened with amazement, not just at what he said, but how he said it. And at the end of the account of the Sermon on the Mount... It says, "When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching. Because he taught them as one who had authority and not as their teachers of the law."
No man ever spoke like this man. He spoke like the son of God. And his miracles testified also to his power. His incredible miracles, these signs, proved that he was God in the flesh. And on top of all of this, Jesus claimed it. In as many different ways as you can. He claimed to be the Son of God. He called God his own father, making himself equal with God. He said this in language that would have been unmistakable to the Jews, "Before Abraham was born, I am." There's no doubt about his claim to deity there. Now, this supernatural person, this incarnate Son of God, that very night would be arrested, tried, condemned to death, tortured, mocked, crucified. And Jesus' deepest desire that night before any of that happened, was to prepare his disciples realistically for what it is they would face.
The Clear Warning: Profound Grief Comes First
The grief and the anguish they were about to endure. And so he labored to get them ready for two things. He labored to get them ready for the profound grief that they would face when he died, and for the unshakable joy that they would experience when he was raised again. And so let's begin with the first, this clear warning that profound grief comes first. Verse 20. "I tell you the truth," he says, "You will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices. You will grieve," he says. Look again at verses 21 and 22. "A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come, but when her baby is born, she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. And so it is with you. Now is your time of grief."
Christ Prepares His Disciples Realistically
So he's getting them ready there for grief. He's preparing them realistically. Jesus in his wisdom, wanted his disciples ready for what really was going to come. What they would really face. And so his warnings and predictions to them exist to give them strength for the trials that they would face. If he had not warned them, they might have been shocked and overwhelmed with surprise, and would have doubted perhaps that he really was God. And so it is with us, my friends. So it is with us. We're not naive children, polianers, who always look on the bright side with a kindergarten perspective, living a fairy tale. We know better.
So It Is With Us
The world is filled with sorrows and griefs and disappointments. The bloom comes off the rose. The shine comes off the gift. The pleasure fades and trouble comes. Jesus makes us all this promise, if you wanna call it that, or perhaps a warning, at the end of this same chapter that we're studying. In John 16:33, "In this world, you will have trouble." So also Peter makes this plain statement. 1 Peter 4:12, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you."
The Scriptures therefore are given to help us be realistic about what kind of life we're actually going to live. What it's actually going to be like. And so grief must come first, he says. And the grief is described. Verse 20, he mentions weeping and mourning. Bitter experiences of grief. In verse 21, he mentions anguish and physical pain like those of a woman in labor. The disciples would be locked in the upper room. They would be utterly bewildered. They would be shocked. They would be speechless. They would not be able, really, to comprehend what was happening and why it had to happen.Over and over, their minds would return to this grievous truth. Their beloved master was dead. This powerful, capable, loving teacher of the ways of God had been executed. The system had won. And he was just another hapless victim, so it seemed.
The Cause of Grief: Jesus’ Shocking Death
Shocking Because of Who He Had Demonstrated Himself to Be
Now, what would be the cause of their grief? Well, it would be Jesus' shocking death. It would be shocking to them. Shocking because, as I've already mentioned, of who he had demonstrated himself to be. This was the man who could do anything. Nothing was too difficult for him. He had done more mighty miracles than anyone in history. He had changed the water into wine at Cana in Galilee. He had cast out the mighty demons from the man called Legion, driven them out with a single word, "Go," in the region of the Gadarenes.
He had cured a man born blind by spitting on the ground and making mud and wiping it on the man's eyes, and then he washed the mud off and he could see. He had raised up a paralyzed man that they had dug through the roof and lowered down in front of him, he raised him up with just a word. He had cured the centurion's servant with a word from a remote distance. He didn't even need to come, just gave the word and the servant was healed. He had walked on water. He had spoken to the wind and the waves, and they had obeyed his voice. What kind of man was this? Even the winds and the waves obey him. He had raised his friend Lazarus from the dead after he'd been buried, had been dead for four days.
Huge crowds thronged to him from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, Galilee, and he healed them all with a word, with a touch. This was Jesus. They had come to realize who he was. This was the son of Almighty God, the son of the Most High God. Peter, James and John had been with him up on the mount of transfiguration. And the cloud, the bright cloud had enveloped them. And out of the cloud came this voice, "This is my only begotten son, whom I love. Listen to him." The voice of God. Now, how could this one who controlled the wind and the waves, who raised the dead at his command, the one about whom God himself had testified, "This is my son." How could he die? It's a profound question. Shocking, really.
Shocking Because of All These Men Had Sacrificed to Follow Him
Secondly, it was shocking because of all these men had sacrificed in order to follow him. They had left everything to follow Jesus. They had burned their bridges. Peter, John, James and Andrew had forsaken their fishing ministry, or their fishing work, in Capernaum and followed Jesus. Matthew had risen up from that tax collector's booth and followed Jesus. He wasn't getting that job back. Simon the zealot had burned the bridges with all of his zealot friends by being friends with Matthew, the tax collector. They weren't gonna welcome him back, he was a traitor to the cause. They had burned their bridges. What could their future look like now?
Shocking Because of The Danger It Represented for Them
Shocking thirdly therefore, because of the danger that Jesus' death would represent for them. They had followed him, he was the head, and he was executed. They would come after them as well. And so they would spend that time with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, expecting at any moment to hear soldier's boots coming up the stairs and banging on the door and arresting them all. And they would be crucified too.
Shocking Because they Didn’t Really Understand Why He Had to Die
Shocking because theologically, they really didn't understand why he had to die. They didn't get it. I mean, that's proven by the fact that even after these words that we're studying here, Peter drew his sword to try to rescue Jesus. Peter, bad idea. If you succeed, you'll go to hell. We must have this death. He must die in our place. He must die so that we can spend eternity in the presence of God, our sins atoned for.
They didn't understand why Jesus had to die. John the Baptist had pointed at him and said, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." But even John didn't fully understand. He wondered if they should wait for someone else. Jesus' death was a substitutionary atonement. He would stand in our place under the wrath of God. He would shed his blood to pay the penalty for the sins that we had committed. We had broken God's laws. We had not loved the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We had not loved our neighbor as ourselves. We had broken the 10 commandments. We had violated the laws of the holy God. And there was a penalty for that. The wages of sin is death, and Jesus stood under that penalty for us. He was our substitute and his blood shed was shed for us. But they didn't understand that. They couldn't understand. Only afterward would they fully understand the doctrine of atonement.
Shocking Because Jesus’ Enemies Appeared to Triumph
And it was shocking because Jesus' enemies appeared to triumph. How bitter was that? That they would win. That the Sanhedrin would win, the corrupt high priest would win, that the Romans would win, that Herod would win, and Jesus would lose. Shocking.
Shocking Simply Because Jesus Was Dead
And shocking, probably above all, simply because Jesus was dead. He was dead. Death is shocking. It's just shocking. And it stands like a bloody, vicious tyrant with its boot on our necks, on the necks of all of our hopes, of all of our dreams for the future, and we can't shake him. He is a tyrant, too powerful for us. And if the pattern had held like it always did in every other case, they would never see Jesus again. And that was shocking.
Result: Immeasurably Deep Sense of Grief
And so the result of all of these shocks would be an immeasurably deep sense of grief. Verse 20, "I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve." And in verse 22, "Now is your time of grief." Ah, yes, but it wouldn't stay that way. Amen? It wouldn't stay that way.
The incredible Transformation: From Grief to Joy
Jesus Could NOT Leave Them in Grief
Jesus couldn't leave them grieving, he didn't come to grieve us, He came to lift us up to unshakable joy, a joy unspeakable and full of glory. That's why he came. And so he is going to change their grief into joy, it's going to be like a woman giving birth after that suffering, she rejoices, and so it would be for them, they would grieve, but their grief would change to joy and no one would be able to take that joy away from them. So Jesus would not leave them in grief, he said in John 14:18, I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you. Joy, my friends, is the purpose of his mission, that's why he came.
Joy is the Purpose of His Mission
Why did God create the world? What was the reason why he created the world? Well, if you study the scriptures you start to understand the reason God created the world was to put himself on glorious display, that He would be glorified. That's why He made heaven and earth. But doesn't that imply an audience? Doesn't that imply someone seeing it, appreciating it, etcetera? So he would create created beings and they would rejoice in that glory.
And the two of them go together. It's really two sides of the same coin. God created the earth to display His glory to us so that we would enjoy it forever. That's why He made everything, and yet sin entered the world and ruined all that. We became idolaters, we turned away from the living God, we did not love him, we did not rejoice in His glory, we didn't delight in it, we instead exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images and started living for physical things, physical pleasures. And so because of sin, Jesus came into the world. Jesus entered the world for our joy and His, and He died on the cross for our joy and for His, it says, Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross. He did it all for joy. And so even in this final conversation with His apostles in John's gospel, we have repeated mentions of joy, it seems to be one of the major themes in His mind. In John 15:11, he says, I have told you this, so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Or this one, John 16:24, Until now, you've not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete. Or Jesus in his prayer in John 17, He says, I'm coming to you now, Father, but I say these things while I'm still in the world so that they may have the full measure of my joy in them. It's all about joy, friends, that's the reason why Jesus came into the world to give us joy and joy is the only proper response of a healthy created being in the presence of such a happy God. Oh, what a delighted and delightful being He is. Our God is in heaven, He does whatever makes him happy. He rules and reigns in pleasure and in joy. He sits on His throne and does whatever pleases Him, whatever brings Him joy. We're the messed up ones, we're the ones that don't know joy, but if we get close to Him in a right relationship with Him, the only proper healthy response, my friends is joy, unshakable joy. And so Jesus came to give it to us. Psalm 16:11, You have made known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
The Foundation of Joy: The Bodily Resurrection of Christ
And so the foundation of that unshakable joy is the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. That's a foundation of everything. Jesus' shocking death was the cause of their grief, but so also Christ's triumphant resurrection would be the cause of their joy. Jesus would come and stand in their midst, in the midst of a locked room filled with dreariness and sadness and fear and anxiety and depression, and he would go right through those walls and stand in their midst and present himself to them and say, Peace be with you, Peace be with you. And they would look at His hands and His sides and the scripture says in John 20, the disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. It's only proper response for forgiven sinners like they were... Or again, in Luke's gospel, we see the same thing, Jesus giving joy unshakable to his frightened and weak disciples. In Luke 24, it says this, While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said, Peace be with you. And they were startled and frightened thinking they saw a ghost. And He said to them, Why are you troubled? Why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at My hands and My feet, it is I Myself, touch Me and see.
A ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see, I have. And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, He asked them, Do you have anything here to eat? And they gave Him a piece of broiled fish and He took it and ate it in their presence. Their reaction is they couldn't believe because they were so filled with joy. It's too good to be true. Well, in this case, it was too good not to be true, joy unshakable and full of glory based on Christ's resurrection.
The Permanence of Joy
A Christian’s Home Base: Eternal Joy
So why is our joy unshakable? Look at verse 22, he says there, I will see you again, and you will rejoice and no one will take away your joy. A Christian's home base then is eternal joy, though we may occasionally by difficulties and trials and by our own sin and the wanderings of our own hearts be disturbed from heavenly joy, yet we return there by the power of the Holy Spirit again and again. The Christian's home base then is unshakable joy, and that joy, according to Nehemiah 8:10 is our strength, the joy of the Lord is your strength.
So what do I mean by unshakable joy? What I mean is that there's nothing on Earth that can take away that joy. In 1 Peter 1, it says, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in His great mercy has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade, kept in Heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the time comes for you to receive your inheritance. So this joy, this unshakable joy is founded on some unshakable historical facts, the incarnation of Jesus Christ, that He took on a human body. A permanent choice by Him. His sinless life, His substitutionary death for us on the cross, His bodily resurrection on the third day, these are historical facts. They can never be changed. It's also founded on irrevocable biblical promises based on this work of Christ. Like this one, John 11, I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me will live even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. That's a promise, friends. And this unshakable joy is likened to a kingdom that can never be shaken. It says in Hebrews 12:28, Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. It's an unshakable Kingdom, and therefore an unshakable joy, and the reason for joy is intimacy with Jesus.
Reasons for Joy
Look at Verse 22, Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again, and you will rejoice and no one will take away your joy. Jesus himself is our joy, if He can be defeated, then so can your joy, if He can be killed again, then so can your unshakable joy, but he can't be... It's impossible. Death has been defeated. Heaven is your destined home if you're in Christ. Earthly enemies cannot stop you, Satan can't stop you. Your own sin nature cannot stop you if you have been born again by the power of God. And our earthly sufferings, the trials that all of us go through, they serve a purpose, you know what that purpose is, to get us ready for an even better and more permanent joy. It says in 2 Corinthians 4:17, Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. We actually must have these sufferings to get us ready for heaven. Romans 8:18 says, I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Evidence from Church History
Now, church history testifies to the unshakable nature of their joy. You couldn't stop these people, you couldn't shut them up, they were there on the day of Pentecost, preaching boldly with the threat of death still hanging over them, it was a real threat all except the Apostle John would die martyrs deaths. It wasn't theoretical, and yet they were utterly fearless. They couldn't be stopped. They preached boldly, 3000 were added to the church that day. They healed the lame beggar, and they were arrested and brought in front of the Sanhedrin, the very group that had tried Jesus and handed him over to be executed. Peter and John were utterly fearless. They were utterly fearless. As they proclaimed the name of Jesus, salvation is found in no one else, but there's no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. They were bold, they were fearless, they were courageous, and they died without ever turning away from their joy.
So it was with the Apostle Paul, it says in Philippians 1:20 and 21, I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death, for to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Utterly fearless Paul was, he wasn't afraid to die. How about Stephen boldly proclaiming as he's about to die, he's being stoned to death. And what does He see? He looks up and he sees heaven open and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, ready to receive him. He said, Look, I see heaven open. There's Jesus. Do you see him? I don't think they saw him. They just continued stoning him. And as he died, he said, Father, forgive them. Don't hold this sin against them. Oh, how sweetly Christ-like that was, utterly fearless and other-worldly, unshakable joy. The martyrs during the Roman era, they were unshakable and confident, like Perpetua, who went off to her death, singing hymns of victory, as she went off to die. Continues even to this day, Voice of the Martyrs, a modern ministry that talks about Christians that are laying down their lives for Jesus, told a story of a 19-year-old Christian young man in North Korea, who was arrested by Kim Jong-il's police force and tortured brutally for his Christian faith.
He said this to the Chief of Police who was ordering the torture, if you kill me, you will become a Christian. Oh, I love that kind of boldness. Isn't that sweet? If you kill me, you will become a Christian. I couldn't find out whether it happened or not, maybe it hasn't happened yet, maybe it's just a prophecy. I wish I could stand and say, And he became a Christian. I wish I could tell you that, I don't know. But maybe he will. Oh, how powerful is that. And the foundation of this unshakable joy is this, I will be with you, I will see you, and you will see me. And we'll be together forever. And no one will be able to separate us. And no one will be able to take away your joy.
Is Your Joy Earthly or Eternal?
So what application can we take from this? Well, first, I just wanna ask you a question. Is your joy essentially earthly or heavenly? Is it essentially earthly or heavenly? You are created for joy, you're created for happiness, you're going to pursue it. Nothing can stop that. We're all going to proceed, if you're... You may be a non-Christian, I'm telling you right now, you will be living for joy and happiness and pleasure, nothing will stop that, you may be a Christian and you'll be living for joy and happiness and pleasure, and nothing can stop.
This is the way we're wired. God made it that way. The question is, where are you gonna find your joy? Is it earthly? Or is it heavenly? In my front yard, around my front yard, there's a little gully, occurs around the perimeter of my property, I live on a generally down-sloping piece of property, and during a really soaking rain, it becomes a little river, and sometimes my kids love to go out and play in that little river, they put twigs in it and they put leaves and they float around my property. The river is about 3 feet wide and about 6 inches deep and very muddy, and they play in it. There's nothing wrong with that if my kids are listening to me, keep playing in the river, that's fine, that's fine, but the river is a picture to me of earthly joys, 3 feet wide, 6 inches deep and muddy. Can I suggest a better river to you? Listen to Revelation, Chapter 22, verse 1 and 2, Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, down the middle of the great street of the city. And on each side of the river stood the tree of life bearing 12 crops of fruit yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Just picture a river like that, perfectly clean, delicious, never-ending, it's flowing from the source, which is the throne of God, and there's healing and there's joy and there's sweet fruit around that river.
Have You Let Earthly Problems Rob you of Joy?
Are you drinking from it? Come to Christ. You came to church today, go one more step, go an infinite step beyond. Come to Christ, trust in Him. You've heard the gospel today, how Jesus stood in our place under the wrath of God, how his blood was shed. How you can have full forgiveness of sins, and if all of that is dealt with, you have grounds, unshakable grounds for eternal joy, come to Christ. Don't leave this place without looking up to Jesus and saying, Jesus, save me from my sins. Do you know for certain if you died tonight that you would spend eternity in the presence of God, or would He have to consign you to hell justly for the sins you've committed? Are you ready to face judgment? You don't know when it's going to come.
Can I urge you? Trust in Christ. Now, it may be that you already trusted in Christ, you've made a profession of faith in Christ, you've been baptized, you go to church regularly, you're a Christian, but you have a loud Satan in the world and your flesh to kind of conspire to pull you away from this unshakable joy, and you're now so involved in worldly pursuits that your joy is based on them every day. It's essentially about worldly things. Can I urge you to come back to this? The resurrection of Christ as the source of your joy, meditate on it, feed on it. Because other than that, you're going to be focused on financial troubles, job problems, achievements that you achieve, but you know are maybe insufficient to even get a job. You're faced with marital problems or parenting problems, all kinds of anxieties that can pull you away from security in Christ, come back to Him. And even if things are going well for you right now, if your joys are essentially earthly, you are vulnerable, come back to the cross and the empty tomb and find your unshakable joy there, ask Him to wean you from these earthly tastes and these earthly entanglements and come back to unshakable joy. Close with me in prayer.