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Choose Life

Genesis 2:6-7 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 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 soul.  

Genesis 2:15-17 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. 

Job 14:14   If a man die, shall he live again? 

Choose life has been a slogan for the anti-abortion movement for years.  I, of course, agree with the idea.  But today, Easter Sunday, I believe the slogan needs an even greater application.  You do have a choice.  If the resurrection of Christ means anything, it means that you can choose life. 

Death had long raised the clenched fist of victory.

        Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, man goes to his long home and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Death claimed the lives of God’s first human creations.

Every miracle of life ended in death’s icy grip.

Infants aborted, slaughtered, thrown into the fires of Molech.

Children wasted from malnutrition, disease, cold, heat and abandonment.

Soldiers marched into the machines of carnage by the hundreds of thousands.

Death, always death.

Heroes turned it back, slowed it down, but eventually succumbed to its relentless hunger.

Doctors gave brief respite, shut the front door, but death always went around to the back.

Health withstood it for years, but eventually lost the battle to the persistence of death.

Not money, not intellect, not talent, not knowledge, not political influence, not physical strength, not technological genius, not will power, not diplomacy—nothing could keep it at bay.

The Babylonian armies, the Persian hordes, the Greek phalanxes, the Roman legions could not stop the onslaught of death.

It was sung to, screamed at, cursed, reasoned with—but nothing anyone could say or do made the slightest difference.

It respected no name, it regarded no person, it avoided no man, it overlooked no race, tribe or ethnicity.

The Grim Reaper’s long-handled scythe sliced through all; it showed no mercy, no grace, no forgiveness.

The most famous names in history—Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachael had no advantage over the worst names—Nimrod, Pharaoh, Hophni and Phineas, Ahab and Jezebel, Queen Athaliah—all met the same fate of death.  It will not be swayed by miracle drugs, surgical suites, science labs, funeral parlors or burial vaults.  

                        “For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17

Ecclesiastes 12:1-5  Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; 2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: 3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, 4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; 5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:  

Then, the most magnificent personage of all history walked on the stage. 

Death was stunned by his statement, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

Leprosy, the disease of living death, met its match, demons met their master, blindness met the light, and death met its fate.  The daughter of Jarius, the widow of Nain’s son, Lazarus, slipped out of handcuffs of death.  The vast underworld of evil and oppression convulsed.  Who is this man?

Some said he was Isaiah.  Other, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.

The Apostle Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!”

Never a man spoke like this man.  The wind and the waves obeyed His voice.

The name Jesus was on everyone’s lips.    

Then, a plan hatched in hell turned the tide.  It took the treachery of priests, a traitorous disciple, a cowardly Pilate, a fickle crowd and Roman soldier’s brutality, but it succeeded.

The perfect man, the sinless sacrifice, nails hammered though his palms and feet, fastening flesh to a blood-soaked cross, his head tilting forward on his lacerated chest, cried “It is finished!”

The limp form sagged on the shoulders of Joseph of Arimathea and spread out lifelessly on a marble slab.

The stone was sealed, and the laugh of death reverberated throughout earth and hell, chilling the bones of the living and the spirits of the dead.

Laugh, Satan!  It was to be the last gloat of earth’s greatest nemesis. 

Something was about to happen.

This irresistible force of death had reigned supreme for so long that it seemed omnipotent.

All of this was true for thousands of years—until…!

Until, the Almighty God decided that death had had its way long enough.

It was time for the irresistible force to meet the immovable object! 

Up from the grave he arose
With a mighty triumph o’er his foes.
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And he lives forever with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. 3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen: Luke 24:1-6

But now, let’s shift gears.  We’ve been talking ancient history.  Let’s return from these first century happenings and wake up in the twenty-first century. 

You might be asking “What does this have to do with me?  It is a great story.  I even hope it’s true.  But my life will go on just like it has always done.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ may be great news but it is not my news.  I’ve got other issues—so many other issues that have nothing to do with a crucifixion, a burial or even a resurrection that happened two thousand years ago. 

But, you see, death has never changed, and it has not given up.  It is just as hungry today a it has ever been.  It doesn’t matter how modern, how up-to-date, how cutting edge, this same old nemesis of death still leaves its stench and stain on our lives today just as it did back then.  


Some people think that death can only be found in the morgues, funeral parlors and cemeteries.  But, anywhere Satan can spread sin, he can spread death.  There is a reason why the Bible says those who are without Christ are “dead in their trespasses and sins.”

I want to get real plain with you today.

Sin is deathJames 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.  

When you abuse substances, you are injecting death into your body.

When you get involved in immorality, you are embracing death.

When you lie, cheat, steal and live a dishonest life, you are not free; you are dancing with death.

So, what does Christ’s resurrection have to do with you today?

Just this:  If He defeated death in His own body, He can defeat death in yours!

You need this resurrection message today!

Ephesians 2:1-10 (NKJV)
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.


But death doesn’t just stalk the open sinner.  Every time a cancerous tumor is diagnosed, every time you wince from the pain of arthritis, every time someone’s arteries get clogged, every time COPD suffocates a set of lungs, death is letting you know that he is still within arm’s reach.  These last two months we lost two of our good men here at First Apostolic Church.  This body is failing, subject to sickness and disease, and will finally lose its viability.  

Paul writes in Romans 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  Then, he answers his own question in the next verse.  “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”  

If you are here today with pain and suffering going on in your body, I want you to know that The same God who created you is able to heal you!  The Bible says, “And with his stripes we are healed!”  But even if none of us get our healing, this resurrection message is for us as well. 

1 Corinthians 15:51-57 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 


I also have a message for you today who are not ready to take spiritual things seriously.  You are in church physically, but a million miles away spiritually.  You may not realize it, but carnality is death.  Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 

If you choose to be a half-way Christian; if you choose to be a sub-standard, Christian-in-name-only; if you choose to ride the fence, you are choosing death! 

 Galatians 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.   For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Would to God the holy winds of revival would sweep through your life and set you on fire!  


Finally, there is a whole group of people here this morning who have become disillusioned by life, bitter at your circumstances, angry at people you blame for your problems, and depressed over your future.  Bro. Tenney says, “You can call a pity party if you want to, but don’t look for me to show up!”  By this time in your live, you thought you would be healthier, wealthier and wiser, but instead you are sicker, poorer and dumber!  

2 Corinthians 7:10 (KJV)
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 

Don’t look for a better job to give you a better life.  Don’t put all your hope in a promotion, a better house, car, clothes, neighborhood, education, relationship or stock market performance. 

1 Timothy 6:9-10 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 

I challenge you this morning to CHOOSE LIFE!       

We can talk all day long about death, and leave here depressed, discouraged and destroyed.  But, let me tell you about the God that I serve!  Matthew 22:32  I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 

Every time you draw a breath, you need to thank your Creator.  It’s called “the breath of life!”

God breathed life into mankind.

Life embodies the essence of God; life represents the power of God.

The ravages of winter can send its snow, sleet, ice and cold, but it can’t stop spring!  The ravages of death can send its pain, tears, grief and suffering, but it can’t stop life!

Choose life!

Life is unstoppable, irrepressible, inexorable, inevitable, unavoidable, and unconquerorable.

Choose life!

Life is relentless, persistent, insistent, constant, determined, adamant, resolute, and stubborn.

Choose life!

Let me be more specific:  I’m not talking about life as an impersonal force, life as energy, life as a universal element, life as raw power.  I’m talking about the One we call the Lord Jesus Christ! 

1 Timothy 6:13-16 (NKJV) I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. 

Revelation 1:17-18 (KJV) And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. 

There ain’t no grave can hold my body down
There ain’t no grave can hold my body down
When I hear that trumpet sound I’m gonna rise right out of the ground
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down

Well, meet me Jesus, meet me. Meet me in the middle of the air
And if these wings don’t fail me I will meet you anywhere
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down
There ain’t no grave can hold my body down

Choose life!


Be baptized in Jesus’ Name.

Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost!

Choose Life!

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