He is still alive (religion)

Published 5:03 pm Thursday, April 7, 2016

By Robert Griffin

“He’s alive, He’s alive, He’s alive and I’m forgiven, Heaven’s gates are open wide.” These energetic lyrics from a popular Easter song sum up Easter’s message.

As always, we had a wonderful Easter celebration at my church, Highland Baptist. Now I know Easter is about 10 days behind us. Yet I can’t seem to get the Easter sights, sounds and songs off my mind.

But should the celebration end late Easter afternoon after all the eggs are found? Besides, shouldn’t every Sunday, indeed every day, be Easter all over again for Christians?

Sure, soon we’ll move on from the Easter observance to the next special day. However, before we do, let’s look at Easter’s message from the viewpoint of the aforementioned song.

First, He’s alive! Amen! The Bible powerfully claims Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried, but He rose again. For instance, Scripture declares, “that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day” (I Corinthians 15:4).

Scriptural proofs of Christ’s resurrection are numerous and are the best. However, there’s another confirmation to share with you. It is found in the following words from a well-known Easter hymn: “You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.”

Second, I’m forgiven! The Bible is forthright in stating we’re all sinners needing forgiveness. Through Christ’s blood shed on Calvary, God provides forgiveness to all who believe in Jesus. Again, God’s Word testifies of Jesus, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

Whenever the subject of God’s fabulous forgiveness comes up, I think of a favorite memory verse. Ephesians 4:32 commands us, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Therefore, beloved, if God so forgives us, we ought also to forgive one another.

Third, heaven’s gates are open wide! Here, we could just “camp out” for a long time. But since space is limited, l’ll be brief. (Some folks wish I’d be this when I preach.) Because of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, God makes heaven accessible to all who trust in Jesus.

Don’t you want to go to heaven? Someone might say, “Preacher, not today!” Well, maybe not today, but, friend, one day you’re going to die. Then, you’ll spend eternity in either heaven or hell.

Reader, please know, my prayer, hope and desire, like many believers, is that you will choose heaven. Still, you can only pass through heaven’s portal via Jesus Christ. Even Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Finally, to my brothers and sisters in Christ, please rejoice with me seeing Easter never ends. Every day, dwell upon the fact, “He’s alive, and I’m forgiven, heaven’s gates are open wide.” Now friend, that’s good news!

The Rev. Robert Griffin is pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Clanton. Look for another installment of his column in a future edition of The Clanton Advertiser.