This Sunday will be different than any we have ever experienced.
For those who have answered to call to preach the gospel, Resurrection Sunday is a highlight every year. On this annual gathering, pastors preach to people they do not see often, or ever. They preach to a packed crowd gathered because they love the Lord, or they love the person who invited them to church, or they love the tradition of being in a church service on Easter, or they have a sense of an inescapable need because they have not found the answer.
Regardless of the reason, Easter Sunday is the one day of the year we can expect a crowd in the worship service. This Sunday will certainly be different in many ways, but it may also be potentially better.
Here are four reasons why:
- More people will hear the gospel: It is highly likely that, due to the providential plan and provision of God, more people will hear the greatest news ever told this coming Sunday that at any other singular time in human history. Pastors of churches are reporting credible evidence of their online messages being heard by greater numbers of people than is usually the case on their Sunday morning in-person services. One pastor, whose church averages around 800 in attendance, has good reason to believe they are averaging nearly 1,800 participants each Sunday through their online streaming of the Sunday morning worship service. More people than ever will hear the gospel this Sunday.
- Many people will likely be saved: As pastors preach the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for the salvation of sinners, and then conclude that message with a clear and immediate invitation for lost people to repent and believe the gospel, there is reason to believe that many will be saved. Why should we believe that people will be saved? Because people have always been saved when the gospel is preached and an invitation is given. Many Kentucky Baptist pastors have reported hearing from those who have trusted Christ by phone, text, email, or Facebook comments, while watching an online service. Many people will likely be saved this Sunday.
- Most people will see the significance of the Easter message: In American church culture it is easy to get caught up in the trappings of Easter and miss the triumph of the Resurrection of Christ. The triumph of the Easter message recounts a man who claimed to be God in the flesh, lived as if that truth was so, died as He predicted on a cross, and rose from the grave as He promised. It is always a shame to the highest degree when that message is overshadowed by Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, Easter clothing and Easter lunches. This Sunday the message will likely have more meaning to more people than ever. Most people will see the significance of the Easter message this coming Sunday.
- Myriads of people will worship the risen Lord: This Sunday, all over the world, believers will worship the risen Christ from their couch, kitchen table, front porch, or back deck. People from every tribe, tongue and nation will sing the songs, raise hands, say “Hallelujah!” offer a hearty amen, and glorify the Lord. Many from their own homes will respond to the refrain, “He is risen” with their own heartfelt, “He is risen indeed!” This practice has happened every Resurrection day and it will happen this day as well. Myriads of people will worship the risen Lord this coming Resurrection Sunday.
So, Pastor, take heart. Preach your message. Preach your best. Preach with the rock-solid confidence that you are preaching the greatest message ever preached in a time when more people than ever will hear it and more people may be more aware of their need for real hope than ever before. Preach it believing that God saves sinners when His message is proclaimed. Christ brings hope, and when you preach Him, people will find hope.
TODD GRAY is executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.