-“It’s Friday but Sunday’s Coming”

Here’s my favorite message for Good Friday. It has become a tradition to post it every year on this day:

It’s Friday but Sunday’s Coming” by Dr. Tony Campolo.

Here’s a link to where the famous tape can be downloaded.

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The whole tape is great but the best part is toward the end when Tony Campolo recalls one Sunday when he had a little preaching competition with the head pastor at the church where he was attending.

Dr. Campolo tells how he preached the perfect sermon in every way and had taken the congregation to ‘the heights of glory’. As he sat down beside his pastor, Dr. Tony patted him on the knee and simply said, “Top that.” The older black pastor looked at him and said, “Boy, watch the master.” Then Dr. Campolo recalls for us the very brilliant message which followed.

The following is just a taste of what the climax is like in the 45 minute tape/sermon.  it doesn’t really do justice to the original but this printed abbreviated version is inspirational none the less:

It’s Friday But Sunday’s Coming—

It was a simple sermon, starting softly, building in volume and intensity until the entire congregation was completely involved, repeating the phrases in unison. The sermon went something like this:

It’s Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where He was praying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter’s denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is standing before the high priest of Israel, silent as a lamb before the slaughter. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord with a leather scourge that has bits of bones and glass and metal, tearing at his flesh. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The Son of man stands firm as they press the crown of thorns down into his brow. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. See Him walking to Calvary, the blood dripping from His body. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It’s Friday; but Sunday’s a coming.

It’s Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, “Father, forgive them.” It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that perfect sacrificial lamb who cries out, “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” What a horrible cry. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. And at the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful man from Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, heaven is weeping and hell is partying. But that’s because it’s Friday, and they don’t know it, but Sunday’s a coming.

And on that horrible day 2000 years ago, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of glory, the only begotten Son of God, the only perfect man died on the cross of Calvary. Satan thought that he had won the victory. Surely he had destroyed the Son of God. Finally he had disproved the prophecy God had uttered in the Garden and the one who was to crush his head had been destroyed. But that was Friday.

Now it’s Sunday. And just about dawn on that first day of the week, there was a great earthquake. But that wasn’t the only thing that was shaking because now it’s Sunday. And the angel of the Lord is coming down out of heaven and rolling the stone away from the door of the tomb.

Yes, it’s Sunday, and the angel of the Lord is sitting on that stone and the guards posted at the tomb to keep the body from disappearing were shaking in their boots because it’s Sunday, and the lamb that was silent before the slaughter is now the resurrected lion from the tribe of Judah, for He is not here, the angel says. He is risen indeed.

It’s Sunday, and the crucified and resurrected Christ has defeated death, hell, sin and the grave.

It’s Sunday. And now everything has changed. It’s the age of grace, God’s grace poured out on all who would look to that crucified lamb of Calvary. Grace freely given to all who would believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary was buried and rose again. All because it’s Sunday.

At the end of the message the pastor shouts out:

It’s Friiidaaaay!

And the whole congregation responds:

But Sunday’s Coming!

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-So We Killed Him

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“…so we killed him.”

All of a sudden I was undone and tears were flowing down my cheeks. Yes, I was responsible for his death. All of a sudden I could see that in a way I never understood it before.

I had begun the morning in my easy chair with a tall cup of strong coffee enjoying my latest sci-fi read when unexpectedly there was a reference to Jesus and how humanity had killed him because he didn’t meet our ‘religious expectations’-

“…so we killed him.”

Intellectually I knew it was true. After all, I passed my seminary exams in theology. But this was different and personal, the Holy Spirit had just knocked me down and I was on my knees. I was just as responsible for the death of Jesus as the ones who nailed him to the cross or the crowd who shouted- “Crucify him!” What a surprise and I couldn’t stop crying.

Fact is, everyone who has ever sinned is ultimately responsible for his death but I always self-righteously held special contempt for those religious leaders who planned it. But he did personally die for my sins and now I could no longer deny the implication. In a moment I could see my own part in his death.

But the story doesn’t end there does it! Jesus rose from the dead and everyone who believes on his name will also.

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…John 11:25-26  ESV

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(Reposted from October 19, 2013)

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-Celebrating the Ministry of St. Patrick

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Beyond the green beer and rowdy drunken debauchery that typically surrounds the occasion is a historical character that was God’s apostle to Ireland—forget ‘Saint’ this guy functioned as an apostle and a power evangelist with signs and wonders.

There is all sorts of stories about Patrick that today they call ‘myths’. I believe that a lot of the myths were probably based upon true events that seem far too supernatural for secular folks to accept today.

But who was this St. Patrick anyway? A man born into a Roman Christian family in Wales around 385 AD with the given name of Macwyn Succat. At age 16 he was taken from his home and enslaved by Irish Celtic raiders. He tended sheep for his new masters for 6 years and became closer to God in the process. The ‘voice of God’ directed his escape and later commissioned him to return to Ireland as a missionary. He went to seminary and became a Priest in preparation and later a Bishop.

He is recognized by all major Christian churches–Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglican since he ministered before the church was divided into all the different denominations we have today. So Protestants have just as great a claim on him as Catholics. And those of us who have Welsh blood running through our veins have as much right to claim St. Patrick as any Irishman.

It is said in documents from that period that he “baptized thousands of people”, and ordained hundreds of priests to lead new Christian communities and villages. He also converted the sons of Kings and chieftains leading to the conversion of an entire pagan nation to Christ.

It is said that he was also a healer and that he prayed for hedges of spiritual protection surrounding Christian homes, churches, and whole villages. Legend has it that snakes were banished from the island in the process, though scientists today doubt there was ever any on the island. Nevertheless, Druid priests were forced leave and demons and evil principalities were cast out and challenged by St. Patrick.

Here’s an example of the spiritual condition of  church that St. Patrick left behind—part of a prayer attributed to him but probably recorded a couple of generations later:

From “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate”:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye which sees me, Christ in every ear which hears me.

We could use this kind of spiritual maturity. What a great declaration to live by–an example for those seeking a Kingdom culture and economy.               *Top

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-South Korea: One of the Largest Exporters of The Gospel

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South Korea has been the host and the exporter the 2018 Winter Olympics for the last two weeks. What many American and Western Christians do not realize, besides electronics and automobiles, South Korea is also one of the largest exporters of the Gospel with 27,436 Korean Christian missionaries serving in 170 countries. Some in places where Americans cannot legally go.

Also, at least 25% of the population in this Asian nation are Christians and even a greater percentage in the capital city of Seoul. From CBN News:

Today, Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has more megachurches than any other city in the world. In fact, six of the ten largest churches in the world are in South Korea.

In 2012, official government statistics put the number of Protestant churches at 77,000, more than three times the number of convenience stores in the country at that time.

The 1907 revival also gave birth to a powerful prayer and repentance movement that is still being felt to this day in the country.

<Read the whole article>

Christianity received its biggest initial boost in Korea from one of the greatest revivals ever in 1907 in the city of Pyongyang which is now the capitol of North Korea. A prayer and repentance movement started with the revival still continues today with thousands of South Koreans going to church for early morning worship and prayer before going to work.

Unfortunately in Pyongyang today and in all of North Korea Christianity is outlawed. Nevertheless, The church continues underground in the North and missionaries from the Chinese Christian community and from South Korea continue to sneak their way into the North through China.

In contrast with all of the pageantry and the celebration of the media over the North Korean athletes joining with those from the South is the reality of Christians being killed, jailed, and tortured for their faith nearly every day in the North. In fact, North Korea heads nearly everyone’s list as the worst abuser of civil rights and religious freedom.  Regardless, unification continues to be in the hearts. dreams, and hopes of all Koreans in both the South and among their literal relatives in the North.             *Top

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-Sweden: Iranian Christian Convert Leads 1,500 Muslims to Christ

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Nearly every week we read reports from Europe about the problems and outright terrorism being perpetrated by the thousands of Muslim refugees. It is not too difficult for discerning believers to see our enemy’s hand in all this. Even worse, the demographers claim that if the current trend continue, Europe will eventually be dominated by Muslims. Some even talk about the Vatican being surrounded by mosques in a generation.

Yet in the midst of it all we receive reports of Muslims coming to Christ  This  recent account from the Christian Post should be encouraging. A former Iranian Muslim convert has led over 1,500 Muslims to Christ in Sweden:

An Iranian convert to Christianity who is now an ordained minister in the Church of Sweden says she has helped bring nearly 1,500 Muslims to Christ over the past five years.

Annahita Parsan told Fox News in a report on Wednesday that her life, which has undergone huge tribulations, is “completely different since coming to Jesus.”

<Read the whole article>

Read her story in the article, it will give you hope. The fact is, in the midst of all of the bad news about Islam and the radical terrorists, more Muslims have actually converted to Christianity in the last ten years than ever before since the founding of Islam. The enemy has his plans but our God is more powerful and every knee shall eventually bow at the name of Jesus.               *Top

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