Easter is rapidly approaching. Many churches will be celebrating the Gospel truths that God’s people have embraced for centuries.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Christian faith. The Apostle Paul says that the resurrection is of “first importance” (1 Cor. 15:3). One may ask the “first importance” of what? If we keep reading, he describes essential beliefs of the Gospel truths. First, Christ died for our sins. Second, Christ was buried. Lastly, Christ was raised on the third day. This is why Christians celebrate and rejoice: because Jesus rose from the grave, conquering sin and death. If He did not rise, then our faith is meaningless!
I encourage us to invite people to Easter service for four reasons:
1. To Get Connected
The reality is that Christmas and Easter are the two holidays that almost anybody is willing to come to. At least, it’s a higher probability than normal! We have a label in our culture--"CEO Christians" (Christmas and Easter Only). On some level, we all yearn for belonging; it is part of our nature. We were created in the Image of God, after His likeness. God is a community. He is the one that eternally exists in three divine persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). As His image-bearers, we were created for community. Inviting people to Easter is an opportunity to get them connected into our church community, so they can experience love, peace, harmony, beauty, and God, through the body of Christ.
2. To Witness Baptisms
By the grace of God, every year we have had the privilege to baptize people who make a profession of faith in Jesus. It’s always special to baptize anyone, but it’s even more remarkable when we do it during the Easter service. It’s like going to an ice cream shop to purchase your banana split sundae, which has all of the ingredients like whipped cream, caramel syrup, sprinkles, bananas, etc. As good as that sundae sounds with those ingredients, it would be better with that sweet red cherry on top. Baptisms on Easter are the sweet red cherries on top! We get to hear the testimonies of other people who have had the Holy Spirit change their hearts to choose Christ, and they want to publically show their allegiance to Him. Even non-Christians would come to see a baptism if their friend was getting baptized.
3. To Hear The Gospel
The good news of Jesus is not only what saves us, but it keeps us. Contrary to popular belief, the Gospel is not just for non-Christians. The Gospel is for everybody! We need to rehearse the good news to ourselves daily. Anyone who steps into our church doors needs to hear this Truth proclaimed. What an amazing opportunity to invite people to hear about how God created the entire world, how we sin and rebelled against His laws, how He sent a Savior to save His people from their sins and was resurrected after three days—calling all men and women to believe in His Son, Jesus the Christ, through faith and repentance, and how He’s coming back to restore all things (Col. 1:19). Everybody needs to hear this good news!
4. To Get A Foretaste Of The Kingdom
"The church is the bearer to all the nations of a Gospel that announces the kingdom, the reign, and the sovereignty of God…and so to become corporately a sign, instrument, and foretaste of that sovereignty of the one true and living God over all nature, all nations, and all human lives.” These are the words from Lesslie Newbigin from his book Foolishness to the Greeks. Those invited into our churches should get a preview of God’s kingdom when they are in the presence of the people of God.
Invite your friends, family, co-workers, classmates, and neighbors. In fact, welcome anybody who you have regular contact with. Invite them, so that they can get connected to your church family, so they can witness people publically demonstrating their devotion to Jesus, so they can hear the good news of the cross of Christ, and so they can get a foretaste of God’s kingdom.