Today, churches everywhere will celebrate the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. Churches will overflow with larger-than-normal crowds. Pastors will deliver messages focused on that great day when Jesus emerged from the tomb to give us victory over death, Satan and sin.
Many of those who gather in these churches will do so out of obligation because it is Easter Sunday, not because of their profound beliefs or appreciation for what Christ did on that day thousands of years ago.
In some people’s opinions, this fact is discouraging. Many Christians are saddened that there are those who will show up in our houses of worship on Easter but will not do so for many months afterward. They feel as if these occasional attendees should be condemned for their lackadaisical approach to worship of the risen Savior.
As a pastor, I actually am encouraged by the burgeoning attendance in churches on this special day. In my opinion, this is a clear sign that there still are many people in our culture who realize their basic need for a Savior. While they may give in to that need only a few times a year, they still are recognizing the reality of that need.
Our responsibility as pastors and Christians is to proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Easter Sunday is a very clear reminder that there are many people outside the walls of our churches who need to be reached with the soul-saving message of the Gospel. It also is a reminder that we must use every available opportunity to reach them. Today provides a clear picture to pastors — and more importantly to our church members — that there is a great big world out there that needs to hear the Gospel.
The great message of the cross always will change lives. It always will speak directly to the hearts of those who hear it. This message may not change the lives of everyone who hears it today, but it will change some.
On Monday, the Christians of our world should recommit themselves to continually sharing that message at every available time.
Reaching the world with the Gospel won’t happen simply within the walls of our churches. It must happen with commitment from our hearts.
We must understand and take to heart that command from Christ in Mark 6:15: “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’”
May Easter be a reminder to all of us of the great hope of the cross, the great sacrifice of our Savior and the great promise for the future that comes only from Him.
Harn is the pastor of Victory Assembly of God in Hinesville and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.