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Good News from the Graveyard (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 15, 2022 8:00 am

Good News from the Graveyard (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 15, 2022 8:00 am

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Just when we had no hope of salvation, no hope of having a relationship with the Holy God, no hope of having eternal life, no hope of having right standing before God, no ability to rid ourselves of sin, that's when Christ died for the ungodly. Hello and welcome to this Good Friday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. We're glad you stopped by for this special celebration of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Well, for anyone who was there when Jesus walked up Calvary's hill and died on Calvary's cross, the last word they would use to describe it is good. But God saw beyond the torture, beyond the tomb, to the good news of his gospel. He overcame sin and death that day.

And through him, so can we. Today's message is straight ahead. Stay with us here or stop by anytime to hear today's message or any recent message on demand. That's

You can also download or subscribe to the podcast at Google Podcast, at Spotify, or wherever you enjoy your podcasts. Now with today's Destined for Victory message, good news from the graveyard, here's Pastor Paul. Romans chapter 5 verses 6 through 8. Here's what Paul said when he was trying to help us understand what happened and the significance of it. He said, you see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Now I want you to grasp what Paul said there. He said, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, all of us were born in sin. We're sinners first by nature. And then we have lived a life of disobedience against the will of God. So we're sinners first by nature, then we're sinners by nurture.

We have nurtured sin and disobedience to God. All of us then, he says, were powerless. And just when we had no hope of salvation, no hope of having a relationship with the holy God, no hope of having eternal life, no hope of having right standing before God, no ability to rid ourselves of sin, just when we were powerless, he said, that's when Christ died for the ungodly. Then he makes the point, he says, rarely will someone die for a righteous person, a good person.

He said, but it's possible. It happens every now and then, and that's true. Every now and then a person will sacrifice their life so that someone else stays alive. But it's always someone who they deem worthy. It's someone that they have a compelling reason to spare.

He said, but God demonstrated his love in that when all of us were sinners, disobedient, alienated from God, doing our own thing, not caring what God thought, just then Christ died for us. In December of 08, a movie came out entitled Seven Pounds. And when I was reading and hearing the reviews about it, trying to determine whether it was worth going to see, I heard enough from the reviewers that it really captured my imagination. And I decided, yes, I definitely have to see this film. Because what I heard, even from the reviewers before I saw it, they didn't want to give the entire movie away, but they wanted to establish the premise so people could get an idea of what it was about and whether or not they recommended that it was seen.

And as I heard enough from these reviewers, I was able to piece together a pretty solid premise. And I knew then, even before I saw it, this is a movie about a man who is terribly guilt ridden. This is a man who is full of anguish and torment because of his own sense of guilt. And he decides it is important that he finds some persons to be incredibly generous and sacrificial toward, to try to ease his sense of guilt, to try to deal with what he was grappling with psychologically. And so I understood from the reviewers that this movie is about this anguished man, this guilt ridden man trying to find people he can be kind and sacrificial toward, but he wants to make sure that these are, as he called them, good people who were worthy of his sacrifice.

And when I heard that information, I said, well, I want to see the movie. And then the second thing I concluded was the movie, I know I'm going to enjoy it for whatever it has to offer as its own story, but I said I understand now that that movie then is the antithesis of the gospel. Because in the movie you have a guilt ridden man looking for worthy people to help. In the gospel you have a guiltless man, no sin, born through the womb of a virgin, came into the world, lived a sinless life. You have a guiltless man, a holy man, a righteous man, who is looking for jacked up folk to save from their sins. You have in the gospel the antithesis of seven pounds.

Seven pounds is great for what it's great for. But Jesus was the antithesis of that. He wasn't around here trying to find, all right, let me find somebody good enough, worthy enough to be right with God. Do you know if Jesus came to earth looking for folk worthy enough to save, he'd still be on earth today? Do you realize that? Do you realize if he's missing, I've got to find somebody who is worth it, who is good enough, who is righteous enough for me to help.

He'd still be right, all right, now who's next on the list? Because all of us were born in sin. All of us shapen in iniquity. All of us have done enough to merit eternal alienation from God. All of us are powerless. All of us are without hope in this world of salvation. None of us can make a case for our right standing with God on our own merits.

I hope you understand that about yourself. You're not so deceived that you think you're like a candidate for the fourth person in the Godhead. I hope you realize that all of us, as Paul said, were powerless. No one deserves right standing with God. No one has the power to make a case that, Lord, I'm good enough for you to accept. I know you're holy. I know that you cannot stand in the presence of sin. I realize that, but I'm good enough, Lord, for you to consider an exception to the rule.

I hope everybody knows better than that. In fact, the worst sign of sin in your life is that you think you're straight. God can deal with anybody who knows I'm messed up and I need help. One day the Pharisees were standing, and they were standing and they were praying proudly. Father, I'm glad that I'm not like that sinner over there. And they were bragging in prayer. And then, meanwhile, there was a man standing nearby who smote his breast, Jesus said, and said, Lord, have mercy on me. And Jesus told his followers, guess whose prayer the Lord hears?

He's not worried about those Pharisaical fools who have all kinds of hatred and malice and hypocrisy in their lives, gag at a gnat and swallow a camel. You know, when you become pious on your own, you can be nothing but ridiculous. Whenever you think you're straight, whenever you're not in touch with your own sin and how powerless you are before God, that's when you're really messed up. I've seen many a sinner come to Christ. I've seen lives transformed, but I haven't seen one self-righteous person ever get right until they recognize. Lord, I'm in the category with Paul and Peter and everybody in scripture. All the folk in the Old Testament, all the patriarchs were people who needed salvation. God used them in their dispensation because they were part of redemptive history.

But all of them looked forward to the cross because they knew they needed salvation. So when you look in the Old Testament, you're not seeing a bunch of righteous people. Noah got drunk.

You build the ark, go where God tells you to go, you're going to start things all over again, you end up drunk. Abraham lied, said his wife was his sister because he's scared that the king was going to hook up with her. I mean, just right down the line, Moses, meekest man on the face of the earth. But when those Israelites got through with him, he struck the rock of God's divine provision. He offended God. He was so mad at the people.

And I've been passing long enough to know why he struck the rock. David, David, we look at him from our perspective, we say, man, he was a man after God's own heart. But he was also a man full of sin who had to look forward to the cross for salvation with all of his glory, with all that God blessed him with.

One day, he looked out, Saul Beersheba said, the Lord is my shepherd, I see what I want. Called for her to come to the palace, slept with her, she got pregnant, now he's got a baby's mama to deal with. And guess where her husband was? At that very moment, he's laying with her.

Her husband is out fighting David's enemies. But sin will make you desperate. David sent him home on furlough, hoping he'll sleep with his wife, so when he comes back from war and has a baby, he'll remember, oh yeah, when I went on furlough, that's when it happened.

Sin will make you conniving. But it didn't work out. He came home, but he didn't go sleep with his wife. He's such a soldier, he said, I can't enjoy the pleasures of laying in the arms of my wife while my boys are out there in the war. That's a soldier.

Most of the brothers came home, they would have said, hey, my boy's going to be all right. This man was dedicated. Stay with us, the second half of Pastor Paul Shepherd's message is coming right up. We want to thank all of you who support Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support, gifts that help Pastor Paul share the joy of the Gospel message with a growing audience. Destined for Victory is supported entirely by friends like you, so please, prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Destined for Victory today. You can give online safely and securely from our website,, or give us a call at 855-339-5500.

Again, the number is 855-339-5500. Now, let's rejoin Pastor Paul for the second half of today's message, good news from the graveyard. David got desperate, sent some wine over and said, well, maybe if I get him buzzed, maybe then he'll sleep with his wife. He drank the wine, but he would not sleep with his wife. Finally, David, in desperation, sent him back to the battle lines with sealed orders. And the orders were put Uriah on the front lines and then withdraw from him. Can you imagine sin making you so desperate that a man loyal to you, so loyal that he won't open the sealed orders?

And the orders that are sealed say he's got to die because I've got to cover up what I did with his wife. That's what your Bible is full of, people who are desperately powerless. And guess what? They are no different than all of us. All of us have our own brands of sin. You say, well, I would never do what David did.

That's so low down. You know, one of the proofs you're a sinner is you can talk so clearly about somebody else's sin, but you're not real good at articulating your own. See, we like swapping brands of sin. Well, I never did that. Even before I came to Christ, pastor, there were just certain things that I never did. OK, fine.

So you get the Never Never Land award. There were things you never did, but I bet there were some other things you did. And, you know, sin isn't just action. Sin is also attitude. Sin is also motive. There are some things you wanted to do.

You were just scared to go to jail or get beat up or something. And then there are sins of omission, things that God clearly tells us to do and we refuse to do. Bottom line is we're all messed up. That's why Jesus came.

Because we unlike seven pounds, we were not worthy. But Jesus said, that's exactly who I'm coming to find. Those who know they desperately need me. The reason why the resurrection took place is because you and I were hopeless and needed the Lord. I've talked a little about the reality and the reason I want to close by talking about the results of the resurrection.

What does it all mean? It all means that you and I don't have to die in our sins. The resurrection means that we don't even have to live any longer in disobedience to God. The resurrection means that you from this day forward can live in right standing with God. Oh, I'm not saying you're going to be perfect.

I'm not saying you're going to make every decision right. I'm not saying that you have instant power to experience perfection. I'm saying that first this very day you can have right standing with God. And then you can have the Holy Spirit who came into the life of Peter and Paul and all the others. He will come into your life when you receive Christ as your savior.

And he will walk with you and talk with you and begin to walk you through the journey of life and teach you how to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I want to let you know the results of the resurrection are that we don't have to stay in the mess we're in. That we don't have to die in our sins. That we don't have to fear judgment. You know the Bible is clear.

It is appointed once to every person to die. Now I shouldn't have to make that case to you. I shouldn't have to prove that. Everybody's going to check out. I don't care how healthy you are. You are checking out of here sooner or later. Checking out. The Bible says our days of our years are three score and ten.

Perhaps four score if we have the strength. Meaning that generally speaking people live seventy, eighty, sometimes longer years. I know people who say oh no I'm very healthy.

I've got one friend who says oh no I plan to live till a hundred and twenty. Fine you want to stay in this raggedy world this long. Go ahead. Go right on. Knock yourself out. Help yourself. I'm looking forward to seeing Jesus.

Whenever he's ready for me it's good for me. But listen it doesn't matter how long you live. Do the best you can.

Be cute as you can. Fix yourself up. Pop your vitamin pills. Exercise.

Eat better. Do whatever you can. Try to hang around as long as you want to. Do the best you can. When you think you're fine take your pictures. I tell folk when you think you are fine take your pictures.

I tell young people take your shots now. Trying to help you all. So that one day when you checked out of here and people look back they see the best of the way you look.

Take your pictures now. Do the best you can. But don't think you can fool father time. You're going to check out of here. And let me tell you something it's not only about the length of your days you don't have to be old to die.

Or look around us every day of your life. People are leaving this earth. You don't have to be old to die.

You don't have to be sick to die. You can go to bed thinking you're going to wake up. And you wake up in eternity. Never open your eyes again here on earth. You can leave your house in your car thinking you're going to work. Never get there. Oh these aren't scare tactics this is just reality.

Look around you it's happening every day. Why? Because the Bible says you are going to leave. You're not going to stay here forever. So do not build your hope on things of this earth. You can't build your priorities around earthly things because this is just your habitation for 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 years. After that the Bible says the judgment. When you meet God what will be important on that day is what you did about Jesus.

That's what will matter. The other things that you'll accomplish in this world they are as good as what they're good for in this world. If you make a name for yourself here glorify God with it. But you can't take your reputation with you to eternity. You're not going to get VIP treatment in eternity.

After death the judgment. And it doesn't matter on that day it will not matter how much money you had. How many houses you had. What your job title was. How many businesses you built. How much money you left.

How much money you gave to churches and charities. None of that will matter. The only thing that will matter is whether you know Jesus.

And whether you trusted him as your savior. And listen if you know the Lord you are so far ahead it doesn't even make sense. I see a lot of people get intimidated because they got friends who have more money and have bigger houses and have better jobs and more prestige and famous and all that stuff. And you get intimidated if you know Christ. Do you know that's the most important thing there is? Whatever else you do or don't know is insignificant by comparison.

If you know Christ that's what you need to know. A little boy was playing in his front yard just tossing his ball up in the air and catching it. Playing in his front yard and the man pulled up in the car and rolled his wonder down and said, Little boy I need to get to highway 5 do you know where interstate 5 is? And the little boy said no sir I don't. Kept throwing his ball.

Catching it. Man said alright well then do you know where main street is? Because I heard that if I get on main street that will take me to interstate 5. Can you tell me where main street is? Little boy said no sir I can't.

Throwing his ball and finally the man in frustration said alright. Alright well then can you tell me where a gas station is? If I get to a gas station they can tell me where main street is so I can get to interstate 5. Can you tell me where a gas station is? Little boy said no I can't.

I don't know I'm sorry. The man in utter frustration said little boy you don't know anything do you? Little boy said but I'm not lost. Listen let me tell you, you might not know what a lot of folk know. You may have never been where a lot of people have been.

You might not have some of the claims to fame that other folk have. But if you know you're not lost. If you know your sins are forgiven. If you know you have right standing with God. If you know that to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord. If you know that when this earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved.

You have another building a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. I submit you know everything you need to know. Cause when it's all said and done it's really not what you know. It's who you know. And when you know Jesus. When you know that on that day of judgment that all of us will face. He will know you. Because you put your trust in him. You'll never hear the words depart from me I never knew you.

You know that you are his and he is yours. And I'm telling you the results of the resurrection are that you don't have to be lost. You can be found in Christ. Well thank you for being here for today's special Easter message. Good news from the graveyard. As part of this month's celebration of Easter we've prepared a booklet. Which will encourage you with the hope and power of the resurrection.

It's called He's Alive and I'll give you details of how you can get your copy in a moment. But right now Pastor Paul has joined me in the studio for a few moments. Pastor why should the fact that Jesus is alive be so important to us? The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the truth that distinguishes our faith from all other religions. Because when we think about it if Jesus was only an outstanding leader and teacher while on earth. And many people even non-Christians realize that he was. But if that's all he was then he is to be named among great men. But we who are Bible believers.

We who are followers of Christ. We proclaim because we believe it is absolutely true. That the historical fact is not only that he lived and died. But that he rose from the grave on the third day. Amen he lives now. And he still lives.

So that's a different message than you'll get from any religion anywhere in the world. He's not just a great man. He's the God man. He is the redeemer. He is the one who revelation says was dead but he's alive.

See Wayne you got me preaching. Who was dead but he's alive and he is coming again for his church. I'm excited because Easter is something we need to all rejoice about.

Because it is what makes our belief system different than any other in the whole world. And I praise God that that day is approaching. And once again we're going to rejoice in the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What a day that will be Pastor Paul.

Again the booklet is called He's Alive. And it's our gift to you this month for your generous donation to Destin for Victory. Just call 855-339-5500. Or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to Destin for Victory post office box 1767 Fremont California 94538.

Again the address is Destin for Victory box 1767 Fremont California 94538. You got to learn to stay focused. You got to learn to live your life on top of time. Then you will actually build the quality of your life. Because if you give enough time to things that are important but not urgent.

You will prevent some of them from becoming urgent. And that's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message. Until then have a blessed Easter weekend. And remember he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ you are Destin for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-01 09:05:10 / 2023-05-01 09:14:40 / 10

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