It’s Easter – God’s Loudest Amen! (23 Mar 2008)

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

Wintley Phipps

Special Music

It’s Easter! It’s Easter

Solo/ Anthem
Festival Alleluias
Daniel Rodriguez - City of God
Trio – The Gatlin Brothers - Amazing Grace
Devon Guthrie - I’ve Just Seen Jesus
Cynthia Clawson - Beautiful Are the Scars

The Message

Message by: Robert A. Schuller

It’s Easter, wonderful. This is my 51st Easter in this church. My son, Dr. Robert Schuller, it’s his 51st Easter in this church only he was only seven months old and couldn’t preach too well then. He sure can now, thank you.

Oh, the Easters we’ve had! The one I remember probably the most a couple of times I’ve had the honor of being invited to preach the sermon at the Hollywood Bowl. And once, both times we had to use a helicopter to get me from there to here. But the one time when we left the Hollywood Bowl with just the right amount of minutes to get here for me to stand here, a cloud bank rolled in and it so covered all of Orange County that when I got in the helicopter the pilot said, I don’t know if we’re going to be able to land, Dr. Schuller. But we’re going because it can roll back as fast as it rolls in or maybe we’ll find a hole someplace and by phone we can to a driver and he can get you there. So my wife was with me and we flew with such a dense cloud you couldn’t even tell there was a earth beneath. And till suddenly as we became close to Disneyland the pilot said, Schuller, you won’t believe it, there’s a hole above Disneyland. We can duck down and the cloud isn’t on the earth, I’ll bet we’ll have enough space beneath the clouds and the earth to get us to land the helicopter. Wow! We did.

Had some wonderful Easters but never a better Easter than this year. Been a phenomenal year in many, many ways. And in some of the things that are happening I can’t even share with you today and I don’t want to because no news is better than the old news. And that is that Easter is here and it’s God’s loudest amen. I learned those lines from my Greek professor at Western Theological Seminary, Dr. Audersleiss who is still alive, keen and sharp of mind. I think he’s 99 years old. And he said one time, “Easter, its man’s hallelujah. It’s God’s loudest amen.” What does amen mean? It means so be it, or it means it is good.

Give you an idea of what amen means go back and read Genesis 1, 2 and 3 and where the bible says, “God looked at what He had made and said it was good,” substitute the word amen. God looked at the universe with its trees and flowers and said, amen. God looked at the oceans and the waters and the rivers with the fish and He said, amen. And then when He finished with a creature called human being, He looked at us, at our minds, we can think and the souls that we have. We can have feelings different than any other creature. And we have dreaming potential, too. Dream dreams and set goals and imagine what we can become, possibility thinkers. He made us and He looked at that and He said, amen. And then He looked at Jesus, whom He sent into this world to be our Savior, and on Christmas morning the little baby in Bethlehem, and God said, amen.

And then came the cross. That had to happen for our salvation. And the body picked up and put in a tomb, and the stone was rolled in front of it, and Saturday all was silence and darkness and then came the sunrise of Sunday and the angel, the stone rolled away and out of the blackness walked the Jesus who had been put there only three days before. And when He walked out He lifted His face to the heavens and His arms to all the world with their fresh plumes and the palms. God said, amen. It was the end of the game, amen. The rest was with us and Jesus.
You know there comes a time when we realize one of the high points of life. I wrote hymns in my life, a couple have been published and we sang one this morning. You may or may not have known so they skipped the first verse because the service would run too long, but I want to read the three verses:

It’s Easter. It’s Easter. The season of spring. It’s Easter. It’s Easter. The birds come to sing. The sun it is shining. The sky it is blue. The world comes alive with a hope that is new. It’s Easter. It’s Easter. The stone’s rolled away. It’s Easter. It’s Easter. This is the Lord’s Day. New faith for the doubter, new joy for the sad. Our Savior walks with us to keep our lives glad. It’s Easter. It’s Easter. Christ lives once again. It’s Easter. It’s Easter. God’s loudest amen. We sing hallelujah. We sing praise the Lord who raised up our Jesus and spoke the last word.
You know we have to realize that we can apply these principles and passages to our lives. Yes, there is a God and He revealed Himself. We believe in a Creator, that’s the great amen. Yes, and there is a book that keeps us together. It’s called the bible. Yes, amen. We have a leader, His name is Jesus. Amen. We have an awareness that we are humans with brains, souls, spirits, moods, memories. Amen. And life is eternal, death is not the last word, there’s something more. What? That’s for us to learn. Amen.

Yes, I want you to use this Easter morning to check the amen’s in your life, to check the amen’s in your faith. How are you doing? You know I like to think that if you have a faith and you’re believing in a cosmic Spirit, intelligent and warm, a Father God. Amen. And if you believe in the bible, that that’s really a different book. God is really talking to us through that book, through people who lived it and died it. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Noah, Moses, David, you’ve got the book. That’s an amen. If you’ve got a Leader in your faith, don’t just sit there with your brain alone trying to pick up a spiritual idea here and there, throw that one out, and yeah I think that’s possible, oh that’s ridiculous. If you are a lonely person picking out and patching together your own faith, good gravy! You surely are not humble, that’s for sure. To think you’d trust yourself in putting together a religious reality up here or here.

Start with humility, I do. Why do I believe the bible? Cause it’s a collection of true stories of many people covering centuries, not just one book out of the blue. And not just Schuller putting two and two together and saying yes, that I’ll take, no I won’t. If you’ve got a God in your system, amen. If there’s a book called the bible, amen. If there’s a leader that stands out so you have a mentor and a leader more important is smarter than you are when it comes to religion and His name is Jesus, amen. That’s a loud one. Many people don’t quite get there. They’re missing one of life’s biggest amen’s. And if you come to an awareness of what you are as a human being with two legs and two arms and head and a heart and haven’t grasped the consciousness of a soul, spirit with the power to believe in something beyond the material.
Take Christ, let Him be the expert. What do I believe? Why do I believe in God, I’m sometimes asked. And I’ve said, because I can’t believe that Jesus made a mistake. Because I believe Jesus was a lot smarter on that subject than I am. Amen. And the final amen for us as humans, God’s loudest amen was when Christ walked out of that tomb. And your loudest amen and my loudest amen will be when we receive and accept Him as our Savior. What a difference that’ll make in life.

I was with Dr. Ben Carson, who’s one of the greatest surgeons in the world, and teaches you know at Johns Hopkins, separated conjoined twins, became famous. Greatest surgeon. He was sitting with me on a bus going to the Horatio Alger dinner and I said, you still hold to the faith? Oh, yes, he said, the longer I live the more I believe there’s got to be a designer, there’s got to be a designer, there’s got to be a designer. I was just restudying the eyeball. Dr. Schuller, I don’t know many people except eye doctors that really know what the eyeball is. The eye is phenomenal. There had to be a designer. That’s the way he put it. Had to be a God.

Well, if you get to the loudest amen for humans is to accept this Jesus as your Savior, the last word. Trust Him then build a faith. I remember a time when the tower hadn’t been up too long and there were no buildings across the street, just 150 acres empty land. One day I was looking out of my office on the 12th floor and I saw a man coming across that vacant property. Nobody walked across there. And he kept coming and that was weird. And he came to the edge of the street and he crossed the street and he started walking on our parking lot, weird. And he kept walking. I called somebody, said check him out. So one of our security people went down, met him. Oh he said, my name’s Jerry. He said, is there a minister here? Sure. Could I see him? Sure. He came up. My name’s Jerry. He said I’m looking for work. Well, I said I think we can use you in the janitor’s department if you’re willing to start there. He said, sure.

So we hired him as a janitor. Only one or two days after that he said, Dr. Schuller, there’s something I have to tell you. I’m on the lam. What does that mean? He said, it means I sneaked out of Orange County jail over there. You see the building. I said I’ve made calls in that building. He said I sneaked out. I think by now they’ve got me as an escaped convict. Gee, and we hired you. He said, yeah. I said, we got to call the authorities. He said, I know that’s why I came to talk to you now. I got to call them. We called, I placed the call. I said I have a fugitive here in my office. They asked me, is it Jerry? And they named the last name. I said, yes. They said, Dr. Schuller, what if we let him stay there and work for you, would you take him under your wing? You’d probably do more good than if we took him back here. I thought, I said sure. We are a church. We’re here to get the worst people to join, not the saints.

So Jerry came under our wing. He wasn’t there long and his job was to clean the engine room with all the pipes and motors and machines. A dark, black and white, ugly place. It wasn’t long and he came to me and he said, Dr. Schuller, I’ve accepted Jesus. I saw him in the lives of people here. I see Him in you. I’m becoming a Christian. And he said, you know, I have an idea, a dream. You talk about dreams. I want you to stay out of the engine room. Me? Yes, you, Dr. Schuller. I don’t want anybody to come into the engine room. That’s my territory. Okay. But come a time when you can come in, I’ll let you know.

Six months later he came and said oh.. his face was alive with light. Come to the engine room. He said, what I was when I walked on this campus I was like your engine room dirty, dark, black, gray. Want you to see the engine room. That’s what my life is like today. You can see the change. And I stepped in the engine room and the whole ceiling was painted blue with stars. Oh, and the engines were painted green with white and yellow and there orange and red. Every pipe, every nut, every bolt, the head of even the little bolts were all painted. And we started calling it the Rainbow Room. What a difference emotionally life becomes when the positive force of Jesus comes in and dominates your personality. Well I invite you to think about that.

I remember an Easter, yesterday the family always comes, children, grandchildren, well we had 20 people for breakfast yesterday morning. And there’s Christopher, tall, large going to seminary this September, another grandchild going into the ministry. Boy, am I proud of my grandkids; every one knows and loves Jesus. And Arvella said, remember when Chris was only three years old at the breakfast? Remember? She reminded me. Oh yeah. He walked around the buffet table, there’s ham, there’s turkey, oh and there’s salads and there’s fruit and there’s this kind of fruit and there are buns and hot cross buns and rings, and oh, cinnamon rolls. It’s a phenomenal buffet. He walked all the way around with a plate, holding it in his three year old hands, and never picked a thing. And we said, Chris, pick something, there must be something you like. No. No. He walked in the kitchen. A little while later he came out. He had opened drawers. He found other food and he came out with what I can best call a marshmallow sandwich. Two pieces of white cracker and in between a marshmallow.

Laugh, yeah, do you know what? You and I are born and we have a lot of freedom and choices, the kind of values that are on the buffet table for you and I in a country called America. Here in this church there’s something on the buffet table. Go to Las Vegas there’s other stuff from a buffet table. You can go to some bars and saloons and God knows what they put on the buffet table. And we’re given the freedom pick what we want. Life’s a scoreboard, at best four quarters and what you’ve got to do is look up once in a while and see what your score is. Is it a score like Jerry when he walked out of jail, or is it a score go pile high in the second quarter and he’s painting the green room. What’s your score of your faith? You found a God that you can believe in or dare to put your trust in even if you don’t believe in Him? How many amen’s have there been in your life? Are you ready for the last amen, the greatest amen? Oh, I got a big amen in the first quarter. I was born into a Christian family and I learned who Jesus was from my mother singing with me “Jesus Loves Me” at the piano bench. Oh, then the send quarter I got a loud amen. I went to a Christian college and a seminary. Boy, did I learn a faith. Yeah, what an amen. Third amen, I’ve still got Jesus as a leader and I’m finding out what human life is like what the memory, the moods, and then I find now I’m in the fourth quarter of life. How long will I last? Will I last the whole game? I’m hoping to preach a great sermon here when I’m 100 years old, but I don’t know. How about you? What quarter are you in, first quarter, second quarter, half time, third quarter, fourth quarter? Check the scoreboard. How are you doing? Some of you didn’t score anything in the first quarter; you weren’t born into a very good family. And the second quarter you were in the university and you just didn’t buy any of this supernatural stuff. And now you’re in the third quarter and you’re sitting here listening to me. Hey, what’s your score? You pick it out, you set the priorities. I’m not going to convert you. Wouldn’t want to if I could. I want you to find God and Jesus Christ for yourself. Clicking here, clicking on there.
Oh, you’re going to reach a point what ever quarter it happens it’ll be your last amen, your last hallelujah. My hallelujah, I have them in all four quarters. Amen’s, all four quarters. I know one thing; Jesus died and was put in a tomb and when He came out God said, amen. It is good. And when I reach that point however, whenever I want to hear from God as He looks down on my life, amen, Schuller. You want that too. You can have it. Let it happen today.

It’s Easter. It’s Easter. The stone’s rolled away. It’s Easter. It’s Easter. This is the Lord’s Day. Yes we sing hallelujah, we sing praise the Lord who raised up His Jesus and spoke the last word, amen.

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