by: Robert A. Schuller
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
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:
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.