John 20 : Do You Believe Jesus Christ is Alive Today?

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Evaluation
by Frank Carmical

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General Information:
I preached this sermon on Easter Sunday morning, 4-8-12 at Lafayette Bible Chapel in Lafayette, Louisiana  USA.

Sermon Title: Do You Believe Jesus Christ is Alive Today?

Sermon Passage: John 20

Sermon Purpose:
On Easter Sunday, to present the arguments for the resurrection of Jesus in a way that’s user-friendly today, but gripping and motivational.  To challenge unbelievers to believe in the Risen Jesus as Savior. In a secondary way, to challenge Christians about their faith thru the eyes of 3 of Jesus’ disciples.

Overall Evaluation: I feel God helped me accomplish these goals in this Easter sermon.  This is one of the better sermons I have preached at Lafayette Bible Chapel to date. It has many elements that would be good to use in your preaching. I don’t mind if you steal this sermon as long as you personalize it for your context and country. Make it your own!

Strengths:
1. I read every word of the Bible text but preached focusing on the people in the Bible text and in the church pew.
2. Helpful visuals in the powerpoint, including some needed humor about the apostle John as a surfer dude and the Farside cartoon! Smile
3. Some teaching elements in the arguments for the Resurrection and how they buried corpses in the 1st Century, but I think these were necessary in the sermon.
4. Focusing on the 3 characters made this a bit like a 3-act play or a 1-act play with 3 scenes. Having Mary as a female lead was wonderful for all of us!
5. The C.S. Lewis quote and closing story on Lew Wallace gave the end the lift I needed to inspire people about the resurrection!

Weaknesses:
1. The reference to a 4-letter word could have offended some traditional folks. It caught the ear of the younger folks and less churched folks—was it worth that risk? A toss up. I        probably would cut that line if I preached this again.
2. I could have used more illustrations, even though it would have made the message longer.  I used fewer illustrations because the stories of 3 characters are like illustrations.

Comments:
I have mentioned in other evaluations and in one of our How to Preach papers that every sermon needs to balance, to some degree, the 3 major aspects of us as people: Head (mind, intellect), Heart (emotions, feelings), and Heel (will, volition—what we do with a sermon).  The 3 characters in this story illustrate each of those aspects: John (mind), Mary (heart), Thomas (will). Few passages will lend themselves this well to all 3 aspects!

The grades I give myself on this sermon:
Number grade:
[on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)]: 8.75
Letter grade:
[A (high) and F (low)]: B+

*A lesson you can learn from this sermon:
We regularly have guests in our services from the University of Louisiana and elsewhere around the world. Many of these friends are not believers yet.  It’s one thing to preach to Christians on Easter Sunday about the Resurrection of Christ—we need that! But it’s quite another to have real “fish” out there we need to catch for Christ!  Preach sermons where you present the Gospel regularly and deal with issues like this one that are needed by unbelievers.  Your people will get used to this habit and feel more comfortable inviting their unbelieving friends to the services. This is heaven on earth—to have the unsaved in services like we do every Sunday!


New Testament Sermons