This Easter message may not be what the world wants to hear – if you want that just read the Easter message by the Archbishop of somewhere on Good Friday. But this one is from Jacob Prasch, the American messianic Christian who tells it as it is. I hope you are challenged and comforted by it:
“I was just in Uganda; Uganda is like the rest of Africa, they have got nothing but trouble. The churches in Africa, like most of the third world, have all kinds of problems, poverty, ignorance, a lack of qualified leadership, sometimes persecution.
Since the mid-1990s, three-and-a-half million black African Christians have been butchered by the Moslems in Darfur and Sudan, three-and-a-half million! One-and-a-quarter million murdered since the 1960s in northern Nigeria. But, in Sudan and in Nigeria, although they have got a lot of problems … I do not make light of the problems, but evangelism is not one of them.
Growth is not one of them. I was just in Vietnam recently. We have a ministry that we don’t talk about too much publicly because the Hmong people are persecuted by the Communist regime and I can’t say too much now because of the internet, but, I speak to these Hmong pastors and I ask them “How many of you were arrested and put in prison for your faith? How many of you have people in your churches that you pastor, arrested, taken away?” Every one of them.
In Indonesia, the biggest Moslem country in the world, three thousand churches were burned to the ground last year. Can you imaging a mid-week bible study under the equator in … Indonesia, the biggest Moslem country in the world and there are thousands of people in it, sitting on the floor? A country where every year, not thousands, hundreds of thousands of Moslems, reject Mohammed and the Koran and turn to Christ, every year! You are talking about a 25% Christian population in the biggest Moslem country in the world, I have been there, I’ve seen it!
Of course, there is a price to pay. A price to pay in Indonesia; a price to pay in Vietnam, a price to pay in Sudan. Then I ask Australia, why is it the only growth in Australia is Hillsong, which is not real growth, it is people leaving one church for another to see the circus. Hillsong, a mecca of sex scandal and financial corruption exposed in the national media; that is the growth. People leaving one church for another.
Why can’t we see this happening in Britain or other Western countries—it is transfer growth, people leaving one church for another and they imagine that to be growth. Why can’t I see what is happening in Latin America or Africa, or in Asia, why cannot it happen here or Britain. At one time it did happen in America, it did happen in Britain because they can answer the question.
Out there in the anteroom, there is a book on the shelf called “Foxes Book of Martyrs.” You have got the scriptures in the English Language? It is because of those people written about in that book paid with their lives to give us this book in the English language. You see, they could answer the question. In the days of William Tyndale and Ridley, Latimer, Hooper, and Cranmer, they could answer the question. “Show me, show me a crucified body dead to itself but alive in Christ, living and walking in the power of his resurrection, something fearless, something invincible. Show me the crucified body that is alive.”
I asked that question in Vietnam, “Show me.” “No problem, here it is.” I asked that question in Sudan. “No problem, here it is.” I asked that question in Indonesia. “No problem, here it is.” Do you want to see a crucified body of Christ that is alive and walking in the power of the resurrection? We have got one. We do not have any money, we do not have any power, don’t have any media, we have got a lot of problems and we are persecuted but we are growing. People are looking at us. They are leaving communism, they are leaving Buddhism, they are leaving Islam and they are leaving Catholicism and they are turning to Jesus Christ, why? Because they can say “Here it is.” “Do you want to see a crucified body? Here it is, no problem, we can show you that right away” and everybody knows it. I am not singing the praises of persecution, it comes from the devil, the book of Revelation tells us. But remember, in the last days it becomes a necessary evil.
You have got crazy people in California, crazy people, mystics, total New Age mystics telling people they are practicing Christianity, like Bill Johnson, absolutely crazy! People teaching heresy and false doctrine like Mark Driscoll and people think that is Christianity. The idiot box, TBN, people think that is Christianity–no it is not.
That is not Christianity. This is Christianity, a crucified body that has been resurrected. “Show me.” I’ve seen it; I’ve seen it more than once. I have seen it in Asia, I have seen it in Africa. I have seen it in the Far East. At one time you could have seen it in the Western world, you cannot see it now.
Religious con artists prostituting the Word of God on television, you can show them that. An ecumenical betrayal of the true gospel like I heard on KKLA the other day, the Christian radio station in California. “Oh, our differences with the Catholic Church are only peripheral.” Either you do not know the true gospel or you do not know anything about Catholicism. You can show them that. But a crucified body that has been resurrected? I can’t show them that anymore, not now, not here. But where they see it, the churches are growing. Nothing can stop it. Satan cannot stop it and he has tried and is trying desperately. As Tertullian said “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” No, I am not praying for persecution, thank God for our freedom but persecution is coming because we have abused and misused that freedom and taken it for granted. A crucified body, show me.
The intellectual evidence for the resurrection is there. There is a book written by a famous rabbi, an academic called Pinchas Lapide, professor from Bar-Elan University in Israel. He said that from a Jewish perspective, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is unquestionably true. He is not a believer, but just based on the scholarly evidence, as a Jewish academic he says the resurrection of Jesus is true. This professor, Rabbi Pinchas Lapide, wrote a book. More and more rabbis are saying that. The evidence is there, it happened. We can show them the evidence that it did happen, but can we show them the evidence it is still happening? In Africa I can, in the Far East I can, a lot of places I can. “Show me. Seeing is believing.” That is the message of Easter, if you want to use that term. That is the message of the Feast of First Fruits. “Show me!”
Until we can show them, we have no place to go but down. When we can show them, we will have a place to go and that is up.
I wish I could tell you “Happy Easter” and in one way I can. He is risen. He is coming again but if you don’t know him, your future is not happy, be you Gentile or be you Jew. The evidence is there. Please do not walk out that door today without giving your life to the Messiah, Jesus, Yeshua. When the Romans nailed him to that cross it was by the prophetic ordaining of God that he would pay the price for your sin and mine. When he rose from the dead it was to give us eternal life. He did it, he did it. But now he wants to show you …
My friend, if you don’t know Jesus the Messiah, I can tell you one final thing. For those who do know him, we don’t have to be afraid to go to sleep, but if you don’t know him, you’d better be afraid to die. Don’t be a fool, don’t be a loser, the price is already paid, he has already made the way, that is Easter, that is the Resurrection; that is the truth!”