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What is the church?  It is the body of believers who recognize Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the World.  Bufe believes in the church, the body of believers.  He shares 4 reasons he believer in the role of the church.  1. The church belongs to Jesus Christ.  He’s the head and we’re the body.  He is the vine.  We are the branches.  He is the bridegroom.  We are the bride.  2. The church is built by Jesus Christ.  3.  The church is based on Jesus Christ himself.  Bufe talks about the Hancock building and the foundation it stands on.  Jesus is our rock, our foundation that we stand on.  4.  The church is blessed by Jesus Christ.  How much do you love the church?  How much do you love God for allowing you to be a part of it?  Ephesians 5, Acts 9, Ephesians 3, Acts 2, 2 Peter 3, Ephesians 2  Matthew 16.   

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Do we hang on to good news or do we share it?  If Hebrews 9:27 is true, what are we doing about it?  Every man is a fool that gets rich on earth but not in Heaven.  If we are not involved in sharing the good news of Jesus with those of us around us, we can’t possibly be enjoying the Christian life.  Bufe tells of visiting a man in prison who knew Bufe was telling him the truth about Jesus but he was afraid to make a commitment in prison because of other inmates.  When Jesus called his first disciples to be fishers of men, they left their nets and followed Jesus.  We will all stand in the presence of God someday and give an account for what we did with the responsibilities he gave us.  Not confronting someone with the message of Christ is the sin of omission.  Psalms 103, Luke 12, 2 Corinthians 5, 2 Peter 3.

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In the aftermath of the Waco incident, Bufe quotes a Rabbi and asks, Have rights taken the place of right?  Have causes taken the place of holiness?  Has pop culture and political correctness taken the place of obedience to God?  Insipid = dull, lifeless, bland.  Is that the church today?  Bufe talks about Joseph of Arimathe, a rich man, a secret disciple of Jesus.  Are you a secret disciple of Jesus?  And Nicodemus, a religious leader, who didn’t consent to the arrest and death of Jesus but didn’t stand up against it either.  Joseph ‘gathered his courage’ and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.  Nicodemus had an earlier encounter with Jesus late at night where Jesus told him he had to be born again.  Isaiah 53 in the Old Testament describes the death of Jesus over 700 years before it happened.  Joseph and Nicodemus were convicted of their sins of omission.  Are we guilty of sins of omission?  Isaiah 53 reminds us of what Jesus did for us because he loves us.  Bufe prays that the Love of God would completely overwhelm us.

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Are we salt and light to the world?  Are we plugged into Jesus Christ?  How are you living your life today?  Christians are fundamentally different from non-Christians.  Christians must penetrate the non-Christian culture.  Christians can influence and change society.  Are we salty salt and bright lights in today’s world?  Does the demonstration of your life match the words you speak?  Matthew 5 Romans 1 

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Great, uplifting song about our home being in Heaven and Jesus Returning for Believers.

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Are you feeling guilty because you think you don’t pray enough?  Paul says to stay true to the Lord, always be full of joy to the Lord, be a positive person,  and be at peace.  Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything, thank Him in advance, and experience God’s peace.  So, why do we struggle with prayer?  Even Bonhoeffer wasn’t satisfied with his personal prayer life.  Martin Luther spent 3 hours a day in prayer and yet he wasn’t even satisfied with his prayer life. Surgeon was another one unsatisfied with his prayer life.  We have made prayer a guilt giving discipline.  Paul says it should be an anxiety-relieving practice.  Jesus talks about prayer.  He hated hypocrisy.  He didn’t like the formal long, flowery, ritualistic prayers.  So many don’t pray in public because we think we don’t know how to do it.   Jesus gives us 3 things to remember:  1.  Don’t be a hypocrite trying to impress others with our prayers.  2.Don’t use a lot of repetition or use another voice.  Be natural.  Be personal.  3.  Forgive others so God will forgive you.  Philippians 4, Matthew 6, Psalms 66

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Why are we here?  What's our purpose?  Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, knew his son would announce the coming of the Messiah.  It had been 400 years since the Jews had heard from God, since the days of Malachi.  Find out about the priest, Zacharias, and his wife, Elizabeth.  Hear about Zacharias' doubt at the moment of angel Gabriel's announcement.  Questions:  Are you believing God for anything supernatural?  Do you believe the scriptures?  Luke1, Hebrews 11, Malachi 4, Isaiah 40, 53, John 5, 6, 8

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Beautiful medley of great hymns - 'In the Garden' with Rick Karraker in the lead, 'Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus' with Rachel Karraker-Hagenzieker in the lead, 'Grace Greater than our Sin' with Rusty Karraker in the lead, and 'Amazing Grace', all 3 harmonizing.  Bufe Karraker at the end.

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Great music, a thought-provoking drama, and a wonderful Easter Message by Pastor Bufe Karraker.  For many Easters, Northwest Baptist Church held their Easter services at The Saroyan Theater in Fresno.

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Who is Edward Kimball?  What was his contribution to the church in the 1850’s?  Bufe opens up his sermon with a vey interesting story about our lives can have an impact on the world.  Ananias was similar to Kimball.  Ananias ministered to Saul (Paul) after Saul was blinded by meeting the Risen Jesus on the road to Damascus.  It took faith and courage for Ananias to go to Saul since Saul was persecuting Christians at that time.  God takes ordinary people and pours his powerful spirit in them and works through them.  God wants to use you to get his work done.  Be ready, willing and faithful in service.  Acts 9

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