- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 9, 2005

The following is the prepared text for a sermon given yesterday by Luis Palau at the weekend-long D.C. Festival, a multimillion-dollar festival that was expected to draw tens of thousands to the National Mall:

Some of you were brought up in a Christian home, and then you became a hypocrite. No one can become a better hypocrite than someone who is brought up in a Christian home. We become little movie stars — you go to church on Sunday and all the parents in the church say, “Isn’t he a good boy?”

And then on Monday you go to high school and are a hypocrite again. And you say, “Luis, I’ve been a hypocrite forever — I don’t know the son of God, and I’ve gone too far.”

Listen right now. Wherever you are, Jesus Christ has His arms extended, and He says “come, come follow me, and I will forgive all your burdens, and I will forgive your conscience.”

The blood of Jesus cleanses you from all sin. If you believe that He has died on the cross for your sins, He will give a shower in your soul. He will bury the past behind you. He will free you up so that you can have a clean conscience and begin to see again, like when you were a boy or a girl with no sins.

My friends, listen to this, listen to the news of God: “Your sins and evil behavior I will remember no more,” says the Lord. Repent them with Me, your sins and evil behavior. When He says “your sins and evil behavior I will remember no more,” that’s exactly what he means.

But you may say, “Luis, how did He do that?”

He did that in the cross. I wish we had a cross back here, on the stage, a cross to remind us of Jesus, the nails in His hands and in His feet, a thief on the right, and a thief on the left. They spat upon Him. The Bible says they slapped Him around. The Bible says they grabbed Him by the beard, blindfolded Him, and they took their cane and their spear and hit the blessed Jesus on His head. They mocked Him and insulted Him, and the Bible says that the blessed Son of God didn’t say a word and the Bible says the soldiers put Him to shame and put a crown of thorns on His head. They fell on their knees and mocked Him and said, “Hail! King of the Jews! Hail! King of the Jews!”

Then they put His cross on His shoulders and He took it outside Jerusalem. And on a hill far away, Jesus was crucified. And about three hours into His crucifixion the thieves began to mock Him. They said, “If you are the son of God, get off the cross and get us off the cross.”

And then at midday when the sun was blazing hot, it became dark like midnight and Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

He knew why. He did it for our benefit. And do you know why God the father forsook Him on the cross? Because God the father — listen to this — laid on Jesus the sins of us all. Every dirty word you and I have ever said, every dirty thought we’ve ever had, every wrong deed we’ve ever done, God laid it on Jesus Christ.

I know it’s a mystery, I don’t understand it, but I’ve seen rich people and poor people, famous people and unknown people — their lives absolutely changed the moment they opened their heart to Jesus Christ.

If you believe, all your sins are forgiven forever. That’s what He did on the cross. And you know after death, there’s only two destinations: heaven or hell. I would love all of you to go to heaven. God says He wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. God says to man He wants you to be saved and Jesus to come into your heart.

I’ll tell you what you have to do. You have to open your heart and receive Jesus Christ. I did it when I was 12 years old. Whatever your age, it’s never too late to receive Jesus Christ. You must be honest and confess that you’ve sinned. Second, believe that He is the son of God — just believe.

If you believe that and He rose from the dead, all you have to do is open your heart and listen. He says, “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come eat with you, and you with me.”

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