Just What Would Be the Result of No Life After Death?
A. For the last 100 years, there has been an all-out constant attack against one great underpinning truth of the Scripture: the resurrection of Jesus Christ
1. Easter, & bunnies, & chocolates have replaced the Resurrection of Jesus
2. Sunday has become a day of shopping and pleasure only instead of worship. People are complaining about how “church” is interfering with their “weekends!” PUKE!
3. We have already seen how Santa has replaced the birth of Jesus
4. No longer are we even allowed to date our calendars from the birth of Christ, but just supposed to ignorantly just call it the year 2003 etc, with no meaning – i.e., that it is 2,003 years since the birth of this world’s Lord and King, Jesus!
5. Folks, people today want to rid themselves of the God of the Bible!
B. Well, what if all the nay-sayers are right? What if there were no resurrection? What would life, and faith be like if Jesus did not rise up from the grave? You see, the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity. Everything else that was said or done by Christ and the Apostles is secondary in importance to the resurrection. If the resurrection did not take place, then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth. There is no middle ground!
A. Here’s the Problem (15:12)
1. Death is our greatest enemy and it has conquered all men - except Christ. No man is wise enough to outwit death or wealthy enough to purchase freedom from death or strong enough to vanquish death. The grave always wins, and every person sooner or later returns to the dust.
2. In fact, the inevitable triumph of death applies not only to people, but to everything.
a. Animals die and plants die, and even whole species become extinct.
b. Cities and nations, like people, are born and grow for a season, and then fade away.
c. Homes and automobiles and clothes wear out and must eventually go back to the dust, just as do their owners.
d. Even the universe itself is running down and dying- not getting better
3. This universal reign of decay and death is called in the Bible "the bondage of corruption" (Romans 8:21). In science it has come to be recognized as the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This Law is now recognized as a universal law of science, with no known exception ever observed. It says, quite simply that every thing tends to become disordered, to run down and eventually to die.
4. The universality of the reign of death is the measure of the absolute uniqueness of the resurrection of Christ. All other men, even the greatest men and the holiest of men, have died. Buddha, Mohammed, Zoroaster, Confucius, Caesar, Marx, Hitler, Stalin – all were men who made a profound impact on the world in one way or another – yet, all are dead.
5. But the Bible claims that Jesus Christ is alive! It is true that He died and was buried, in common with all other men, but unlike the other men, the Bible says He returned from death, He resurrected His own dead body, He made it immortal, and emerged from the tomb, alive forevermore! This was the greatest of all miracles since the creation itself, and could have been accomplished only if Jesus indeed is God, as He had claimed to be.
6. Yet, what if He really DIDN’T rise from the dead? What would it Matter?
Here’s the Results – If there is No resurrection…
1. Then Jesus is a Liar, or at least, maybe a Lunatic (15:13)
a. If all of this is somehow a delusion, and if Jesus of Nazareth did not really rise from the dead, then He is no different from other great men who are also dead. He is worse than they, in fact, because He is either a impostor or a madman, since He staked all His claims to be absolute Deity on His promise to return from the dead.
b. Jesus clearly spoke not only about His coming death, but that He would rise again 3 days later (Mt 12:40; 16:21; 17:22,23; 20:17-19; Mk 8:31; Lk 9:22; John 2:19-21)
c. Jesus spoke about He Himself BEING the resurrection (Jn 11:25)
d. If there is no resurrection from the dead, then Jesus was obviously LYING to His struggling disciples – how hurtful could you be?
2. Then Everything, EVERYTHING we Believe is in Vain (15:14,17)
a. If one part of the Bible is not true, what else is a lie? Where do lies begin, and where do they end?
b. If death ends it all, and there is no resurrection, then all the doctrines in the world crumble.
c. All that a Christian believes, hangs on the truthfulness of its founder
d. And if our founder is dead, all that we believe is also dead with Him!
e. The gospel is not only about the death of Jesus on the cross, and not only about the burial of Jesus, but it is about the resurrection of Jesus (1Cor 15:1,2)
f. If you only believe in 2/3rds of the Gospel, your faith is vain – worthless, empty – good for nothing!
g. It’s like a three-legged chair, with only TWO legs!
3. Then Christians are Completely Deceived, Duped, Fooled, Tricked, Swindled, Taken in, Suckered (15:15)
a. The Christians just after the crucifixion were out busily preaching that Jesus was alive and well (Acts 4:1,2)
b. If this is not so, then:
1) Our Experience as Christians is only Delusion, only a Fantasy (15:17a)
2) Our Eternal Life is only a Dream (15:18) – all the dead are forever gone!
3) Forgiveness can never be complete
4) God’s Grace is simply Empty (15:10)
5) We Are of Men Most Miserable (15:19; 32; Mal 3:14,15)
a) We are hated, hunted, abused, and exposed to all manner of sufferings: and we take it patiently. We fare worse than other men in this life simply because we march to the beat of a different drum - but if there is no resurrection, we are a miserable lot, with no further hope than an atheist.
b) We have been restricted from having the fun of the world for no real reason, because we wanted to live godly! We tried to have Bible convictions, and kept reminding ourselves there is something better coming than what this world offers!
c) We have lived through troubles, yet with no real hope of a better day a coming (15:30,31). – if there is no resurrection!
d) We face death with no real purpose than to be food for the worms, and fertilizer for someone’s future garden!
e) So, we wasted all our time on a faith that could do nothing for us! What a miserable waste of time!
6) And, we are simply fools (15:30-32) for believing such a lie!
Then the Church of Jesus Christ is a Complete Failure
a. People are still in their sins (15:17) – what a fearful thought!
1) Job 35:3 “For thou saidst, What advantage … and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?” What good is it to be “cleansed from sin” if there is nothing to enjoy from it but a hole in the ground?
2) Ps 73:13 “Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.” King David gets all upset thinking that all his faith in God is of no value!
b. Faith, any and ALL faith is only vain without the resurrection. No matter how much you want to believe something, if there is no resurrection, there is nothing worth believing!
c. Pastors, Sunday School Teachers, disciplers, Missionaries, and soul-winners were wasting their time
d. Therefore, EVERYONE who ever died, is lost
e. And all the people alive today, are living for no reason – except to be part of some animal’s food-chain out in the future!
C. Here’s the Truth (15:1-11)
1. The Gospel is not about a good Man who died, but about the GOD Man who came, died, and ROSE AGAIN (15:1-4) all according to plan! Amen
2. Jesus was seen personally by seven groups of people (15:5-8):
a. Cephas – Peter in Aramaic
b. Then of the whole group of 12 disciples in the upper room
c. Then by over 500 Christians in Galilee
d. Then by James, the Lord’s brother (half-brother)
e. Lastly by the Apostle Paul
f. Not to mention by
1) The women at the tomb
2) The two disciples on the road to Emmaus
3. The Living Jesus Changed Paul, and changes ALL who believe (15:8-11)
a. Paul didn’t feel that he belonged with the other disciples
b. Paul had believed all the doctrines, and known all the OT Scriptures
c. But Paul had never surrendered to a Living Saviour who had conquered death, and allowed that same Jesus to save his soul – and change his life
d. When Paul DID get saved, he called it, “the GRACE of God” - power
1) To bring Jesus into the world – the power of grace
2) To live the perfect life, above sin – the power of grace
3) To allow wicked men to crucify Him – the power of grace
4) To die in our place – the power of grace
5) To RISE BACK UP AGAIN 3 days later – power of grace
6) To reach into the life of a sinner and transform it – ALL BY GRACE
e. Paul’s change is evident in
1) Labouring more abundant that even the apostle Peter
2) Preaching more – tens of thousands of miles, by foot and boat
3) Writing more – 14 books of the New Testament (Peter wrote only 2, James 1, Matthew 1, John 5)
4) No more persecution of Christians – he now loved the brethren!
5) Started the most churches
6) Trained the most leaders!
7) You need to ask yourselves – WHAT HAS THE GRACE OF GOD DONE IN MY LIFE!
4. The whole world Needs Jesus (2Cor 5:14,15)
a. If the resurrection is really a provable fact of history, then not only are His claims proved, but so are His promises.
b. Death is not after all, the great victor, but a defeated foe (15:55-57).
c. God has "begotten us again unto a living hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3). No salvation without it!
d. "Now is Christ risen from the dead ... even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:20,22).
Conclusion (See Revelation 1:17,18)
A. Because Christ Is Risen…
1. Then, Jesus Truly is the Way, Truth, and the Life – not a hoax perpetrated on the world by cunningly devised fables
2. The Disciples were not deceived and did not live the Christian life in vain. They turned the world upside down in just 30 years because of the good news about a LIVING Redeemer!
3. The Church Is A Mighty Army, still affecting this sin-cursed world, and changing it with the Gospel. Matthew 28:18-20
4. Our Salvation experience is genuine. 2 Corinthians 5:17
5. We have, present tense, eternal life. John 3:16
6. We who trusted Christ, are of all men most blessed.
B. Facts You Should Know About Salvation.
1. Everyone Needs To Be Saved - Romans 3:10,23
2. You Cannot Save Yourself - Titus 3:5
3. God Has Provided A Way For You To Be Saved - John 3:16,.. Rom. 5:8,.. Rom.6:23..
4. You Can Accept God¹s Salvation Today - 2Peter 3:9,.. John 5:24,.. Rom.10:9,10
Bible Baptist Church Blarney
29 Westcourt Heights
Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland