What If There Is No Resurrection?
On a very cold November afternoon, I sat under a green tent with my mother's coffin in front of me. As a pastor for many years, how many times had I stood in cemeteries, offering comfort and the Word of God to those who had lost a loved one?Read more...
What If There Is No Resurrection?
On a very cold November afternoon, I sat under a green tent with my mother's coffin in front of me. As a pastor for many years, how many times had I stood in cemeteries, offering comfort and the Word of God to those who had lost a loved one? But this was my first experience of being on the other side of the casket. As I sat there, a shocking thought suddenly popped into my head: Suppose there is no resurrection
This idea was quickly driven away by my faith and confidence in Christ. But it had lasted just long enough for me to feel the despair and hopelessness of such a belief. To help us appreciate Christ's victory over the grave, let's consider what the outcome of life and death would be without resurrection.
First of all, Jesus would still be dead. That means our faith in Him would be worthless, and our message to the world would be a lie. Not only that, but Jesus Himself would be proved a liar since He claimed that He would rise from the dead.
Second, there would be no forgiveness of sins, no possibility of reconciliation with God, and no hope of heaven. Even the believers who have died throughout history would have perished, and we would have no hope of reunion with our loved ones. Without the resurrection, everyone's destiny after death would be hell.
Thank God, none of these scenarios is true. Our Savior lives, our sins are forgiven, death has been defeated, and believers in Christ have assurance of eternity in heaven. After considering how hopeless we would be without a resurrection, let's rejoice all the more in the greatness of our salvation.
The apostle Paul said it best: "For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins....If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead" (1 Corinthians 15:16-19).
-Dr. Charles Stanley
Do you want to know the resurrected Christ?
Do you yearn to experience the presence, power, and wisdom of the risen Christ? If so, that's good, because God wants you to But there's one thing that separates you from that kind of relationship with God--sin. You and I sin whenever we fail to live by the Lord's holy standard. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).and the penalty for sin is death--separation from God in hell forever (Romans 6:23).
No matter how hard we try, we cannot save ourselves or get rid of our sins. We can't earn our way to heaven by being good, going to church, or being baptized. God says salvation comes only through faith because "it is the gift of God, not a result of works" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Understanding how helpless we are because of our sins, God sent his only Son, Jesus to save us. Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life, and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins: "God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Three days later, Christ rose from the dead--showing that He had triumphed over sin and death once and for all.
Knowing God starts with accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior. He provides your relationship with the Father and eternal life through His death and resurrection. "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).
If you have not yet begun your personal relationship with God, understand that the One who created you loves you no matter who you are or what you've done. He wants you to be one of His own.
I hope you're convinced that you need the risen Christ in your life. If you are, you can tell Him in your own words or use a simple prayer like this: "Lord Jesus, I ask You to forgive my sins and save me from eternal separation from God. By faith I accept Your death on the cross as full payment for my sins. Through faith in You, I have eternal life. Thank You for providing the way for me to know You and to have a relationship with my heavenly Father. Please give me the strength, wisdom, and determination to live in the way that pleases You. Amen."
If you have just made that decision, congratulations You have made the best decision you'll ever make, one that will change your life forever
- ISBN-13: 9781682162545
- ISBN-10: 1682162540
- Publisher: Crossway Books
- Publish Date: January 2013
- Page Count: 6
- Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.6 x 0.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.2 pounds
Series: Proclaiming the Gospel