Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Corpse Is Not Good Company and Makes for Dead-end Conversation!

Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up; if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! --- 1 Corinthians 15:12-17

One very deadly heresy to penetrate the ranks of those churches professing to be Christian in faith is the doubt or outright denial concerning the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead three days after His crucifixion.

There have always been those vicious attacks directed toward Who Jesus is, why He came to this earth, what He accomplished while He was here, and what He will be doing in the future. His plans for the future definitely have much to do with the future of this world in which we live.

There are those who profess the Christian faith but who are skeptical at best and deniers at the very worst when it comes to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Those in this camp simply say something like this: “It really doesn’t matter whether Jesus was actually raised from the dead or not. It was His life and the way He lived it that inspires us and challenges us to imitate His life, etc.”

What difference does it really make? As much difference as there is between day and night!

Because He lives:

  • I experience His living presence with me wherever I may be each day – His assurance is, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” What a privilege it is to engage in daily conversation with Him and share expressions of praise and gratitude as well as the burdens of the heart.

  • I experience His power in the midst of the temptations and trials that sometimes come my way in my journey of faith in this world. He promised the Holy Spirit would take up residence in the lives of His followers – they would be empowered, taught, and given guidance.

  • I experience His provision when I am in need – His promises basically come down to this – I am never alone and He will take care of me, no matter what – He will make a way through the most vicious storms of life – one of my favorite promises is in Isaiah 41:10 which begins with these words, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God…..”

  • I experience assurance that I eventually will be in His place which He said He was going to prepare for His people. Now this is a place that makes the most expensive and elaborate multi-million mansions of the rich on this earth look like tumble down shacks by way of comparison! Because He lives I have assurance about my future destiny – to live in a place especially prepared for those who have repented of their sins, received Him as Savior, and are committed to obeying Him as Lord of their lives!

Face it – a corpse can’t do such things for you and conversation with a corpse? It’s strictly a dead-end experience! I have seen again and again people who took their last view of a loved one or friend who had died lean over the casket and say some words and/or kiss the deceased -- you know what? I've never seen the deceased person make a verbal response!

It’s an extremely sad and hopeless situation for those who regard Jesus as being dead and yet in the grave. Some of us know better, do we not? He is risen!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. --- 1 Peter 1:3-5

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