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The Reality of the Resurrection

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
January 1, 2021 7:00 am

The Reality of the Resurrection

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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January 1, 2021 7:00 am

The apostle Paul's compelling evidence for the resurrection of Christ; based on 1 Corinthians 15:1-34.

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The thing that makes Christianity eternally distinct from any and every religious belief and the thing that causes you and I to be saved by what we believe is that we don't serve a dead holy man. We serve a risen Savior. In addition of Destined for Victory, we're glad to have you with us for Pastor Paul Shepherd's first message of 2021.

Well, you may already know that everyone who believes in Christ will have everlasting life, but by believing in him, we acknowledge that we believe several things about him. Today, Pastor Paul outlines five fundamental truths about our Savior, truths that were prophesied long before they happened and come with far more evidence than you might think. Today's message is straight ahead, so stay with us or visit to listen on demand. That's

You can also listen to or download the podcast at TuneIn or wherever you go to get your podcasts. Now, let's join Pastor Paul for today's Destined for Victory message, the reality of the resurrection. Romans 323, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. So Jesus came into the world as the one person who could redeem us.

Why? Because he wasn't just a good man. He was the God man. He was born of a woman, but born not of a man's seed, conceived by the Holy Spirit. So he was born of a virgin. That's the first doctrine of importance related to Christ that will save you. The second couched in the word Christ, the anointed one, is that he lived a sinless life.

See, if Jesus sinned one time, then he could not be the atonement for your sins and mine, because he's got his own sins to get covered. Jesus lived, the Bible says, he lived a sinless life. 2 Corinthians 5 21, the Bible says, Paul said, He was made sin who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. On the cross, God did the greatest exchange ever. He put all of your sins and mine on Jesus, who was perfect, who was sinless. The sinless Lamb of God, even under the old covenant, remember, when the high priest sacrificed on behalf of the people, the Lamb had to be without spot or blemish. When Jesus hung on the cross, he hung there as the spotless Lamb of God. And he who knew no sin became the sin offering for all of us.

Oh, I don't know about you, but that gets me happy. He became your sin offering and mine. All of our sins, past, present, and future, were laid on him. And on the cross, God accepted his sacrifice of his son. And as a result of that, the Bible says, you and I, who knew sin, now have had bestowed upon us the righteousness of God. When you stand before the Lord one day, you won't stand there on the basis of who you are, you'll stand on the basis of who Jesus is. So Paul says, you have to believe in Christ.

What does that mean? You have to believe in the virgin birth and the sinless life. The third thing is you have to believe in his substitutionary or vicarious death. You have to believe that when Jesus died, he didn't die because he did anything wrong. He died because you and I were sinners who needed to be saved. And so the first three points of important doctrine related to Jesus Christ are that he was born of a virgin, that he lived a sinless life, and that he died a vicarious or substitutionary death.

Look at what else Paul says as he makes these five points about essential doctrine related to Christ. He says he died for our sins according to the scriptures. Then verse 4 says that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures.

There are the other two. He was born of a virgin. He lived a sinless life. He died a substitutionary death. But before, he was physically buried. In fact, when you read the gospel records, you find out that a man named Joseph said, I don't want that holy man to be buried in disgrace. He was a wealthy man. He had bought his tomb ahead of time. And he said, I'm going to give my tomb to that holy man.

What he didn't know is he thought he was given a gift of permanency. But what he didn't know was that Jesus only needed it for the weekend. I appreciate your gift, but you didn't have your tomb back Monday morning.

In fact, you didn't have it back Sunday noon. I'm only going to hang out there for the weekend. I don't need a long-term lease. All I need is a three-day rental.

Oh, come on, somebody. I just need a three-day rental because on the third day, I'm getting up from there. Jesus hung out in the tomb Friday, Saturday, and early Sunday. And then the Bible says God raised him up.

God raised him up. You have to believe in his physical burial. Jesus died physically. He didn't just swoon. You know, there's that swoon theory, some religions trying their best to keep Jesus from being God. So they say, well, apparently he didn't really die.

He just swooned. He just kind of passed out and maybe had a low pulse rate. Well, no, the Bible says that can't be so because the soldiers were charged with the responsibility of making sure all three people hanging on the cross that day were dead before they brought them down. They got to Jesus and they said he's already gone. And not only that, but they brought him down. They wrapped him up and they entombed him for three days.

He didn't swoon. He was dead. And the Bible says he was physically buried.

And then the fifth thing and the thing that Paul is really getting to as he sets the record straight here is that on the third day he rose. God raised him from the dead. The thing that makes Christianity eternally distinct from any and every religious belief and the thing that causes you and I to be saved by what we believe is that we don't serve a dead holy man. We serve a risen Savior.

He's in the world today. The Bible says Jesus rose from the dead. And that's where a lot of people say, now see, that's where we have to part company with. We try to work with you Christians. But that's where we have to part company because Jesus is dead. Well, Lee Strobel wrote a book and if you can't afford it, I would encourage you to get a copy of it because it makes the case so airtight that the doctrine of the resurrection is not just our word against every other religion's word. But the resurrection of Jesus Christ is evidential. There is evidence, so much evidence that Lee in his book talks about the world's leading, the world's greatest attorney in terms of how many cases he's won was given the responsibility to examine the evidence for the resurrection and to see if it were legally defensible. And the conclusion that this man reached was not only that it is legally defensible, but that it would win any case under any circumstances is simply the objective facts could be laid out. Let me give you the four points that are expounded in Lee's book.

I don't have the time to do anything but mention them very briefly. But he, of course, lays it out in detail in this wonderful account. He gives four E's for the proof of the resurrection. The first E stands for early accounts. Early accounts. That is to say the Bible talks about the resurrection account very early.

We're not talking about something that only evolved as a theory or an idea decades or centuries later. But the people who were Christ contemporaries all vouched not only for his death and his burial, but the Bible talks about how early we receive the information that he rose. The very morning that he rose, the word began to be spread that Jesus is alive.

He talks about the early accounts. The second E is the empty tomb. If Jesus is dead, where's his body? Where's his body? You say, well, see, after all these centuries, they could have done anything with it.

No, no, no, no, no. Look at the account. The people in his day could not afford to let people believe that he rose. So both the Romans and the Jewish establishment had a vested interest in making sure Jesus was known to be dead. If there was a body, they'd have found it and they'd have paraded it up and down the streets and said, see that? He's dead.

They couldn't do it. You know why? Because he's not dead. He rose.

The empty tomb is a fact, an evidential fact. Stay with us for only about halfway through today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. We want to thank all of you whose prayers and financial support helped Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world, as uncertainty still lingers here in America and around the world. Your support is even more critical today because in times of crisis like this, people are often more willing to have conversations about Jesus or to listen to Christian radio programming like Destined for Victory. That's why your gifts are so important today. Give online safely and securely from our website,, or give us a call at 855-339-5500.

Once again, that's 855-339-5500. Contrary to what many may think, the evidence for the resurrection of Christ is overwhelming. One of the most convincing pieces of that evidence is the empty tomb. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, the reality of the resurrection. Number three, the 30 stands for eyewitness testimony.

Now, this is what seals the deal for sure. Right here in this text, Paul says Jesus' resurrection was proven by the people who saw him. Well, who was it? Just a few folks who saw him.

You know, in today's world, a crime can be established by the testimony of a single witness, ideally two or three. But there are a whole lot of folks in jail today because a single person said that was him. Is there any doubt? No, no, no, no, that was him. Did you see that mark on his hand? I saw that mark.

That was him. And there are folks in jail on the word of a single witness. Now, it is true a single witness can be wrong. In fact, we're finding out now with the evolution of DNA science and what have you, there are people who are being exonerated because DNA evidence is proving that they were misidentified by a witness. So you say, well, we can't take the word of a witness. We can't even take the word of two or three.

They could be mistaken. Well, that's why Paul said not only did the first few folks who showed up at the tomb discover that he was alive, but then he said, go tell my disciples and Peter, singled out Peter because Peter had denied him and Peter would have thought he was disqualified. But Jesus said, I didn't die just to disqualify you the first time you do something wrong. And I'm here to tell somebody who's sitting here feeling disqualified that Jesus did too much on the cross for you to be disqualified because of what you've done wrong. What you got to do is get to the cross and say, Lord, forgive me. God, straighten out my life. God, I want to serve you.

I don't want to live this way anymore. And the blood of Jesus will cleanse you. So he said, go tell my disciples and Peter to meet me. So the Bible says he was seen not only by Mary and those who arrived early at the tomb, but then he was seen by the 12. Then the Bible says he also was seen by over 500 people. Now, when over 500 people show up on the witness list and all of them said, I didn't hear he was alive, I saw him.

Over 500 people. It's an airtight case. And the Bible says that there was eyewitness testimony. And then the fourth E that Strobel talks about in his book is the emergence of the church. And he simply makes the valid point that the church emerged and has survived all of these centuries, all kinds of unspeakable persecution because we knew that we were serving a risen Christ. We're serving a risen Christ. Now, you know, a lot of folks will do something just for their belief system. There are people who lay down their life just for what they believe. We've seen it happen in today's world.

Terrorists are laying down their life just because of their belief system, not because of anybody living, just because of what they believe. Well, the church has gone through what it's going through, not because of what we believe, but because of the living one that we serve. That's why the church is and will always be the most outstanding, the most curious, the most mind-boggling organization in the world because we are the people of a living God, a living Savior who not only gave us a set of beliefs, but who lives with us. Hymn writer said, he walks with me, he talks with me, he tells me that I am his own. I know he's alive.

I just talked to him. And he speaks to us and he leads us by his Spirit and he's changing our lives and conforming us to the image of his Son. And so Paul says, this is a doctrine of first importance that you believe in the resurrection of Christ. And of course, what he does is goes on from verses 12 all the way down through about 34 to make the point that if Christ isn't risen, then all that we're doing and all that we believe is in vain. It is of first importance that we understand that Christianity is not a religion in the ultimate sense. It's a relationship with a living Savior. It's a relationship with a living Savior.

And he wraps up this whole first half of chapter 15 by saying that's why, number one, you got to be careful who you hang out with. He said in verse 33, bad company corrupts good character. See, when you believe and walk with a living Savior, you can't walk with everybody else because there are some people who are so offended by the message of the resurrection. They're so offended by the empty tomb until they cannot stand to walk with you. So my friend, don't be surprised as you walk with Christ that your crowd thins out. And God has to bring along those who walk with him as well to walk with you. And that's why we've got to learn to be unified in the body of Christ because when it's all said and done, we're all each other has. Because if you haven't noticed it, there's a very subtle form of persecution in today's America. We're not being overtly persecuted in the way that many of our brothers in other parts of the world are being persecuted. But just watch us in America.

They are slowly turning up the heat. They are making everything else acceptable except the empty tomb. You can get on these shows and just spout the stupidest theories. I mean, you sit and listen to folk and what they believe, some of these actors who have bought into some of these mystic religions now. And because we watch them on film, we'll sit and watch them interviewed and then they'll sit up there and talk about believing in something where some spaceship folk came down. And we'll sit up and say, oh, that's very interesting. But you get on the show and talk about, I believe that Jesus is alive, that he's going to judge both the living and the dead. So we need to get our lives in order.

We have to go to commercial break. He said bad company corrupts good character. And then look at verse 34 and I wrap it up. He says, come back to your senses as your heart and stop sinning, for there are some who are ignorant of God. Brothers and sisters, since we believe that which is of first importance, how diligent ought we be about the way we live our lives?

Because we know that one day this Christ will judge the living and the dead. What would you do differently if you knew that the Lord were going to call you home later today? What people do you have to get something straight with?

What qualities do you need to offer? What attitude do you need to repent of? What actions do you need to denounce? The Bible says, Paul says, come to your senses. We are serving a risen Savior, full of grace and truth, but don't be deceived. He is going to judge both the living and the dead. He says, so cut out your sinning.

Stop living like you are your own God and come to understand that you will stand before the Lord one day and answer to Him for the life you've lived. The Bible says this is a very real thing, that it is appointed once to every man to die. You say, but I'm healthy. You don't have to be sick to die. You don't have to be sick to die. But I jog and I take all the right of vitamins. You can die jogging to the health food store.

Come on, come on now. There's no guarantee there are healthy people dying every day. Just drop and folks can just, I don't know what happened. I do, they died. They died. It's appointed once to every man to die.

You say you had to be sick to go? And look at this crazy world we're living in. You can be driving ever so carefully, minding your business, but some fool who got behind the wheel after drinking all day slammed you into eternity. Some bullet that didn't have your name on it heads in your direction.

Some traffic accident, you just happened to be there. You're going into eternity as I speak. You don't wake up this morning and say, you know what?

I don't think I'm going to make it back home. Everybody who gets up and goes out thinks they're coming home. They're planning for Christmas. They're shopping. They're out here paying $1,000 for a $500 PlayStation 3. Have you seen these crazy people? I hope you're not one of them because if you are, you're crazy. Out of your natural mind, people paying twice the price for something because I just have to have a PlayStation.

I haven't seen the game. I'm going to pay twice the retail price. People getting on planes, flying somewhere because somebody's holding a PlayStation 3 for them.

People on eBay bidding on it. Folks camped out. Did you see them on the news? Camped out. The first store that was going to get some Friday morning, they were going to have them, and the people started camping out Sunday.

Camp, I mean, had tents outside the store. They're all out there for days and nights, sipping coffee. I got to go. Listen. Jesus is going to judge the living and the dead. You say, what did he preach about?

PlayStation 3. If you knew the Lord were going to call you home, whatever you would do differently if you knew he'd call you home today, do it now because we know not the hour when the Lord will come for us. Be ready to meet our living Lord.

You know, when you get right down to it, we are here for no other reason than to worship God and enjoy him forever. That's why the Destined for Victory ministry exists because Pastor Paul Shepherd wants to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. But to do it, he needs the help of people like you, men and women from all walks of life, who are committed to praying for the ministry and offering financial support when you can. One of the best ways you can help is by becoming a Destined for Victory partner, joining a group of people who give at least $20 a month to keep these radio and internet messages airing the whole year through.

And today, the first day of a brand new year is the perfect time to start. As our way of saying thanks for your partnership, we'll send you a few thank you gifts, including one of Pastor Paul's most popular CDs, The Best of Let My People Smile. So call 855-339-5500 to find out more about how to become a Destined for Victory partner and make your pledge over the phone. Or mail your gift to Destined for Victory, letting us know you wish to become our partner.

Our address, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. And of course you can also become our partner from our website, Now if you can't become a Destined for Victory partner, but would like to make a donation today, we'd love to send you Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet, It Pays to Serve Jesus. You know, Jesus tells us in Mark chapter 10 that those who follow Jesus will receive 100 times that which they give up. Yes, there will be tough times, but as you'll discover in this outstanding resource from Pastor Paul, following Jesus is always worth it in this life as well as the one to come. Again, that's Pastor Paul's booklet, It Pays to Serve Jesus.

And it's our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory this month. The state of your life now is not what it is going to be when the Lord comes again. He says we're going to be transformed. We are going to be completely transformed.

What will this transformation look like? Find out Monday in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, a preview of coming attractions. And Happy New Year. All of us at Destined for Victory are praying God's best for you in 2021. Until next time, remember, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-09 03:37:59 / 2024-01-09 03:47:05 / 9

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