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The Consequences of Denying the Resurrection

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
March 22, 2024 12:00 am

The Consequences of Denying the Resurrection

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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March 22, 2024 12:00 am

Understand why the resurrection is so important and what happens when you take it seriously.

Truth for Life
Alistair Begg

Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, March 22nd. Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead? It's more important than you might think. Let's continue studying 1 Corinthians chapter 15 to grasp the consequences of denying the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now one of the problems here with the people in Corinth was that they really enjoyed satisfying the appetites of the body. And one of their problems was that they were concerned about the fact that if there were a resurrection and there is a life beyond this one and we're to live in a straight laced manner, which is not what Paul was saying at all because he preached a freedom and a sense of real liberty in the Christian life. But because they were totally out of balance in their living, they thought what Paul was saying was sort of putting them in the narrows. And so they were concerned about the fact that if we don't get all the pleasure we can down here now, we're going to miss it when we die. And isn't that shortsighted?

But that's exactly where a lot of people live. So that's what Paul is working at when he's coming to this particular passage here. Now what we have to ask is, and I want you to notice something in this passage beginning in verse 12. Notice how many times he says if, verse 12. Now if Christ is preached, verse 13, but if there is no resurrection, verse 14, and if Christ has not been raised, then he says in verse 15, he says, if in fact the dead are not raised, verse 16, for if the dead are not raised, verse 17, and if Christ has not been raised, and verse 19, if we have hope in Christ in this life only.

So Paul is putting them in this position. He's saying, look, in these first 11 verses, he's talked about the certainty of the resurrection. Now he says, Christ having been raised, what are the consequences in your life and mine if Jesus Christ was never risen from the dead? So let's look to see what he says beginning in verse 12. He says, first of all, one of the first consequences of denying the resurrection of Jesus Christ is this.

Listen. Now if Christ is preached that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say there's no resurrection? In other words, the whole idea and the whole issue here is this. Is there such a thing as a resurrection from the dead?

That's the whole idea. Not necessarily and primary did Jesus rise, but the question is, is there resurrection? And their perception here was, there is none, and therefore, brother, live it up.

Just I mean really live it up because when they put you away, you are away. Listen to what he says. If there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised. Verse 13. If there is no resurrection, he says, first of all, that Jesus is a dead man. That is when they saw him hanging on the cross, nailed to that cross, bleeding and dying, when they saw him breathe his last breath and he cried out, it is finished, that was the end of Jesus. If there is no resurrection, he's a dead man. And if he's dead, what in the world are we doing here tonight? If Jesus is dead, we're wasting our time. What are we doing singing all these songs about him if he's dead? What hope do you and I have if Jesus Christ is dead?

The only thing you can do is what the other people of the other religions of the world do. And what do they do but they grope through life in fear and anxiety and dread, dreading the day that they have to die because in that moment, they're going to discover something that they have no earthly idea of any assurance about, maybe hope so, might. But you see when somebody says, well, I don't believe in such thing as a resurrection.

Now watch this. They say, now wait a minute, I believe in Jesus Christ, but I don't believe in the resurrection. Forget it. Because listen, if Jesus didn't rise, he was no more than another itinerant evangelist moving through that part of the world at that given time. If he did not rise from the dead, what assurance do we have about him and about anything about him? Dead? You mean Jesus died and is dead? What hope do we have?

What assurance do we have? So somebody says to you, listen, I believe in Christianity and I believe that Jesus was and I believe in God and I believe parts of the Bible are true, but I don't believe that Jesus rose from the dead. Let me ask you a question. Can you get to heaven and deny the resurrection? No. Now somebody give me the verse.

It's real simple. Romans what? 10, 9 and 10 which says, if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and shall believe in thine heart that what? God raised him from the dead, then thou shall be saved.

Let me ask you this. How many of you are depending on anybody else in the world to save you but the resurrected living Christ? Not a soul. If there is no resurrection, Jesus is a dead man and he is no more than some of the other great religious leaders who came through and who've died and who've gone and who have not been resurrected.

And all those people have is a faint hope. If there is no resurrection, Jesus is a dead man. And if he's a dead man, we ought to stop this whole foolishness about worshiping a dead man and go home. No resurrection, no living Christ. Verse 14, if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain.

That means it is empty and useless and worthless. So what is he saying? First of all, if there's no resurrection, there's no living Christ. Secondly, there's no living word. If Jesus, listen, if there is no resurrection, there is no living word because how can there be a living word without a living Christ? Who is the word of God? Christ is the word.

What is it that makes a difference whether we share the word or not? Because the living Christ in his supernatural resurrection power does what? He gives life and penetration and power and punch and life-giving force to the word. If there's no resurrection, there's no living Christ. No living Christ, there's no living word. Third thing he said, if you'll notice, the same verse, and if Christ has not been raised from the dead, our preaching is in vain. That is, we have no living Christ, no living word, and thirdly, no living faith.

But keep reading. Moreover, we're even found to be false witnesses of God. He says that what we're doing is we're just lying about God. We witnessed against God that He raised Christ whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. That is, if there is no resurrection, Christ is dead, and what we're doing, we are bearing false witness about God, that God said there is when there isn't. Listen, for if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless. Listen, God can do anything and everything, and He has done enough, but there must be a response from us of faith toward God. He says if there is no resurrection, we have no living Christ, and no living word, and no living faith. And notice what He says. He says our faith is worthless.

He says it's empty, it's vain, it's worthless. And all through this Bible, what are we taught? We are taught to believe the living God. We're taught to believe and to trust Him. Now listen, if there is no resurrection, what are we expressing faith in?

Only in ourselves, and how often we fail and falter to accomplish and achieve. Listen, where is there meaning to life if there is no resurrection? Where is there purpose in life if there's no resurrection? What destination are we moving toward if there's no resurrection? Paul says if, listen, if there's no resurrection, no living Christ, no living word, and no living faith.

It's all empty and void. Move on down to verse 18 or verse 17. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless and you're still in your sins.

What is he saying? If there's no resurrection, there is no living freedom within the heart of the believer. Listen, if I am still in my sins, I am still in what? Bondage. If I'm in bondage, I'm not free.

He says if there is no resurrection, what? No living Christ, no living word, no living faith, no living freedom. Freedom is a, it's just like a little smoke that passes by. But freedom and liberty from what?

Freedom and liberty to be able to walk with a clean, clear conscience before Almighty God. Freed and liberated from the tug and the power of sin in our life. Freed from evil's grasp.

Freed from the jaws of death. For for the believer he says what? It is not death but simply going to sleep and waking up in Jesus.

That's the way Paul described it. But my friend listen, if there is no resurrection, what are we but we are locked into the bondage of life. We are the victims of the imprisoning forces of evil in this life. Would it attack our body, our soul, our spirit?

There is no freedom he says. If there is no resurrection, we will die in our sins. Does it make a difference whether we believe in the resurrection or not?

By all means, it does. If there's no resurrection, let me ask you a question. What is it about Jesus Christ tonight when you pray tonight and you settle up with the Lord, whatever you need to do in settling up for any sin that you may have committed today. What is it about Jesus that makes it possible for you to lie down and breathe deeply and sigh, it is well with my soul. What is it about him that makes you know you are forgiven and freed? That he lives. He lives within my heart. How do I know he lives?

He lives within my heart. If Jesus Christ was resurrected, he validated everything he did primarily, his substitutionary personal sacrificial atoning, all sufficient death on the cross, which took care of my sin. I know that I'm forgiven.

How do I know I'm forgiven? That he died know that he was raised from the dead, that he went to the father, that he's living at the father's right hand in the seating for us and that he's coming back. But Paul says, if there's no resurrection, what did he say? He says, then you're still in your sins.

You know what that means? You're still in your guilt, still in the imprisonment and the bondage of all of the acts of disobedience and evil and all the jockey things in life that have brought you where you are. No resurrection? If there's no resurrection, my friend, what it means is if somebody could picture you and me, there'd be tons and tons and tons of weight upon us. We'd have to be bearing, listen, bearing all the sin.

Listen, all the sins of a lifetime would be rest. Listen, suppose you live 60, 70, 75, 80 years. How would somebody ever be able to draw a picture of a person with 80 years of sin? But my friend, listen, that's exactly the way some people are living.

There are a lot of folks who can stand up and look great physically, but if you had to look at their spirit, this is the way it is. Bent under the weight of years of disobedience and rebellion and pride against Almighty God. Well, let's keep reading. Look at this verse 18. Then those who also have fallen asleep in Jesus have perished. That is, if there's no resurrection, what? Then we have no living hope. No living hope. No living Christ. No living Word. No living faith. No living freedom. No living hope. Hope of what?

What he's referring to here is the hope of ever seeing any of our loved ones who passed on before us. When a saint dies, first of all, they don't die. They just get catapulted. God just takes them on. He just takes them on to glory with Him. That's what He does. That's why Paul didn't say, when you saints die, he said, when you go to sleep in Jesus.

Isn't that beautiful? Listen. You went to sleep last night and all of a sudden what? You may be rolling, tossed and tumbled. You pulled the cover up. You talked to the Lord.

Next thing you knew, next thing you knew what? The Son awakens you. It's a brand new day. You didn't die.

What did you do? You just went to sleep and woke up to a new day. That's what Paul says what death's going to be like. You just go to sleep and wake up to what? A new eternal day. And you just go through the Bible and notice how Paul described a believer facing death. He said, and those who sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.

Now listen. But you see, if there's no resurrection, you know what that means? Every time a saint, every time one of our friends, our loved ones, a church member dies, you just chalk that off. Just count them out.

That's the end of that and just keep moving. But if there is a resurrection which there is, what is it? It's what did Paul say? Here's the man who believed in the resurrection. He said to be absent from the body is what? Present with the Lord.

I've seen some great old saints of God who've lived their lives. You start talking about death and listen, you walk out of the hospital room and they've preached you a sermon. They're getting ready to die. And they're happy and joyful and confident and looking forward to what?

They've waited 60, 75, 80 years to look in their face. Don't tell them not to be sorrowful. They're not sorrowful. They're happy. Why?

That's what they've been living for. Probably most of us have some loved ones, some whose body lies somewhere. You don't have any loved ones laying around the grave.

I'll tell you that right now. Every once in a while somebody wants to go back to the grave and weep and cry over the grave. Listen, a Christian funeral isn't a time just to be sentimental. It is a time to praise the living God.

You know why? Because God has finished His work in the life of a believer and He's called them home. It's not a time to be just sorrowful, though there is sorrow at loss. But listen, here's the wonder of it. It is a temporary loss.

And the last thing He says in verse 19, if we've hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitted. That is, listen, if there's no resurrection, what? There is no joy. Let me ask you a question. Is your joy wrapped up in this life?

Then if it is, you're a perfect picture rollercoaster, just like this. Joyous today, not so good tomorrow. And you see, that's not the way God intended for us to live. We've been free, listen, joyous, happy, peaceful.

Why? Because we have the resurrected Christ within us. And what is our joy? Our joy isn't in things. If it is, you can lose your joy. Listen, but if your joy is in Jesus, let me ask you, can you lose it?

No way. If your joy is in any other thing in existence, you could lose it. But if your joy is in Jesus, you've got it forever.

You say, well, now I've got Jesus, but sometimes I'm not very happy. I didn't sing about happiness. I said joy. Joy is far surpassing in quality to what the world talks about when it talks about happiness. Joy is that inner sense of being right with Him that overflows when it's cloudy, overflows when it's rainy, overflows when it's snowing, overflows when the sun's shining, overflows when everything is right, overflows when the bottom drops out.

Why? Because my joy is Jesus Christ overflowing within me. And it makes no difference what happens externally, because, you see, Jesus is the other woman at the well. If you would ask me, I'd give you a drink, and out of your belly would flow rivers of living water, eternal joy.

Let me ask you a question. What would life be like? No Christ, no Bible, no faith, no hope, no freedom.

And what's the other one? No joy. Friend, wouldn't you agree that ain't living? So when somebody says, well, what difference does it make whether I believe in the resurrection or not? There it is. You say, well, I know people who have hope.

Let me ask you a question. What are they hoping in, and what are they hoping for? And is that hope an eternal hope? Listen, the only legitimate basis for having an eternal hope is that you have by faith received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, His sacrificial substitutionary, atoning death on the cross, His payment for your sin, and that you believe that He rose from the dead. That is the only hope, the only basis of your eternal hope. And my friend, if you've never trusted Him as your Savior, whatever your reason may be, the truth is you don't have anything tonight, because the Bible says when I receive Jesus Christ as my Savior, He becomes my life. Thank you for listening to the Consequences of Denying the Resurrection. And if you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-22 05:43:00 / 2024-03-22 05:50:21 / 7

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