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Resurrection: Hoax or Hope?, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2022 7:05 am

Resurrection: Hoax or Hope?, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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For some, Easter is nothing more than a traditional holiday and a time to celebrate springtime weather with family and friends. But for genuine believers, this coming weekend represents the miracle moment when Jesus, under His own power, defied death and redeemed mankind forever.

Welcome to this special edition of Insight for Living. Chuck Swindoll will pose an honest question about the veracity of the Easter story. For doubters and believers alike, we need to know, was the resurrection of Jesus a hoax or was Easter our only hope? May we bow for prayer. Dear Father, we thank you for your marvelous, amazing love that found us when we were not looking for you, but you were seeking us. And when you found us, you brought us into your family through faith in your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for your love that continues to reach out to others. Thank you for your faithfulness, your amazing faithfulness in regularly and consistently doing what you do best, reaching and winning the lost. Thank you, dear Father, for your amazing mercy administered to us in the great difficulty of a pandemic, and you continue to do so. You were there with us as we grieved the death of those we loved and lost. You were with us during times of suffering, during the difficult days in which we waited for the hard times to lift, and we might go on with our lives.

How amazing is your mercy? But mainly, Lord, we give you thanks for your amazing grace. Grace that has found us and saved us, people so undeserving. We pause to express our gratitude for your love and faithfulness, for your power and mercy, and for your grace, which continues on even this day. Use your word by your grace to touch the lives of those who are lost and to encourage those of us who are saved. How grateful we are, Lord, that you are there and we are here able to trust you through Christ our Savior, we pray.

Everyone said, Amen. Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia. Sons of men and angels sing, Alleluia. Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia. Singing heaven and earth with one, Alleluia.

Prince of heaven, our glorious King, Alleluia. Wherefore, death is not thy sin, Alleluia. God in mercy, all the same, Alleluia. Fair thy victory, O great, Alleluia. The singing word is done, Alleluia.

Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia. Death in vain, Lord, gives him right, Alleluia. Christ at open paradise, Alleluia. So be the word, Christ at plan, Alleluia. So be the word, Christ at plan, Alleluia. Pray for, pray for, pray for, all who pray, Alleluia. Pray for, pray for, all who pray, Alleluia. So be the word, Christ at plan, Alleluia.

A traditional favorite sung by the congregation at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. You're listening to a special Easter edition of Insight for Living, and now the message from Chuck called, Resurrection, Hoax or Hope? What if all this stuff about a resurrection is a hoax? Not a hope, but a hoax.

Just a bold-faced lie. Maybe the result of the imagination of a handful of disciples who couldn't get over their grief, the thought of losing the master whom they had followed for over three years. Maybe just putting together a story that sort of connected and sounded like a miracle would be a lot better than just burying him and going on about their work.

You know, scholars have been teaching things like this for years around our country and around places of higher learning around the world. In fact, some religions teach things like this that he really didn't die, but he fell into an exhaustion and was taken down from the cross and in the dampness and cool atmosphere of the tomb, he revived and he slithered out into the night and made his way ultimately fleeing to India. And in Kashmir, there is a shrine built in honor of Jesus. That's where his body is, they say, though it's never been produced. Many, many say that he never died. And of course if you don't have a death, you haven't a resurrection. So you take away the death, you've removed the miraculous from the hours and days following when he hung on the cross.

I mean, think about it. There are theories that have been built around that thought. They claim that he passed out.

The theory is called the swoon theory. He drifted into unconsciousness and then was thought to be dead. In fact, the report of his death was a surprise, you remember, even to Pilate, the governor, and when he was told that he was ready to be taken down from the cross, Pilate, marked 1544, check it for yourself, was surprised that he had so quickly died.

So he asked one of his officials to check on that. And with a shrug, he released the body to one of his friends and life went on, but did he really die or did he swoon? No death, no resurrection, no hope. Now wait, wait, you're thinking this is so ridiculous. Why waste our time?

Wait, it isn't. It went on into the first century when the apostle Paul wrote his friends in Corinth. After he had founded the church, he wrote about 1855, do you realize there were some in the church that believed there has not been a resurrection? And there would be no resurrection. You say, where did you dream that up? No, I didn't dream it up. It's right here in the book. I'm at 1 Corinthians 15, right here at verse 12 it is, where Paul writing his friends says, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead?

Did you know that? Did you know there were those that were a part of a church that Paul had founded, that still doubted there would be a resurrection? Paul goes there, let's go there.

Let's follow the logic of that and think of it as not a hope but a hoax, okay? Paul does, and in 13 through 19, if you will, I think of a stack of dominoes on their end, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. There are seven of them right here in these verses. If there is no resurrection, then this is the result.

Click them off with me. Look at your Bible. Verse 13, for if there is no resurrection of the dead, domino number one, then Christ has not been raised.

So you must begin here. Deny the evidence, ignore the words of eyewitnesses who spoke with him, met with him, ate with him, but it's not true. Christ is not raised if there is no resurrection. You must openly deny the evidence written in the Gospels and in the books that follow in the New Testament, for it is mentioned again and again.

Domino number two, keep reading. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless. Useless, the word, means devoid of meaning. It's smoke and mirrors.

There's just a lot of hot air. All the preaching of Paul and Peter and John and James and Jude and the martyrs and the reformers and the evangelists and the missionaries and the preachers and your grandparents and mine and our parents, all of those who took that message that he's been raised, it's all an empty message. Nothing to it.

Domino number three, keep reading. Then all our preaching is useless and your faith is useless. A little different word here, though it's rendered the same in the English. This means void of effect. It doesn't do for you what you thought it would do. You've been hanging on to faith. You've been determined to walk by faith and not by sight. Don't waste your time. Faith doesn't do for you what you thought it would.

If there is no resurrection, faith falls flat. Stop trusting. Just stop trusting.

Stop hoping. It's garbage. It's a lie.

Here's the fourth domino. Look at it. We've been lied to by those we trusted. Look at verse 15.

That's what it says. And we apostles would all be lying about God. For we have said that God raised Christ from the dead, but that can't be true. Wrong. False.

It's a hoax. All this stuff about resurrection, all those so-called apostles, liars, every one of them, Paul lied, Peter lied, John lied, Matthew lied, James lied, Luke lied. They can't be trusted. They're all a pack of liars.

They're all a pack of liars. Number five. Look at the next one. Verse 15. We apostles would all be lying about God if we said that he'd been raised and he hasn't been.

Now 17. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless. Hang on. And you are still guilty of your sins.

What you've counted on isn't a fact. You've not been cleansed from within. You're not a new creature in Christ.

You're the same old guy, same old woman. Forgiveness, wrong. Cleansed by the blood, wrong. Pardon from all your iniquities, wrong.

And I'll tell you, he gets downright personal. Look at this sixth one right here. Verse 18. All dead believers are lost forever.

Look at it for yourself. Verse 18. All who have died believing in Christ are lost. Think of those you've loved and lost. Your partner in life, you shared the faith together. If it was a faith, if there's no resurrection, it was a hoax. And you counted on death to bring about a transition and a transformation into eternal life.

No, no. They're lost. Although they were lost before, no, they're lost now if there's no resurrection. That includes your grandparents. That includes those whose bodies lie under white crosses all around the world, who died for their country loving the Lord at the same time. That includes your uncle who died in Vietnam, who loved the Lord. That includes those who gave that last measure of greatness, believing in the Savior.

That includes missionaries who left home and family to go to remote places to learn a new language, to acclimate to a new culture. They're all lost. They died lost.

There's no future for them. All dead believers gone. All those eloquent epitaphs, empty words, even though drilled into granite on tombstones, mean nothing. All pastors were wrong.

Even those great preachers that were part of your past, the words of Billy Graham as he carried the message around the world, and it wasn't the message. It didn't have content. You take away the resurrection, you take away the resurrection, you didn't have content. You take away the resurrection, it's over.

Arnold Toynbee was right. You produced the body of that Messiah and Christianity crumbles into ruins. Now they've not produced the body, but we're going through the hypothetical here.

There's one more and it'll put a catch in your throat. Look at verse 19. If our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. It's only a hoax.

The Christian life, it's a pathetic, cruel joke. This is a precarious point on which to hit the pause button for today. There's good news ahead, but right now it's important to consider the grave consequences for those who ascribe to fictional resurrection rather than a factual one. You're listening to a special edition of Insight for Living, and we're midway through a message from Chuck Swindoll that's titled with the question, Resurrection, Hoax or Hope? And please stay with us because we've set aside several minutes to hear an important closing point from Chuck Swindoll, including a grand Easter anthem you won't want to miss. But first, to learn more about Chuck and this ministry, visit us online at

And then let me give you a sneak preview of what's ahead on Insight for Living. People in our listening family often get in touch and inquire about finding a strong local church. So our next series is aimed at helping you identify the signs of a healthy congregation.

It's called The Church Awakening, and you won't want to miss it. Chuck has been teaching from Colossians, and today's message came from 1 Corinthians, and both of these letters were written by the Apostle Paul. Did you know that Chuck has written a popular biography on Paul?

It's from the Great Lives series, and it's called Paul, A Man of Grace and Grit. To purchase a copy of this engaging biography on Paul, give us a call. If you're listening in the United States, call 1-800-772-8888, or go directly to slash offer. Finally, a reminder that when you give a donation, you're empowering us to provide a constant source of Bible teaching for you and for countless others who've come to rely on Chuck as well. So thanks for doing your part to make these daily programs possible. To give a donation right now, call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888.

You can also give online at slash donate. And now, let's spend the remaining moments of today's program by listening to this important conclusion from our teacher Chuck Swindoll. His subject, the Gospel of Grace. For many years, I've heard and often repeated the words, you cannot separate truth from the one who teaches it to you.

The message and the messenger are inseparably linked. That explains why Paul wrote to Timothy to pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching. In the same way, we cannot separate the Gospel from the grace that brings it to us.

And never forget that it's grace that makes our message unlike any other message of religions around the world. Some time ago, I read of a British conference on comparative religions. World-renowned theologians and religious scholars from all over debated what, if any, belief was unique to the Christian faith.

They began by eliminating possibilities. Incarnation. Well, other religions held the differing versions of gods appearing in human form. Resurrection.

Again, other religions had accounts of return from death. The debate went on for quite some time until C.S. Lewis wandered into the room.

What's the rumpus about? He asked. Then he heard in reply that his colleagues were discussing Christianity's unique contribution. Among world religions, Lewis responded rather quickly. Oh, that's easy.

It's grace. The conferees looked at one another. Then after some discussion, they had to agree. Well, let's face it. Left to ourselves, we're awfully wicked bunch. God knows that.

Never doubt it. And he knows we're not able to pay back even the slightest amount of debt we owe. So when he sent his son, there was this understanding that he would pay our debt and he would pay it in full. So that when before the throne I stand in him complete, Jesus died my soul to save.

My lips shall still repeat. Jesus paid it all. All to him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.

No wonder the gospel is called good news. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white.

He washed it white as snow. I'm Bill Meyer, inviting you to join us when Chuck Swindoll continues our celebration of Jesus who paid it all. Listen Friday to Insight for Living. The preceding message, Resurrection, Hoax or Hope, was copyrighted in 2021 and 2022, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-02 01:14:05 / 2023-05-02 01:21:45 / 8

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