Gateway Christian Fellowship
TEXT: 1 Cor 15:1-28 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which
I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. 12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
INTRO: Four friends were talking about death. One of them asked the other three, “When you are in your casket and people are mourning you, what would you like to hear them say about you?” The first man said, “I’d like to hear them say that I was a fine physician in my time and a great family man.” The
second fellow said, “I’d like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and a school teacher who made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow.” The third man replied, “I’d like to hear them say, “Look, he’s moving!”
Well, friends, I think most of us can empathize with that last fellow, but there is something better that I would like someone to say if I were lying in my casket. They are the words that Jesus spoke to Martha after her brother Lazarus had died. He said: John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
* Friends, this hope of resurrection, this hope of conquering death, are at the heart of Christianity. The Cry of Humanity! “If Man dies, shall he live again?”
* Yes, as Christians we very much believe that our faith in Jesus makes a difference in this life. Each and every day we are called to live in a way that expresses our love for God and for others. Yet, one of the most important, most powerful and beautiful dimensions of Christianity is the hope it gives that physical death will not be the end, but through a resurrection we will enter God’s kingdom and experience eternal life.
THE TRANSFORMATION OF TIME: Then there is the transformation of time. Before the resurrection, time was a limited thing. The Bible talks about the breath of life that we have in our nostrils, & then it is gone. And there is no promise that when we exhale that we will inhale again. Life is brief indeed.
James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
ILL. Sometimes when I’m shaving in the morning, I look in the mirror & think, “My goodness, I look old, but with a good night’s sleep tonight, maybe I’ll look better tomorrow.” Then I hear a still, small voice saying, “Don’t count on it. This is the best it’s ever going to be!”
That’s rather discouraging, isn’t it? You see, time is slipping by. It’s going so fast that it’s hard to hold on to anything, isn’t it? On this side of the resurrection, time is brief: But the other side: I Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
So the other side there is Jesus & eternity, & that changes the whole purpose &meaning & scope of our life: Paul Said of this side: 1 Cor 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.* Probably the time when I’m most thankful that I am a Christian is when I’m doing a funeral service for someone whom I know was a Born Again Bible Believing Saint of God, and I can say to the grieving widow or widower, or to the children and the grandchildren, “It is not over. Because of the resurrection, this individual will live again in the kingdom of Jesus.”
* John the Revelator said of the death of a Christian: Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. Today, We read to you out of 1
Corinthians, Chapter 15 where we will be exploring the first 28 verses. As we do, my hope is that the Lord will enable us to understand and experience the power of the resurrection in a fresh way, in a way that will provide hope and joy as we seek to follow Jesus Christ.
Let’s take a look at what the Apostle Paul has to say on the resurrection. He makes three basic points in this passage: The first is that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. This is the heart of the Gospel, the good news that Paul proclaims.
* Sometimes there is discussion in the church about what constitutes the Gospel. What is the message we as Christians are called to share with other people? Some folks suggest it includes the doing things? Helping the poor, experiencing healing, Fellowship, Prayer etc. These are really the results of the Gospel, but Paul makes it clear that this is not the content of his message: He gives us a succinct summary in 1 Cor 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for
our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: Jesus Christ: Crucified, buried and risen just as the Scriptures reveal:
Just as the Old Testament prophets had foretold. That is the Gospel, and from these events flow all sorts of great news. Jesus rising from the dead is the climax of the Gospel, and also the most difficult part for people to accept.
* Dead people tend to stay dead, (Vs16) 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: both in the 1st and the 21st Centuries, so Paul gives an impressive list of eyewitnesses who can testify that they have seen the risen Lord. He mentions Peter and the other apostles, and in Verse 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. and also another 500 people who saw Jesus on that occasion.
* This is apparently a crowd, which had gathered to listen to Jesus after the resurrection; it may even be the folks who heard Him give the Great Commission at the end of Matt 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
Amen. And suspecting there are folks who might be skeptics, who might say, “Yeah, right, Paul,” he also notes that as he writes, (Vs6) about 20 years after these things happened, many of these witnesses are still alive. He says if anyone has questions, go and talk to these people who saw the risen Christ with their own eyes. Paul, however, goes on to say, “Not only have I talked to folks who saw Jesus after He rose from the dead, but I myself saw Him as well.
Oh, not in the same way as Peter and others did, but I saw Him. 1 Cor 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
* This appearance happened maybe two or three years after the resurrection, when the Lord Jesus met Paul, then known as Saul, on the road to Damascus. It was this very special encounter, which enabled Paul to become an apostle even though he was not an eyewitness of the resurrection like the others. That is why he calls himself “one abnormally born.”
Well, you might say that was just a vision; that Paul did not really see the risen Christ, I think Paul would respond, “Oh, it might have been a vision, but I really did see Jesus. And while the other witnesses may have been looking for Him, I certainly was not. I believed Jesus was as dead as anyone could be. But, after what happened that day as I was heading for Damascus, I totally changed my mind. What I saw, heard and experienced proved to me that Jesus Christ is the risen Lord.” Because Of Paul’s total certainty of the resurrection of Jesus, He has become puzzled by some of the thinking in Corinth: 1 Cor 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
* This would mean if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Jesus Christ has not risen.
* Paul sees an intimate link between Jesus’ resurrection and the resurrection of those who are believers in Jesus. To deny one is to deny both. To say that one could not happen, is to imply that the other could not happen. So, to say that believers in Christ who have died will not be resurrected is very serious
stuff, because that implicitly is saying that Jesus did not rise from the dead.And that, Paul says, would not be good. If Jesus Christ has not been raised, Verse 13, then Paul says:
* #1 Our preaching is useless, Verse 14. It makes no sense at all to go out there and tell others about a Christ who is still dead.
* #2 Your faith is useless, Verse 14. Your confidence is not in a living Lord, but in a dead one.
* #3 We apostles are false witnesses, Verse 15. We are liars when we say Jesus is risen.
* #4 Your faith is futile, Verse 17. A dead Jesus cannot help you.
* #5 You are still in your sins, Verse 17, and still carry the guilt for that sin because God did not accept Jesus� sacrifice on the cross.
* #6 Those Christians who have died are lost, Verse 18. There is no hope for eternal life if Jesus is still in the grave.
* #7 We as Christians should be pitied, Verse 19. We are nothing but fools to go through hardship and persecution for the sake of Jesus, if He is not the risen Lord.
We have no reason to believe any of the promises Jesus made, because He is nothing more than a corpse rotting in a tomb. Paul says to deny the resurrection of Jesus is to rip the heart right out of Christianity and make it nothing more than an empty shell.
* But (point #3) Jesus has risen. Thus all those terrible things Paul spoke of in Verses 13-19-(Read) 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God;
because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. are not true, and Christians who have died will rise from the dead.
* Then in 15:20 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. OR “Those who have fallen asleep” is a 1st Century euphemism for those Christians who have died. Because of the resurrection, Paul sees death as temporary, so in a sense our bodies are sleeping in the grave, waiting to be awakened by the Lord at the resurrection.
Paul then goes on to explain how this is going to work. In Verses 21 and 22 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. He says that Jesus Christ is the source of resurrection and life, just as Adam was the
source of sin and death. In Verse 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. he says that Jesus� resurrection from the dead, which occurred in about 33 A.D., is the firstfruits, a Jewish term for the first produce that was harvested and offered to the Lord. Jesus� resurrection is an important promise that those who trust in Him will be resurrected as well. This will not, however, happen until the end of the age. Then, 15:24-26 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
* Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the beginning of the conquest of death. That conquest will be complete; death will be totally defeated when those who are believers in Christ are raised from the dead. To use an historical analogy, the resurrection of Jesus is like D-Day when the Allies landed on the coast of Normandy in France. That event marked the beginning of the end of the Nazi Regime. Jesus’ resurrection marks the beginning of the end of the reign of sin and death. The resurrection of believers is like V-E Day, Victory in Europe, when Nazi Germany surrendered and the war was over. When the resurrection occurs at the end of human history, the battle with evil, sin and death will be over. The victory will be God’s, but we will be able to enjoy it throughout eternity. We know this will happen, because we know Jesus is risen from the dead. Now, before we go on, I want to try to answer a couple of questions which come up sometimes when people study this passage: The first question is: Is Paul talking about everyone being raised from the dead, or just Christians? I believe he is just talking about Christians. Verse 22 says, “…in Christ all will be made alive,”
* And some claim this means that every human being will eventually be saved, whatever religion they follow, or whether or not they even believe in God. But I think Paul clearly means that all who are believers will be made alive. (Jn 3:5) In the next verse it further compliments my argument, verse, 23, he says: 1 Cor 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
* Those that are Christ’s will be raised, and the entire New Testament makes it clear that some people will experience eternal life with the Lord, while others will face eternal punishment, or hell.
* Throughout this chapter Paul is speaking of the resurrection of Christian believers, what John calls the first resurrection, what many Christians believe happens before Christ returns to rule on earth. The resurrection for judgment, or the resurrection of the wicked and all those who don’t know Christ, is not Paul’s topic here. That is the second resurrection and occurs right before the great white throne of judgment which is described in Revelation 20:11-15. So in this text Paul is only talking about Christians being raised from the dead.
Thus, the resurrection hope we are talking about belongs only to those of us who are Christians. Being religious or going to church is not enough. We must be Born Again! The second question is: Does this passage teach that God the Father is inferior to the son? Having Need to be delivered up by him? No,it
does not. In 1 Cor 15:25-28 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. Paul teaches that the Son will make everything subject because implied is that he is the father: “be made subject”. Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. What does this truth that
Paul teaches on this topic mean for us? Let me mention three things: First, a Jesus who did not rise from the dead is not the real Jesus. One thing which is clear in our text today is that the resurrection plays a very central role in the ministry of Jesus Christ.
* Now, that probably seems obvious to most of us, but there are folks who claim that the bodily resurrection of Jesus is just a myth. For example, in Peter Jennings special report, The Search For Jesus, Jennings featured Dr. Marvin Meyer who claims that the early Christians borrowed the idea of the resurrection from the pagan Roman mystery religions. Members of The Jesus Seminar have suggested that Jesus did not really die on the cross that first Good Friday. Instead He merely fainted, was put in the tomb and by Easter had been revived and came out, giving the disciples the impression He had risen from the dead.
* They don’t really explain how He was able to move the huge stone which blocked the tomb entrance, or how He was able to overpower the Roman guards who were keeping watch, but these folks don’t like to be confused by the facts.
They ignore the truth that there is more historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived. What I find most disturbing is that these people claim they are not attacking Christianity, but are just helping us see the truth about Jesus by stripping away some of the myth that has surrounded Him. Baloney! Paul makes it clear that the resurrection is at the heart of the Gospel, at the heart of the Jesus story. To talk about a Jesus who lived and died but did not rise from the dead is to talk about an imaginary Christ.
* A Jesus who did not conquer death is no more real that an Elvis Presley and a JFK that are really alive in Cuba?
* The real Jesus rose from the grave on Easter Sunday, and forty days later ascended to heaven, from which one day He will return to rule this earth as the living Lord and King. Fro the Lord himself shall decend
* Friends, any church which teaches that Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead is not a Christian church. It might be a church that does good things, it might be a church full of nice people, but it is not a Christian church.
* Any church that allows pastors and teachers who deny the resurrection to retain their positions in the church is not functioning as a Christian church. Christianity, the Gospel, is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. To deny it is to rip the heart out of Christianity. Secondly, Paul says that because of the resurrection, we don’t need to fear death. Now, I tend to think being afraid of dying is a very natural emotion. Oh, I know there are folks who claim to be unfazed by the prospect, but I suspect most of them really think: “I’m not afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” I would argue that even as Christians we don’t need to be ashamed with being uncomfortable with death. After all, as Paul tells us at the end of this chapter, Verses: 1 Cor 15:51-58 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord
* Death is an enemy that will be only completely defeated on that great day of resurrection. So, it is OK to be uncomfortable with the thought of our own death.
* In fact, for those folks, often young people and others, who see death as something that only happens to someone else, it is important to come to grips with the truth that it is a universal reality, that 100 years from now it is unlikely that any of us will still be alive. So we don’t need to be comfortable with the thought of death, but as Christians we should not be afraid. When someone close to us dies, Paul says in 1Thes 4:13-15 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. Paul is saying that it is OK to grieve for that friend or family member, but we should not grieve as those who have no hope. The reason we can face death with courage and hope is the resurrection. Because Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead, we know that we who are believers will one day be raised as well. My body will one day be put in a grave, not to rot, but to wait for that marvelous day of resurrection. A. Then there is the transformation of life, itself. Have you listened to the message of the world lately? Have you listened to the message of despair that comes over the TV screen? Have you listened to the hopelessness that seems to surround us every day?
* New wars are breaking out. There are diseases for which we have no cures. There are problems in the home. Children are being abused. People are sleeping on the streets.
* If you watch & listen to it very long, you can become filled with despair. Listen, people, if the only hope that we have is the hope that this world offers, we have no hope because the message of this world is despair.
* How do you feel about your life this morning? Are you pleased with it? Do you like the way it is going? Do you feel that you’re accomplishing everything God wants you to accomplish?
We read again & again of people whose lives seem to have no direction, people who have lost hope, people who can’t find jobs, people who can’t heal the wounds in their marriages, people who are hurting & wrestling with physical maladies. This life is difficult, isn’t it?
ILL. I think that One of the saddest figures in our nation today is a tall, slender man with gray hair who drives a white van down the streets of a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. He is Dr. Jack Kevorkian. And we call him “Dr. Death.”
He has assisted in the deaths of more than 30 people who had lost all hope, who didn’t want to live another day. And the saddest part of this story is thatthere are hundreds more who have written to him, “Put me on your list. Come & help me die.” Dr. Kevorkian – “Dr. Death.”
In contrast, Jesus said, “I have come to bring you life, & that more abundantly, to show you how to live, to bring you hope & joy & peace & love, to give you a reason for living.”
SUM. Even if life is wracked with pain, even if there is loneliness & sorrow, you’ll be able to go on, If you really believe in a resurrection, then you’ll find the strength that comes through Jesus & the power of His resurrection, nothing will keep you from it! As the old spiritual says, Jordan’s river is chilly and cold, chills the body, but not the soul. Death is not fun, but it is not something a Christian needs to fear.
The third thing we can learn from what Paul says is that we need to stop pretending this life is all there is. I think one of the most important verses in our text is 15:19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. This is something that I am afraid a lot of us have a hard time swallowing. You see, often we are grateful for our Christian faith because of how it makes our lives better right now.
* Because I am a Christian, I right now have all sorts of wonderful friends who are kind, generous and fun to be with.
* Because I am a Christian, I right now enjoy a marriage where both Santa and I are committed to Christ and where we seek to raise our girls in a way that pleases the Lord. (No more futile arguing)
* Because I am a Christian, I right now get to read all sorts of interesting Christian books, listen to all sorts of inspiring Christian music, and get to attend all sorts of exciting Christian events.
* Because I am a Christian, I follow the commands that God has given in the Bible and I think my life right now is better because of that. The surveys say that on average, people who go to church do indeed enjoy better health, have happier marriages, are more successful in their careers and have more money
than people who don’t go to church.
* I enjoy being a Christian. Even if there were no resurrection, even if we all just die and stay dead, I have a feeling I would still choose to be a Christian, because it is a good life.
Friends, I think the Apostle Paul would be a little shocked by that type of thinking. He might say, “John, you are a little mixed up. Oh, I found a lot of joy in this life, too, but it is only a shadow of what is ahead for those of us who are believers in Christ. I also wonder if you are really out there serving the Lord and other people as you should be; if your life is as easy and comfortable as you describe. Don’t you remember Jesus’ instruction that we are to store up treasures in heaven, rather than treasures on earth, because that is where we will truly be able to enjoy them?”
* At most times in history, and in many parts of the world today, Christians have understood very clearly what Paul means when he says that Christians are pitiful fools if there is no resurrection.
* People in places like China, Sudan, Indonesia and India would have to be nuts to try to follow Jesus if they did not believe in the resurrection. Their life here is not easier because they are Christians; it is harder, and yet they look forward to what is ahead.
I have some friends who have served as missionaries in Delhi, India, for a number of months: They told me of the horrible things that are being perpetrated by Hindu mobs, of deaths, and beatings etc.
It has become a dangerous thing to be a Christian in northern India. Yet, because we have dedicated missionaries and Church family over there and some with young children, possibly risking their lives.
* If there is no resurrection then Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense for them to move back to Wisconsin? Aren’t they being rather foolish? Now if there is resurrection? Jesus has risen from the dead, because we too will one day rise from the dead, obeying Jesus is more important than even concerns of personal safety. Friends, we need to remember that because the resurrection is a reality, our
preparations for the next life are more important than our plan for this life.
* What kind of car we drive is not nearly as important as how we treat the people around us.
* How much money we have in the bank is not nearly as important as our willingness to share whatever we have with others.
* How successful we are in sports, academics, or other activities is not nearly as important as how faithful we are in serving the Lord in our church.
* What other people think of us is not nearly as important as what God thinks of us.
* Because the resurrection is a reality, the most important goal we can have is that one day, when this life is over, the Lord will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”Friends, the resurrection is a reality. Jesus Christ really did rise from the dead. Those of us who trust in Him as Lord and are baptized in the name of Jesus are the only ones who will experience this resurrection! Our Lord and Savior Jesus really rise from the dead one day. And one day shortly if the Rapture does not come first then we will rise and that is a great reason to celebrate!
ILL. In Henry Garrity’s book, “Portraits of Perseverance,” Carl was a very rich man who owned a great estate. One of his favorite pastimes was riding horseback through his valley, looking at everything he owned & congratulating himself on his great wealth.
One day, as Carl was riding along, he came up over a hill & in the distance saw one of his tenant farmers, an old man named Hans. It was lunch time, & Hans had set a little table under a shade tree & was getting ready to eat. But before he ate, he bowed his head & folded his hands in prayer to thank God for
Carl watched the old man as he prayed. Then he looked at his meal. It was only a slice of coarse bread & a piece of cheese. With a sneer Carl said, “If that’s all I had to eat, I wouldn’t even bother to pray.” Hans replied humbly, “It’s enough, & I’m thankful that God has provided it.”
Taken aback by the old man’s answer, Carl turned his horse & prepared to ride away. But before he could leave, old Hans said, “Wait a minute. I need to tell you something. I had a dream last night. In my dream I saw a beautiful scene, & then I heard a voice saying, `Tonight the richest man in the valley will die. Tonight the richest man in the valley will die.”
“Poppycock!” said Carl as he rode off toward home. But as he was riding, the words of old Hans haunted him, “Tonight the richest man in the valley will die.” Up to then he had felt quite well, but now he was beginning to experience pains in his chest. He wondered, “Could it possibly be true? Am I going to die
When he reached home he called his doctor & told him of old Han’s dream & of the pains that he had been feeling. The doctor said, “Well, it doesn’t sound like anything you ought to be concerned about, but just to put your mind at ease, I’ll come over & examine you.”
So the doctor did. After the examination was over he said, “Carl, you’re as strong as a horse. There’s no way you’re going to die tonight.” Carl said, “Well, I feel mighty foolish that I paid any attention at all to the old man’s dream about the richest man in the valley dying tonight.”
Reassured, Carl went to bed. The next morning there was a knock on his door, & the messenger said, “Carl, old Hans died last night.” Truly, the richest man in the valley died last night.
SUM. Paul wrote, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” You see, the resurrection makes the difference.
CONCL. Before, things seemed so important. But now they have become pretty insignificant. Before, time was so limited. But now there is all eternity. Before, life was filled with despair. But now it has purpose & direction & meaning. Before, death was the end. But now it is the beginning. So whatever your decision may be this morning, we offer His invitation, & we pray that you will respond to it as we stand & as we sing together.
WHAT DOES THE RESURRECTION PROVE?: Acts 2:22 First Apostolic Message preached by Peter. Peter Indicts the Hearer for the Death.
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. Ps 16:10
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.This is clearly a Prophecy of Resurrection, But to whom does it speak?
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. So Psalms 16 Predicts the Resurrection of Messiah from the Dead.