Summary: To establish that there are Christian Certainties that will provide hope and assurance to every saint. This lesson deals with the rapture, 7 years of tribulation, and the 1000 year reign. It is about the greatest story ever told, Christ's resurrection.
1. Christ is Risen
2. Christ is Reigning
3. Christ is Returning
1. In the world in which we live there are many uncertainties. These are perilous time. Stock market and bank crashes, stocks up and down, once a good means of financial security-now uncertain. World peace is constantly threatened. Terrorism is on the rise, now even in America. Gang violence so terrible, it leaves doubt that our children or grand-children will even finish grade school, much less high school or college; because of the gun violence in them. Someone has said the only thing that is certain, is uncertainty itself. Beside these, still another issue plagues our world, our nation, and the church; and that is religious uncertainty. In the early 1980s, a national group survey thousands of religious leaders concerning, the virgin birth, the miracles of Christ, and the resurrection from the dead. Many denied all these biblical truths. Others had no doctrinal stand. And some of our own brethren doubted these spiritual truths. But, Paul affirmed three things in our lesson text, which we will share with you this day.
2. First, Paul affirms the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Many theories are advocated today concerning this vital doctrine and truth. There are many false doctrines concerning His resurrection. To mention a few, “He just swooned away, but did not die;” or “His disciples stole the body;” or “the women went to the wrong tomb;” and finally, “He was raised spiritually, but his body has been turned into gases and is being preserved somewhere as a memorial unto God.” But Paul, declared: "But now is Christ risen from the dead," 1 Corinthians 15:20. And, if there be no resurrection: "Then we are men most miserable, yet in our sins, and without hope in this world and the one to come."
3. Secondly, Paul affirms that Christ is now reigning over his kingdom. And that we are subjects of his kingdom. He says: "For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death," 1 Corinthians 15:25. Note, He reign NOW, and will continue till He returns. Not He will begin His reign when He comes! Christ was raise: for our justification; to declare his Sonship; to sit on David throne; and to reign over his kingdom, "as king of Kings and lord of Lords," until death shall be destroyed; when Jesus returns to claim his own.
4. Lastly, Paul affirms that Christ is returning. First, at his return, there will be a resurrection of the dead. He says: "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming..." Further, “He (Christ) shall deliver up the kingdom to God." Not set up his kingdom. Finally, "He (Christ) shall put down all rule, all authority and power." Not take it up. Unlike many religious leaders today; Paul does not speak of a teaching known today as the rapture; seven years of tribulation; or a 1000 year reign on earth when He comes. But, rather when He comes that will be "THE END," 1 Corinthians 15:21-24.
BODY OF LESSON
I CHRIST IS RISEN
A. The beloved Apostle in this text states that Christ had indeed been raised from the dead. He says: "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept," 1 Corinthians 15:20. The resurrection was the subject of Jesus' teaching to his apostles for nearly 3½ years. Paul says in Romans 4:25, "Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification." Elsewhere he says: "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead," Romans 1:3-4.
1. Peter preaching on Pentecost, Acts 2:29-36.
2. Paul's preaching: "And the times of this ignorance... Because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, and others said, we will hear thee again of this matter," Acts 17:19-34.
3. The resurrection of Christ is an established fact in history, as well as his death, and his life. How can any accept his life and death which we learn from scripture; and deny his resurrection which also we learn from scripture?