Summary: If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
Dakota Community Church
April 24, 2011
Hope at Easter
But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
There have always been naysayers where the supernatural is concerned.
I believe this present age is particularly marked by faith in science and skepticism towards faith.
The Bible is filled with unbelievable stories, from Noah to Jonah, Goliath to Shadrach, from fire called down from heaven, to the feeding of thousands with a few small loaves; there is a reason we refer to ourselves as believers!
Something happened to us, something turned me from skepticism to faith; don’t get me wrong, that old skeptic is not dead, especially not when listening to current tales of the supernatural. When it comes to the Word of God though, where the Holy Scriptures are concerned – I believe - and I believe it all: hook, line, and sinker if you will.
But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Mark 4:13-14, 26-28
Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word.
26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.
First I was not a believer, I was lost, I was dead in my sin, I didn’t even care – in fact when the rest of my family began to take an interest in the things of God – I WAS HOSTILE towards them.
Then; all at once, I heard.
The seed landed on my hard heart, somehow it made its way into a crack in that rocky surface and took root; breaking, softening, and at last transforming – it is happening for some of you right now!
This morning we gather to celebrate the most sacred event in Christendom – the resurrection!
In our text Paul is addressing those who doubt this most important of supernatural events.
…how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.