Summary: Millions Worldwide Celebrate the Resurrection. But What If Christ Had Not Risen?
“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain [useless, amounting to nothing], and your faith is also vain [imaginary, unfounded, devoid of value and benefit--not based on truth]. We are even discovered to be false witnesses [misrepresenting] God, because we testified concerning Him that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised, either; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless and powerless [mere delusion]; you are still in your sins [and under the control and penalty of sin]. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hoped only in this life [and this is all there is], then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied. But now [as things really are] Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, [and He became] the first fruits [that is, the first to be resurrected with an incorruptible, immortal body, foreshadowing the resurrection] of those who have fallen asleep [in death].”
A. PROMISES OF THE RESURRECTION
1. Raising the temple in the three days (John 2:18-22)
2. The sign of Jonah (Matt. 12:40)
3. Jesus prophesies His resurrection (Mark 8:31).
B. Millions Worldwide Celebrate the Resurrection.
C. But What If Christ Had Not Risen?
A. ALL PREACHING WOULD BE VAIN (v. 14)
1. Every sermon delivered would be worthless
a. All sermon preparation futile
b. All preaching preparation of energy
c. All listening to sermons a waste of time.
2. All the preaching of the past would have no value
a. The preaching of the apostles
b. The preaching of early church martyrs
c. The preaching of giants of the faith.
(1) Luther 's sermons that brought the reformation
(11) Wesley 's sermon that brought revival to England
(111) Moody 's sermons that brought thousands to Christ.
3. If Christ has not risen , we shouldn't be here.
B. ALL FAITH WOULD BE VAIN (v. 14)
1. Faith . . . that saves the soul (Acts 16:31)
a. That brings peace with God (Rom. 5:1)
b. That accepts the gift of grace (Eph. 2:8-9).
2. Faith . . . That makes prayer powerful
a. "If thou canst believe " (Mark 9:23)
b. "Great and mighty things" (Jer. 33:3).
3.Faith . . . that brings peace of mind
a. "Be careful for nothing" (Phil. 4:6-8)
b. "Whom shall I fear?" (Ps. 27:1).
C. ALL HOPE OF HEAVEN WOULD BE GONE (v. 18)
1. The dead in Christ would have perished
2. Every grave would be a place of despair
a. No mansions prepared for us (John 14:1-3)
b. No better place waiting (Phil. 1:23)
c. No hope of meeting departed loved ones (1 Thess. 4:13).
3. Promises of heaven would be false.
D. ALL BELIEVERS WOULD BE MISERABLE (v. 19)
1. We would have believed a lie.
2. We would have spent our lives following a fable.
3. The joy we profess would have been a deception.
4. We would have traded earthly gain for a dream.
A. BUT CHRIST IS RISEN (vs . 20-26)
1. Gospel preaching is powerful and true
2. Faith in Christ beings forgiveness and eternal life
3. Believers go to heaven when they die.
4. Christians have reasons to rejoice.
B. We Will Rise to Be Like Him (v .20).
C. Christ Will Reign Forever (vs. 25-26).
D. Does Christ Reign in Your Heart?