Summary: What if the Resurrection of Jesus had not occurred? Have you thought of the consequences and what the Christian faith would be like? Quote: “Christmas is the promise, and Easter is the proof.” But that proof Is called into question by skeptics.
BUT IF CHRIST IS NOT RISEN FROM THE DEAD, THEN WHAT?
1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you - unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: 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 by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. 12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up - if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most miserable. 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all died, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
INTRODUCTION: WHAT IF CHRIST HAD NOT RISEN FROM THE DEAD, THEN WHAT?
Illustration: Some bones from one of Buddha’s fingers were sent as a gift to the emperor of China during the Tang dynasty (618-970AD). They were later forgotten about and then found in 1981. The finding was a sensation to Buddhists everywhere, and the bones are now visited by many Buddhists. If someone claimed to find a finger that belonged to Christ no Christians would believe him because our faith is founded on the fact that there is no finger to find - Christ rose from the dead. This Is Resurrection Sunday. What if the Resurrection of Jesus had not occurred? Have you thought of the consequences and what the Christian faith would be like? Quote: “Christmas is the promise, and Easter is the proof.” But that proof I called into question by skeptics.
BELIEFS ABOUT LIFE AFTER DEATH
1. Views On Death In Christianity: “If a man dies will he live again?” (Job 14:14). Varies between denominations and individual Christians, but vast majority of Christians believe in some kind of heaven. Some groups (Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventist’s) teach “soul sleep” that at death the body dies and disintegrates, while the soul or the spirit rests.
2. Views On Death In Islam: Muslims believe that the present life is only a preparation for the next existence. Alms, fasting, prayers, and pilgrimage are often performed by the family members on behalf of the deceased. The body is laid on its right side facing Mecca.
3. Views On Death In Hinduism: Believes in rebirth & reincarnation of souls. At death, the soul travels briefly to another world & returns to earth to continue its journey. Bodies are cremated.
4. Views On Death In Buddhism: They believe in reincarnation: once a person dies on this earth, he will be reborn to a new life here and the status of that life depends on the work he did before.
NAME RESURRECTIONS IN THE BIBLE
1. Elijah resurrected the son of Zarephath's widow (1 Kings 17:17-24)
2. Elisha resurrected the son of the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4:35)
3. A dead man comes back to life when he touches Elisha's bones (Kings 13:21)
4. Jesus resurrects the widow's son at Nain (Luke 7:13-15)
5. Jesus raises Jairus' daughter (Matthew 9:25)
6. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43-44)
7. Many saints resurrected at Jesus' crucifixion (Matthew 27:52-53)
8. Christ's resurrection after 3 Days (Matthew 28:5-7)
9. Peter raises Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9:36-42)