Summary: This sermon explores the consequences of not having a hope of resurrection and assures that, since Christ is raised, there is promise of resurrection for His followers.
The Hopeful “If” I Cor. 15:19
INTRO.: Today we conclude our series of messages on the “If’s” in the middle of life. I want us to consider the theme, “If there is no resurrection.” If there is no resurrection, we have no hope beyond this life.
Without the resurrection, the message of the Gospel makes no sense at all. The life of Jesus makes no sense at all, and our faith in Him makes no sense.
I. If there is no resurrection:
A. Christ is not raised. V. 13
1. Mt. 16:21 - Jesus clear prediction He would be raised.
2. Mt. 12:40 - sign of Jonah. Only proof He offered of His deity and truth of His claims.
3. Jn. 10:17, 18 - he has authority to lay His life down and take it up again.
4. If there is no resurrection and Christ is not raised, He must be a liar
B. Our preaching is in vain. 14
1. Because there is no Gospel. No good news.
2. Here is the Gospel: I Cor. 15:3, 4. Resurrection is essential to it.
3. If I had no good news for you beyond this life, I would never have started preaching.
C. Our faith is in vain:
1. ILLUS.: Where would I run for help if a loved one had a heart attack? The cemetery?
2. Who wants to put their trust in Jesus if He is dead?
3. Rom. 10:9 - this is the Word of Faith.: “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
D. The Bible was written by a pack of liars. 15
1. Resurrection is the heart of the Gospel preaching and teaching of these men.
2. All but one died a martyr’s death. One will not die for a lie.
3. If we don’t believe in a coming resurrection, we must doubt everything the Bible says.
E. There is no escape from sin. 17b
1. The resurrection proves God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins.
2. Rom 4:25 “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
3. Praise Chorus: “You came from Heaven to earth to show the way, from the earth to the cross my debt to pay, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky. Lord, I lift Your Name on high.”
F. We will never see our loved ones again following death. 18
1. I believe the promised reunion is the best part of the Gospel message.
2. I Th. 4:13, 14, 18 - There is no encouragement.
3. ILLUS.: I had a funeral for a dear Saint in Illinois. It was January and as we left the cemetery, I looked back at the bleak, wind swept frozen landscape and thought, “Thank God she is in a better place than this.” The cemetery is not the end.
G. We would be most pitiable. 19
1. Because, as blind fools, we have followed and lived for a lie.
2. All our sacrifices would be worth nothing.
3. As Ernest Hemmingway said, “It’s as though we were a colony of ants living on one end of a burning log.”
II. But, Christ has indeed been raised from the dead:
A. The first fruits from the dead:
1. Refers to Jewish practice of offering first fruits of harvest to God. Anticipates further harvest..
2. Jesus’ resurrection holds the only hope for ours.
3. As Adam introduced the human race to death, Christ introduces us to resurrection & eternal life.