Summary: Victory, hope, the resurrection
THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD:
The Last Enemy
1Cor. 15: 12-34 (p 815) April 10, 2011
Anyone here today ever heard of a man named Charles Momsen…his friends called him "Swede"? Probably not, but Swede Momsen was responsible for one of the most remarkable rescue devices ever invented…."The Momsen-McCann Rescue Bell…
During the early years of submarining…if a ship sank…the crew died…there was no chance at rescue. In 1925 the Sub S-51 sank and all on board perished…in December of 1927 Sub S-4 sank…the difference was it was in shallow water…All her officers and men made it to non-flooded compartments…however, the majority soon succumbed, but six men made it to a forward torpedo room alive…heroic efforts was made to rescue these men…but a storm forced a stop on December 24 all forty men lost their lives…the last message the six men in the torpedo room tapped out to divers in this extremely cold water, 34 meters down was…."Is there any hope?"
It was this tragedy that motivated Swede Momsen to design and build a rescue chamber…it was this chamber that was used to rescue all 33 men on the submarine
Squalis in 1939. It took four dives and 13 hours…but all 33 were rescued in the first deep submarine rescue ever…no longer was a sunken submarine an automatic death sentence….now there was hope.
[Neal Straight once said, "Take from a man his wealth and you hinder him; take from him is purpose, and you slow him down. But take from man his hope, and you stop him. He can go on without wealth and even without purpose for a while…but he will not go on without hope"]
Folks, without the hope of the resurrection we are sunk…there is no chance for our rescue…and death wins.
Look with me at what the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Cor. 15, its on page 815. He's dealing with just this subject in verses 12 -19.
Read: 1 Cor 15: 12-19 (p 815)
You see what Paul is saying don't you?
I THE RESURRECTION IS OUR ONLY HOPE OF RESCUE
"If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith" (v 13,14)
If Christ has not been raised your faith is futile, you are still in your sins" (v 17)
"If Christ is not raised, those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost" (v 18)
Sin has consequences…sometimes those consequences are immediate and severe….embarrassment, disease, pregnancy, jail, broken marriages …horrible stuff.
But the most profound and final consequence of sis is death…"The wages of sin is death" according to Rom 6:23…Paul even calls it "the Last Enemy" in our test…why is it the last enemy?
When death is concerned there are no do-overs, no mulligans or second chances…"It is appointed unto man once to die…and then face the judgment. (Heb 9:27)
As far as life on this earth is concerned when you stand next to a casket or prepare to take your place in one…Hope is all you have left.
And as Paul writes to the Corinthians he is answering questions about what happens after death? And the Corinthians have been infiltrated with individuals who want to say…Nothing…there is no resurrection…its impossible for the dead to live again.
Even the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus day argued this point…the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead…the Sadducees did not…that why they were sad…you see!
Within the first century of Christianity a group of people called "Gnostics" arose. "Individuals who claimed special knowledge from God" began to teach that all flesh is evil, therefore Christ was not physically raised from the dead…it was just his spirit.
It's this heresy that Paul combats…and it's till a heresy that many promote today.
He says, "If they are right we are Liars about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ fro the dead" (v 15)
"If our hope is only in this life in Christ, then we are to be pitied more than all men" (v 19)
Paul's' saying….if I live my life for Christ and others and then on the other side of death there is nothing…you should feel sorrier for me than anyone else…I should have partied harder here….I should have selfishly given into every sin, because Christ's death was worthless and it doesn't matter….I've wasted my only chance to "eat all I want, drink all I want…because tomorrow I die and that's it…game over.
My Taps of "Is there any hope has fallen on deaf ears…" and not just for me, but for all my loved ones in Christ who went before me.
[Having stood next to my father's casket, and one of my best friend's caskets (Darrell) both committed believers and followers of Christ…countless other friends and church members…I can only imagine the turmoil caused in the hearts of these Corinthians 2.