If the Dead Don’t Rise (1 Corinthians 15:1-19)

August 13, 2023

Series: 1 Corinthians

Don’t check out of 1 Corinthians 15. Don’t check out. This is one of the greatest chapters, certainly in the New Testament, maybe even in the Bible, because there’s a lot of rich, powerful stuff. Now, why is it so good? 1 Corinthians 15 talks about the Gospel. And what is the Gospel? That Jesus died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised from the dead. In a part of this chapter, Paul just reminds these guys, look, here’s what’s happened. Here’s where you’ve taken your stand. I’m just reminding you of this. Down through the ages, Christians have banked their lives on the resurrection. They have banked their hopes on the fact that Jesus triumphed over death. That’s what made our lives have meaning. What Jesus says, Because I live, you will live also, a lot of us hang on to that hope every single day that God, if the worst happens and I get killed on the way out of here in a car accident, I will get to see Jesus because He raised from the dead. Christians have been persecuted. They’ve been imprisoned. They’ve been beaten, verbally assaulted, and some even killed, but they would not renounce the resurrection.

The resurrection is that important. If you out the resurrection, I want you to hear me on this, you get rid of everything. You get rid of salvation. You get rid of the deity of Christ, you get rid of eternal life. The consequences of sin are no longer dealt with. If you wipe out the resurrection, guys, there’s nothing left. And so the resurrection is that important. This is a very important chapter for us to get into. I really want you to give your heart to it as we go through it. We’re only going to cover the first 19 verses. I believe we have 57. That leaves 38 for Keith next week. He’ll take care of the rest of them. But what we’re going to cover today is basically two sections. In section one, verses 1-11, Paul simply reminds them of the gospel. He reminds them of what the gospel is that they’ve taken their stand on and all of that. But what they don’t realize is that he’s setting them up for what he’s going to say right after that. He reminds them, here’s who you are, here’s what you’re all about, and now here’s something we need to say about it.

In verses 12 through 19, he basically answers the question as to what happens if dead men don’t rise. That’s the lesson titled for the message today. If dead men don’t rise. That’s the title of today’s lesson. Let’s go to God in prayer and then we’ll start reading in 1 Corinthians 15. Father, thank you so much for the privilege of being here. Thank you for the opportunity to get into your word, to study, and to see what you have to say to each one of us. Be with us now, God, as we listen, as we embrace the cross, as we embrace the death, the burial, the resurrection of Jesus, and the impact that that has on all of our lives. Be with us. Open up our hearts. Help us to see the seriousness and at the same time, the joy that we can have knowing that the resurrection is meaningful to us personally. So bless us as we get into this. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen. Amen. All right, let’s dive in. We’re going to look at 1 Corinthians 15, starting with verse 1. Let’s read together. Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preach to you, which you’ve received and on which you’ve taken your stand.

By this gospel, you are saved if you hold firmly to the word I preach to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received, I pass on to you as of first importance, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than 500 of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. And last, of all, he appeared to me also as to one abnormally born. For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God, I am what I am. And his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them. Yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether then it is I or they, this is what we preach and this is what you believed.

Now, Paul gives three really unmistakable proofs of the resurrection. I’m going to hit on what those three are because we’ll amplify it in a few minutes. But first of all, he says, Your faith, Corinthians, the Corinthian’s faith, their changed lives, their walk with the Lord was evidence of the resurrection itself. What do I mean by that? You don’t change your life radically for something that’s a lie. You don’t do that for something that doesn’t make any sense. The very fact that they changed their lives and they were different was proof of the resurrection. But he also points to a second proof, and that is that Jesus died and rose according to the scriptures. You can look at what Jesus says in Luke 24, he’s talking to a couple of disciples, and the Bible says he opened their minds so that they could understand what was written about Him and the law of Moses and the prophets. In other words, he said, Guys, I was predicted. I was prophesied, I was talked about hundreds of years ago by Moses and all of the prophets. And Jesus fulfilled all of that with His coming, and He did it in accordance with the scriptures.

They could search the scriptures and see that Jesus fit what was said about Him. But thirdly, there were living witnesses who saw Jesus. It talks here about how he was seen and touched by Peter, and that’s the name Cephas. It’s another name for Peter, by the 12 apostles. Five hundred of the brothers and sisters, all at once, got to see him. He appeared to the Lord. His brother, James, and many of them touched him. They handled him. They saw him. They saw the resurrected Jesus. I read a little side note from one of the commentaries for this study, and this guy was saying in the legal system, there was so much proof of the resurrection that it would be a slam-dunk case that you don’t even have to study that hard. Jesus fulfilled it all. Chapter 15 deals with the doctrinal issue here of resurrection. I’m only pointing that out because most of what we’ve studied, you get into the practicals and there were so many problems with the Church of Corinth. Again, you got to love Paul’s love for this church. He loved these guys. He liked these guys. He was patient with them. There was one thing after another, disunity, lawsuits among believers, immorality of a type that wasn’t even seen in the world.

They were bringing in worldly teachings and they brought that into this whole thing with the resurrection. But Paul lovingly and patiently and practically said, Okay, let’s talk about this. Let’s talk about this. He brought in scripture as a doctrinal basis for it. But this is the first place where he deals purely with a doctrinal issue that was going on for them. I want you just to be aware, the Corinthians believed in the resurrection of Jesus. You have to believe that. That’s what it talks about in Romans 10 verse 9. I’ll read this for you. Now, this is one of those verses, and I’ll say people will take these couple of verses, Romans 10 verses 9 and 10, they’ll take it out of context, and they use this as a proof text for how you’re saved. They would just take these two verses and exclude anything else in the New Testament they said about conversion and say, See, that’s all I have to do to be saved. Don’t make that mistake. While this verse is true, it doesn’t mention repent us. Luke 13 says, We must repent or we perish. It doesn’t mention baptism. I’m just giving you a quick side note, okay?

One of the things that I loved about Courtney Bailey with these Bible and Genesis is that he is helping us to see how to, in the King James version, rightly divide the word of God so that we leave a God’s message. That’s a little quick sidebar. There’s an important truth about resurrection in this verse that I want to point out. Verse 9, says, If you declare with your mouth, Jesus’s Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Guys, we must believe that Jesus rose from the dead. You can’t be a Christian. You can’t be a child of God. You can’t be a disciple of Jesus if you don’t believe that. When he talks to these guys, he knows that they understand that they’ve got to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. They’re not Christians. They’re not even right with God. But the problem that they had is that they didn’t believe in their own resurrection. They believed in the resurrection of Jesus. They didn’t believe that they would be raised. Then you say, Okay, well, how could you not believe that? That’s in the Bible, that’s all over the place.

Well, one of the things that’s come up repeatedly in our study is that these guys, they brought the influence of the world into the church. They brought the influence of people around them, especially the Greeks, into their thinking. In Greek culture, these guys believed in the immortality of the soul, but not of the body. They believed the body was evil. The soul is good, but the matter is evil. There was no way that they were going to embrace this idea of the body. What is a rotting corpse going to do anyway with the soul? That’s the good part and all of that. That’s how they believed. The idea of the body being resurrected was unthinkable. You have these Christians who were bringing that Greek philosophy into the church. In fact, you can see to what degree it was effective, what the scripture. We’ll look at it in just a moment. Well, we’ll go ahead and look at it now. In second Timothy 2:17, this is Hymenaeus and Philetus. Here’s what Paul has to say about them. You can see this was an issue that some have. It says their teaching will spread like gangrene.

Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place and they destroy the faith of some. You had people in the church, maybe even someone like Eddie who came before the church, and I’m teaching you the word of God, and I tell you guys, there’s no resurrection for us. That’s already passed. That only happened with Jesus. And they were upsetting the faith of some of these Christians because people were living with the hope that one day I’ll be raised, I’ll be with God, I’ll be with them forever. They were destroying the faith of some people. It’s not too far-fetched for it to happen in the church, it was a problem for them. In the first 11 verses, Paul is taking the time to say, God, look, here’s what you learned. You learned about the Gospel, you learned about the death of Jesus, you learned about his barrier, and you learned about his resurrection on the third day. You heard about him appearing to 500 at once, appearing to Peter, appearing to James. You heard about him. You heard about the eyewitnesses that saw him. He reaffirms the gospel for them in a great way.

One of the things that he also has to see is the very fact that you were right with God, the very fact that you’re walking with God shows that Jesus rose from the dead because you would not have made the changes you’ve made for a lie. You wouldn’t do that. And look at what he says in 1 Corinthians 6 about these guys. This is a very powerful passage. He says, Oh, don’t you know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adults nor men who have sex with men, nor theses, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanders, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. He says, Guys, you changed. You made a complete about-face in your life. He talks about immorality, this people who are being sexually, immoral, and idolatized. Our world is so accustomed to immorality that it’s just a way of life. The expectation is if, you’re in a relationship, is that you will be immoral.

And yet the truth was preached to these guys and they said, No, we will stop. We will do what God wants. That’s why he says, And such were some of you. No more homosexual activity, no more idolatry and living for the wrong things, and putting people on a pedestal. None of the drunkenness and the slandering and all. These guys changed. They were totally different. And he is pointing out, Guys, you are proof. You are proof that the resurrection is real. But there’s also the evidence he gives of all of these witnesses. Look at 1 Corinthians 15 verse 5, which says, And that he appeared to Cephas, then to the 12. After that, he appeared to more than 500 of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of them were still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. And last, of all, he appeared to me also as the one abnormally born. The Bible says he appeared to Cephas. Who was Cephas? Peter, is just another name for the apostle Peter. And you ask yourself, and I hope you ask yourself questions as you read it, Okay, well, why Peter?

Why would he appear to Cephas? I mean, come on. Wasn’t Peter the coward? He ran away. And wasn’t he the guy who had weak faith? Here he is, he’s walking on water. His faith gets him all messed up and he starts to sink. I mean, why Peter? Of all people. I mean, he said, If everybody leaves you, Jesus, I won’t. He’s one of the guys who denies him. Why go to Peter? Why not go to John? I mean, John was the self-proclaimed one that Jesus loved. I just think it’s interesting. John said that about himself. I’m the one he loves. I’m thinking, you got the other guys thinking, it’s like, slap you around. I mean, what makes you think you’re the special one? But so if he’s the one that Jesus loves, Jesus, why not appear to John? But I really believe, and we can only conjecture, I believe it really is one of the reasons why is because it shows God’s grace, His forgiveness, and His love. It shows how He felt about Peter. Think about it. Aren’t you glad God chooses unworthy people? Because I’m here to tell you guys, if all of us had a mirror, we would be looking at an unworthy person.

No one here deserves anything. God chose this man to be with him. The other reason why I believe he might have chosen Peter is that in the first 12 chapters of Acts, Peter was the major leader. He was the major player. I believe in God’s scheme of things, he knew I have plans for Peter. I have some stuff that I want to see him do. I don’t know if you feel like you’re connecting with God’s overall plan for your life, but I want you to believe. Look at Peter and believe that God has a plan for your life. He didn’t give up on Peter. In fact, he restored. Peter, you remember he says, Well, do you love me? Peter said, Well, I love you. Well, do you love me? Do you love me? In other words, he was determined, I’m going to use this man. Some of you may feel like, Man, I mess up so much. I blow it all the time. Welcome to the club for crying out loud. I’ve been at this thing for a long time. I still have to fight sin every single day. If you’re one of those who felt like you finally get to a point where you have no more sin to deal with, die.

Then you’re there. But as long as you’re walking on this earth, you’re going to be dealing with sin. You’re going to be dealing with sins of commission where you know you did something wrong and you’re going to be dealing with those sins of omission where you know that you didn’t do what you should have done. That’s the way it’ll be for all of us. God picks Peter, and he uses Peter powerfully. He was strategic for Christ’s ministry. But it also says he picked James. Now, this is James, the brother of Jesus, the half-brother of Jesus. Okay, well, what’s the significance maybe of James? Well, James and his brothers weren’t believers in Jesus at first. You can read about that in John 7 verse 5, it talks about his brothers who didn’t believe in it. They said, Hey, look, if you want to be a public figure, you need to show yourself. You need to go on up to the feast. The Bible said that they really didn’t believe in Jesus. But you know what, God? There is something powerful when a family member embraces your faith. There is something powerful about that. Because you’re going along, you’re doing your best to serve God, and yet nobody in your family is embracing it.

You can feel a little off like, Okay, God, what’s wrong? I remember right after I became a Christian way back, in 1972, and a lot of you weren’t thought about for 20 years. I know. Leave it alone. Walk away from that one. But I remember I was engaged with the University of Florida. I’m going to soul talks and some of you know this story, but I’ll be brief, but I was going to soul talks. That’s what they were called, these Bible studies. Because it was called soul talk, that appealed to a brother. Do you know what I’m saying? I could get into this soul thing. They tricked us into showing up. But no, in reality, soul talk was about your spiritual soul. That was the idea. It was my fault for not asking more questions. But in a way, I’m glad I did because I’m here with you. But I’m going to Soul Talk. After I got baptized. I remember going home for the summer and I said, You know what? I’m going to reach out to my brother Bill. I reached out to Bill and I started a soul talk at home. Guys, you don’t have to have some leader’s approval to do what God wants you to do.

Just do it. Just do it. I started leading this Bible study. My brother was coming and eventually, he got baptized and he has been a faithful disciple of Jesus for as long as I have. Amen. Amen. It’s good stuff. Thank you for that. There is something to be said about the witness of your own family. You got him reaching out to Peter. You got him reaching out to James. He appears to be 500 at once. Probably to make sure people know, here is a whole quantity of people who can validate what’s going on. Don’t just say, Oh, it was just Peter. It was just James. No, tack on 500 more. Then he says, In the last of his one, Untimely Born, he appeared to me also. Paul just tees up. If you’re in the golf, he tees up that golf ball on that little thing. What is that little thing called? The T. The T. I knew that. Anyway, Reggie’s there, help me out, Reggie. I’m dying. But he tees up that golf ball nice and high because he’s going to hit it down the fairway 300 Yard. He is about to now bring it home to them.

Let’s go ahead and look at verse 12, and let’s pick up on these thoughts here. It says, 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? 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. 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. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile. You are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people, most to be pitied. The Bible is very clear about resurrection and the concept of resurrection. I don’t have a slide for this, but let me give you five references.

If you want to write it down, you can read it in your quiet time one day this week. Job 19:26, John 5:28, John 6:44, 2 Corinthians 4:14, and Colossians 3:4. In other words, the Bible has a lot to say about the resurrection. It has a lot to say about us being raised up and brought before God and judgment and all of that. But I want to talk now for a minute what happens if dead men don’t rise from the dead? What happens to us? And that’s what he addresses in this next section. Let’s go through this. If dead men don’t rise, then Christ has not been raised either. That’s what he’s been getting them ready for. He’s a guy that I’m reminding you of the gospel, telling you what it’s all about. Guess what? You believed this gospel. You had to believe that Jesus rose from the dead in order to be a Christian and get right with God. But let me make sure you understand the import if you decide dead men don’t rise. He said, if dead men don’t rise, then Jesus didn’t rise.

Well, he said, Well, Jesus wasn’t a man. Yeah, he was. You can look at numerous scriptures where Jesus is referred to as a man. And Jesus was raised from the dead. And if you look at it, and you can write this down, Luke 24:36-43, that’s when Jesus appears after his resurrection. And these guys are all startled, they’re afraid, and I’m going to just read you a part. It says He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled? And why do doubts rise in your mind? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself. Touch me and see. A ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see I have. Jesus said, Guys, handle me. I am the one who was on the cross. I’m the one who was there with a crown of thorns in my head, the blood coming down my face, a bruised and battered face. I’m guessing probably broke bones because he was beaten by soldiers who were trained to inflict harm. He was messed up on the cross. Maybe one of the reasons why it was difficult for him to push himself up to get air was because he was messed up.

One of the Psalms that talks about how all of his bones were out of joint. That’s what the Bible says. He was messed up at his death. He comes back in a bodily form. Now, all the details of the kind the body will have, I couldn’t tell you that. I don’t think anybody can. But he was in a form where they could see that, yes, this is Jesus. It is him. I can see the nail marks. I can see his feet. I can see the place on his side. One brother and I were talking about the first service. When they thrust that sword into his sight, the Bible says, I’ll pour forth blood and water. You think to yourself, if you’re scientific, how does that work, God? If you bring him back, you got to replace lost blood and fluid or something. But God can do it, guys. He knows exactly what he needs to do. And Jesus makes it clear. He said, Yes, me. I’m back. I’m back. You can see why these guys end up giving their lives and service to him. If dead men don’t rise, he’s saying, then Jesus didn’t rise.

Secondly, he says, if dead men don’t rise, then our preaching is useless. It’s a waste of time. It says, and useless means it’s empty, it’s vain, it’s futile. That’s what this idea is. Verse 17 says the same thing. Your faith is futile. You are still in your sins. If preaching the gospel is useless, then putting your faith in the gospel is useless. It’s not worth it to do that. The sad part about it, what that means is that we’ve reached out with our hands to grasp a God who’s not there. That’s what it means. If our preaching is useless, we’ve reached out to touch a savior who isn’t alive. That’s why this is so important because Jesus is the son of God that rose from the dead, or he’s a crucified, Rabbi, rotting in a tomb in Palestine. Those are the only two options that we have. If dead men don’t rise, then we believe in a gospel that didn’t happen. Because the gospel says he died, he was buried, and he rose. If he didn’t rise, we’re missing the third part of the equation. Preaching the gospel is useless. Jesus did arise from the dead.

If dead men don’t rise, our faith is useless. We’ve read this one already, verse 14, Our preaching is useless. He says, And so is your faith. Your faith is futile. Verse 17, If dead men don’t rise, it’s a waste of time being here, guys. It’s a waste of time to have faith. I started thinking, man, you look at all the amazing men and women of faith. You go back to the Old Testament, you see Abraham. God says, Leave Heron. Go to a place that I’m going to show you. He picks up and he goes. No hesitation that I could sense at all. God says, Sacrifice Isaac. The Bible says, very early the next morning, he’s up, he’s going to do it. I think, man, this guy is convicting. I am not always that eager to obey, especially if it’s something hard. God had just told them, Go sacrifice, Isaac. This is the same Isaac that God told them, You’re going to have the child of promise. Kid comes along when they’re 100 when things don’t even work right anymore for you. But the kid comes along, he’s born. Now God is saying, Go sacrifice him.

hesitation with Abraham. David with Goliath. You could just go story after story and you say to yourself, But if dead men don’t rise and preach the gospel is useless, and believing the gospel is useless, your faith is useless. You’re wasting your time. If dead men don’t rise, the apostles were all lies. Let me read verse 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. Now, you remember in Acts 1:22, when they were looking to replace Judas, what were the criteria? Well, they said they wanted to select someone who would become a witness with us of his resurrection. But if there is no resurrection, then the apostles are lies. They’re all lies, but that’s what they said. Recap in just briefly, if dead men don’t rise, then Christ has arisen. Preaching the gospel is useless. Faith is useless and empty. All the apostles are lies. And fifthly, you are still in your sins if dead men don’t rise. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.

You are still in your sins. Now, he’s bringing the issue home to us real close. Because we all sin. We all sin. We fall short of the glory of God. Let me read about that in Romans 3. It says, As it is written, there is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands. There’s no one who sees God. All have turned away. They have together become worthless. There is no one who does good, not even one. And in verse 23, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. You and I are under the power of sin. You and I have no way to deal with our sins. And how bad is it? Let’s look at Galatians 5. The acts of the flesh are obvious sexual immorality. I think there’s a reason why he starts with that one. Because our society is so sex-craved that you are not expected to be in a relationship and not be in a sexual relationship. But God says, no. You’ll see what He says that people like that don’t inherit the kingdom. But He says, sexual morality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

I warn you as I did before that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. I wish that I could tell you that the older you get in Christ, sin would just go away. Sorry. Again, it’ll go away when you’re dead. That’s when it’ll go away. But we have to deal with sin every day. I have to deal with sin on a daily basis. I have to deal with those times. When I know I’m crossing a line, when I know I’m messing up, or when I know I’m missing an opportunity to serve and give, we all have to deal with sin. Mark Chapter 7, is another passage that’s familiar to many of us. He went on, this is Jesus. What comes out of a person is what defiles them, for it is from within, out of a person’s heart that evil thoughts come. Sexual immorality, there it is again. Theft, murder, and you could just go through all of these and put your name in and see where you fall short. It. Adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.

My point is that we are powerless to deal with sin. We need a savior. But if dead men don’t rise, then Jesus didn’t rise. Our preaching is useless. Our faith is useless. The apostles are lies, and we’re still in our sins. But he has two more than those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost forever. If dead men don’t rise, then there’s no hope after death. I hope I never forget the joy it was to be at our dear sister, Georgia Bryant’s service. It was so encouraging. It was just inspiring to hear the stories of how she lived and how she pursued a relationship with God. I fully look forward to it. I’m not God and I know I’m not, but I look forward to seeing Georgia on the other side. I’m excited about that prospect. I look forward to that. I would love to go out the way she did, beating up her husband at night when he hits her and all this stuff. But you asked Frady about that. He’ll tell you about that. But the thing is that he’s saying, if dead men don’t rise and those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost, there is no hope.

There is no future for them. And then lastly, he says, if dead men don’t rise, Christians are the most pitiful people on the planet. Pity. We are, of all people, most to be pitied. Because you think about how we live our lives. We live our lives every day fighting against temptation, struggling with sin. We’re trying really hard to please Jesus, even though His standard is way up here. Matthew 5, Jesus says, Be perfect as I am perfect. Paul in Corinthians says, imitate me as I imitate Christ. The standard is really high. We try every day to live up to this impossible standard, relying on the Holy Spirit to help us. We’re involved in Bible studies. We’re trying to help other people. We’re involved in personal Bible studies, trying to know God better on our own. We’re taking up our cross every day. A new day comes, you got to forget what lies behind you and go fresh on a new day. We do that all the time. We keep on sharing our faith. Maybe you’re doing it in your class or at school and you’re wondering if this person is really interested. Especially, and this happens all the time and I joke about it because I can joke about it.

You invite the waiter or the waitress. I don’t know about you, but I try to motivate them. I say I’m going to give them an extra good tip. Because I figure that’s a small sacrifice that they come to church and come to know God. I give them a little extra in the tip or whatever. Most of the time you don’t even get the right phone number. You can’t follow up with the person afterward. Even though you give them theirs, it doesn’t matter. Now, some of you are smart. You go ahead and get the number and you call it right away to make sure it gets there. You all are smarter than me. I don’t always do it that way. But we keep on sharing our faith. We do it on the job, we’re doing it at school, we’re reaching out to people at the gym, in our neighborhood. We keep on trying to do that. But if dead men don’t rise, why? It’s a waste. It is a waste. Amen. But we got to get to the good news before we close out. Verse 20, and I praise God. Paul put verse 20 right there.

He said, But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. The good news today is Jesus has risen. He came out of the grave and he was seen by Peter and James and 500 people at once and Christ appeared even to him. And we can have and know that just as Jesus rose from the dead, we can look forward to it. Do you realize that you can leave here today and encourage someone who’s fearful of death? You can go to them and say, You know what? I’m not worried about death, and I don’t say that arrogantly, but I know on the other side, I get to be with Jesus. And if you got a minute, I’ll turn it into an hour and we’ll talk about it. But you can encourage someone who fears death. And as James and Emner said, James, at least with the communion, especially, we have a savior who died for each one of us. I know we talk about, For God so love the world, we probably should say, For God so love me. I don’t know about you, but it took me a long time to make my decision.

I remember thinking to myself, you know what, Eddie? If Jesus came back today, you’d have no excuse because you know you’ve not responded to the truth. And I would encourage you, to respond to the truth because dead men do rise again. I am looking forward to getting and I praise God for that promise.

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