If Christ is Not Risen, We Are of All People Most Miserable

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This message by Paul brings me much comfort, for it shows that he also dealt with the strong opposition of his faith in the Risen Christ, and that he had to consider the possibility that he was wrong. Even though he had personally seen Jesus after His resurrection. Despite all the signs and wonders that followed him. Despite his strong personal relationship and mandate to preach Christ in foreign lands, he was forced to consider: “What if Jesus did not arise from the dead?”  As a formerly devout Jew, this question must have tore at his heart and conscience.

This question, like his message shows us, is pinnacle to our faith. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then He was not the Christ! If He didn’t rise from the dead, then He was a false prophet altogether. If He didn’t rise from the dead, then our faith is a joke. We have no hope. We may as well go about doing exactly what we want to do, while we still can, before our number comes up!

We may also have to consider the idea that we have been misled and have been very gullible. What does that say about us? How is it that we have wasted our whole lives believing in a lie, teaching a lie and worshiping a false god? We also face the accusation from the Jews who stand on their revelation of God and accuse us of idolatry in our claim that Jesus is the revelation of God. If Jesus is not risen, but God is real, then we are in danger of the Fire!

But glory be to God, we can be assured that the testimony we have received is true! These men who testified, lived in the time of Jesus, walked with Jesus, saw His scars, had personal revelations that He was indeed risen and sitting at the right hand of God and were so convinced, they were persecuted and martyred for their firm belief! Not only that, they cared so much for one another and for us that they wrote… and they wrote… and they wrote, accounts and letters to tell us of all that they witnessed and what Jesus said while He walked among them and to teach us about our most holy faith.

Aside from their witness, the Holy Spirit is our witness, who has come to make His abode in our hearts. Who reveals the scriptures to us, as He did to them. Who continues to teach us about love, humility, wisdom, grace and truth. Who reveals Himself to us and inspires us as we seek to be His witnesses and ministers in this present age.

Our faith was not passed on to us like Chinese whispers, so that it is completely distorted from the real and true message. Thanks to the canonization of our Holy Scriptures, the message has stood the test of time, despite many attacks on our faith and our people. The message of grace and truth is the same today as it was when Peter and Paul received it. Our Bible is as relevant today as it was when it was first compiled, shedding light on issues of life and confirming the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

We have hope. We are not to be pitied. We have found the Pearl of great prize and we would be foolish to discard of it, because some unscrupulous people doubt Its value and seek to deny us of It, and the peace and joy that comes from Him. We must stand firm, believing as those who passed the faith to us did, grounded on the Truth, so that we are not shaken by doubt.

And the Lord who started this good work in you will keep you and complete it until the day of Jesus Christ! (Phil 1:6). Amen.

Originally published on www.ufuomaee.com

Photo credit: http://www.carolinabaptist.org, http://www.slideshare.net

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13 replies

  1. Obviously from Paul’s point of view being wrong would mean, as you said, that god is real and there is no savior. No forgiveness for sins.

    For my own personal interest: what if there is no god? In that “wrong” scenario, I suppose remaining in our sins would lose all meaning. And perishing would only matter to those who believe because they want eternal life. Paul doesn’t speak to my question because god was always on the table and eternal life was a big selling point.

    But really, my only problem with Christianity is its need to destroy doubt entirely. Not in Jesus, but in the religion that has been built around Jesus. It’s dangerous, especially when you consider how detailed the list of things you cannot doubt have become. We can thank the Bible and church leaders for that. You believe Jesus died for our sins? Great. Go ahead and stand firm on that. If it makes you happy, that is wonderful.

    But it doesn’t stop there. Christians everywhere are plugging their ears and stomping their feet when any part of the Bible is questioned, never willing to consider that they could be wrong about anything at all. It isn’t realistic. And from an outsider’s point of view it is terrifying. Using that method, any horrible idea man can create can be backed by the word of god. We’ve seen it happen, and in spite of what many may believe- it does not have to be an ugly side to faith. It can be overcome.

    It’s irresponsible to be blind on that count. You owe it to god, Jesus, and anyone worth consideration to be critical of what has been passed down; including historical church decisions, and anything Paul had to say.
    It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. When Christians come back with the answer: “Yup, I looked into it and it turns out I’m still right about everything in the universe because god has revealed it” I have a hard time taking them seriously.

    If questioning man’s interpretation of god is a slippery slope toward doubt, it is only because it dissolves much of what we know about god. So what? Maybe we don’t know as much as we think we do. If that simple truth causes you to be “shaken by doubt” then maybe you need to be shaken.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @lifeafterdoubt,

      A lot going on here so let’s take this a bit at a time, OK?

      First, I find your very name “lifeafterdoubt” to be fascinating. You claim that doubt is almost a virtue yet your name suggests you yourself are past doubt. Are you, in fact, past doubt?

      Second. Do you honestly believe Christians put their fingers in their ears and refuse to listen to anything contrary to what they are told to believe? If so, that is an unfair charictization when many of us have done an extensive amount of study and still believe.

      James

      Liked by 1 person

      • Doubt was only the first step. Does it always lead to lost faith? Absolutely not. There was definitely a time before I doubted, and there was a difference between doubting what man had taught me and doubting god himself. It is a long road once you make it over the doubt wall, but the “after” could go on forever. To be “past” doubt would eliminate it- and, I guess take me back to square one? That’s a weird question to answer. The name just means that things changed when I climbed that wall. Do I believe in god now? No.

        “Many of us have done an extensive amount of study and still believe.” Still believe in what? Because if the answer is god or that Jesus is our savior, then you have missed my point entirely. I understand why you believe such things and I don’t take issue with it. We look at the historical evidence and come to two different conclusions for a variety of reasons. Whatever. Believe in what makes sense to you.

        As I said, the problem is that it doesn’t stop there. Marriage equality. The belief that no one is truly an atheist. The creationists and their literal Genesis. That Paul’s letters are equal to god speaking directly to us. Wanting to make Christianity the law of the land and put the Christian god back in our schools. That kind of stuff. Do I really believe Christians stick their fingers in their ears and refuse to listen to anything contrary to what they are told to believe? Not all of them. But either you are kidding or you don’t understand my meaning, because many Christians do this boldly. They draw a very defined line between them and what they call “liberal Christians.”

        They have put every detail of their theology on the same level with believing in god himself. No bending. All or nothing. I don’t mind when people believe in god or salvation through Christ. But do I think Christians are critical enough of the Bible or the beliefs set in stone by early church fathers? No. And it always seems to affect the rest of us.

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  2. Perhaps when the Bible speaks it IS God speaking to us. Ensuring that those in whom God ‘breathed’ his word actually penned his Word seems like chump change for the one who spoke the universe into existence’ I really don’t know any Christians who actually equte theology as equal to God..

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  3. Do you think that Paul had a crisis of doubt? Early in Chap 15 he defined the gospel and spoke of so many that were witnesses of the resurrection that he seemed mazed that there were those who doubted it. The resurrection might be one of the most attested to facts of human history. I can see tthe enemy planting thoughts that the resurrection didn’t happen in Paul’s head but not Paul entertaining such thoughts for very long. Just a thought.

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