MOST MISERABLE

 


Neal Pollard

Do you remember when Paul said, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable?” (1 Cor. 15:19). The context is the reality of the resurrection. Consider the misery, if not for the resurrection.

  • No victory over Satan. Satan is still our only choice of master, if there is no resurrection (Heb. 2:14ff). His power exceeded God’s (cf. Psa. 16:10; Gen. 3:15).
  • No hope in death. The chronically ill, impoverished, deeply betrayed, persecuted, martyred, ridiculed and sacrificial Christians who faithfully endured are hopeless. Death’s stinger remains embedded and grave’s victory is secured (cf. 1 Cor. 15:57). Without the resurrection, we drop in the dirt in no way different from the wicked.
  • No reunion with those who die in Christ. David’s hope was deluded concerning his dead son (2 Sam. 12:23). Unborn babies, infants, and innocent children, who die at those stages, are not lost (Ezek. 18:20; Isa. 59:2). We are separated by sin (Rom. 6:23; 1 Jn. 1:8-10). Without the resurrection, there is absolutely no prospect of seeing them again.
  • No incentive to live righteously. What keeps us from being anarchistic, animalistic, and anthropocentric, if we have no hope in the ressurection? We can do whatever is in our power. The fact of the resurrection controls and affects our conduct (cf. 2 Cor. 5:14).
  • No reason to serve God. If there is no hope or chance of heaven, what’s the use? Why do anything “in His name” (cf. Mk. 9:41)? Why use any opportunities to do good to anyone (cf. Gal. 6:10)? Why be found sacrificing self (Rom. 12:1)? Why help others (Matt. 25:35-36)? Why faithfully assemble (Heb. 10:25)? Why put on the Christian graces (2 Pet. 1:5-7) or bear the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-24)? Why shine a light or spread any salt (Matt. 5:13-16)? Offering service to God, without the resurrection, will never be acknowledged or rewarded!

Ah, “But now is Christ risen from the dead…” (1 Cor. 15:20)! By such, He gives us assurance (Acts 17:31). Accepting the resurrection is a test of faith (Rom. 10:10), but I plead with you to pass that test! Believe in the resurrection of Christ. Otherwise, you will be most miserable living the Christian life!

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