Believing The Inescapable – Part 1

Hope for Today (English)
Hope for Today (English)
Believing The Inescapable - Part 1
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I Corinthians 15:20-28

Since we have no physical proof of the resurrection of Christ except the empty tomb, our affirmation must rest on belief or faith. But what is faith?

For some faith is ignoring the supposed facts or the absence of facts. For others faith is credulity, by which they mean simple-mindedness, not being able to think through the propositions or the problems. For still others, faith is evidence of low intelligence. They believe education will replace the need for faith. The more you know, the less you need to believe.

Many a university professor of biology no doubt on the first day of class may take delight in telling his freshman students something like this: “Here in my classroom, you will soon learn that what you may have been told in church is just so much garbage. I base all my propositions on the assured results of scientific research.” Then on day two, he may say what the Encyclopedia Britannica says, “In the evolution of horses during 60,000,000 years, the average rate per genus was 7,500,00 years.” And he expects his students to accept what he says as proven facts because he said, “I base my conclusion and propositions on scientific research.” To me, that is an example of amazing ignorance or arrogance. There is no way scientific research can make such a statement. Scientific research deals with what is observable, and, of course, 60,000,000 years are not observable.

I am unashamed to tell you my understanding of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is based on my faith in the Holy Bible as the revelation from God. I believe the records in the New Testament are true and without error.

So I come to I Corinthians 15 with confidence that the apostle Paul wrote the truth, not only as he understood it, but as it was revealed to him from God by the Holy Spirit. Every serious-minded person must consider the reality of the resurrection of Christ. There is no escape from this. I have based my message on I Corinthians 15:20-28 and have called it BELIEVING THE INESCAPABLE.

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.

21 For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming

24 Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

26 The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.

27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

From Paul’s words, I have collected several convincing PRONOUNCEMENTS that lead us to believe in the inescapable fact of the resurrection of Christ.

The first pronouncement is:

CHRIST HAS INCONTESTABLE AUTHORITY

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.

21 For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

The first two words of verse 20 are specific words: But now. All argument is closed off. Paul has entertained all the questions so far that might be raised, and by these two words, he makes it emphatically clear. It is a logical position. “But now is Christ risen from the dead.” All argument is closed off. Look farther. “For since,” he says, “by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” Man brought death. Therefore man must bring the resurrection. That is a necessary fact. What Adam spoiled, Jesus restored.

When God placed the man in the Garden of Eden, He said that man should not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, putting this restriction on it: “For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Well, the record is clear. Eve and Adam ate of the tree and brought sin and death to the human race.

Sin brought death. “For as in Adam all die.” There is no debate. The Bible is very clear on it. Adam and Eve died as a result of eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I want you to pay very close attention to the fact that the all is all-inclusive.

Then observe the second clause in verse 22: “even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” That’s where the debate takes off. I would like to tell you that I believe the all of the first clause and the all of the second clause cover the same fact, cover the same race. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” All human beings will experience resurrection.

This is very clear in the Bible. For example, see what Jesus said to His followers in John 5:28-29:

Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves will hear his voice, And shall come forth: and they that have done good unto the resurrection of life and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Do you see what I am telling you?

Also, in the book of, Revelation, chapter 20:4-5, the apostle John heard and saw what was going to happen at the end of the age, and he wrote:

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and who had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Now notice carefully:

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

The first resurrection is the resurrection of the righteous dead. The second resurrection is the resurrection of the wicked dead.

We turn to Paul’s letter to the Colossians and the first chapter. You must hear this, my friend, you must hear it from the pen of the apostle Paul as he wrote to the Colossian believers in chapter 1:15-18. He is talking about the preeminence of Christ:

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature; For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him; And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Do you see it? Paul affirms that Jesus, being the incarnate God-man, has the right, the incontestable authority, over death. Amen.

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