Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain… For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep… Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
(1 Corinthians 15.12-20; 51-52)
The Bible contains wonderful promises for Christians, and we often focus on those which benefit us in this life. For example, since we are in Christ, we are new creations (2 Cor. 5.17). We have been crucified with Christ…but Christ lives in us, and the life which we now live in the flesh we live by faith in the Son of God (Gal. 2.20). Because Jesus’ died and rose again, we have already begun our eternal lives. But this points to a future reality that is ‘out of this world’!
But note well: This resurrection life isn’t something the present world can know. ‘Social justice warriors’ today talk of making the world a better place. Like millennial evangelists, they promise an era of universal peace and plenty – all without God. Their idealism has no room for religion or faith in a deity. John Lennon ‘imagined’ this world in his famous song:
Imagine there’s no Heaven; It’s easy if you try
No Hell below us; Above us only sky
Imagine all the people, Livin’ for today
Imagine there’s no countries; It isn’t hard to do
Nothin’ to kill or die for, And no religion, too
Imagine all the people, Livin’ life in peace
Do you see it? No heaven, no hell, no religion – ipso facto, no God. No sin, no need of a Savior, no hope for eternity, just ‘livin’ for today.’ This is nothing but Marxist dogma masquerading as a cure for all society’s ills. A century ago, Russians believed the lie, and embarked on 70 years of unmitigated horror and misery. A generation later, China believed Mao’s siren song of a perfect world, and they remain in a prison of communism to this day.
Jesus said that His kingdom was not ‘of this world’ (John 18.36). As John the Apostle would later write, the world is passing away, and also its lusts (1 John 2.16). The Apostle Peter writes that the earth and its works will be burned up (2 Peter 3.10). Just as Jesus’ resurrection followed His death, so too our resurrection life experience follows this life.
Right now, Christians have blessings like the indwelling Spirit (Eph. 1.13-14), but this world still languishes in the throes of sin – all creation groans, looking forward to our deliverance when Christ returns (Rom. 8.19-25). Because of the resurrection, this is our ‘blessed hope’ (Titus 2.13).
As we look back 2000 years to Jesus’ death and resurrection, let’s live our lives looking forward to our own resurrection. Jesus is coming again, and when He does, He will take those who are His to be with Him forever. That’s a resurrection you can believe in!