Year after year after year, politician proclaim, “I am your source of hope!”  “Trust in me and I will make your life better!”

Year after year after year, politicians fail to keep their promises, they blame everyone else for their failures, and still people elect them again and again and again.

I open this post about life beyond the grave with a political observation, because there is a better promise of hope.  We have recorded in the Bible a promise from Jesus that we will be raised to a new life.   This hope for life beyond the grave is far more reliable than ANY political promise and more reliable than ANY politician.  This hope for new life beyond the grave is more practical for today than any healthcare plan or tax cut you can imagine!

Here is what the Apostle Paul says about his hope for life beyond…

1 Corinthians 15:29-34 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30 Why are we in danger every hour? 31 I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

This man was beaten, imprisoned, stoned and whipped because he believed that Jesus raised from the dead.    I doubt any, but a few, reading this blog post can say they have put their convictions through this kind of test.  Paul risked everything for no personal gain.  In this short passage from his letter, we find three ways that hope in a personal resurrection from the dead changed the way Paul lived his life!

First, Resurrection Hope is the Reason For Evangelism (v. 29):

If Jesus died and remained in the tomb, there is no reason to share his message with the world.  There are plenty of teachers, gurus, and shamans in our world, if  Jesus did not raise from the dead, please find one of these other teachers and follow them.  If Jesus did not raise from the dead and if we have no hope of life beyond the grave, don’t waste your time with the Bible…

But, if Jesus did raise from the dead…

Second, Resurrection Hope is the Reason for Self-Sacrifice and Serving Others (v.30-32):

Let’s be real, if there is nothing beyond this life, then don’t try to be nice to others.. there is really no point in it.

  • The reason for serving others is not compassion.
  • The reason for helping people is not because they have needs.
  • The reason for making personal sacrifice is not based on the life of Christ or on a bracelet that asks, “WWJD?”
  • But the reason for serving and caring for others is the resurrection of Jesus that gives us hope for a future resurrection.  And if that resurrection is real, then the works we do today will have eternal value (to us and to others).  So please care for people now, because they have an eternity yet to live!

Third, Resurrection Hope is the Reason for Living Holy (v. 33-34)

If Jesus did not raise from the dead then I encourage you to party all night, live for pleasure, and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or feels.  Get everything you can out of this life, because pleasure and looking out for yourself is all you have to gain.

But, if Jesus did raise from the dead…

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ YouTube 

Related Post

Pin It on Pinterest