Jefferson Vann shares a devotional thought based on 1 Corinthians 15:16-19.
1 Corinthians 15:16-19
1Co 15:16 Because if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;
1Co 15:17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have been destroyed.
1Co 15:19 If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.
a gospel without a resurrection
Paul addresses those teachers in Corinth who had abandoned the gospel of resurrection and replaced it with a gospel without resurrection. He points out the absurdity of such a view. If our hope is not in a future resurrection, then even Jesus’ resurrection is called into question. Without Jesus’ resurrection, there is no salvation: we are all still in our sins. All who have fallen asleep in Christ have been destroyed — they are gone forever. And if our faith is only a present day delusion that will not change our destiny either, then we are to be pitied more than anyone.
My challenge to you, Christian brother or sister, is this: Does your theology require a resurrection? Many Christians teach a gospel of survival at death, and immediate soul-migration to either heaven or hell. If that is the case, why believe in a resurrection? Some of the Corinthians had asked themselves the same question, and had concluded that Paul had lied to them about the resurrection. Paul replies to that argument with a defense of the absolute necessity of a physical resurrection. A gospel without resurrection is a false gospel.
LORD, purge us of our pagan theological contamination.