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Leaders

 

The TV debate between the atheist and the Christian was not going well for the home team and the atheist was well ahead on points. He was articulate and, to be honest, seemed very convincing as he made his case.

Unfortunately, the representative for “our side” was not the sharpest knife in the drawer (the TV station made sure of that when they selected him to debate the atheist. A nice guy but no match for his opponent).

The further the debate progressed the more uneasy I became. I was certainly feeling for the Christian as the hole he was digging for himself got deeper and deeper. But I have to be honest and say that part of my uneasiness was because of a growing sense of my own vulnerability. My long-held Christian convictions were being challenged by this man’s persuasive questioning.

Things that I had long since believed were being undermined. Questions that I thought I would never ask surprised me as they began to form in my mind

“What if he’s right – even partly right?”

‘What if there is nothing beyond the grave?”

“What if ‘religion’ (all religions) is part of a great cosmic joke?”

“What if I have spent my whole life devoted to something/someone that doesn’t exist?”

Have there been times in your Christian life when you have found yourself asking questions about your faith in God - the legitimacy, accuracy, integrity of the claims we make as Christians? 

I recall a friend saying to me many years ago, “We make our greatest discoveries when our backs are against the wall”.

Now before you point out to me that such questions do not belong in the Christian vocabulary of faith, let me point out to you that the Apostle Paul recognized that there were Christians at Corinth who needed to face their doubts and questions. He didn’t dismiss their questions nor did he scorn their doubts.

Read 1 Corinthians 15/1-20

It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. 1 Cor. 15:2 (NLT)

 

Is what they believed something that was never true in the first place? Paul poses such a possibility. But then he proceeds to explain his confidence that the gospel of the Kingdom was true and that it all hinged on the Resurrection. If the Resurrection of Jesus Christ never happened, then they had to face a series on consequences.

I count at least seven. Can you find 7 and maybe a couple more that I’ve missed?


  For if there is no resurrection of the dead,

 

1.    our preaching is useless, and

2.    your faith is useless.

3.    Christ has not been raised

4.    we apostles would all be lying about God

5.    you are still guilty of your sins.

6.    all who have died believing in Christ are lost!

7.    we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.

 

When the dust clears there is only one question that must be answered. Was Jesus Christ raised from the dead? If He didn’t, there is no futher argument. End of discussion. And Paul was the first one to admit it.

 

But if the Resurrection is a reality…THEN , GAME ON!

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