Weekender (3/28/2013)

How Doubt is Answered in the Resurrection

In this two part Weekender, I want to talk about the resurrection and doubt.  It is Passion Week and on Sunday we celebrate Resurrection Day.  If one thing has strengthened my faith over the years, it is the clear explanation I have received of the historic resurrection of Christ.  All doubts about God’s love, God’s Word, God’s plan fade away once we consider the resurrection of Christ.  If Jesus Christ rose from the dead (and he did!) then we know the gospel is worthy of our full confidence and trust!

If everything were easy in the Christian life we would not struggle with doubts.  It is when we are faced with some uncomfortable consequences of our faith that we begin to doubt it.

How should we handle times like these?  If we don’t learn to press on in the midst of discouragement and doubt we will end up losing the joy available to us through God.  We will fail to honor God in our trust and obedience.

A Critical Solution to Doubt is Found in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Our solution to doubt must be something objective rather than subjective.  Though the Bible points to both the past and the future as proper motivations for godly living, the central hope from the Bible comes from the resurrection of Jesus Christ – the central and objective event of history.

Consider the Apostle Paul as he dealt with this doubt and discouragement: “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.” – 1 Corinthians 15:13-14

The apostle Paul knows that there is no reason to be a Christian if Jesus Christ was not raised from the dead.  If Jesus was not resurrected then all of Paul’s life work was pointless.  Talk about disappointment!  How would you feel if you found out everything you devoted your life to was worthless?   Was all that suffering worth it?  It was worth it only if Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.  If he was raised from the dead, then the message of Christ is true.  And if the gospel message is true, then it is worth preaching and believing.

“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. “ – 1 Corinthians 15:16-18

The central point of the gospel is how a person can be reconciled with God.  How does a person deal with guilt?  How does a person deal with his sin?  If Jesus is not raised from the dead, it would be a waste to seek forgiveness through Jesus Christ.  It would be a waste to seek meaning through Christianity.  Christianity entirely depends on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” – 1 Corinthians 15:19

If Jesus Christ was not resurrected from the dead then Christians are the biggest fools in the world.  We would have squandered our lives for a lie.  Or, at least it should be that way.  We need to ask ourselves some questions at this point.  Are our lives changed by the resurrection of Christ?  Is there something we do or are there decisions we have made simply because of the resurrection of Christ?

In dealing with doubt and discouragement, we need to be able to “preach the gospel to ourselves”. This means, in part, we need to remind ourselves of biblical and historical truths.  The central fact we will always get back to is the resurrection.

How certain is the resurrection?  I once learned the acronym FEAT that gives the most important points in establishing the truth of the resurrection (credit goes to Hank Hanegraaff, in his book Resurrection).

First, F stands for FATAL TORMENT of Jesus Christ.  Jesus himself died on the cross.  He did not fake his death.  E stands for EMPTY TOMB.  Both followers and opponents of Jesus Christ admitted that the tomb was empty three days after his burial.  A stands for APPEARANCES.  After the tomb was found empty, Jesus appeared in a living, physical, and eating body.  He appeared to well over 500 people who could all testify to what they saw (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  Finally, T stands for TRANSFORMED LIVES.  The lives of everyone who saw Jesus Christ risen from the dead died proclaiming that Jesus Christ that they saw Him alive again.  They were completely different people after the resurrection of Jesus.

There are great reasons for believing in the resurrection of Christ.  It is our rock-solid foundation for life, and it is something we can base our lives upon as well as take the risks of a life founded upon this sure event of history.  We will never be ashamed for this confidence.  We know it is true and in the end, the entire world will see the truth of it as well.

[Event List]

Friday

Good Friday Service @ New City Fellowship @ 7 PM – Five churches will be participating in a combined worship service and celebration of the Lord’s Supper.  New Life in Christ Church, New City Fellowship, Hope of Christ, Evident Grace Fellowship, and Korean Agape Church will be worshipping together.  Evident Grace Fellowship pastor Gordon Duncan will be preaching.  Our own choir will be singing as we hear musical gifts from others in the region as well.

Sunday

  • Sunday Morning Breakfast @ 7:30 – Come and enjoy some light snacks and coffee before the first morning worship service.
  • Two Worship Services @ 8:30 and 11:00 AM – This year, come and celebrate Easter by joining  the New Life Choir in their presentation of the Easter Cantata “Who Is This King?: Royal Servant … Rejected Friend … Risen Christ!”  Pastor Doug will be preaching.
  • Combined Adult Sunday School – 10 AM – Please note this special opportunity to join for a combined Sunday School class showing the case for the resurrection and the importance of the resurrection.  If you have questions, this will be a good time to bring those questions, or your friends who have those questions.
  • No Evening Service – Because it is Easter Sunday, there will be no evening service this week.
  • No Junior and Senior High Youth Groups – Because it is Easter Sunday, there will be no youth group activities Sunday night.
  • No Corporate Prayer– Because it is Easter Sunday, there will be no corporate prayer time this Sunday.

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