I CORINTHIANS 15:19: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Have you ever heard the saying – “He is so heavenly minded that he is of no earthly good!”? I know that I have both heard it and said it. Now, I am wondering if I was wrong.
In I Corinthians chapter 15 Paul deals with the importance of the resurrection as the foundation of our faith. He puts it very bluntly when he says,
- “For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.” I Corinthians 15:16-18 NKJV
Everything hangs of the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Christianity is the only faith that rises or falls on one historical fact. It the tomb is not empty then our faith is. The historical fact of the resurrection and the empty tomb validates both Christ’s claims for Himself and His teachings. And, it also validates our hope of our eternal life and bodily resurrection.
Paul looks at this powerful truth and he says – “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” Is our faith, is the life of our churches, is the word that we preach filled with power, or is it most pitiable? In other words, is our focus and our faith only geared to the here and now, or are we looking heavenward in what we do, in how we worship, and in what we preach?
I think it is time we get our head in the clouds!
It is time we begin to preach about heaven again. It is time we proclaim the resurrection again. It is time we proclaim the soon return of Jesus Christ and His eternal kingdom again. We need to move beyond simply applying the teaching of Jesus Christ to our earthly life. We need to prepare the saints for their eternal life with Christ! We need to prepare for the resurrection!
Having a clear understanding of our eternal purpose and destiny will impact everything we do in this life. It will set us free from covetousness and a preoccupation with temporal things. It will lift us up from the mundane of our everyday lives and push us heavenward as we journey toward our eternal calling in Christ Jesus. And, it will give us an unshakable certainty for living. We live in hope as we live for the resurrection!
- “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall 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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:50-57 NKJV
Are the ears of our heart attuned and listening for the trump of God? Are we waiting to be changed in the twinkling of an eye? Are we lifted from discouragement knowing that all that is corruptible in our life will be transformed into incorruption as we are transformed into the image of Jesus Christ? Do we live each day with the assurance of salvation, the hope of eternal life, and the power of His grace that gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord?
Are we living with our heads in the cloud?
A resurrection assurance, a resurrection perspective, and a resurrection focus will dramatically change our life. It will keep us from falling away! It will equip us to finish well! It will fill our lives with hope and light!
- “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” I Corinthians 15:10 NKJV
- “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 15:58 NKJV
Lord, help me to lift up my eyes, my heart, and my faith heavenward. Help me to live on this earth through the hope and in the power of the resurrection. Grant me the grace to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord!
In Jesus Name!