Monday, April 2, 2018

The Resurrection Reason for Hope

Bridge Illustration shows the Christian Hope =
(1)  God is there
(2)  Through Christ we can know Him  (God has made Himself available)
(3)  those who come to Him through Christ = eternally SAFE!!!

Question:  Is this Reasonable?  Examples:  Carl Sagan (astronomer, astrophysicist), Stephen Hawking - quotes "..... no hope"
BUT .... in light of the Resurrection??   IF the resurrection occurred, YES, there's hope!!

#1.  The Resurrection says Jesus is Alive!! - still, eternally, in a glorified (eternal) state. 
Example:  from a Muslim convert - "I was traveling down a road not sure which way to go.  Came to a fork in the road with no direction as to which way to turn.  On one road was a dead man.  On the other, was a live man.  Which one should I follow?"

#2.  The Resurrection says Jesus is trustworthy. 
Jesus/ many incredible claims .... include  - Matt. 16:21
BUT -- was proved credible BY the Resurrection!!!  Example:  Thomas

#3.  The Resurrection says Jesus has God's approval and authority. 
While alive, he showed authority over Nature, Disease, Demons, etc. 
BUT .. can a dead man raise himself?  No!  God raised Him.   So.... Acts 3:15, Matt. 28:18

Summary of 1, 2, 3 = "Jesus is Lord"  - Acts 2:36  That is what's essential.

Distinction:  our Hope is NOT in our faith, our religion.  Our Hope is in Christ!! (confirmed in the Resurrection)

#4.  The Resurrection says Death is defeated. 
It is NOT abolished, but it IS doomed (defeated).  Rev. 20:14
With abolition go ...causes of death, produce of death.  Meanwhile, Rev. 1:18 - Christ holds the "keys"

Another distinction:  
Contrast the fear of dying (process) with the fear of death (state) -
Did the Christian martyrs fear the process?  probably so.  But the did not fear the outcome?

(John 11:25-26)  leave the land of the living?  or leave the land of the dying?  No.  The other side is the land of the living!!

#5.  Resurrection says you can have assurance of Eternal Salvation
On one hand, salvation MAY be possible without the Resurrection.  ("it is finished")
However, without the Resurrection, how would you know????

Another distinction:  
Personal salvation is not secured by the death and resurrection.  They make it possible!
Personal salvation is secured by CROSSING the Bridge!!  You Must Choose

The Resurrection gives us hope for:
#6.  Personal Transformation  "come, follow & I'll make you"

#7.  Kingdom Growth and Development  - Make an Eternal difference (Now)

Summary:  In light of the Resurrection, the Christian Hope = Reasonable Hope!!!

The Resurrection gives us Reason to:
    1)  turn to Him  (accept, receive)
    2)  embrace Him  (trust, follow, serve)
    3)  proclaim Him  - (tell others about Him)

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