The word “gospel” simply means “good news” or “glad tidings”. The central focus of the gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus came into the world to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). The Bible teaches that he accomplished what he came to do (Heb. 9:12 & 10:14). Therefore, the gospel brings comfort to those who are troubled over their sins (Isa. 40:1-2). It is not a proposition to the sinner but a declaration of the finished work of our Savior which secured our eternal salvation (1 Cor. 5:17-21). Consequently, Christians believe that when the Lord returns, He will raise the dead and take His people to their eternal home in glory (Acts 1:9-11, 1 Thes. 4:16-18, & Col. 3:4). The resurrection of Jesus necessitates the resurrection of those he saved (1 Cor. 15:16-20).
The Bible also teaches, “that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”(2 Pet. 3:3-4). The question is sometimes asked, “How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?” (1 Cor. 15:35). The apostle Paul answers this question in such a way as to put the “scoffer” on the defensive. “Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.” (1 Cor. 15:36-38). Paul is essentially saying that we witness a likeness of the resurrection in nature every Spring. A farmer doesn’t get a harvest unless he first risks the loss of his seed (“that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die”). Furthermore what he plants (buries) is not in direct proportion to what he hopes to receive. He plants the “bare grain” (naked seed) and hopes to receive “wheat, or some other grain”. A farmer plants a few kernels of corn seed in hopes of receiving ears with thousands of kernels. That which he reaps is far superior to that which he sowed. Some of the most beautiful flowers come forth as a result of burying an ugly bulb. How can anyone deny the resurrection in light of the abundant evidence to support it in nature? Concerning our natural bodies, Paul then says, “…It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body…” (1 Cor. 15:42-44). Paul concludes the chapter by writing, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:55-57).
We’re living in a day in which doctrinal compromise has reached epidemic proportions in many “churches.” As Christians, we need to remember the words of Jude, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3). The expression, “once delivered” indicates that what was taught by the apostles as recorded in the Bible is “perpetually valid”. The doctrine of the resurrection cannot be compromised. The Apostle Paul was very emphatic concerning the importance of this doctrine when he wrote the church at Corinth, “For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1 Cor. 15:16-19).
We invite you to worship with us at Fort Wayne Primitive Baptist Church. The church is located at 2006 Nuttman Avenue, directly across from Brooklyn Medical Associates. We meet each Sunday at 10:30 AM. For more information, call (260) 417-7839 or e-mail BuddyAbernathy@juno.com
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