Scripture Passage: 1 Corinthians 15:12-19
This is the Gospel: Jesus Christ died for our sins; He was buried and rose again on the third day. But what if death had conquered—what if Jesus had stayed in the tomb?
1 Corinthians 15:12-19 gives a tragic account of our lives without Jesus—a picture of what our lives would be if there had been no Easter. Preaching would be profitless and our faith would be foolish: “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (1 Corinthians 5:14).
If Christ is still in the grave, every preacher of the Gospel is wrong. If Jesus Christ is dead, our faith is also dead, because faith is no better than its subject.
Without the resurrection, the disciples would have been deceivers: “Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ…” (1 Corinthians 5:15). The disciples, who were tortured and persecuted as martyrs, would have had no gain preaching of Christ’s resurrection if He were still dead.
Adrian Rogers says, “A man may live for a lie, but not many men willingly die for a lie.”
Without Easter, sin would be sovereign: “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 5:17)!
God cannot overlook our sin; if He did, He would cease to be Holy. We have no hope of forgiveness apart from the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a result, death would have dominion: “Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Corinthians 5:18).
If Jesus had not beaten death once and for all, death would have the last word and ultimate dominion. But because Jesus Christ rose from the grave, there is life beyond death.
Finally, if there had been no Easter, the future would be fearful: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 5:19). Without the resurrection, we are a miserable people, with very little to look forward to.
Adrian Rogers says, “Jesus Christ is the one who walked out of that grave and took the sting out of sin. He took the dread out of death, took the gloom out of the grave, and He has given us a hope that is steadfast and sure.”
Apply it to your life
Do you know who you are in Christ? Do you believe in His death, burial and resurrection?
Jesus christ is still in that grave, nothing really matters. But if jesus christ came out of that grave, nothing but that really matters, would you agree to that? I do thanks for joining us on this special easter sunday. Adrian Rogers said the resurrection was history’s greatest happening and God’s greatest conquest today on love with finding will be bringing you one of pastor Rogers most requested easter messages. What if there had been no easter? Have your bibles ready and join us And remember you can stream this message again, share this message with a friend and download Pastor Rogers outline notes or a complete transcript of this message all at L WF dot org. Now let’s join Adrian Rogers take God’s word And find if you would first corinthians chapter 15 An unthinkable question what if there had been no easter? What if jesus christ stayed in that tomb? What if death had conquered if there had been no easter? Well, the apostle paul deals with that question here, beginning in verse 12, listen to it first Corinthians chapter 15 verse 12. Now, if christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead, but if there be no resurrection of the day then is christ not risen and if christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and your faith is also vain. Yay, and we have found false witnesses of God because we have testified of God that he raised up christ whom he raised not up? If so be that the dead rise, not for if the dead rise, not then is not christ raised and if christ be not raised, your faith is vain. You’re 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 but now is christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that’s left the greatest escape artist of all time was a man named Harry Houdini. He died in 1926. Some of you may never have heard of him, but he was the sensation of his time. It seemed there was no way to imprison Harry, he would be put in the best jails. In a few moments he would be out, they would put handcuffs on him, they seemed to fall away, they would sew him up in canvas bags out he would come, they would rivet him in huge milk can but out he would come, he would be sealed in boilers and welded in out, he would come, he would be put in a coffin chains around that coffee dump it in the river out he would come some thought he had supernatural powers. He had the flexibility of an eel, he had the mind of a genius, he had the lives of a cat Fulton oyster said that man could escape from anything but our memories but in october 1926 Harry Houdini die now He had experimented with contact with the dead necromancy, clairvoyance. See fortune telling. And he felt that all of these were fakers and he would expose them and they hated him. But he still wondered can anyone truly escape from there. He told his wife gave her a secret code word that on my birthday I will try to contact, sensitize your mind. Be ready for contact. They had a code word. She on his birthday would light a candle and sit before his picture. one year. He did not contact her. two years, three years, Four years five, On the 10th year, she extinguished the candle and never try it again. Old death held harry. He did not escape. Jesus went into the tomb. He stayed there three days and he walked out like a butterfly bursting from a cocoon leaving the grave clothes in that tomb, jesus christ came forth. He is a risen savior. He did. What Harry could not do. But the question comes thing unthinkable. Suppose jesus christ is still in that grave. Suppose jesus did not rise from the dead. I want to tell you six tragic things. That would be true. If Christ is still in that grave number one preaching would be profitless. What we’re doing today would be an exercise in Futility. Look, if you will in verse 15 verse 14 here of our text and if Christ be not risen then is our preaching. Very folks, you’re wasting your time? I am wasting my time. If jesus christ is still in the grave, this is a very profitless thing that we’re doing now, preaching is vain. It is empty. If christ is still in that grape, every liberal preacher who does not believe in the resurrection of jesus, christ ought to go get an honest job. Let me tell you what the preacher said. It’s amazing, he said. And I quote, speaking of jesus, his body lies in a nameless, Syrian tomb, but his deathless spirit goes marching on. Somebody ought to call for that man’s credential, jesus christ is alive for that man is an imposter and he is a fake and a fraud and has no business in anybody’s ministry. This is the gospel that christ died for our sins, that he was buried and rose again the third day. And without that, the man has no gospel pre number two. Not only is preaching profitless, but if jesus christ is still in the grave, faith would be food. Listen again to verse 14. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain? And you’re faith is also vain? Why would that be? Well, why put beat in a dead messiah? You see, faith is no better than it’s odd, a dead man can’t save anyone our faith in jesus christ, it’s not worth anything. If jesus christ is still in the grave, how do we know that he is the son of God, how do we know that he is God incarnate? The bible says he’s shown to be the son of God with power, the resurrection from the dead. Confucius died, he’s dead. Oh buddha di he’s dead, Mohammed died, he’s dead, jesus christ is alive. He’s alarmed. A teacher asked the students to write an essay on the greatest living man. One student wrote an essay on jesus christ. The teacher said son, that’s a good essay, but I said living man, the students said teacher, he is alive, he is alive. We don’t put our faith in a dead messiah, he’s declared to be the son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead romans one verse four. But if he’s still in that grave preaching, his profitless faith is foolish. Number three, the disciples are deceivers. If jesus christ did not rise, Look, if you will in verses 15 and 16, paul goes on with his argument and says if christ be not risen, yea, and we are found false witnesses of God because we have testified of God that he raised up christ whom he raised, not up if so be that the dead rise, not for if the dead rise, not then is not christ raised, Now notice what he’s saying? Look again in verse 15, we are found false witnesses now get the whole thing, paul is not saying? If jesus is still in the grave, then we’re mistaken. It’s one thing to be mistaken, friend. It’s another thing to be a false witness. What paul says is if jesus christ is still in the grave, then we’re telling a lie, We’re telling a lie. Now you have to ask yourself this question. Therefore, were the disciples liars? Were they deceiver? If so, why, why would they the sea? Why would they lie? When you say people lie for gain people tell lies to get out of trouble, not to get into trouble. A man may live for a lot, but few if any men will willingly die for a lie. If they know it’s a lot of these people are saying, listen, we have seen him, we have touched him, we have handled him. Are you going to tell me that? Simon Peter was a con man that john the apostle was a crook. That the apostle paul who wrote most of the new testament was a known perjurer and a deceiver and a false witness. And these men would die for a lie. Of course not. But if christ is still in the grave preaching his problem fake is foolish. The disciples would be deceivers. Now let’s look at the next thing. If jesus, christ is still in that grave, sin would be sovereign. Sin has one notice in verse 15, Chapter 15: verse 17. And if christ be not raised your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sam All of us have sinned. That’s not the one who’s not sin. Who in this congregation can say I’ve never seen not a one. But if jesus christ is in the grave, you are a sinner by birth, by nature, by practice by choice and you have no hope forgiveness. Apart from the death of the Lord, jesus christ, God cannot just overlook your sins. If God would have ceased to judge sin, God would cease to be holy. If God were to merely overlook sin, god would topple from his throne of holland. God never let sin go unpunished. Your sin will be pardoned in christ or punished in hell, but it will never be overlooked. But if jesus christ is still in the grave, that means that God did not accept the sacrifice of cal, how do we know that Jesus christ is the son of God? How do we know that Jesus christ was not just a religious fanatic. How do we know that jesus christ? It was just someone with a martyr complex who happened to get crucified and that’s it. How do we know that? God accepted the sacrifice of calvary the resurrection. The bible says he was delivered for our offenses and raised the game for our justification living. He loved me, dying. He saved me buried, He carried my sins far away rising. He justified freely, forever. No resurrection, no savior, no savior, no forgiveness. His death without his resurrection cannot save anybody. He was delivered for our offenses. The bible says he was raised for our justification. But if christ is still in the grave, none of us have half a hallelujahs hope of heaven because christ is still in the grave and we are yet in our sins. And the wages of sin is death. The soul that sins it shall surely die now. If anything had been lacking in his beautiful life in his sinless atonement, god would have left him. Father would have left him in the grave. If jesus christ be not raised, then death has Dominion. Death has Dominion. Look, if you will not only a sin sovereign, but death has to mean, Look in 1st Corinthians 15 verse 18, then they also which are fallen asleep in christ paris. Do you have a loved 1? Father, mother brother, sister, child spaghetti, they’re gone. They perished. That’s it. It is over. Death has Dominion. If jesus christ is still in that grave, life is nothing but a cruel joke. All any of us can look forward to is getting sicker. Finally winding down to the grave, being cremated or covered with dirt, letting greedy microbes eat away at our flesh. And that’s it. That’s it. Death. His Dominion. The dead have perished. Are you going to tell me something is wonderful as a human life, something as glorious as the bond between humans has no more meaning than that. Just to die. And back to the ground and that’s it. That’s what we’re looking forward to. I preached many funeral. I’ll tell you the hardest thing for me at a funeral is to stand by the casket and watch the loved ones come and look upon that lump of clay for the close the cast. I was at a funeral, the beautiful flowers were there all banked up. I walked around and looking at the flowers. I saw one beautiful bouquet you could tell it was done by the grandchildren. This was an elderly man, a saint on this earth dear member of this church and on the floor offering it said two pop pop, that’s what they called. And I thought of the grandchildren having to say goodbye to grandpa and I stood there as it’s the pastors habit to do as people come by and I saw that precious widow, these people would walk together for more than a half percent and I watched her. She’s a lady of great faith, this was not despair, but she walked up and laid her hand on his sleeve, touched him. Impact couple of times turned and walked away and I thought to myself, is that it is that all there is to life pop pop is gone and he’s gone. The husband is gone and he’s gone after those years that marvelous creature down to the dirt down to the earth, no death does not have Dominion christ has risen. Those that have fallen asleep in christ have not perished. He is alive. You can go to Rome and go to the catacombs. Catacombs of those underground tunnels. More than 600 miles of these underneath. Rome, dug in the soft clay About 8ft tall, about that wide, Maybe 5ft wide in place niches in the side where the pagans and the christians would bury their dead beneath the ground. You can walk through those catacombs. There’s some 60 different ones there in Rome. I’ve been in them on a number of occasions. You can read the inscriptions that the pagans left there for their dead. You can see there’s no hope, only despair. Listen to some of them live for the present. Our since we’re sure of nothing else. Here’s another, I will lift up my hands against the Gods who took me away at the age of 20 though I have done no harm. Here’s another once. I was not now, I am not, I know nothing about it and it’s no concern of mine. Another travel curse me not as you pass, for I am in darkness and Canada, that’s pagan death. Let me read some of the inscriptions of the christians how different they were Here lies Marcia put to rest in the dream of peace. Lawrence to his sweetest son carried away by the angel call. He went in peace, victorious in life, victorious in peace and victorious in christ. What a difference jesus made, How great to know that there is a god who in the form of man? The Lord Jesus christ grappled with the iron bars of death and is victorious and I’m here to tell you that death does not have Dominion because christ rose now number six Yes, if preaching is profitless, it’s faith is futile friend. If sin is sovereign, if death has Dominion in the future here The future would be fearful. Look, if you will in verse 19, if in this life only we have hope in christ, we are of all men, most miserable. A wise man once said if jesus christ is still in that grave, nothing really matters. But if jesus christ came out of that grave, nothing but that read matter, would you agree to that? I do. If jesus christ walked out of that grave, you see friend without the resurrection, we’re just poor, deluded fool. We are of all people most miserable and and the future, it’s fair, Jesus Christ is the one who walked out of that grave and he took the sting out of sin, he took the bread out of death, he took the gloom out of the grave and he has given us a hope that is steadfast and sure and so one of these days of the Lord paris, they’ll be looking at you and say yeah, I used, I used to know him, I used to know her, we’re going gone, gone, gone. Where and where? What is your future is it fearful? Not if jesus rose from the dead. Albert Einstein was a genius. Time magazine didn’t call him the man of the Year. Time magazine called him the man of the Century. Oh Albert Einstein knew so much, but he was absent minded, like a lot of people. Albert Einstein was on the train going from Princeton in the account that I read and the conductor came by to punch the ticket. Einstein couldn’t find his ticket, he’s looking at his vest, looking in his briefcase, couldn’t find his ticket, the conductor said Dr Einstein, don’t worry, I know you bought a ticket, I know who you are. Dr Einstein, don’t worry, that’s fine, that’s fine. And so the conductor went on down punching the ticket and he looked back and dr Einstein is down on his knees looking under the seat, he goes back, he said, sir, it’s all right, Dr Einstein, I know who you are, he said, and I know who I am, I just want to know where I’m going, do you know where you’re going? Do you know who you are in christ, have you since been forgiven? Are you sure that jesus christ is in your heart. If so, then I want to tell you friend, preaching is profitable. Faith is feasible, The disciples are dependable, sin has been subdued, Death has been defeated and the future, it’s fabulous, we know where we’re headed? You value heads in prayer, heads about an eyes are closed. The truth of the ages is that Jesus christ came out of that grave only foolishness, doubts the resurrection of jesus Christ, Jesus lives. The question is to you, you may have existence, but you don’t have real life until you know the Lord jesus christ may I lead you in a prayer and in this prayer, you can receive the gift of eternal life through the resurrected jesus christ who was delivered for our offenses and raised for our justification and shown to be the son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead. Now is christ risen. Did you pray this prayer? Lord jesus, thank you for dying for me. Thank you for paying my sin debt with your blood on the cross. I believe it and I received now by faith. I accept you into my heart into my life as my Lord and Savior, forgive my sin, cleanse me. Save me. I give my life to you and I receive you as my Lord and Savior. Now, Lord jesus, I belong to you. I will not be ashamed of you. I will live for you. The rest of my life. I’m weak. You’re strong. So begin now to make me the person you want me to be and give me the strength now to make this public in your name. I play well, amen what these have done here in this beautiful worship center. I trust that many of you are doing that. You have said Lord jesus come into my heart, forgive my sin and save me the wonderful truth of the gospel is the bible says, for whom so ever shall call upon, the name of the Lord shall be saved and so who you are or where you are. Doesn’t make all that much difference. It doesn’t really make any difference. If you call on jesus and say Lord jesus, save me, I trust you’ll do it and if you do write to us and let us know, we’ll send you some literature to help you to get started in your christian life. Thanks for joining us for this special easter, sunday message from Adrian Rogers. You can stream this message again, share this message with a friend and download. Pastor Rogers outline notes or a complete transcript of this message all at L WF dot org or the my L WF. While you’re there, be sure to check out our new bible studies on today’s topic as well as many other topics at L WF dot org. You can also subscribe to our daily heartbeat email. Each heartbeat contains a daily devotional from Adrian Rogers 90 seconds. A profound truth also from Adrian Rogers and a link to our daily radio program all in one place, delivered directly to your computer or mobile device each morning and if you’re looking for some inspiration and encouragement to get you through the week. Check us out on social media at L WF ministries and don’t forget you can catch up with our program each week on our facebook page or Youtube channel or on the my L WF app. Thanks for joining us today. Have a wonderful easter season. May I tell you my dear friend that all of the bible is about jesus and as you open your bible and read it carefully and prayerfully standing somewhere in the shadows, you’ll find the Lord jesus christ. And if you read the bible and don’t find the Lord jesus christ, you’d better reread it because he is there somewhere, learn about God’s purpose and plan from genesis to revelation. See jesus in all of history and better understand the message of redemption in this insightful new book from Love Worth finding his story in this collection of eight powerful messages. Adrian Rogers shares the whole bible story in a simple and clear way for your gift. This month we’d like to send you a copy of his story call 1 806 479400. Or you can give online at L WF dot org. 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