I observe that "if the dead rise not" is repeated 3 times in this chapter, 1 Corinthians 15. (vv. 16, 29, and 32). What would it be like "if the dead rise not"?
1 Corinthians 15:12 - 34
ESV - 12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
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As noted in the verses from the chapter cited in the question, if it is impossible for the dead to rise, then Christ did not rise from the dead after He died on the cross. If, in turn, Christ was in fact not raised from the dead, the following results occur: -- It is then futile to tell people to have faith in Christ's resurrection for the purposes of having their sins forgiven, and of obtaining eternal life through that same faith. -- More than that, those (such as Paul) who had been preaching (and still preach today) that faith in the resurrected Christ would result in forgiveness and eternal life have been deliberate frauds who have been lying about God. -- On an eternal scale, those who have placed their faith in Christ's resurrection for the forgiveness of their sins and for eternal life in God's presence, and then have since died, are forever separated from God, since it is Christ's resurrection that shows that His death on the cross was a sufficient and valid atonement for human sin in God's eyes. -- Finally, there is no positive purpose or value in the deprivation, suffering, persecution, and death to which those who have preached or placed their faith in Christ's resurrection have been subjected (in many cases voluntarily) throughout the past two thousand years. People should instead make it their life goal to achieve the maximum amount of personal fleshly pleasure possible, with no regard to the morality of their actions, or the effects of those actions upon others..
During the coronavirus pandemic, I listened to a sermon on Easter by Dr. Adrian Rogers. I incorporated some of his points into an old outline I had of 1 Corinthians 15, “the resurrection chapter” of the Bible by T.B. I. We are yet in our sins v.17 and then, sin would be sovereign (1 Cor 15:17 -- “And if Christ be not raised your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ I wouldn’t give you half a hallelujah for your hope of Heaven. (Romans 4:25; 8:33-34) II. Our faith is vain v.14 --Faith would be foolish And then Paul mentions something else in 1 Co 15:14: Not only is preaching profitless, but faith is foolish if Christ is still in the grave. Notice he goes on to say in verse 14: “and your faith is also vain.” That is, you're trusting something that doesn’t deserve your trust. I mean, who wants to put his faith in Jesus if Jesus is dead? It’s not enough to believe that Christ died for your sins if you don’t believe that God raised Him, also, from the dead. Your faith is vain. The Bible says that if thou shalt believe with thy heart the Lord Jesus, confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, then thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9) But, if you don’t believe that God raised Him from the dead, then your faith is foolish. Adrian Rogers III. Our preaching is vain v.14 Preaching would be profitless. Verse 14 says, "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain." Now the word “vain” means empty, futile, with no purpose, a colossal waste of time IV. The disciples would be deceivers --“We are false witnesses” (1Co 15:15). If Christ be not raised, then the disciples are deceivers. Look, if you will please, in this passage of Scripture as we continue to read in verse 15: Paul says, “Yea, and we are found…[now underscore this]…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.” Now, I want you to catch the gist of Paul’s argument. Paul is not saying that if Christ is still in the grave, then we were mistaken. That’s not what he says. He has said that if Christ has not been raised, then we are false witnesses. Do you know what a false witness is? That’s somebody who gets in a courtroom and knowingly, willingly, deliberately perjures himself and becomes a liar. A liar! He commits perjury. He tells a lie. He is a false witness. He knows better. V. Death would have dominion -- Those who have fallen asleep have perished v.18 Now, I want to mention another consequence if there be no Easter: If Christ is still in the grave, then not only is sin sovereign, but, my dear friend, death also has dominion. Look, if you will please, in verse 18: “Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” V. We are of all men most miserable v.19 -- the future is futile. Notice in verse 19 what the Apostle Paul has to say: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” The future is fearful and futile if Christ be not raised. But friend, I want to tell you—he has been raised. Notice verse 20: “But now is Christ risen from the dead,” and because he is, preaching is profitable, faith is feasible, the disciples are dependable, sin is subdued, death is defeated, and the future is fabulous—because Christ has been raised from the dead. He has taken the sting out of sin. He has taken the gloom out of the grave. He has taken the dread out of death, and He has given to us a hope that is steadfast and sure. Adrian Rogers
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