Death-Defying God

The philosopher Blaise Pascal concluded that we are all gambling over God’s existence. His philosophy was that it is a better bet to lean toward God’s existence. If we go with God’s existence and are wrong, he figured we wouldn’t lose much. We’d only have lived a moral life and would come to nothing. But if we bet against God’s existence and are wrong, he figured that eternity in hell is a pretty horrible outcome. One could certainly debate whether Pascal had a clear understanding of the gospel. But putting that aside, Pascal’s wager doesn’t agree with Paul’s understanding. In 1 Corinthians 15:19, Paul concludes that “if we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” In other words, if the hope of the resurrection turned out to be false, Paul felt that to be a significant loss. Why? From a materialistic point of view, if all we get is this life, we had better live it up and make the most of it. Paul was getting beat up and thrown in prison, and he would eventually become a martyr. Is all that worth the gamble? But Paul looked beyond only the materialistic perspective. 1 Corinthians 15 highlights the theological basis for Paul’s statement. Concluding that God and the resurrection must be real, Paul writes that if they aren’t, we are liars (v15). In other words, we wouldn’t even be living a moral life because we’d be deceiving people by saying that God raises the dead when He doesn’t. This would have made Paul’s preaching and our faith completely pointless. Not only that but if God and the resurrection aren’t real, then we are still in our sins. This is where Pascal seems to have lost his way. Getting people to admit that God exists isn’t the end goal. We have a bigger problem than denying God’s existence. We’ve done wrong, by being mean, hateful, and selfish. The good news of Scripture is that salvation is available to sinners. But Paul concludes that without God and the resurrection, we are stuck in our sin. Take it from someone who was so convinced that Jesus is alive that he risked his life to preach Him. It’s not a gamble to believe in God and the resurrection. It’s life-giving, and it’s the only life worth living. We would be most miserable if the resurrection wasn’t real, but now Christ has been raised from the dead! He is risen indeed! –Pastor Rory

Sunday at Liberty

9AM: Darius Confirms the Decree–Ezra 5:6-6:22

10AM: Pastor Rory–Death-Defying God–1 Corinthians 15:1-20 (sermon notes)

No Evening Gathering–Fifth Night

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