If Jesus is Not Raised – We are Fools!
The prophets of the Old Testament are dead and buried. That is a fact, except for Elijah and Enoch…Elijah was walking with his Protégé, Elisha…and one day, here is what happened to him…”2 Kings 2:11 –“As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elijah was seen no more….but he will be seen, and he will die. “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. Genesis 5:24.
It is known that two witnesses will come to the earth during the 3.5 years AFTER the Lord comes in the clouds to remove His saints. Revelation 11:3-12 reveals this: “And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.”
“Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, (Jerusalem) where also their Lord was crucified.
For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.”
“But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.”
So, as you can see, God’s Word is true…Hebrews 9:27 - ”It IS APPOINTED unto man ONCE to die”…even those two prophets who have not yet seen death.
Another prophet, Mohammed, lived…and died.
Taken from Wikepedia: In 632 A.D., a few months after returning to Medina from his farewell pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill and died.” And, “The revelations (or Ayat -. "Signs of God")—which Muhammad reported receiving until his death—form the verses of the Qur’an, regarded by Muslims as the “Word of God” and around which the religion is based.”
This prophet died in 632 A.D. His writing formed the basis of the Qur’an. Their devotion is to Allah.
All of the Jewish Prophets died, with the exception of Elijah and Enoch. Their Book…the Torah, was writted about 4,000 years ago, and stand today as their “Word of God”. Their devotion is to G-d. They do not spell out God.
We can name all other religious leaders who started religions throughout time, but they have all died, and are buried in the ground.
It is believed, by Muslims, that their version of the “Messiah”…called “al Mhadi” or “The 12th Imam” (Google these claims so you don’t have to belive what I say), will return to the earth SOON. His grand entry “must be proceeded by violence upon the earth.” This is why we have witnessed terrorism within this generation by Muslims. Some would call them extremists, but Islam believes that ALL the people of the earth MUST worship Allah…or they are considered infidels - non-believers, and certain punishments go with this unbelief. You will see those punishments unfold SOON, I believe.
Israel still expects their “Messiah”, and that His return has not happened yet, but it is imminent.
So, we shall now approach the religion of Born Again Believers. I will NOT refer to them as “Christians” because true followers of Christ would never do half the things that zealots…these fanatics, do in the name of “Christianity”.
The world “Christian” had been defined as anyone not Jewish, so I prefer to use Born Again Believers as the religion of those who subscribe to the teaching of the Bible…and in particular, 1 Corinthians 15....the adherence to the Gospel of Christ.
Now, let’s see what Paul, the apostle who never met Christ has to tell us.
I Corinthians 15:1-14 –“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”
Paul reminds born-again believers in the Gospel of Christ that they are “saved people”. Saved means “saved from the punishment and wrath of God who MUST punish sin.” – “By this GOSPEL, you are saved.” Before we ask, “What Gospel?”, Paul answers.
I want to remind all readers that Paul used to be called “Saul of Tarsus”, and he personally persecuted the born-again believers of his day. He was there for the stoning of Stephen, a deacon of the first “Christian” church in Jerusalem. He arrested entire families of believers and had them tossed into prison. Later, Jesus spoke to him….after His resurrection, while Paul was heading to Damascus…to arrest and persecute more believers who believed in this Prophet, Jesus.
Also, you must know that Islam and Judaism both believe that Jesus was a Prophet of God…. They refute that He is a Savior who can also forgive sins….but that He was, in fact, a Prophet of God.
If, in fact, most of the earth believe that jesus was a Prophet of God, why would they reject what He said? They take some of the things He said....but reject much of what He said. This makes no sense to me. One should accept ALL that a Prophet of God speaks, or reject ALL that he speaks. T=Otherwise, there is no consistency.
Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 15 :5-8 –“For what I received (from this risen Christ on the road to Damascus), I passed on to you as of first importance - that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”
I’ll clarify that term “abnormally born” here by using the Message Version of the Bible. “It was fitting that I bring up the rear. I don't deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years trying my best to stamp God's church right out of existence.” Paul is stating that he came in AFTER the apostles who personally knew Jesus. His life was not that of a believer until the encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.
This should also be a valuable lesson to us. Even though WE are sinners, and should never be able to inherit the kingdom of heaven, Jesus seeks every one of us out at some point in our life. He sought me out when I was but eleven years old. Some reject Him….others trust and believe His words. Paul believed all that he heard that special day in his life….his “spiritual birthday”.
Paul continues in verse 9-11 – “For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.”
And, Paul recites ALL that one needs to believe to inherit ETERNAL LIFE: Verse 12-14 –“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
Paul tells us that we need to know and believe that Jesus came to the earth to become our sacrifice. He took OUR sins…every nasty one of them, upon Himself…who knew no sin.
He exchanged our sins for His righteousness that day on the cross. Do you believe that? He was then taken down from the cross, and He was DEAD.
He was laid to rest on a concrete bench in a borrowed tomb, and there His body lay from Friday, April 11, 32 A.D., until Sunday morning the 13th of April of 32 A.D.
The Bible tells us that His spirit, however, went into “Abraham’s Bosom”…a place where the souls of dead believers are until the time of the rapture, and He preached to them. He also went into hell itself, confronted Satan, and took the keys of hell from him.
Jesus showed Satan…and all of mankind, that He has the power over death. In fact, historians…and the New Testament, tell us of the time that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead….just before His own death and burial.
Why would Jesus have chosen to raise Lazarus (dead in the tomb for four long days)and then raise him body, soul and spirit? Lazarus came forth out of the tomb…walking and talking and living for a long time after his first death.
Jesus was showing the world…and His apostles that if He could raise people from the grave, than He could raise Himself as well…and that is exactly what He did on that eventful, Sunday morning.
Roman soldiers guarded the tomb and rolled a great stone, weighing over two-tons, in front of it because they were ordered to by their superiors, and by Pilate, the Governor of Rome.
When Mary Magdalene and another woman approached the tomb before it was dawn on Sunday morning, they spotted the tomb. They came to bring spices and ointments to care for Jesus' dead body. But, the stone had been rolled away, and there were no guards there.
Two angels were there, and they told the women to go and tell the apostles of this. On the way to tell the apostles, Jesus met with them and spoke with them….He was definitely alive.
Matthew 28:8-10 –“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
The guards were under orders to watch the tomb specifically so that no one could come and steal the body and proclaim that Jesus was risen…because Jesus told the Jewish Leader that He would be raised on the third day.
The penalty for failing to guard the tomb was death. Yet, these same guards were allowed to live! They were paid off by the Jewish Counsel to say that the apostles came and stole Him away!
Matthew 28:11-15 –“While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.' If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.”
Jesus was seen by eleven apostles on Sunday, April 13th...32 A.D. If the apostles lied so they could fabricate a story having implications for eternity, then they were really stupid men.
Peter ended up hanging upside down on a cross for his unwavering beliefs. He preached Christ to the last breath. Many apostles died a horrible death. Why would they do that? Paul was led off to face Nero in 60 A.D., and the Bible does not tell us how he died. Some historians say he was beheaded.
Paul wraps up his dissertation on why born-again believers believe what they believe: 1 Corinthians 15:17 –“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”
In addition to the apostles and others, 500 Jewish brothers saw Jesus after Sunday, April 13, 32 A.D.
To refer you back up the page to 1 Corinthians 15:5-8, Paul stipulates that, “Jesus appeared to Peter] and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also.”
Jesus did not only appear to Peter and to Mary Magdalene and others on the way into Jerusalem, He then appeared in the upper room in Jerusalem to his eleven apostles (Judas had hung himself), an THEN…He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers…who, at the time Paul was delivering this particular message…were still live witnesses for anyone to query.
So, it appears that ALL prophets and leaders of every religion on the planet have died…including Jesus. Only one, however, has been raised from the dead, and that one is Jesus.
You can choose to believe the Gospel of Christ…as preached by His apostles, including Paul…and men down though the ages - or not.
People continue preaching that same message that this same Jesus, who raised Lazarus from the tomb, shall likewise be able to raise YOU from death and your spirit shall be with the Lord, Jesus, in heaven immediately upon your death.
This is not so with all who died BEFORE the resurrection. They are “asleep” in “Abraham’s Bosom” until the great day that the Lord reappears in the clouds to take the “dead in Christ” up first, and then those who remain and are alive aat that time.
Those who believe in the Gospel of Christ…shall be taken up to heaven…to spend from 3.5 to 3.8 years there, and then return to the earth with this King of Kings for a one-thousand year reign.
First, before Christ returns with His saints, all hell will break out upon the earth for those last 3.5 to 3.8 years of the Great Tribulation…a seven-year period of time where the first 3.5 years will bring great and prosperous times, and then the saints are taken up, and the last period of time, really bad things begin to happen.
John Tyler, Author of nine books.
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