A. The question is often asked, “What makes you sure that your religion is right and all others wrong?” The answer is multifaceted. In Christianity:
1. “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” Only in Christianity, Jesus Christ—Almighty God Himself—died for the sins of the whole world. Not just for a race or a nation—but for every man, woman, and child that has ever lived or ever will live. The sheep’s Shepherd dying for His sheep instead of the sheep dying for their Shepherd. No Jihads!
2. “It is finished!” Only in Christianity is salvation a “done” deal instead of a “do” deal! The believer can add nothing to Calvary in order to be saved: no baptism, no good works, and no self-righteousness. All the believer has to do is repent and believe! Jesus Christ paid it all and gives it freely and graciously to all who believe.
3. “He is risen from the dead!” Only in Christianity has God died for mankind and took His life up again through the resurrection from the dead. The religious leaders of all other religions died and stayed dead! Their bones lie where there disciples laid them until our God raises them to stand before Him in judgment at the Great White Throne.
4. “If ye love me, keep my commandments!” Only in Christianity is the believer’s motivation for service based upon love instead of fear! We do fear God but it is the love of Christ that constrains us while all others serve our of fear.
5. “Christ in you, the hope of glory!” Only in Christianity does God live in man and man’s body becomes the temple of God. I have the Holy Ghost living in me establishing communion and leadership.
6. “Your life is hid with Christ in God!” Only in Christianity is the believer placed IN God. We are not just subjects but we are sons! Protected, provided for, and preserved for ever with Christ in God.
7. “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish!” Only in Christianity is the believer secure for all eternity regardless of fault and failure. We have eternal life and eternal means eternal! They shall never perish means they shall never perish!
8. “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie!” Only in Christianity is God’s heaven a holy place! All other religions teach that the reward of their followers is a sensual one: they can have all of the things there that God calls sin in our Bible. These “former” things will all pass away and we will live in a perfectly holy environment for ever with a perfectly holy God!
B. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, died on the cross of Calvary for the sins of the whole world. Your sins, my sins, the drunkard’s sins, the harlot’s sins, the sodomite’s sins, the drug addict’s sins, and every race’s sins! Christ was placed in a garden tomb and’ on the third day, rose victorious over death, hell, and the grave! I believe that with all of my heart! I thank God for the resurrection of His Son from the dead.
C. Without the Resurrection, we would have no hope. Without the Resurrection, our service for Christ would be in vain. Without the Resurrection, we would remain in our sins. Without the Resurrection, our loved ones who have died would have perished. Without the Resurrection, we would die and perish forever.
D. I thank God that, having not seen, I believe! I want to look at some of the things that the resurrection of Jesus Christ from dead does.
1. The Resurrection separates Christianity from all other religions. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (As “It is finished” makes Christianity a “done” religion instead of a “do” religion, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ makes Christianity like none other. No other man either rose from the dead or even claimed to do so.)
2. The Resurrection declares that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: (Mohammed, Confucius, and all other religious leaders are dead and buried. Dig where they were buried and you will find the bones still there. Go to the Garden Tomb and you will find it as the disciples found it: empty! Death has no power over our Lord as He dismissed his spirit and took it up again. Jesus Christ is God and Lord of all.)
3. The resurrection demands a decision concerning salvation. John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. Acts 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. (Salvation is a choice that every person must make. Not to do so brings about an eternal damnation. As there is a resurrection unto eternal life, there is also a resurrection unto eternal damnation.)
4. The Resurrection offers salvation to all who believe. Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (A heart belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is essential to salvation. That is what bothers me concerning children getting saved at a very early age. Most children at 4 and 5 years of age have no understanding of sin, death, burial, and resurrection. They can learn the words but the bible declares that those who come to Christ must believe that died for their sins, was buried, and that He arose from the grave. I do not know when a child can be saved but I do know that he or she must be old enough to understand just who Jesus is, what He did for them, and just how sinful that they are before they can be saved. Before then, they are under innocence.)
5. The Resurrection imparts to the believer a new nature. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (This resurrection unto salvation imparts a new nature into the believer that changes his or her thinking forever. I cannot unbelieve that which I have believed and, the older I get, the more I am persuaded.)
6. The Resurrection gives the believer life, both in this world and the one to come. John 14:19-20 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. (20) At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (I am alive and soon will be dead but, then, I will be live forever more: more alive that I have ever been.)
7. The Resurrection brings about spiritual fellowship. Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (Because of the resurrection, I have fellowship with the Lord and also with you. You know that you have passed from death to life because you Love and obey the Lord and love one another.)
8. The Resurrection brings comfort in loss. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (As we follow the casket of a loved one to the grave, we weep for sorrow but not as those who have no hope. In Genesis 50:26, they placed Joseph in a coffin which means a box or chest. The word coffin comes from a root word that means to pluck or gather. I know that I shall see my saved loved ones again and their sorrow is now turned into joy.)
9. The Resurrection gives boldness in the face of death. Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. To die is far better and to remain is needful. When I die, He will be there to walk with me through the valley of the shadow of death and I will fear no evil. He has already been there and knows the way.)
10. The Resurrection guarantees an eternal life with Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (No more death, sorrow, crying, sickness, curse, or sin. Forever with Him!)
Conclusion: The Resurrection gives confidence in our preaching. I preach Christ! The only way to heaven and the only One to live for here. I am glad that He died for the sins of the world, was buried, rose again, and is coming back just like He said!