And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. (1 Corinthians 15:14–15)
Today’s big question: are we “false witnesses of God”?
Jesus instructed everyone to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19), which is what the apostles did by preaching the gospel, starting churches, writing letters, teaching God’s Word, and so on. However, if Jesus Christ had not risen, how would that affect the apostles and what they were doing?
As Paul stated in the beginning of this chapter, Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again—this is the gospel. This truth forms the basis for all the apostles were doing. If you take away any part of the gospel, you lose all hope for salvation. Moreover, the apostles even said they actually saw Jesus alive again. If Jesus did not rise, the apostles lied and so did Jesus who predicted He would rise from the dead (Mark 10:33–34). Also, the salvation message preached by the apostles would be “empty” and they would be “false witnesses of God.”
The Resurrection is central to the gospel. Thankfully, Jesus did rise and our message is not empty. As Christians, we also need to follow the commission of Jesus to make disciples. This is a big responsibility since, like the apostles, we represent God. Therefore, also like the apostles, we need to make sure our foundation is grounded in the truth of His Word.
Sadly, there are many in the world acting as “false witnesses of God,” whether teaching a different gospel, such as saying the Resurrection could not happen, or teaching something contrary to the creation account in Genesis such as claiming the world is millions of years old instead of just thousands.
If we rely on the shifting opinions of man while rejecting the clear truth of God’s Word and teach human ideas as biblical truth, we are saying God is a liar. If God were a liar, then we ultimately could not trust the message He reveals in His Word. It is extremely important to only speak the truth. While believing in a young earth is not essential for salvation, like the doctrine of the Resurrection, it is still critical because the authority of God’s Word is at stake.
As we carry out God’s commission to make disciples, we should strive to rely on the authority of Scripture in every area. So we should not only speak the truth of God’s Word but live the truth.
Today’s big idea: uncompromisingly speak and live the truth of God’s Word in its entirety.
What to pray: ask God to help you represent Him well.