And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:14 and 20)
Is it all worth it? Many Christians today in the United States are struggling with the massive cultural changes we see all around us. As biblical values have less and less influence on society and culture, as our children and grandchildren sometimes reject the values that we hold so dear, we wonder if it is worth it. We begin to feel like it might not matter, like we are irrelevant, even useless.
I wonder if the apostle Paul felt that way from time to time? As a traveling missionary and church planter, Paul experienced the great joy of seeing people brought to faith. But he also experienced persecution, suffering, and hardship. He was imprisoned, beaten, and physically abused. He saw promising beginnings, where people were brought to faith, only to see persecution arise and drive the new Christians out of their homes and cities. Was it all worth it for Paul?
Yes, because Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. Paul says, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” If Jesus had remained in the tomb, if death had held onto Him, then the preaching of Paul and other missionaries was an enormous waste of time. It was of no use, it was no good. And the faith of those who believed the message was also useless, empty.
But Jesus did rise from the dead! “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead,” writes Paul. Jesus did conquer sin and Satan and death! So the work of Paul and other missionaries was not in vain, it was not useless! Indeed, God blessed the preaching of the early church so much so that the Christian faith exploded.
Christ is risen! In the midst of our fallen world with all of its confusion and sin, Christ is risen! As we see incredible amounts of change around us, Jesus Christ remains the Risen One among us!
Because He rose from the dead, what we do matters. The preaching of the gospel matters, and believing the gospel matters.
Because Jesus Christ rose from the dead, your life has meaning. You will live with Him forever, and you carry the message of life in you. You speak the message of life to other people who need to know that there is hope in the risen Savior.
So don’t be discouraged! Don’t give up hope! Christ is risen! Our preaching is not in vain. Your faith is not in vain.
Christ is risen!