If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. – 1 Corinthians 15:19 NIV
Are the dead raised to life again? Or is this life all that there is for us? The church at Corinth was struggling with this question. And Paul emphatically affirms to them that Christ has been raised from the dead. And that those who belong to him will also be raised from the dead.
The importance of our coming resurrection is hard to overestimate. As believers, we are called on to deny ourselves the pleasures of this world, looking forward instead to a future in heaven in the presence of God. But if in reality there is no resurrection, then we are of all people, most to be pitied. To turn our backs on this world, and all it offers, for a non-existent future is foolish.
But Christ has been raised from the dead. And his resurrection points to our future resurrection as well. And because there is a resurrection, our hope in Christ is real, it is not in vain. In the end, those who have lost their lives for Christ’s sake, will find a new, and eternal, life in him. What we gain is infinitely greater than what we lose.
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. – 1 John 3:2-3