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The Worst Case Scenario

4/16/06 CC/AM

1 Corinthians 15:1-22

Easter 2006

Introduction: Perhaps you have heard of the game “Worst Case Scenario”.  In it the participants are faced with a question concerning if they were to ever find themselves in a particular difficult situation, which one of the supplied answers would be the best course of action.  In the game, many times none of the options seem to be all that desirable!  Let me illustrate by giving you a chance to “sample” the game.

How To Make Emergency Bug Repellent In The Jungle

a.    Break up a termite nest and rub the material over skin.

b.   Rub the skin from a brightly colored frog on your skin

c.    Rub the milky sap from wide leaved plants on your skin

How To Locate Water On A Deserted Island

a.    Find a big green tree and track its root system to a water source

b.   Catch a bird or fish and chew their bones which will extract enough moisture from the marrow to keep you alive.

c.    A cracked rock with bird droppings around it usually indicates that there is water in the crack. Stick your shirt in the crack to absorb the moisture and then suck on your shirt.

How To Protect Yourself In A Crush Of People

a.    Tuck your hands under your underarms, raise your elbows perpendicular to the ground and quickly rotate your upper body.

b.   Place one arm across your chest and grab your opposite shoulder.

c.    Bend your knees and spread out your arms and legs as far as possible.

See what I mean about not always having real good options?  Now the manufacturers of the game have included disclaimers concerning their advice which basically says, “If you do find yourself in one of these worse case scenarios and the information that we said is the right answer doesn’t work or even gets you killed, we are not to be held responsible and we disclaim any liability”.  So do I!

What is the worst thing that could happen to you if you are a Christian?  If you are putting your faith in the resurrected Jesus Christ what would be the worst thing that you could think of?

In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he addresses some false teachings that had crept into the church.  In chapter 15, he writes to instruct them concerning a terrible lie that had lead many astray.  The lie, if indeed true, would probably be the worst case scenario for all who were believers in Jesus.

1.   The worst case scenario vv. 12-19

a.    That there is no resurrection from the dead.

b.   That Jesus Christ has not been raised from the dead.

c.    The ramifications from this scenario

                                                            i.      The Apostles preaching was done in vain

                                                         ii.      Placing faith in Jesus Christ was in vain/worthless

                                                      iii.      The Apostles were liars

                                                      iv.      All will still have to pay for their sins

                                                         v.      Everyone who has already died placing their faith in Jesus have perished without hope.

                                                      vi.      Those who have lived a life of faithfulness and trust in Jesus have been duped and should be felt sorry for.

d.   If Christ didn’t rise from the dead the worst case scenario for the believer has come true.

Transition: Fortunately, Paul is not agreeing with the worst case, he wrote to instruct them about the truth!  We meet here today with real purpose.  Because of the truth!

2.   The real case scenario vv. 1-4, 20-22

a.    Found in verses 3,4, and 20.

b.   Christ died for our sins!  Yours and mine just like the Bible says, just like the Old Testament predicted.

c.    He was really dead!  He was stabbed with a spear to make sure of it.  He was then placed in a tomb and it was sealed and guarded around the clock.

d.   He rose from the dead three days latter, again just like the Scriptures had foretold.

e.    Jesus Christ was the first to be resurrected but will not be the last!

f.     Others had been raised from the dead by the power of God but they were not resurrected.  They all died again.  Resurrection means that the victory that is granted over death that lasts for eternity!

g.    One man, Adam, brought death to man because of his sin.  He was the representative for the human race and when he sinned the edict of death passed upon all men.  That was a bad day for the human race.

h.   To be fair, actually merciful, because death came to all because of the sin of one, resurrection came as the result of another man, the God-man Jesus Christ.

i.      Because Jesus defeated death, all those who are in Jesus will defeat it too. Jesus Christ was victorious over the grave and defeated death Himself. In a day that is coming yet in the future He will defeat death forever for all mankind.  The last enemy is death and Jesus Christ will abolish death after the final defeat of Satan.

j.      Can you imagine life without death, pain, or even sorrow?  It is coming to all of those that are in Christ!

k.   Are you in Christ? Is He in you?

Conclusion: Aren’t you glad that the worst case scenario could never be true because Jesus did rise from the dead on that first Easter Sunday morning?  Our faith is not in vain.  We are not still in our sins.  I am not standing here today preaching in vain trying to mislead you with some fairy tale.  Jesus Christ rose from the dead and when He did it validated everything that He said about who He was and about the relationship that we can have with Him.  It is a relationship that we must have.  Have you put your faith in the One who defeats death and invites us to live with Him in glory forever?  If not you can do so today!

1 Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

1 Corinthians 15:1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.

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