People often have beliefs that are not sensible. They have not thought about what their beliefs really mean. If they ever did that, they would soon consider their own ideas to be foolish.
Many people today call themselves Christians although they do not believe in life after death. In 1 Corinthians 15:16-19, Paul examines the nature of this kind of religion. He considers it a terrible religion, because it cannot offer any real hope to anyone. He feels sorry for a person who has such beliefs.
Firstly, Paul asks how much of Godís good news those people can actually believe. All the apostles (first Christian leaders) taught that Christ became alive again after his death. However, those people (the people who do not believe in life after death) cannot believe that. If nobody can become alive again after death, then Christ too could not do that.
Then Paul examined the results of that belief. Christ died and became alive again to save his people from their sins (evil deeds). If that did not happen, then God cannot forgive anyone. Godís plan to save people would have failed completely. So, such a belief could achieve nothing.
The Christian religion is not for this life only. That is, its purpose is not to make people happy in this world. People should not become Christians in order to make themselves wealthy, impressive or important. A religion that tries to satisfy peopleís feelings now has no value after death.
In the end, the only worthwhile religion is the one that can save people from death and hell. Christ died on the cross to achieve that; he became alive again to prove it.
Next part: First-fruit (1 Corinthians 15:20)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.