The Enduring Hope

1 Corinthians 15:16-22 (RSV)
"For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."

This passage has great meaning because it provides hope and assurance that death is not the end of the story for those in Christ. Because of the assurance of the resurrection to eternal life for those who place their trust in Christ, believers no longer have to fear death. They can take hope in the words of Jesus in John 5:24 that whoever has faith in Him has eternal life. Not "may have", or "hope to have", but "has". Believers do not have to fear being judged because they have passed out of death into life. Those who believe can be comforted by the fact that the person who has the Son has life (1 John 5:12).

Whether we face life or death, or any other challenge that tests our endurance, we can rest in the fact that since Jesus has conquered death by rising from the grave, so we who believe on His name will also hear His voice on the last day and rise to glory and eternal fellowship with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:13-18).

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