1 Corinthians 15:16-19
1Co 15:16 Because if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;
1Co 15:17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have been destroyed.
1Co 15:19 If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.
the gospel without resurrection
Paul addresses those teachers in Corinth who had abandoned the gospel of resurrection and replaced it with a gospel without resurrection. He points out the absurdity of such a view. If our hope is not in a future resurrection, then even Jesus’ resurrection is called into question. Without Jesus’ resurrection, there is no salvation: we are all still in our sins. All who have fallen asleep in Christ have been destroyed — they are gone forever. And if our faith is only a present day delusion that will not change our destiny either, then we are to be pitied more than anyone.
My challenge to you, Christian brother or sister, is this: Does your theology require a resurrection? Many Christians teach a gospel of survival at death, and immediate soul-migration to either heaven or hell. If that is the case, why believe in a resurrection? Some of the Corinthians had asked themselves the same question, and had concluded that Paul had lied to them about the resurrection. Paul replies to that argument with a defence of the absolute necessity of a physical resurrection. A gospel without resurrection is a false gospel.
LORD, purge us of our pagan theological contamination.