No Middle Ground

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. 1 Corinthians 15:16-19 (NASB)

The process of aging is a sobering reality! As people of age often say, “Old age is not for sissies!” The experience of going from capability to inability is unsettling!

When we are young and energetic with a multitude of options, we rarely think of that journey. When initially that journey becomes awareness, we tend to think we “have let ourselves go.” All we need is to “buckle down,” adopt a healthy routine, and recover what we lost. Alas, the time comes for all when we must accept that the form of the body, the strength of the muscles, and the former “crazy” schedule are things of the past—they are not coming back no matter what we do or how we do it!

Suddenly, Jesus’ resurrection by God is not a philosophical approach to life. It is either reality or a lie—there is no in between, no maybe. When you realize your death is not a maybe, at that same moment you also realize resurrection is not a maybe.

Paul told the Corinthian congregation almost 2,000 years ago that Jesus’ resurrection was not a maybe. There is life after death, or there is not. There is sinless existence through divine forgiveness, or not. There is hope based in reality, or wasted effort. Life is an investment in the eternal, or life is a journey into hopeless decline, but life is not a maybe.

Is belief in the resurrection a matter of faith? Yes, and it always will be! Every lifestyle involves an essential element of faith. Indulgence hurts others! Power tramples people as obstacles. Ambition becomes blind! Accumulation views people as things! Knowledge becomes arrogance! Success becomes self-centered! However, in Christ, I learn to live for others. Physical decline and death still come, but only in Jesus do we have hope after death! Jesus Christ’s resurrection is the Christian’s guiding beacon!

We seek Christ in the conviction that life is continuous and death is an interruption! We seek resurrection in Jesus Christ! Our journey does not end when physical death occurs!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 11 April, 2010


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