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A Little Ocean Ambiance
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Doctrinal Writings
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Easter, Did it Really Happen?

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Dr. Richard Flanders
Juniata Baptist Church
Vassar, Michigan

Unbelievable as it sounds, some churches approach Easter Sunday with the dark uncertainty of doubting Thomas. Their ministers were trained in seminary to question the historical validity of the claims made by the women who visited that empty tomb. It certainly is a strange thing to celebrate Easter while unconvinced about the resurrection of Christ! It is just as strange as what the pastors do who doubt or deny the virgin birth as a biological fact but still lead their congregations in celebrating Christmas. Anyway, not only "liberal" ministers come to Easter this year unsure of the great Easter event. Many others go through the motions of paschal observance while harboring serious questions about whether Jesus really arose bodily from the dead. Is it important to believe in the resurrection? Can enlightened people believe that such a miracle actually took place? The answer to both of these questions is an unwavering "Yes."

It is indeed important that ministers, churches, and everybody that professes Christianity affirm the miracle of Christ's resurrection. Paul, the great first-century evangelist, said that the genuineness of the Gospel depends upon the belief that Christ arose.

"Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain." (I Corinthians 15:12-14)

The New Testament says that in order to be saved one must believe in the resurrection.

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."(Romans 10:9)

Christianity is a lie if Christ did not rise. We must believe it if we are to be Christians.

Furthermore, believing in the physical resurrection of the dead body of Jesus Christ is entirely possible for any rational person who is open to the idea that there really is a God, and that the supernatural can happen. The four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and the book of First Corinthians give over thirty of what Acts 1 calls "infallible proofs" that Christ arose. Among these evidences are the many eyewitness reports, the open demonstrations Jesus gave that He was not "a spirit" or a hallucination but rather truly risen, and the abundant proofs discovered in the tomb. It would be well to give the Easter accounts in scripture another serious investigation. Perhaps the most powerful proof is the fact that hundreds of people in the first century spent their lives convincing others that they had actually seen Jesus alive after He died. These people went to their deaths giving this testimony. Many religious charlatans have told a lie to gain a following, along with the fame and financial rewards of having people follow you. But never has a liar kept telling the lie when it started costing him something. These people (many of them) were told that if they confessed that the Easter story was a hoax, they could live and would even be rewarded. If they persisted in saying that they saw Him alive after His crucifixion, they would be executed. Yet they died one after another affirming the truth of their testimony to His resurrection. This makes that testimony pretty believable. We can all celebrate Easter without hypocrisy or doubt. Christ has won the victory over sin and death, and in Him we can have eternal life! Praise God!

Monthly Article
Tue, 18 Apr 2000
by Dr. Rick Flanders
currently Pastor of
Juniata Baptist Church
Juniata Baptist Church
5656 Washburn Road
Vassar, MI 48768
(517) 823-7848

Dr. Rick Flanders Biographical Data

Converted in 1963 through a radio ministry.
Earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bob Jones University.
Honorary D.D. from Pensacola Christian College.
Pastor at Juniata Baptist Church since 1973.
On BCPM Board, (Baptist Church Planting Ministry)
and also MACS. (Michigan Association of Christian School)

Articles published in the;

Sword of the Lord,
Baptist Preacher,
Christian View of the News,
Pulpit Helps,
Maranatha Watchman,
Church Bus News,
and other national periodicals.

His Majesty's Service
In His Service,
Teaching the Word
To Glorify Our Lord
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Doctrinal Writings

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Please e-mail all other comments to WindJammer