August 19, 2017

“Because He Lives . . .”

By Lewis Willis

The mind is a marvelous and mysterious thing. Often we can account for the thoughts that race through our minds because of what we are saying or doing. At other times, things come to our minds and we have to wonder why we had that thought. The other morning I woke up and the very first thought I had was about a song I heard years ago with the above title. I couldn't remember, and I cannot now, all the words of any single verse of the song, but the following words are vivid in my mind:

Because He lives. . .

I can face tomorrow.

Because He lives. . .

All fear is gone.

Because I know. . .

He holds the future,

My life is worth the living

Just because He lives.

I do not know who the author of the song was, but I like the message it contains. When I thought of the song, I immediately thought about 1 Corinthians 15. In this chapter the Apostle Paul reminded the brethren that he had preached the gospel to them. They had received it and were standing before God on the terms of that gospel. Paul said that they would be saved if they would "keep in memory what I preached unto you." He then said he had declared to them the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

There was not anything terribly unusual about the death and burial of a man. However, the resurrection from the dead of that man was noteworthy. It was this significant factor that Paul stressed in his argument in Chapter 15. He cited the evidence associated with the resurrection of Christ. After He was raised He was seen by Peter, then by the twelve, after that, by above 500 brethren at once, then He was seen by James, and again by all the Apostles, and finally He was seen by Paul, ". . as of one born out of due time" (1 Cor. 15:5-8). These witnesses could attest to the fact that the Son of God came forth from the tomb, triumphing over death and the grave. He lives!

It should not surprise us that many people of that day would deny the Lord's resurrection. There were some who denied that it occurred and that not only was Christ not raised, no one else would be either. Paul addressed the results if Christ had not been raised. He affirmed the following if there is no resurrection: (1) Christ is not risen; (2) the preaching of the Apostles was vain; (3) their faith was vain; (4) the Apostles were false witnesses; (5) they were still in their sins; and (6) those who had died in the Lord were perished (1 Cor. 15: 13-18).

All of these things would, indeed, be true if Christ had not been raised from the dead. However, the evidence and testimony of the witnesses to the fact of the resurrection was overwhelming. It could not be denied. All who refused to accept it were dealing with the facts dishonestly. The only conclusion was, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. 15:20). The hope of the Christian supersedes all of his problems. Nothing that the world can throw at the Christian will steal this hope from him.

Thus, Christ lives! And the author of the song states the secret to a faithful Christian life. Because Christ lives, I can face tomorrow. I do not know what tomorrow may hold - I do not know its problems or its successes - but I can face them whatever they are. This next statement in the song, many of us have difficulty comprehending - because He lives, all fear is gone. The mysteries of tomorrow can bring fear. But most of those fears are of "the unknown." Once we know that which is unknown, we can adapt ourselves to the ever changing scene. We can do this because we know He holds the future. He may not hold it like I think He should, or as I might like Him to hold it, but the future is in His hands. The grand blessings that He shall bestow upon us will more than overcome the horrors that Satan may thrust at us.

Therefore, life is worth living just because He lives! Another day! Another opportunity! Another blessing! Another challenge! I do not know how much "life" I have left to live. But one thing I know - it will be worth every minute of it that God in His patience with me permits me to live. And I intend to make the most I can out of it for the glory of God, for the well-being of my family, for the salvation of the lost and for my personal happiness. How about joining me for the rest of our lives?

Guardian of Truth XXXI: 5, p. 134
March 5, 1987

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