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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 15 - Verse 18

Verse 18. Then they also, etc. This verse contains a statement of another consequence which must follow from the denial of the resurrection-that all Christians who had died had faded of salvation, and were destroyed.

Which are fallen asleep in Christ. Which have died as Christians. See Barnes "1 Co 15:6"; See Barnes "1 Th 4:15".

 

Are perished. Are destroyed; are not saved. They hoped to have been saved by the merits of the Lord Jesus; they trusted to a risen Saviour, and fixed all their hopes of heaven there; but if he did not rise, of course the whole system was delusion, and they have failed of heaven, and been destroyed. Their bodies lie in the grave, and return to their native dust without the prospect of a resurrection, and their souls axe destroyed. The argument here is mainly an appeal to their feelings: "Can you believe it possible that the good men who have believed in tile Lord Jesus are destroyed? Can you believe that your best friends, your kindred, and your fellow Christians who have died, have gone down to perdition? Can you believe that they will sink to woe with the impenitent, and the polluted, and abandoned? If you cannot, then it must follow that they are saved. And then it will follow that you cannot embrace a doctrine which involves this consequence." And this argument is a sound one still. There are multitudes who are made good men by the gospel. They are holy, humble, self-denying, and prayerful friends of God. They have become such by the belief of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Can it be believed that they will be destroyed? That they will perish with the profane, and licentious, and unprincipled . That they will go down to dwell with the polluted and the wicked? "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Ge 18:25. If it cannot be so believed, then they will be saved; and if saved, it follows that the system is true which saves them, and, of course, that the Lord Jesus rose from the dead. We may remark here, that a denim of the truth of Christianity involves the belief that its friends will perish with others; that all their hopes are vain; and that their expectations are delusive. He, therefore, who becomes an infidel, believes that his pious friends—his sainted father, his holy mother, his lovely Christian sister or child—are deluded and deceived; that they will sink down to the grave to rise no more; that their hopes of heaven will all vanish, and that they will be destroyed with the profane, the impure, and the sensual. And if infidelity demands this faith of its votaries, it is a system which strikes at the very happiness of social life, and at all our convictions of what is true and right. It is a system that is withering and blighting to the best hopes of men. Can it be believed that God will destroy those who are living to his honour; who are pure in heart, and lovely in life, and who have been made such by the Christian religion? If it cannot, then every man knows that Christianity is not false, and that infidelity IS NOT TRUE.

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