This Christian Life is not in Vain (1 Corinthians 15)

Imagine giving years and years of your life to something, and then to have it come down to the final pivotal moment when all of your work culminates in its reward, only to have it all go awry! That is what a group of scientists must have felt like just a few years ago. Here is the news story…

DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, Utah (AP) – Scientists with tweezers picked through the twisted wreckage of a space capsule that crash-landed on Earth, hoping that microscopic clues to the evolution of the solar system weren’t completely lost in Utah’s salt flats.

NASA engineers were stunned Wednesday when neither parachute deployed aboard the Genesis capsule and the craft plummeted to the ground at 193 mph, breaking open like a clamshell and exposing its collection of solar atoms to contamination.

“There was a big pit in my stomach,” said physicist Roger Wiens of Los Alamos National Laboratory. “This just wasn’t supposed to happen. We’re going to have a lot of work picking up the pieces.”

The capsule held billions of charged atoms — a total haul no bigger than a few grains of salt — that were harvested from solar wind on five collecting disks during the 884-day, $260-million mission.

Helicopters flown by Hollywood stunt pilots were supposed to grab Genesis almost a mile above the Utah desert and lower it gently to the ground by snatching its main parachute with a hook. But before the capture team learned of the parachute failure, the speeding capsule had plummeted into the Utah desert.

Imagine the frustration… to design something like that, send it out to distant space and have it return, only to crash at the very end of the project! But that is a picture of what the lives of many people are like. They spend all of their lives pursuing dreams and endeavors, only to have it all crash at the end because they are not rightly related to Jesus Christ. It is “climbing the ladder of success and upon getting to the top, discovering that it was leaning against the wrong building.”

Man, if this faith thing, this Jesus stuff is not true, we have worked and believed and lived in vain. We crash at the end. We run out of ladder rungs against a cold, stone edifice.  Paul said it this way…

1CO 15:12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

But Paul goes on to say that Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, and His resurrection makes all the difference. The story God is writing holds promise for the future… the guarantee for a glorious hereafter. Such knowledge changes the way we live. It affects our priorities on a daily basis. The stuff of this world is only of value for this world, passing away relatively soon after it begins. But our labor for God is not in vain.

1CO 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

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About Randy Buchman

I live in Western Maryland, and among my too many pursuits and hobbies, I regularly feed multiple hungry blogs. I played college baseball, coached championship cross country teams at Williamsport (MD) High School, and have been a sportswriter for various publications and online venues. My main profession is as the lead pastor of a church in Hagerstown called Tri-State Fellowship. And I'm active in Civil War history and work/serve at Antietam National Battlefield with the Antietam Battlefield Guides organization. Occasionally I sleep.

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