Our Pastor is preaching through 1 Corinthians. Today we started chapter 15. Paul is dealing with a Corinthian coterie that says there is no resurrection (1 Cor. 15:12). It’s possible this was a group of Gnostics. Gnostics said the body was meaningless. It was only a house of corruption imprisoning the spirit. Bodily resurrection would be an affront to Gnostics. They were looking forward to an existence of pure spirit, free from the degradation of physicality.
Paul refutes these resurrection rejectors with the following points:
1) If there is no bodily resurrection then Christ hasn’t been raised (1 Cor. 15:13).
2) If Christ hasn’t been raised the gospel is a lie and the Corinthians have believed that lie (1 Cor. 15:14-15).
3) Even non-Christians recognize resurrection. If they didn’t, why do they get baptized for dead people? (1 Cor. 15:29).
4) If Christ hasn’t been raised, why do people risk their lives preaching it? (1 Cor. 15:31-32).
As we reflected on the hope of bodily resurrection, I began to think about “going to heaven.” Here’s the popular view: When we die, we embark on a disembodied, spiritual existence in heaven. Is this similar to saying there is no resurrection? Would Paul challenge us as he did the Corinthians? What’s the point of bodily resurrection once we “go to heaven?” Doesn’t this teaching have a Gnostic flavor?
I would love to hear what you think, whether it’s good, bad, or ugly. Do Christians “go to heaven?” Or is this a myth? Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.