The final session opened with two congregationals: O Worship the King and Come Thou Fount followed by two specials: Compassion Hymn and I’m Feeling Fine, and one more congregational: Sweet By & By.
Director Dave Parks reminded us that the real test of whether a conference has been good is what we do when we go back home. He then offered thanks to and for all those who had helped with the conference and to all those who came. [And if she may interject, Phoebe here would like to extend a ginormous special thanks to Bro. Parks for all he gives and does to keep everything running so smoothly and for always doing every single task with such zeal. How blessed we are to have you serve.]
The Keyes also blessed us again in song as the offering was given.
Dr. Jim Scott Orrick, Professor of Literature and Culture at Boyce College, brought the final message from 1 Corinthians 15:12-28 about the necessity of believing in Christ’s Resurrection. If you take the resurrection of Christ out of Christianity, you no longer have Christianity.
Dr. Orrick said he often asks his students “What is the bare minimum we must believe in order to be a Christian?” He said that it is possible to believe all orthodox doctrines and still be lost. Salvation does not come by believing the right stuff, it comes to those who receive the living Christ. There is one doctrine you must believe: the Resurrection. “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)
If Jesus was not raised from the dead, all we have left is a doctrinal system and ethical system with a smoky smell of Christianity.
I. What if Jesus was not raised? (vs. 14)
A. Then our preaching is in vain. (vs. 15-16)
If Christ hasn’t been raised from the dead, then you’ve got nothing to talk about.
B. Then our faith is in vain.
1. You are still in your sins.
Christ not being raised indicates that God was not pleased with His sacrifice.
2. All that was needed to happen for your salvation was not taken care of with His suffering alone. Your salvation requires the ongoing intercession for you. “Before the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea, A great high Priest whose Name is Love Who ever lives and pleads for me.” We are forgiven because before the throne of God, there is a living Man.
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (vs. 19) But do we really feel that way? We often love the world too much. We live as if we are creatures of this world when we should be living as sons and daughters of the King who have been reconciled to God! (Matthew 13:45-47; Psalm 73)
Christ is representing. He is the firstfruits, which means more will be raised. (vs. 20)
Since this whole mess was started by a man, this whole mess will be corrected by a Man. His resurrection guarantees your resurrection. (vs. 21-23)
He’s not only representing, He is also reigning. He’s putting down all rule, authority and power. He’s already dealt a death blow to death. Christians still fail physically–they die–but, your spirit will never see death. He is going to destroy the last whimpering remnants of death!
With His resurrection ringing in your ear, hear Him say the following:
“All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
And with these truths, commands, and promises ringing fresh in our ears and taking lodging in our hearts, the 54th Annual Spring Conference came to a close as we sang “Hear the Call of the Kingdom.”
May we be swift to remember that today is the day of salvation and never fail to introduce anyone to our wonderful Savior.