No Reward Hereafter, If There Be No Resurrection

[From The Bible Standard, No. 1, October, 1877, p. 6 with minor alterations.]

“What advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.” 1Cor. 15:32.

What advantageth it me? What benefit shall I have? Why should I risk my life in this manner?

Let us eat and drink. These words are taken from Isa 22:13. In their original application they refer to the Jews when besieged by Sennacherib and the army of the Assyrians. The prophet says, that instead of weeping, and fasting, and humiliation, as became them in such circumstances, they had given themselves up to feasting and revelry, and that their language was, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die;” that is, there is no use in offering resistance, or in calling upon God. We must die; and we may as well enjoy life as long as it lasts, and give ourselves up to unrestrained indulgence. Paul does not quote these words as having any original reference to the subject of the resurrection, but as language appropriately expressing the idea, that if there is no future state; if no resurrection of the dead; if no happy result of toils and sufferings in the future world, it is vain and foolish to subject ourselves to trials and privations here. We should rather make the most of this life; enjoy all the comfort we can; and make pleasure our chief good, rather than look for happiness in a future state. This seems to be the language of the great mass of the world. They look to no future state. They have no prospect, no desire of heaven; and they, therefore, seek for happiness here, and give themselves up to unrestrained enjoyment in this life.

Tomorrow. Very soon. We have no security of life; and death is so near that it may be said we must die tomorrow.

We die. We must die. The idea here is, we must die, without the prospect of living again, unless the doctrine of the resurrection be true.” – Albert Barnes.

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