Subscribe to receive weekly emails of the Reasons for Hope blog.

* indicates required

Can you be a Christian and Not Believe in the Resurrection?

The key to answering this question is to first consider what it means to be a Christian. There are two very distinct ways of defining what it means to be a “Christian.”  One definition does not require belief in the resurrection and the other definition demands it.
ADMIRER OF CHRIST’S IDEAS AND PHILOSOPHIES
If by “Christian” one means a fan of the teachings of Christ, then the answer is YES. In this case you can be a “Christian” and not believe in the resurrection. It is no different than people consider themselves “Thomist” (followers of Thomas Aquinas’s philosophy) and we all know he did not rise from the dead. Likewise, others call themselves “Buddhists,” “Platonists,” “Marxists,” etc., and by this they mean to say they admire, agree with, follow, or adhere to the philosophies and ideas espoused by these men. Since all of these men are dead, it is their ideas that live on. Most importantly, this type of “following” does not demand that one adhere to everything these men said, nor does it require they be resurrected. One may simply be a fan of some of their ideas.
BENEFICIARY OF CHRIST’S REDEMPTIVE SACRIFICE
HOWEVER, if by “Christian” we mean a born again person redeemed by the blood of Christ, adopted by God, who will enjoy eternal life in heaven, then the answer is NO. A Christian in this sense is someone who is a fan of Christ and not just his ideas. Because he is no longer dead, Christ lives on and not just his ideas. A Christian in this sense is someone who reaps all the benefits of Jesus’ life, death, and most importantly his resurrection. Christ himself made this abundantly clear,
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25 (NKJV).
In this passage, Jesus explains what sets him apart from all the other teachers, philosophers, and religious leaders. Belief in him is belief in his resurrection and thus ours as well. One must believe that Jesus rose from the dead, or else this passage is meaningless. Many in fact doubt the resurrection, but they do so in spite of the strong and overwhelming historical evidence for the resurrection.
Paul’s teachings, throughout his letters, are emphatic about the centrality of the resurrection. To the romans he explains the reason why we must believe in the resurrection in order to be saved,
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom. 10:9-10 (NKJV).
Why is the resurrection so important? If Christ did not rise from the dead, then he was not God. If Christ did not rise from the dead, then there is no resurrection for us. If Christ did not rise from the dead, then he was just another charlatan who promised what he could not deliver. If Christ did not rise from the dead, then we are wasting our time. Consider Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 15,
12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 1 Cor. 15:12-19 (NKJV).
Paul describes Christianity without a risen Jesus as faith that is “empty” and “futile,” and it makes you among men “the most pitiable.” Even more important, if Jesus did not rise from the dead than you cannot reap the benefits. Paul says you are “still in your sins.” Without the resurrection we are still lost in our trespasses and alienated from God because of our sins. Without the resurrection of Christ there is no eternal life and when we die we “have perished.”
CONCLUSION
You can be an admirer of Christ and his teachings without believing in his resurrection. In that case, your relationship is primarily with the ideas, not with the person because he is dead. However, that type of relationship is no different than the one you may share with Plato’s ideas or Buddha’s ideas. It is the type of relationship that has no transcending consequences. It may affect your life here on earth in varying degrees, but it all ends when you die. What’s worse, you are still lost in your sins and alienated from God. On the other hand, a relationship with the living Christ is altogether different.  That type of relationship is accompanied by the benefits that follow Christ’s redemptive work of the cross and his resurrection. Not only are you saved by Christ’s death, but you have hope of eternal life through his resurrection and you are reconciled with God for all eternity. Unlike the admirer, the greatest benefits of this type of relationship is not found in this life, it begins when the mortal body dies. In the words of Jesus, “though he may die, he shall live.”
Posted in
Posted in

Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

1 Chronicles 16:8-12 1 Chronicles 22:14 1 Chronicles 29:11 1 Corinthians 10:31 1 Corinthians 13 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 1 Corinthians 15:21 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 1 Corinthians 15:33 1 Corinthians 15:45 1 Corinthians 15:57 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 1 John 2:15-17 1 John 2:15 1 John 2:2 1 John 4:10 1 John 4:19 1 John 4:7-8 1 Peter 1:23 1 Peter 2:24 1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 3:18 1 Peter 4:12-13 1 Peter 4:12-19 1 Peter 5:10 1 Thessalonians 5:11 1 Timothy 4:8 1 Timothy 6:10 1 Timothy 6:3-10 1 corinthians 10:13 100 miles 100% human 1Peter 1:17-21 2 Chronicles 9:13-29 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 2 Corinthians 12:9 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 2 Corinthians 1:3-6 2 Corinthians 1:3 2 Corinthians 3:17 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 2 Corinthians 5:21 2 Corinthians 6:18 2 Peter 3:9 2 Samuel 23:8-12 2 Samuel 6:17 2 Thessalonians 3:3 2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:25 2 Timothy 2:7 2 Timothy 3:12 2 Timothy 3:16-17 2 Timothy 4:11 25% are staying 50k 55-mile race AI Abraham sacrificing Isaac Abraham was very rich. Abuja Acts 11 Acts 13 and 15 Acts 17:11 Acts 17:22-34 Acts 17 Acts 1:8 Acts 27:35 Acts 5:38-39 Acts 9 Albert Einstein All great men were born in February. Alyssa Glander America waited too long. Apostle Peter Asbury Barabbas Barna poll Barnabas Baruch Bulla Be a Berean Be bold! Be bold Be happy! Be part of the process. Be still and know that I am God Best Evidence God Created Bethlehem Bible reading Bible Biblical archaeology Bob Gillespie Brian Miller C.S. Lewis CRT Camp Sigel Candace Nordine Carl Kerby Jr. Carl Kerby Cell phones Choosing for Two Christ in me Christ opened my eyes. Christian Camps Christian witness Christian worldview Chruch Colossians 1:27 Colossians 2:14 Colossians 2:8 Colossians 3:17-23 Colossians 3:17 Colossians 3:1 Colossians 4:5-6 Columbo Tactic Creation Creator God D. Mark Jacobs Jr. Dan Lietha Daniel 12:4 Daniel 2:21 Dave Glander David Tautofi DeBunked 15 DeBunked TV DeBunked Deuteronomy 11:13 Deuteronomy 32:35 Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Deuteronomy 6:7 Did Jesus Commit Suicide? Dr. Andrew Fabich Dr. Francis Schaeffer Dr. Jason Lisle Dr. Juan Valdes Dr. William Beal Draa Mackey EQUIP+ EQUIP Easter Ecclesiastes 12:13 Ecclesiastes 12:14 Ecclesiastes 3:11 Ecclesiastes 4:10 Eleazar Elohim Ephesians 1:13-14 Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 3:12 Ephesians 3:17-18 Ephesians 3:19-21 Ephesians 3:20-21 Ephesians 4:29 Ephesians 5:15-16 Ephesians 5:15-17 Ephesians 5:20 Ephesians 6:10-18 Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:4 Equip Retreat Exodus 17:11 Exodus 17:12 Exodus 20:11 Exodus 33:14 Ezekiel 33:11 Facing the Giants Family dinner Fascinating Facts Fearless Faith Frank Figueroa Gabby Terry Galatians 2:20 Galatians 5:1 Galatians 5:22-23 Galatians 6:7 Galatians 6:9 Gary Varvel Gen Z Genesis 11:1-2 Genesis 11:6 Genesis 11:7 Genesis 13:1-2 Genesis 13:8-12 Genesis 1:14-15 Genesis 1:14 Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:28 Genesis 1:29 Genesis 1:31 Genesis 22 Genesis 3:10 Genesis 3:12 Genesis 3:14-15 Genesis 3:20 Genesis 3 Genesis 9:7 Genesis and the Gospel Genesis Give thanks to the Lord. Glad You Asked Christmas Edition Glad You Asked Glendive Montana Glory to God! God created you God is love. God is rich in mercy God loves us. God loves you God makes no mistakes. God won the battle God-created world God-shaped vacuum God's Word God's character God's dwelling place God's grace God's joy God's plan God's pursuit God\'s Word God\'s character God\'s joy God\'s plan God\'s pursuit God\\\'s character God\\\'s joy God\\\'s plan God\\\'s pursuit God\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\'s joy God\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan Gods Word is truth Gods Word Gods care Gods character Gods divine plan Gods light Gods love story Gods plan of redemption Gods plan Gods wisdom Good Shepherd Gospel message Grace Mally Grace Moffitt Grammar matters Groggy Hallelujah! Hawaii He is always faithful. He is risen Heaven Hebrews 10:1-18 Hebrews 10:19-22 Hebrews 10:23 Hebrews 11 Hebrews 12:1-3 Hebrews 12 Hebrews 13:14 Hebrews 13:5-6 Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:8 Hebrews 4:12 Hebrews 4:16 Hebrews 7:25 Hell His glory Holly Varnum Holy Spirit How can I fight and overcome fear? How to Think Hubble Human life is sacred. Huntsman Center Hurry sickness I Peter 3:15 IMPACT Impact Curriculum In everything give thanks. Is it okay for a Christian to be rich? Is life good? Isaiah 11:1 Isaiah 26:3-4 Isaiah 40:28-31 Isaiah 40:29 Isaiah 40:31 Isaiah 41:10 Isaiah 41 Isaiah 43:1 Isaiah 43:2 Isaiah 45:9a Isaiah 53:6 Isaiah 55:11 Isaiah 55:8-9 Isaiah 55:8 Isaiah 64:8 Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 9:6 Israel Museum It is well with my soul Jamaica James 1:12 James 1:15 James 1:17 James 1:2 James 4:10 James 4:14 James 4:7 James 4:8 January 2022 Jehovah Rapha Jeremiah 17:9 Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 29:13 Jeremiah 31:3 Jeremiah 33:3 Jeremiah 36:32 Jerusalem Jesus and me Jesus chose to die. Jesus comforts the broken-hearted. Jesus saw their faith Jesus the Messiah Jesus Jewish feasts Job 1:3 Job 2:8 John 10:10 John 10:11 John 10:17-18 John 10:27 John 11:25 John 14:1-3 John 14:6 John 15:1-11 John 15:13 John 15:16a John 16:33 John 1:12 John 1:35-42 John 3:16-17 John 3:16 John 3:17 John 6:51 John 8:32 John 8:36 John Mark John Ray Joni Eareckson Tada Joni and Friends Joseph A. Kennedy Joseph and Mary Joseph Joshua 1:9 Joshua 22:5 Joshua 24:15 Juan Valdes Jude 1:22 Julaine Appling Justice Kaimuki Bulldogs Kaimuki High School Keeping teens faithful King David King Hezekiah King Solomon Know It! Live It! Share It! Know why you believe. LEAD Wisconsin Lacey Reitz Lamentations 3:22-23 Lamentations 3:22-24 Leviticus 12:8 Leviticus 18:24-30 Leviticus 25:23 Liberty Institute Life in layers Life is good because God is good. Life is good Listen to His voice. Listen Little boys need Mamas. Little boys need to know their Mamas like them. Loose the Lion Luke 12:12 Luke 18:1 Luke 1:32 Luke 22:32 Luke 24:38 Luke 2:1-14 Luke 2:24 Luke 2:55 Luke 2:7 Luke 5:1-11 Luke 5:37-39 MRRHWQ 15:32-38 MTD Malachi 3:3 Malachi 3:6 Mark 10:45 Mark 10:8 Mark 16:15 Mark 1:16-18 Mark 2:3-5 Mark 5:19 Mark 6:31 Martin Luther Mary Master Potter Matthew 10:20 Matthew 10:32 Matthew 11:28-29 Matthew 11:28-30 Matthew 11:28 Matthew 11:29-30 Matthew 11:29 Matthew 13 Matthew 14:13-21 Matthew 14:22-33 Matthew 14:31 Matthew 16:24 Matthew 19:16-24 Matthew 19:23-24 Matthew 1:22-23 Matthew 24:35 Matthew 27:15-25 Matthew 27:75 Matthew 28:18-20 Matthew 4:18-20 Matthew 5:13 Matthew 5:16 Matthew 5:18 Matthew 6:19-20 Matthew 6:19-21 Matthew 6:19 Matthew 6:25-26 Matthew 6:27 Matthew 6:33 Matthew 9:35 May 15 1987 Memory Lane Mere Christianity Messiah Mic'd Up Mic'dUP Mic\'d Up Mic\'dUP Mic\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'d Up Micah 5:2 Micah 6:8 Michigan State University Miracles Money is their god. Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Mosaic NRB National Religious Broadcasters Never Forget. Never Again. New Year's resolutions New Year\'s resolutions Nigeria Noah's ark Nonconformity Not yet a human. OJ Simpson Parable of the sower Pastor Baba Paul Varnum Peter Philippians 1:6 Philippians 2:13 Philippians 2:3-4 Philippians 2:6-11 Philippians 3:12-16 Philippians 3:7-8 Philippians 4:13 Philippians 4:6-7 Philippians 4:6-9 Philippians 4:8 Pilate Plan C Please say Yes! Please say "Yes!" Please say \"Yes!\" Please say \\\"Yes!\\\" Pool of Siloam Potter Pray for Rachael Neal. Proverbs 11:10 Proverbs 12:26 Proverbs 14:12 Proverbs 14:34 Proverbs 15:4 Proverbs 16:3 Proverbs 18:12 Proverbs 18:24 Proverbs 19:21 Proverbs 1:20 Proverbs 1:8-9 Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 23:19-21 Proverbs 27:17 Proverbs 3:5-6 Proverbs 3:5 Proverbs 3;5-6 Proverbs 6:16-19 Psalm 100:5 Psalm 100 Psalm 103:2-5 Psalm 119:105 Psalm 119:11 Psalm 119:160 Psalm 122:1 Psalm 138:1-2 Psalm 139:14 Psalm 139:17 Psalm 139 Psalm 13:6 Psalm 147:4 Psalm 16:11 Psalm 18:1-2 Psalm 18:30 Psalm 19:1 Psalm 1:1 Psalm 1 Psalm 23:1 Psalm 23:2 Psalm 23:4 Psalm 23:6 Psalm 27 Psalm 29:2 Psalm 2:1-6 Psalm 31:14-15 Psalm 34:19 Psalm 37:3-7 Psalm 37:5-6 Psalm 37:5 Psalm 40:2 Psalm 40:8 Psalm 42 Psalm 63:3 Psalm 68:19 Psalm 69:9a Psalm 73:16-17 Psalm 8:3 Psalm 8:4 Psalm 92:1-4 Pursued Put God first Rachael Neal Reasons for Hope Responds Reasons for Hope in the Mosaic of Your Life Reasons for Hope* Reasons for Hope Rebekah Haynie Respond to God's voice Respond to God\'s voice Respond to God\\\'s voice Respond to God\\\\\\\'s voice Respond to God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s voice Resurrection Revelation 19:11 Revelation 20:12 Revelation 22:18-19 Revelation 7:9-11 RforH Romans 10:14 Romans 10:15 Romans 10:9-10 Romans 10:9 Romans 11:36 Romans 12:1-2 Romans 12:2 Romans 12:9-21 Romans 1:16 Romans 1:20 Romans 3:23 Romans 5:10-11 Romans 5:12 Romans 5:17 Romans 5:6-10 Romans 6:23 Romans 8:14 Romans 8:18-25 Romans 8:26 Romans 8:28 Romans 8:38-39 Romans 8:38 Sanctity of Life Schaftlein Report Scriptures Seal of Baruch September 11 Shelby Pruitt Spurgeon Stay bold! Stay bold Steve Herzig Supreme Court Surprised by Joy Testify Thanksgiving The Bible Project The Bible is a Jewish book. The DeBunked Files The Plumb Line The Right Ingredients The Screwtape Letters There is no truth There's Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! There\'s Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! There\\\'s Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! There\\\\\\\'s Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! Think before you post. Thinkful TikTok Tish Kerby Titus 2:6 Tower of Babel Trust His heart Trusting God Use God's Word correctly. Use God\'s Word correctly. WEF Wade Wacker Wash their feet. Wealthy Christians What are you thankful for? What is a Christian? What is my purpose? Who Made God? Why am I here? Why did Jesus have to die? Will Our Generation Speak? Within Our Reach Wooed Word of God Your grace still amazes me. Your vote matters. Youth outreach Yuval Noah Harari Zola Levitt a little at a time a process; not an event abortion absolute truth abundant life acacia accepting help achieving the impossible adventure angels angry another child of God struggling answering questions antidote to fear anxious apologetics artificial intelligence astronomy astrophysics atonement for sin be not afraid best of luck biblical Christianity biblical creationist biblical perspective biblical worldview biology blindfold boldness bold boys branch brokenness bullae bulla butterfly caged called to encourage cancellation cancer journey cancer cease striving certainty challenge character check your attitude children choices clay coercion come alongside comfort zone comfortable Christian commas save lives compromised confidence confused conjunction consequences created in Gods image creation vs. evolution critical race theory critical thinking cross curriculum cut the head off the snake debate deception defend depressed depression design of the eye desperate passion dinosaur dig distractions don't fight alone don't stop don\'t fight alone don\'t stop don\\\'t fight alone don\\\'t stop don\\\\\\\'t stop dont stop doubt eisegeses embryology encouragement entrusted by God to do good eternal life eternity without God eternity evangelism examine the scriptures exegesis eye fair and impartial faith walk family circle family first fear not fearfully and wonderfully made fear feeling lost feeling overwhelmed fig filled with joy and worship flight cancelled football coach forest forever home former athiest free will freedom of choice fruit fulfilled prophecies galaxies gestation give a defense give thanks glory in His holy name good luck good news of Jesus Christ good news good will toward men grace gratitude grog having conversations heavenly host hermeneutics heroes of the faith history of the universe hope human eye humble ourselves illness impact lives impact your teammates positively impulsive incomprehensible God inn investment isolation keep moving keep progressing largest church in the world layers leaf light year speed like Christ live in freedom loss of loved ones loss love of money love mATTHEW 26: 20-29 made for another world made in His image manger marriage memories memorization without application memorizing Scripture missing opportunities more like Christ motivation multiple meanings mystical truth never compromised no coincidence no complaints no hope no pain no gain no place like home no quitting no room in the inn nonconformist not a fetus not ashamed oak objective right and wrong olive one foot in front of the other one race one-world government opened doors opportunity to bring hope overwhelming distance palms part of a team passionate patience patriotism paying it forward peace persecution persevere perspective physics plans pomegranate positive messages postgame prayer potsherd pottery potter power of the Word praying pregnancy pregnant preposition prioritize God pro-life progress propitiation providence quadriplegic quiet time reach the younger generation reality exists reality reassurance red cardinal redemptive work of Christ refining refocus what church looks like relationship with God relentless forward motion represent Christ resolutions rest revival right time right words root of all evil root sacrifice salvation see God move seed experiment seek the Lord shine a light silversmith situation slavery social media son of encouragement speak life speak your truth spiritual apathy spiritual harvest spiritual legacy spotless Lamb of God stable stagnant church stand boldly on the Word of God stand up against evil star-gazing starstruck stars step by step stranded stress statistics stress study for yourself suffering summer camp swaddling clothes sycamore symbol of God's love and reassurance symbol of God\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\\\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of Gods love and reassurance teaching science technology teen questions teens telescope temple of the Holy Spirit terebinth thank you thankfulness thankful the apple of his eye the finish line the lion will defend itself the seeing eye the wooing of God theology think for yourself thriving in Christ traditions traffic trees trials tribulation troubles trust Jesus truth turn to God ultamarathon ultrarunner unborn child uncage the Lion uncertain uncover the truth unfair universe unpredictable use your gift vine virgin birth visual reminders vote wethering the storm where two worlds collide willow windows to the soul wonder of boys work ethic worldview worth fighting for worth it worthy of protection young earth your circle matters youth ministry youth zeal for worship zoo guide