“And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.” (1 Corinthians 15:30–32, KJV)
When we lived in Savannah, we sold a house and moved to a house lower in cost so we could reduce our mortgage. Everything looked fine with the home. The day we moved in, we were in for a shock. The house was a wreck. Doors were broken off of hinges. The house was flea infested and had an odor of dog and cat urine. Moreover, as we lived in the house for a year or so, we discovered many other things that were wrong. We felt that we had purchased the money-pit. Well, we had no choice but to make the best of it.
The first thing we did was remove all the carpet and clean all the floors. We replaced the carpet by buying carpet remnants to save money. This alone did not take care of the flea problem. We ended up paying an exterminator to do this. Then, I replaced all the doors with new six-panel doors. Then the shower-pan in the master bath leaked and I completely renovated the bathroom. After this, we renovated the other bathroom, redid the laundry-room, and renovated the kitchen.
After this, I noticed the screen porch was falling apart, so I went to work trying to repair it only to find the lower brick wall was disintegrating. At the same time, I was working at a local home tradeshow and ran into a guy who was selling three season room additions. The Lord blessed us because the man offered to install a three-season-room for an unbelievable price about a third of all the other estimates I had seen. Of course, I had to do the demo and prep work. Yet, all the work we put into the house was worth it. We had a beautiful home, fully updated. Moreover, several years after we purchased the house, we sold it for twice our original purchase price. The Lord blessed us.
The point is this. In purchasing the house, we entered into a time of struggle and hard work. However, there was an end goal or vision. It was to have a nice home at a reasonable price. We often work hard today with a view of a better tomorrow. Paul has been presenting arguments to the congregation in Corinth in order to combat those who were saying that there was no resurrection. Here he uses some rhetorical questions pertaining to his own struggles in ministry. In short, he was stating, why should he struggle, and risk his own life preaching the gospel if there was no resurrection. For if there was no resurrection, what he was doing made no sense. He might as well follow the world’s philosophy of “let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.”
This is a message for every believer in Jesus Christ. Our calling is one of sacrifice. As Christians, we stand out as weird in this world system. In many places, and often here, this results in persecution. We as believers sacrifice our time by serving the Lord in our local church and community. We give to support the gospel ministry in our local church and around the world. Sometimes, we forego purchases and other things that others have because of our love for Christ, and to see others come to faith in Him. Yet, Paul reminds us that our sacrifice is not in vain. There is a promise. A glorious day is coming when we will experience the glory of heaven and the resurrection. Do not lose heart, the future is bright.