1 Cor 15:34 Sober up~~ as you should, and stop sinning!~| For some have no knowledge of God– I say this to your shame!
Why was Paul so “fanatical” about getting the gospel “to the regions beyond” (2 Cor 10:15)? The answer is that he personally had seen the resurrected Lord Jesus several times. Once he had been stoned to death and was “caught up to the third heaven” (12:2).
He did not give his life for something he hoped was real or that he had to take by blind faith. A living Savior and heaven and hell were not mere doctrines but unseen realities with huge consequences.
More than half the world believes either that you cease to exist when you die (e.g., atheist Chinese), that you reincarnate into some other living creature (e.g., Hindus and Buddhists), or that your fate is an entirely arbitrary, predetermined decision made by an unfeeling, unforgiving god (e.g., Islam). How thankful we should be that Christ has shown us the reality of the resurrection, heaven, and future events!
Paul’s first command in 1 Corinthians 15:34 is to “sober up,” meaning to “come to one’s senses”: literally to “come out of a drunken spell” or metaphorically to “awake from a state of stupor, ignorance, [or] delusion.” We know the certainty of life beyond the grave because Jesus was there and rose to give us eternal life.
Anyone with doubts or false beliefs is commanded to “cease or stop sinning.” This is not a passing thought or a Sunday reflection but an eternal reality. There is a heaven where all resurrected believers will go, but there is also a hell in which all resurrected unbelievers will spend eternity.
Today, many depend on modern media to transmit the gospel, but most of the world does not have radio, television, or computers; some do not know how to read. Someone must go! This is not God’s responsibility. We were given the commission to carry the gospel to the last people group on earth. After two thousand years, you would think more people would care enough to go and tell them. Can you see why it is our “shame” that they have never heard? What will you do about it?
“Teach me to always live in the reality of the eternal destinies of everyone around me. My heart aches for the thousands of people groups who have never heard Your word. Give me the opportunity to make a difference for the gospel today.”