I recently considered purchasing a trailer for my construction business. A friend of mine saw one on the internet for a really good price and I called on it. A couple weeks later I received a reply that said he had been helping a neighbor sell it and gave me her contact number in case I was still interested.
When I contacted her she said it was her husband’s trailer, which had only been used a couple times before he passed away three months ago. They had both been in the military and she was about to be deployed over seas. I told her I was sorry for her loss and thanked her for their military service. I asked where I could see the trailer. She told me that she had made arrangements with eBay to handle the transaction. That eBay would receive my payment and then deliver the trailer. I would have four days to inspect the trailer before they would release the money to her. EBay emailed me, telling me to use cash to purchase two thousand dollars worth of eBay gift cards, scratch off the code, take a picture of them and email it back to them. I called the number on the email. Everything looked official but didn’t seem quite right. Then I looked up the number for eBay and called again. It was a fraud! I was nearly duped out of two thousand dollars! Thankfully, with a little research I was able to discover the fraud and keep my money.
How do I know my faith is not a fraud? I give many times what I almost lost on that trailer to things of the Lord every year. If the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not true then I have committed a large part of my life to unwittingly promote the most enormous hoax in history. There is so much at stake that I have committed hours upon hours of research to discover the truth.
One reason I know it is not a fraud is because: if it is, they gained nothing from it. Some of the apostles left successful family fishing businesses. Matthew left a government job as a tax collector. Their lives would have continued peaceful and prosperous except for the fact that they claimed to have repeatedly seen Jesus risen from the dead. As they spread the message they became pursued, imprisoned, and tortured. Ten of the twelve would die a violent death. Would every one of them be willing to die for a story they made up? Frauds always have a risk to reward ratio where the reward outweighs the risk involved. But if there is no resurrection of the dead they were willing to loose everything to gain nothing. As the Apostle Paul said, “ If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Corinthians 15:19).