Without a doubt there are many individuals like the lost rich man of Luke 16, who have stated that if God permitted another individual to rise from the abode of the dead, their friends and family would be receptive of such truth. In the text of Luke 16 we are informed by Christ that if individuals refuse to accept the words of truth as set forth by God’s inspired representatives, they would also refuse truth as set forth by one who returned from the abode of the dead.
This introduces us to a fact worthy of careful consideration: The scriptures constitute the completeness and finality of God’s revelation to humanity. One does not need the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants of Joseph Smith. One does not need the revelations of Ellen G. White, founder and first female pope of the Seventh Day Adventist cult. The case being that the New Testament of Christ constitutes God’s final revelation that has been confirmed by miracles brought about by the power of the Holy Spirit in the first century, one does not need either additional miraculous power or testimony to give evidence to the validity of the message and power of the gospel of Christ (1 Cor. 13:8-13; Eph. 4:11-16).
What a mighty testimony this is to the weight of God’s completed and final revelation of the Bible, and what a solemn warning regarding the impossibility of producing and obedient faith in the heart of one who rejects that divine revelation.
Consider this: What would a messenger from the abode of the dead be required to give us in the way of testimony that we do not already have clearly set forth in the word of God?
Evidence of the Validity of His message and Work
Even if one returned from the dead, how would anyone come to a knowledge that he was teaching God’s truth? There were numerous means by which those in the first century could determine whether those who were preaching were faithfully presenting divine truth: (1) Their teaching could not contradict other elements of known truth (Gal. 1:6-9). (2) Their pronouncements must be demonstrated to be true (Deut. 18:20-22). (3) Such messengers who make the claim to speak on behalf of God must never oppose an inspired representative of Christ (1 Cor. 14:37).
Upon what basis would we conclude the message of one risen from the dead would be true other than objective truth (John 8:32; 17:17)? God’s truth is real—it does exist. God’s truth is objective—it exists independent of human thinking. God’s truth can be altered and/or perverted (Gal. 1:6-9).
When the apostles of Christ presented the truth to those who lived during the first century, they demonstrated the signs of their apostleship (Mark 16:15-20; 2 Cor. 12:12). Even if one were to arise from the dead he could work no signs greater than those of the apostles of Christ.
All Truth Has Been Revealed
No additional truth could be stated in that all truth has already been clearly given. The purpose of miraculous activity was to demonstrate the validity of the message preached. When inspiration ceased during the first century there could be no exercise of miraculous power due to the cessation of inspiration (Gal. 1:6-9; 1 Cor. 13:8-13; Eph. 4:11-15; Micah 7:15). Therefore, what would bringing one back from death accomplish?
Logic of Bible Argumentation
No stronger argument could be made nor higher motive given than has already been revealed within the scriptures. While the scriptures do not constitute a text book on logic or argumentation and debate, none the less; the scriptures make numerous flawless arguments to prove the case regarding the message of inspired speakers and/or writers. Again, while the Bible is not a text book on logic or debate it does recognize the validity of critical, logical, rational thinking by making use of valid logical arguments.
Both Christ and Paul were masters of argumentation and debate. They set forth arguments that could not be refuted (Matt. 12:22-28; 1 Cor. 15:12-19). Even if one were to rise from the dead, no stronger argument for the cause of truth could be made.
Hardened Hearts Refuse the Miraculous
Individuals from the past have at various times been hardened due to their own stubborn and rebellious hearts in spite of the working of great miracles. Consider the fact that miracles serve as adequate evidence to prove the validity of a newly given truth. Such was the case with Moses and his dealings with the Egyptian Pharaoh (Exod. 2:11-19; Matt. 12:38-45; Rom. 1:1-4).
When one refuses to believe the message of the resurrected only begotten Son of God, who was raised victoriously over death, why would he accept the testimony of a lesser person raised from the dead? When one rejects the miracles recorded in the New Testament, why would one seek a so called modern day miracle that is not going to happen (Heb. 2:1-4). The cry for a modern day messenger to arise from the dead only demonstrates a hard heart of unbelief and a disposition of stubbornness to reject the word of God (Acts 28:23-28).
Bible Testimony is Final
No amount of testimony can make an established fact greater than what it has already proven to be—the Truth. A legal document is notarized only once, a certified check is certified only once. A court witness giving testimony is only sworn one time. The word of God has been sealed by the blood of Christ and confirmed by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit during the first century. Those who reject it today would not accept its message even if one were to rise from the dead.