Can you be a Christian if you don't believe in the resurrection?
God's Word is very clear on this. Salvation is by the grace of God through faith (Ephesians 2:8). That faith is believing in the Person and works of the Lord Jesus Christ — believing that He is God and that He came to earth and lived, died, was buried and rose from the dead to conquer sin and death and give eternal life.
Can a person be a Christian if they don't believe Jesus rose from the dead? The answer is an undebatable, NO. While the cross paid the penalty for sin and opened the way for forgiveness of our sins, the Lord's resurrection from death is what conquered the grave and opened the way for our eternal life.
Since the fall of man, there have been people who do not believe God's words. In a time when we have easy access to every word God has given to man, it seems the number of skeptics is growing — both inside and outside the church. Some don't believe the creation or the flood records. They're simply myths, they claim. In decades past, some people denied that Jesus ever existed. That's foolishness in our time. Historical and archaeological evidence offers proof that Jesus of Nazareth lived in the first century BC. There's also exhaustive evidence that He was crucified on a Roman cross. Therefore, today, the focus of many skeptics is not to deny His life or His death, but to deny His resurrection. They do so only by denying the historically documented evidence that, following Jesus' death on the cross, He was placed in a sealed tomb and three days later the tomb was empty, Jesus was alive and He lived among many witness for 40 days.
I'm going to share with you a recent Facebook post from a minister who denies the resurrection. In his post, he speaks sarcastically of the "bad news" of what he's been told his denial of the resurrection will mean for him.
It's sad that this man calls himself a Christian and yet denies our Lord's glory in the resurrection. Even more sad is that he is in a position of teaching others and he is teaching heresy by denying that Jesus rose from death. As you read this minister's Facebook post, remember that we cannot truly judge his heart — only God knows for certain the condition of his soul. But we can judge his fruit — both his words and his actions. His words here reveal that he does not have a saving faith. Belief in the risen Lord Jesus Christ is required for salvation (Romans 10:9). Read his "bad news" and you'll find that this minister needs to come to understand the truth of the Good News — the life, death, burial AND resurrection of Jesus Christ.