Have you ever been completely shocked or totally flabbergasted by someone you spent a lot of time with in church? You may have gotten to know them well by being involved for quite some time with them in Sunday School, or the choir, or home Bible study, or youth ministry. It appeared that they had a solid understanding of Christian doctrine until one day they shared what they really believe and it was totally anti-Biblical–such as a denial that Christ was born of a virgin. The apostle Paul faced that kind of shock when he found out that some churchgoers at Corinth were denying that resurrection was a reality.
Resurrection is not only a basic doctrine on which Christianity stands, but Paul spent 1 1/2 years in Corinth preaching it and proving it to that church when it first started in Acts 18. These Corinthians were even aware that the Lord Jesus himself spoke to Paul in a dream promising him that no harm would come to Paul while he was in that city. It was then fulfilled when the Jews tried to start an insurrection against Paul that was quickly squashed by a city official. The church also experienced an abundance of spiritual gifts exhibited among them by the Holy Spirit.
Taking all of that into account prompted Paul to be very blunt with them concerning those who denied the resurrection. He told them they needed to wake up from their spiritual sleep in 1 Corinthians 15:34–
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
The word awake in this passage refers to someone in a drunken sleep being roused to sober up so they can be alert. Resurrection-deniers were (and still are) unconscious to God’s reality, caught up in a temporary dream world of lies that keeps them from embracing the Lord’s eternal truths. So Paul commanded them to wake up to God’s righteousness and to put off the sin causing their spiritual blindness toward the truth of Christ’s resurrection.
Churchgoers who deny the resurrection, or any basic tenet of the Christian faith, don’t have the knowledge of God. They not only bring shame on themselves by doing that, but they bring shame on any congregation that tolerates their false doctrine. Like the Sadducees, they do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God (Matthew 22:29). Thank God for those who come to realize their spiritual errors and wake from their dream world to correct them in righteousness.