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"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)

 

Apr 12, 2018

In this episode Brother Jonathan finishes talking about the resurrection. Also, the "misplaced comma" argument of Luke 23:43, a walk through 1 Corinthians 15, when the Kingdom is delivered to the Father by Christ, the timeline of the resurrection, a brief discussion of the return of Christ, the two resurrections, and the resurrection body.

 

Resurrection of Believers Part 2

S2EP7

Remnant Bible Fellowship

 

  1. Intro
    1. We’ll be finishing up talking about the resurrection today, and, ironically, in a couple of weeks (Lord willing) we’ll be talking about the resurrection of Christ. Specifically, we’ll be considering it from an apologetics viewpoint. I’m ashamed to say it, but for most of my Christian life I never had to defend the resurrection of Christ. It honestly never came up with people. Perhaps it is because I live in the so-called “Bible belt” where everyone thinks they’re a Christian. But in doing the reading to talk about that, and listening to certain lectures and so forth, I was amazed at how much historical evidence there is for the resurrection of Christ. So if you have never dove into that area of apologetics I would encourage you to listen to that episode when it comes up in a few weeks.
    2. Today though we’re talking about the resurrection of the dead in general; but before we get into that I want to talk about something else.
  2. Luke 23:43
    1. Last episode I talked for a while indirectly about why the idea of “soul sleep” is incorrect. One argument that is brought up sometimes as a rebuttal to quoting Luke 23:43 in support of the traditional view is the argument about the use of a comma. The verse in question says:
      1. “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
    2. The contention is that the word “today” is supposed to be with the preceding clause “Verily I say unto thee” so that it should read “Verily I say unto thee today.” They say that a comma has been placed in the wrong spot. The point being that it separates the time aspect of when the thief on the cross would be with Christ. Essentially making the verse to mean that Christ is only saying, “I’m telling you this today that you will be with me in Paradise some day.” If this argument were true then they would have a basis for saying that this verse does not teach the separation of the soul from the body—which would support the idea of soul sleep. What you have to understand is that even if that were the case this verse cannot be used to support soul sleep. The best thing that this argument would accomplish is to say that Luke 23:43 could not be used to support the opposing viewpoint. So the main thrust of the matter is whether or not Luke 23:43 supports the traditional view of the soul separating from the body in physical death.
    3. There is one thing that is correct that is asserted by this argument: there are no commas in the oldest Greek manuscripts. That’s true. The conclusion of this argument is not though. Let me give you a couple of reasons why:
      1. If the argument simply rests on the fact that there are no commas in the oldest Greek manuscripts, then to say either placement is wrong is arbitrary. If we just stop there at least. If you’re just arguing about commas in the original Greek then you’re going to not be allowed to assert any placement of commas along those lines. Let me emphasize this: if there are no commas in the original manuscripts then you cannot say that any placement of one is wrong. It would be like saying that an answer to a test is wrong if you don’t have the answer key to tell you why. It would be completely arbitrary to say that one placement of a comma is incorrect over another JUST BASED on whether or not there was a comma in the original manuscript. When you take grammar into account though it’s a different story altogether.
      2. If we pressed for grammatical accuracy—remember commas are a part of grammar—then we can accurately place one. The Oxford dictionary says, “A comma marks a slight break between different parts of a sentence. Used properly, commas make the meaning of sentences clear by grouping and separating words, phrases, and clauses.” So different phrases and clauses of sentences are grouped together. Most people don’t understand that Greek is very different than English. Word order means almost nothing in Greek. You identify the function of nouns or adjectives in a sentence by what their case ending is (a case ending is an additional letter or letters to the stem of the word). Prepositions are never declined, but their object is always declined (which means its form is changed) based upon its intended meaning. Certain words, such as “hoti”, identify subordinate clauses—which lets you know that the main verb and subject are not in that clause. Greek is actually a very specific language. Yes, there are some times when it is not as specific as we would like it to be, but most of the problems with translation are not on the Greek side. English is usually the problem. English is great for poets, but difficult for translators really. If you were to pick up a good thesaurus, you would see why. English might have 100 words that are “synonyms” with the word “shine”. English is very different than Greek. Regarding Luke 23:43, the phrase, “amen lego soi,” which means, “verily [or “truly”] I say to thee [second person pronoun],” is used around 100 times in the gospels with only slight variation—sometimes with a plural pronoun instead of a singular one [“you” instead of “thee”]. I don’t see anyone arguing about it anywhere else but here. In fact, if you look at the other occurrences of the phrase you see that it’s not vague at all. If you tried to say the same thing about another occurrence of the phrase you would get some absurdities. To argue about it here just shows that someone is arbitrarily picking one out of a hundred instances of this phrase because they don’t like the implications of what is said. That’s just a philosophical bias.
  • The early Gnostics were the ones to first have a problem with this verse. Marcion and the Manicheans had assembled their own “Gnostic Bible” as-it-were. In their copy of the gospel of Luke (the only gospel that they included I believe) they removed this verse because it taught the immateriality of the soul—that the soul was not synonymous with the body. Historically, the only people who have sided with the view of the “misplaced comma” have been those who were naturalistic in their thinking and denied that the soul was immaterial. The way that they chose to defend it was to remove the verse, or to just say that a comma is misplaced.
  1. The comma is placed after the word “thee”, or “soi”, before it gets to “today”, or the word “semeron”, because it is ending the clause and beginning a new one. This is grammatically easy to see in the Greek, because the “soi” is in the Dative and is therefore receiving the action of the verb “lego”. That is, the words “unto thee” are the object of the words “I say”. That clause in the sentence is closed there after the object. I know of no translation of the Bible that translates it any other way than to separate the two. To do so would be to make a mess of the grammar and pervert the meaning that was intended by Luke. This is why commentators have openly mocked this argument as being silly. I even took the time to translate the verse myself, and it’s not a hard verse. It’s so simple a first year Greek student could easily translate it, probably off the top of their head:
    1. “και ειπεν αυτω ο ιησους αμην λεγω σοι σημερον μετ εμου εση εν τω παραδεισω”
    2. “And Jesus said to him, “Verily I say to you, Today you will be with me in Paradise.”
  2. It’s a very simple verse, and there’s a reason that no one has ever taken this argument seriously. It’s completely unfounded. The comma is exactly where it grammatically should be. Christ was saying that the thief would THAT DAY be with Him in the paradise of God.
  • The Importance of the Resurrection of the Dead
    1. To the Apostles, the belief in the resurrection of the dead was a basic Christian belief. It was the hope of believers. It’s not just that Christ is returning to redeem us from this present evil world, but He’s coming back to change us. It’s a fundamental point in Christianity that is greatly neglected in teaching and preaching today. In the book of Acts we see that the Apostles and Paul were regularly teaching about it:
      1. “And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” (Acts 4:1-2)
      2. “But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.” (Acts 23:6-8)
  • “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” (Acts 24:14-15)
  1. “Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council, Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.” (Acts 24:20-21)
  1. The early Christians openly talked about the hope of our resurrection because they saw that it was absolutely was connected to Christ’s resurrection from the dead. We’ll see that in a little bit. We’ll actually be talking about the resurrection of Christ in a few weeks too.
  2. What we’ll do is walk through 1 Corinthians 15 and comment about things as we go. It’s probably the longest passage that talks about the resurrection in the Bible by far. It seems like a good place to begin.
  1. Walkthrough 1 Corinthians 15
    1. The first part of 1 Corinthians 15 (v3-8) is believed to be an early Creed of Christianity pre-dating any text of the New Testament. It’s structure and language bear witness to the fact that it was a condensed form of early Christian doctrine that was passed on orally—which is why it was simplified for easy oral communication. If we work back from this point in 1 Corinthians (about 51 AD) then we can actually show that the early Christians were teaching the literal and bodily resurrection of Christ right after the resurrection happened. We’ll be covering that in a few weeks when we talk about the historicity of the resurrection of Christ. After this, Paul makes some general comments about himself. Then he begins to address the topic of resurrection in v.12.
    2. “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (1Cor. 15:12)
      1. Paul begins to address some of the problems at the church in Corinth—as he has done throughout his letter. Some people were teaching that there is no future resurrection for believers. He begins to point this out as a major error. Notice though that Paul directly connects the general resurrection with the resurrection of Christ. He says, “If we’re preaching that Jesus rose from the dead, then how is that some of you are denying the general resurrection from the dead?”
    3. “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:” (1Cor. 15:13)
      1. He makes a very startling statement: if there is no general resurrection, then Christ never rose from the dead either. So Paul again is emphasizing that there is a direct connection between the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of everyone else. There can be no separating of the two. If you deny the one, then you deny the other.
    4. “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1Cor. 15:14)
      1. Paul says, “Hey, if that’s the case, then we’re just wasting our time with all this Christianity stuff.” This flies in the face of much of liberal Christianity by those on the side of the Emergent church movement like Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, and all those guys. They deny the literal and bodily resurrection of Christ and the atonement itself. Brian McLaren has quipped before that “We must continually be aware that the ‘old, old, story’ may not be the ‘true, true, story.’” (McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 294) The Emergent church movement is nothing more than apostasy masquerading as revival and intelligence. If you have anything to do with a church that encourages the reading of anything emergent, participates in it, or even describes itself as it, then you need to leave that church immediately. You are in a den of wolves. If you’re interested, Claris Van Kuiken has a very detailed book about the Emergent church called “Emergent Revolution.” It’s a very detailed book on the subject. But Paul emphasizes that if you take away the bodily and literal resurrection of Christ, then you don’t have Christianity. You cannot call yourself a Christian if Christ never rose from the dead—no matter what Rob Bell tries to say.
    5. “Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.” (1Cor. 15:15)
      1. Paul begins to speak hypothetically to show them the foolishness of their error. Indeed, if Christ was never raised from the dead bodily, then Christians are false prophets. Historiographically it is demonstrable that the early Christians started preaching the bodily resurrection of Christ right out of the gate. It’s notable that the ONLY early argument against the resurrection of Christ was that the disciples stole the body. Why is that notable? Because it shows that there was an empty tomb. If the tomb was not empty, then the enemies of the gospel would not have had to say that someone stole the body.
    6. “For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” (1Cor. 15:16-18)
      1. Paul continues with this hypothetical point, “If you deny the general resurrection then you deny the resurrection of Christ. If Christ isn’t resurrected, then you are still lost. If that’s true, then those who have labored and died for the name of Christ have done it in vain—they did it for nothing.” He’s showing them the implications of the denial of the general resurrection.
    7. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1Cor. 15:19)
      1. If they had no hope in Christ except in this world presently, then they had been fools. They had suffered the loss of possessions, reputation, endured persecution, etc., and all for nothing if the resurrection is not real.
    8. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” (1Cor. 15:20)
      1. But, Paul says, Christ is resurrected from the dead. He also is the “firstfruits” of them that slept. Remember, liked we talked about last time, “sleep” is used to speak of the physically dead. I find the word “sleep” to be very applicable because it implies a “waking up”. But Christ is the “firstfruits”. He is the new pattern for man. He is the first man to be born physically, die physically, and to rise from the dead never to die again. Lazarus was raised from the dead, but he died again. The same for every other person who had ever been raised from the dead. Christ was resurrected to a new kind of life. He was raised bodily, and he was not subject to corruption. The “firstfruits” were the first part offered up to God of a harvest. This implies that the harvest was of the same type. If you offered up the firstfruits of you grain to God as an offering, then it was of the same type as the rest of the harvest. In this way, the same type of resurrection body that Christ had believers will have. We’ll see this more clearly later.
    9. “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” (1Cor. 15:21)
      1. It was fitting in God’s sight that because by one man, Adam, came sin and death upon all humanity, that by one man, Jesus Christ, would come righteousness and resurrection life to all who would come.
    10. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1Cor. 15:22)
      1. This is a more clear way of emphasizing the last verse. If you continue to live after the pattern of Adam, being born of him and in his image, then you will suffer eternal death. If you become born of the spirit, and be renewed after the image of Christ, continuing to live therein, then you will partake of eternal life: which is resurrection life. You are a partaker of eternal life now by your faith in Christ. In the world to come, as it says in Mark 10:30 and Luke 18:30, you will actually be sealed with eternal life by being changed into the same pattern of Christ’s resurrected body—never to die again. We’ll see this reinforced later in this chapter.
    11. “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.” (1Cor. 15:23)
      1. There is an order given here of the resurrection:
        1. Christ, who is the firstfruits unto God.
        2. “they that are Christ’s at his coming” This is those who are believers at his return. This doesn’t exclude the dead in Christ because the dead in Christ have sealed their testimony. So they are included in this statement. “At his coming” simply referring to the time of His return, and not necessarily only those that return with Him.
      2. Some people have tried to insert another resurrection here where it says “the firstfruits”. The word “aparche” which underlies the word means the first portion, or the first of a kind. It is describing Christ, and it is not separable from Him. You can’t insert another group here to support a doctrine as some do. There are two groups listed here: Christ, and then those that are Christ’s at the time of His second coming. There are two things mentioned here as being raised: Christ, who was raised first, then those that are raised at His second coming. To say anything else is to arbitrarily insert something because of a philosophical bias on your part.
    12. “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” (1Cor. 15:24)
      1. With the beginning of this verse saying, “then cometh the end,” we see that a timeline is being described. First Christ was raised from the dead, then those that are His followers at the time of His return will be raised/changed, and “then cometh the end.” When you see the word “end” you need to be careful to understand what is ending. There is a time when the “end of the world” is referenced, such as in Matthew 24:3, and there is a time when the “end” of time itself is referenced. It’s very easy to confuse things so make sure you are paying very close attention to exactly what is being described. The timing of this “end” in particular is laid out for us.
      2. Paul says that this “end” will occur “when he [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and authority and power.” So this end is when Christ has put down all opposing authorities and powers. This is clarified in the next two verses.
    13. “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1Cor. 15:25-26)
      1. Paul elaborates on v.24. He says that Christ must reign, which shows that Christ’s kingdom is already set up at this point, until He has subdued all enemies. Then, Paul actually identifies the very last enemy that will be destroyed: death itself. This actually gives us a specific point to identify when this is. Remember, Paul is talking about the resurrection, and he’s giving us markers to identify the timing of things because certain people had perverted it saying that the resurrection was already over. Paul’s showing them that that is not the case, and here’s when it will happen.
      2. So, between 1 Corinthians 15:23-24 we have three things mentioned:
        1. The resurrection of Christ as the firstfruits
        2. The resurrection of Christ’s followers at the time of His return
        3. Then comes the end
  • The timeframe of this “end” is made clear if you follow what Paul says. The end comes when Christ delivers up the kingdom to the Father. Christ reigns over this kingdom until all enemies are subdued. The last enemy that is subdued is death itself. So, when death is destroyed, Christ is done reigning. When Christ is done reigning, then He gives the kingdom to the Father. The question that should arise in your mind is, where have I heard of death ending before? We’re specifically told when in Revelation:
    1. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (Rev. 20:14)
  1. This connection is corroborated for us when just five verses later we read:
    1. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)
  2. So this “end” is made clear for us: it is the end of the millennial reign of Christ. This actually makes sense really when you consider all the timing. Now, I don’t want to go off on a tangent, but we have to talk about the return of Christ simply because it’s connected with the resurrection. Let’s put some passages together:
    1. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Mat. 24:29-31)
      1. Christ Himself described His return as being “immediately after the tribulation”. The Son of Man shall be seen in His glory returning to the earth. He says literally, “and they shall see the Son of man coming.” It is not secret. He comes in the clouds of heaven, and then He sends His angels with “a great sound of a trumpet”. The angels gather together all the believers everywhere when this trumpet sounds.
    2. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:” (Mat. 25:31-32)
      1. When Christ returns in his glory he comes with all the holy angels. At this time, the setting up of His throne, He will separate the nations. The word nations is “ethnos” and it just means groups of people. There is a gathering and dividing of the people of the earth.
    3. “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mat. 13:40-43)
      1. Christ here explains about the end of the world just as His disciples would later ask Him in Matthew 24:3. The Son of man returns, with His angels, and separates the wicked from the just. He separates the people.
    4. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” (2 The. 1:7-10)
      1. Again here, Christ returns from heaven with His angels, and then He punishes the wicked of the earth with fire.
    5. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 The. 4:14-17)
      1. People try to associate this passage with a completely separate idea and make a mess of the timeline of Revelation. Those that are dead in Christ are said to return with Christ. The Lord Himself descends here, just as in Matthew 24:29-31, with a shout and the voice of the archangel, just as how angels are mentioned in Matthew 24:29-31. The Lord mentions the trumpet of God, just as in Matthew 24:29-31. Then there is a resurrection of the dead in Christ, which we will see in a minute fits the timeline completely. At this time, there is a gathering of all believers together, just like in Matthew 24:29-31. Do you know why 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 and Matthew 24:29-31 are so similar? It’s because they’re describing the same event.
        1. I’m going to rant about this for a minute, and I might offend some people—so be it. I was taught a pre-tribulation rapture just like everyone else. I had to learn it at a Bible institute, then at a Bible college, and I was extremely zealous for it. Then I critically examined the scriptures and realized there was absolutely no support for it. There are arbitrary assumptions, superfluous distinctions of the exact same words and language, and you make a mess of New Testament prophecy when you insert it into the text of scripture. The majority of the time people spend teaching a pre-tribulation rapture is spent explaining away the scriptures—just like those proponents do with other things. Errors usually come in groups because you have to start doing apologetics on the rest of scripture to make it fit your preconceived notions. I know because that’s what I did for years. I have never heard a new argument for a pre-trib rapture. I’ve listened to multiple part series, read books, etc., there is nothing new. The same lines of reasoning, and the same hermeneutical methods, that are used to defend it are used to defend cessationism and eternal security. I can say that because I used to believe both of those teachings also.
      2. So, timing-wise, let’s take a look at Revelation.
        1. In chapter 17-18 we see the destruction of Mystery Babylon.
        2. In chapter 19 we see rejoicing in heaven and the marriage supper of the Lamb—the timing of this is hard to be definitive about.
        3. In the latter part of chapter 19, starting in v.11, we see a description of the return of Christ from heaven to the earth.
          1. “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Rev. 19:14)
        4. We understand that in this army are included the dead in Christ, because in v.8 we had just seen that “fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” Jude even mentions that the Lord is to return with His saints from heaven. “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” (Jude 1:14)
        5. In v.19-21 we see that gathering together of the Beast and his armies to stand against Christ. Remember, Christ Himself said that the inhabitants of the earth would see Him coming. (Matthew 24:30; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27; Acts 1:11) Christ destroys them easily. Now we know that at least this part of chapter 19 follows chronologically before the rest of the book, because 19:20 shows the beast and the false prophet being cast into the lake of fire. Then, in 20:10, we see Satan himself cast into the lake of fire and we’re told that it is “where the beast and the false prophet are.” So, at least from 19:11 onward in the book it is being described close to chronological order.
        6. In 20:1-6 we see described the events that begin the thousand year reign of Christ. This is the setting up of the kingdom of Christ on earth. Satan himself is bound for the thousand years. The first resurrection is said to take place at this point. We’re specifically told in v.5 that the rest of the dead are not going to be raised until after the thousand years are over.
        7. In 20:7-10 we see that after the thousand years are over Satan is loosed from his prison and allowed to go and deceive the nations. The nations come up against the camp of the saints. Christ again destroys them easily.
        8. Then in 20:11-15 we see described the second resurrection and the Judgment. It’s clear in v.12-13 that we’re dealing with a resurrection, and the fact that the first resurrection is so named, being called “the first”, we can infer that there is second—also, it is mentioned elsewhere in scripture as we’ll see. In v.14-15 we see the end of death and hell, and the beginning of the second death—eternal death. At this point, every human being has been judged and separated either unto eternal life or eternal death.
        9. Beginning in chapter 21 we see the new heavens and new earth being made. It is the end of the former things. This is the point of “the end” that was spoken of by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:24. After this begins what can only be called eternity.
  • So, now let’s briefly talk about the two resurrections. Two resurrections are either implied or inferred in other places in the scriptures.
    1. “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Dan. 12:1-3)
      1. Daniel here describes that some will rise to “everlasting life” and these are described as shining like stars. Others are said to be raised to “shame and everlasting contempt”. This is kind of an oblique reference that supports the idea of eternal torment. The lost are resurrected to be able to endure eternal punishment, and for no other reason.
    2. “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:28-29)
      1. Here Christ Himself directly states that there is a resurrection of life, the first, and a resurrection of damnation, the second. Notice also that which one you partake in is determined by your works—just like the rest of scripture says. “According to your works be it done unto you.” Christ Himself stated at the end of the Revelation, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Rev. 22:12) Your works bear witness to who you serve. In 1 Corinthians 3 we see that believers are working on the foundation of Jesus Christ. It is the foundation of all that they do. Christ also described the wise man in Matthew 7:24-27 who built upon the rock. That rock He interpreted was His own sayings. That’s another reason that I can’t stand it when people try to say that there is some division between what Christ Himself taught and what we are supposed to be doing now as believers. You’re pretty much shutting people out of the kingdom of heaven when you teach that.
    3. “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” (Acts 24:15)
      1. Paul is here affirming that there is a resurrection of the just, and a resurrection of the unjust.
  • When we put these all together we see that there are two resurrections, and we can get the basic sense of them by how they are described:
    1. First resurrection, everlasting life, called the resurrection of life, the resurrection of the just. Luke adds in Luke 14:14 that it is at this time of the resurrection of the just that believers are rewarded for their good works:
      1. “Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14)
    2. The second resurrection, shame and everlasting contempt, called the resurrection of damnation, the resurrection of the unjust. It is also asserted by John in Revelation 20:13 that this is the time that the lost dead are rewarded for their works: they are cast into the lake of fire.
  1. So, back to 1 Corinthians 15, in v.27: “For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (1Cor. 15:27-28)
    1. Paul here talks about how even though all things are said to be subject to Christ it is plain that the one exception is God the Father. So when all things are subdued by Christ, then Christ the Son will submit His own kingdom to the Father. This hearkens back to v.24. God being “all in all” is referring to when there is nothing in the universe hindering God’s fellowship. To get an idea of this read Revelation 21.
  2. “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1Cor. 15:29)
    1. This verse has been a springboard for the Mormons to teach their version of baptism for the dead. To them, you can go and be baptized in the place of your past relatives that have died. There have been, in times past, those who practiced this. One or two of the early Christian writers noted that this was practiced in some places. I honestly don’t know why there is so much confusion over the meaning of this verse.
    2. Paul’s language is very clear. He is going back to his argument earlier in v.15-18 about the implications if Christ is not raised. In essence, he is simply saying, “Why then are believers baptized in the name of Jesus if He didn’t rise from the dead? Why then are they baptized in His name?” He is pointing out the fact that because they baptize in the name of Jesus there must be something to Him. If He didn’t rise from the dead, then what would be the point in baptizing in His name? What could He do for them? He’s simply showing them the foolishness of trying to say that Jesus rose from the dead and at the same time try to say that there is no general resurrection.
  3. “And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?” (1Cor. 15:30)
    1. If Jesus didn’t rise, then why are we going through all this? What would be the point?
  4. “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” (1Cor. 15:31)
    1. Some have commented that the phrase “by your rejoicing” is meant to refer to the Corinthians boasting against the Apostle Paul. I tend to agree with this point because he goes on to rebuke them it seems. Possibly hearkening back to his points that he brings out in chapters 4 and 14 where he contrasts his and the other apostles suffering with their self-glorying. This seems to fit best to me.
    2. Paul emphasizes his daily death to self when he says, “I die daily.” This is a very important part of the Christian life. Paul has mentioned it elsewhere:
      1. “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” (2 Cor. 4:10-11)
      2. “As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” (Rom. 8:36)
      3. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
  • It is the part of a Christian to give up the “right” to their life. We give up our life to God that we might be partaker of His life. Christ didn’t seek to “do His own thing”. He completely gave Himself up to the will of the Father. He spoke the Father’s words, He did the Father’s works, and He did it all as a man being wholly reliant upon God and His Spirit. This is the pattern to which we are called. We have no right to do our own thing. If it’s your life, then it’s not God’s. Paul had willfully submitted himself to be obedient even unto death. This meant persecution, and it’s the same for us today.
  1. “If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.” (1 Cor. 15:32)
    1. Paul had continually dealt with wicked men who were enemies of God. Paul reminds them, “What’s the point if I am not in some way benefited by this persecution?”
    2. The naturalistic worldview is no knew thing. “Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die” is the maxim of the unbeliever today. If there is no afterlife, and there is no judgment or resurrection, then why should we worry about morality? There would be no point to worrying about consequences. Paul states that if there is no resurrection, then the logical conclusion is that the only thing that matters is to enjoy the pleasures of this world while you can.
  2. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” (1 Cor. 15:33)
    1. Paul here warns the Corinthians because of the logical conclusion of denying that there is a resurrection. If there is no resurrection, and no afterlife or judgment, then pleasure is the goal of life. Paul states very clearly that to say that is an “evil communication”. It’s a proverb and philosophy that can only “corrupt good manners”. It will only lead to immorality. Much like the denial of the ability for a person to lose their salvation only leads to slackness in their walk, and tends to encourage sin because there is no fear of reprisal from the Lord. When there is no fear of consequence believers will almost always fall away—though they may never leave the church pews. This is why Paul emphasizes, saying, “Be not deceived.”
  3. “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” (1 Cor. 15:34)
    1. This is not a call to evangelism as some think. Paul is warning them about some that are in their midst. He tells them to “awake to righteousness”. “Awake” here is a very strong one that carries the sense of being woken up from a drunken sleep. He’s not just saying “pay attention,” he’s saying, “get a grip on yourself or else.” The phrase “sin not” is actually present tense, and that means that it should be understood in the sense of “be not sinning.” So together Paul is warning them to quickly get a grip on themselves and their behavior and to continue in righteousness without sinning.
    2. He goes on to say that “some have not the knowledge of God.” He is meaning among them, and not out in the world. Some of them by their behavior and actions make it clear that they were not discerning the Lord’s body, and that “without holiness no man shall see the Lord.” (Heb. 12:14) He intentionally points out that he is trying to make them see that they should be ashamed. So much for not making people feel uncomfortable. Paul puts his finger right on it and bluntly says “you should be ashamed.” I wonder how many preaching appointments Paul would get today?
  4. “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:” (1 Cor. 15:35-36)
    1. He begins to address a question that they had concerning the resurrection: How are they raised up, and with what body? These are very naturalistic questions that even people today ask. I have a feeling, and I could be wrong, that these questions were not coming from sincere believers who just wanted to understand the resurrection. I believe that for two reasons: because of Paul’s strong words against the questioner, and because the questions do not include the questioner. By the latter I mean to point out the fact that when a sincere believer asks about something they include themselves in it. They say things like, “How is it that WE will be caught up with the Lord when He returns?” A skeptic words it like this, “So how is it that YOU will be caught up with Jesus?” I find it interesting that the question Paul is addressing does that. It’s worded, as if coming from the person like so, “How are THEY raised up? With what body do THEY come?” This, taken with Paul’s strong words, to me shows that they were not sincere questions, but might have been coming from a divisive person who was being very skeptical of the doctrine. Some have even asserted that it was probably a false apostle who was magnifying himself against the Apostle Paul.
    2. Paul calls the questioner a fool. Literally, the word does mean it with the implication of the person being unwise and ignorant. He continues by using the same metaphor for resurrection that Christ did in the Gospel of John:
      1. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:24)
  • The illustration being that just as a kernel of grain is put into the ground in order to bring up a new plant, even so our natural bodies are sown into the ground in physical death and will bring forth a new body. This is simply an illustration that Paul uses and it’s not meant to convey an understanding of HOW it is done.
  1. “And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.” (1 Cor. 15:37-38)
    1. The physical body that is put in the ground is not the same as the one that will be raised up. Just like how a bare kernel is put into the ground, but a new plant that is different looking grows out of the ground. Paul emphasizes that God is the one who does the work. God is the one who changes the body. He also emphasizes that the resurrection is done on an individual level. Every man and woman will be raised individually and receive a new body.
  2. “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.” (1 Cor. 15:39-41)
    1. Paul points out the differences in the natural universe. Things differ from each other in how they are fashioned by God.
  3. “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (1 Cor. 15:42-44)
    1. After pointing out the differences in nature, Paul says, “so also is the resurrection of the dead.” If there is all this difference in how God has fashioned the natural things of the universe, should it be too hard to think that there is at least as much a difference between the earthly and the spiritual body?
    2. The earthly body is dishonorable, weak, and natural. While the spiritual resurrection body is glorious, powerful, and spiritual. They are worlds different. Paul emphasizes the plain fact that “there is a natural body and there is a spiritual body.” The two are different.
  4. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” (1 Cor. 15:45)
    1. Adam was an earthly man formed of the dust of the ground. We are born of the same image as his descendents, and we are modeled after the same earthly image. Christ, the last Adam, is made a quickening spirit. He is one who is able to give new life to the soul that Adam could not.
  5. “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” (1 Cor. 15:46)
    1. Every man can only be born physically and naturally first. The nature of the new birth is one that requires the man to make a decision, and so it must follow after. Throughout the Old Testament you see the pattern of the first and the second. Ishmael was born before Isaac. Esau was born before Jacob. The Covenant of Law (called the first in the book of Hebrews) came before the Covenant of Grace (called the second in Hebrews). The first is not the greater, the second is.
  6. “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.” (1 Cor. 15:47)
    1. Adam is a man who is made of the earth. Christ is the Lord from heaven. Another reference to the deity of Christ.
  7. “As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1 Cor. 15:48-49)
    1. Those who are after the pattern of Adam, natural in their life, will continue to do so until their judgment. Those who give themselves to be born after the image of Christ, and continue to grow up into Him in all things, will be changed to be conformed to the image of Christ’s resurrection body. This is stated elsewhere in the New Testament also:
      1. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 Jn. 3:2)
      2. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom. 8:29)
      3. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:” (Rom. 6:5)
      4. “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Php. 3:20-21)
    2. That last verse, Philippians 3:21, states very clearly that in the resurrection our bodies will be like unto His glorious body. Christ’s resurrection body shows us at least a glimpse of what the spiritual bodies of the resurrection will be like. Let’s consider some things from the gospel accounts about what it was like.
      1. We know that the spiritual resurrection body of Christ was not confined to physical traveling. Christ disappeared out of the sight of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:31, and He appeared in the middle of a room with locked doors as is recorded in Luke 24:36 and John 20:19. Perhaps this is best seen when He ascended in Acts 1 to heaven bodily.
      2. Christ’s resurrection body was physical, as He Himself stated:
        1. “And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” (Luke 24:38-39)
      3. Christ was able to eat and drink.
        1. “And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.” (Luke 24:41-43)
      4. Christ had the same knowledge that He did before His death. He recalls things that He told them before in Luke 24:44. We know that at a certain time God will take away our memories from our former lives. Given the timeline in Revelation 20-21, I don’t believe that occurs—at least as it is stated scripturally—until after the millennial reign of Christ is over and eternity begins.
  • So this gives us an idea of what the resurrection body that we will receive will be like. Christ Himself also mentioned the resurrection in the gospels.
    1. “The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine. But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.” (Mat. 22:23-34)
      1. Christ states that those who are partakers of the first resurrection are like unto the angels. He specifically says that they do not marry. If we were to look at the way that angels are described throughout the scriptures we would see a similar description to what we see with Christ’s resurrection body. Luke’s parallel account of this passage gives a little more detail.
    2. “And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” (Luke 20:34-36)
      1. Christ mentions that those who are partakers of the first resurrection, and the world to come, are partakers because they are accounted worthy to do so. This is why the Apostle said, “So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:” (2 The. 1:4-5) It’s stated more than a few times in the NT that believers ought to be careful to walk worthy of their calling for this reason. Christ Himself mentions it in Luke 21:36. In the Revelation Christ says, “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” (Rev. 3:4) The reason that these believers would walk in white with Christ was because they had not defiled the garments of their salvation: for they were worthy He says. All these things show the conditionality of our salvation.
    3. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” (1 Cor. 15:50)
      1. This then is the point of the resurrection: to make you fit for eternity. Both the saved and the lost will be resurrected. The saved will receive glorified bodies to fit them for eternal fellowship in the presence of God. The lost will be raised only to make them fit for eternal torment. Paul states that a natural body, which he refers to as “flesh and blood”, cannot inherit the eternal kingdom of God. It must be changed to do so. This leads in to what he says next.
    4. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:51-52)
      1. The “mystery” that is spoken of here is the fact that “we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” The mystery that is meant is that not all believers will physically die before the resurrection. There is nothing else said here than that.
      2. Much has been said about “the last trump” in error. The word is not speaking of a particular blast of a trump. It is a literal trumpet—the Greek word “salpigx” making it clear. I get particularly annoyed by how much is inserted into this verse that is not there. This verse has been used to extrapolate a complex idea of a pre-tribulation rapture when there is nothing in this verse that lends itself to that idea.
  • If we look at this verse, we see that it corresponds directly with both 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and Matthew 24:31. The only argument that is usually set forth to distinguish between those two respective passages is the absence of a resurrecting of dead believers in Matthew’s passage. This, it should be obvious, is an appeal to silence. It’s a fallacy. Where there is nothing contradictory mentioned it cannot be said that the two are not in agreement. The absence of something is not contradiction. If we were to apply this same hermeneutic to the rest of scripture then we would find a great many doctrines undone. The resurrection of Christ itself would become undone if you applied this same line of reasoning to all four gospel accounts of it. By the same reasoning, because of the different things that are mentioned in all four gospels, you would have to consider it as two or three crucifixions of Christ and two or three resurrections of Christ because of things mentioned or not mentioned in those passages between them. No one does that but critical skeptical scholars. The fact that those who defend their arbitrary distinction between the events described in Matthew 24:29-31 from the events described by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4 shows that they are merely exercising an unargued philosophical bias. They want it to be there, and so they make sure they find it. I know, from experience, that most people do this unintentionally; but the best thing to do in overcoming your bias is to admit that you have one.
  1. There is one thing particularly I want to point out about those who do apologetics for a pre-tribulation rapture. What you will find is that a lot is rested on typology. Two things come to mind in particular that I know are common: the illustration of the Jewish practice of the wedding, and the illustration of Enoch and Noah.
    1. Some assert that the common wedding practices of the Jewish, which is alluded to by Christ in the parable of the ten virgins, supports a pre-tribulation rapture. The idea being that the bride of Christ is secretly taken by the bridegroom. Nowhere in all of scripture is there anything stated about Christ returning secretly and then running off again. People misinterpret the phrase “as a thief in the night” sometimes, but there is no mention of a secret return of Christ. Apparently it’s so secret that it is completely absent from scripture.
    2. The illustration of Enoch and Noah goes on this wise: “Enoch was taken up into heaven before the judgment, and Noah was preserved through the judgment. This pictures the church being raptured before the tribulation and physical Israel being preserved through the tribulation.” Much is wanting in this assumption. There is literally nothing to support this but the assumption of a pre-tribulation rapture. People assume it, and then go looking through scripture to support it. The foolishness of this application, because it’s not interpretation, is shown when you ask, “why does it picture that?” There is nothing to say to defend it but to appeal to your interpretation of the NT. Typology is not support for doctrine because it is asserted on the basis of doctrine.
  2. The main error of this type of arguing is that it is begging the question. How do we find a type in the Old Testament? We look for what is clearly stated in the New Testament. How then can we use OT typology to support a NT teaching, if we determine that OT type from the NT teaching? It is arguing in a circle. In essence it says, “The rapture is true because it is supported by OT types, the OT types support a pre-tribulation rapture because of the NT rapture, and the NT rapture is true because of the OT types.” It is circular reasoning. If you were to apply this to any real OT type you be called silly. Also, regarding Jewish marriage customs, how could Jewish custom, which was not sanctioned by God, be used to dictate how God was going to send His Son? There are certain allusions made by Christ of particular things, such as there being a wedding feast, but it is a very different thing to say that BECAUSE the Jews did weddings a certain way Christ will return a certain way.
  3. Not to mention the fact that a pre-tribulation rapture is completely at odds with what the angels said to the disciples immediately after His ascension.
    1. “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:10-11)
  • It is impossible to say that Christ will come “in like manner”—simply going up—if He comes again to the earth, mysteriously halfway somehow, without touching the ground—because that’s important—takes believers back to heaven, then later brings them back. None of that, except the actual part of Him returning in general, is mentioned in the scriptures. The result is that you spend the majority of your time doing apologetics to make the book of Revelation fit. It is nowhere mentioned. The first place that Christ is mentioned to leave heaven is in Revelation chapter 19. People try to say that John going up in chapter 4:1 is the church, but that doesn’t fit. Christ comes down in a pre-tribulation rapture, not the Church goes all the way up by itself—at least if you’re going to appeal to 1 Thessalonians 4. Also, the other main argument is that the word “church” is not mentioned after chapter 4:1 until a certain point. Again, this is an appeal to silence, and is a fallacy. In so doing these types of things, and butchering the book of Revelation, you are left to explain how the gospel spreads at all during the tribulation when the tribulation supposedly begins without a single Christian on earth. This leads to an apologetic of who the 144,000 are. Let’s make them do everything! That fits our theory right? Sure!
  • I’m sure people might be wondering why I am so frustrated about this, but it’s because I believed it all. When you humble yourself, and go back and do the first works like when you were a simple child in faith, you simply get back to the scriptures. If they don’t DIRECTLY say it, then it’s not there. I truly believe that many people are going to fall away in the tribulation because the majority of Christianity is screaming that the antichrist will not come until after a pre-tribulation rapture. When that doesn’t happen, people aren’t going to be looking for deception. “This can’t be the antichrist or the mark of the beast because the rapture hasn’t happened yet.” The majority of professing Christians who hold to a pre-trib rapture aren’t watching anyways…do you think this is gonna help? Do they actually live like they believe He can return at any moment? Consider the fact that this interpretation was not even mentioned for the first 1,000 years of Christianity at least; and it wasn’t popular until the Plymouth brethren, Clarence Larkin’s “Dispensational Truth” (from about 1910 I believe), and the Scofield Reference Bible (1912). For almost the entire time of Christianity, with the exception of the last 150 years, the idea of a pre-tribulation rapture was not a Christian concept. To me, just based upon that, it sounds more like end times deception.
  1. Okay, I’m done.
  1. “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (1 Cor. 15:53)
    1. Paul goes on talking about the point of the resurrection: a changed body. Our corruptible bodies must be made to where they cannot decay. Our temporal and mortal bodies must be changed to where they will last for eternity.
  2. “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:54-55)
    1. Paul identifies when certain passages from Hosea 13:14 and Isaiah 25:8 are fulfilled. When our bodies are changed at the resurrection we are no more subject to death. We will never have to think about the grave again.
    2. It’s important to note that this is not the same time as was mentioned by Paul in v.24-26. That passage was referring to when death itself was ended. Here, Paul is only speaking of when believers are no more subject to death because they have received their new bodies. The difference in time between the two is, at least, 1,000 years.
  3. “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” (1 Cor. 15:56)
    1. Death was brought in because of sin. It was the sentence that was pronounced for those who commit it. (Rom. 6:23; Eze. 18:4) The strength of sin’s hold is the Law of God, because God is unchanging and must punish all sin. As long as God exists and is unchanging He will punish all sin. When all sin is dealt with, then God can undo death.
  4. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:57-58)
    1. Paul points out again that Christ is the one through whom the resurrection comes. Because He lives, we can live also. If we live and suffer with Him now, in this present world, then we shall live with Him, and reign with Him, in the world to come.
    2. He encourages them towards this end. The resurrection is the hope of the believer where his works are ended. Every good work will be rewarded by the Lord to His faithful servants. Paul encourages them to be “steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain.” This is the same thing that we should encourage ourselves in: this world and its ways have an end. We labor for what comes afterwards, and that which, when it comes, cannot be taken from us. Peter said:
      1. “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (2 Pet. 3:11-14)
  • We ought to let the certainty of coming judgment and of coming reward both stir us up to greater love and holiness, and fill us with the expectation of hope. When you get weary, remember that it’s not in vain if it’s for the Lord. Even the mundane things of everyday can be done in service to God. Paul said, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Gal. 6:9) So when you get weary, remind yourself of the coming resurrection, and press forward.
  1. Closing
    1. I believe that I covered the most common questions that people have. I enjoyed doing this episode and the last episode. I learned a lot myself in the process of studying. Be looking for the next episode, or episodes. I’ll be going back to apologetics to finish that up. I really encourage you to listen to the one coming up about the historicity of the resurrection of Christ. I’ve really enjoyed studying for that one. There’s just such a wealth of data that shows that the resurrection of Christ is a historical even and not just a belief. I honestly can’t wait to do that episode. It might be a good one to give to others, Lord willing.