Saturday, July 12, 2014

1 Corinthians 15 Heaven is Re-embodied Existence


1 Cor 15:20-28 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "all things are put in subjection," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

1 Cor 15:50-58 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell 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 trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

We always like to say that when a believer dies, he will go "up there" with the Lord. But the hope of Christianity is not disembodied existence in another spiritual dimension like ghosts without bodies. The ultimate hope of the Christian faith is not eternal existence "up there" but eternal existence "down here" because Jesus is coming back to establish His kingdom rule on earth:
  • Acts 1:10-11 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." 
Just as Jesus was re-embodied with the new resurrection body which allowed him to live on earth for 40 days (eating, talking and walking with his disciples), so also will we share in this re-embodied existence: 

  • 1 Cor 15:22-27 "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death

So, the last enemy of mankind "death" will be destroyed at Christ's coming when those who belong to Him will be given the new resurrection body that will never die again. Christ was the "firstfruits" but when He returns, those who belong to Christ will be part of the harvest of new citizens of the Kingdom with new resurrection bodies.

Thanks be to God! No matter what our physical conditions today, one day, we will be resurrected to live forever in a new and glorious resurrection bodies like Jesus'--eternal and imperishable!
  • 1 Cor 15:52-57 For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Father, thank You that You love Your people enough to give all who believe the hope of the resurrection of our bodies/ Whatever may be our present physical conditions, we shall all be raised with resurrection bodies. Amen.

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