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"What a Day of Rejoicing that will Be"

(76)

Sermon shared by Kenneth Sauer

November 2002
Summary: The subject of the return of Christ and the resurrection of the dead.
Denomination: United Methodist
Audience: General adults
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dead
for us!

In his book: Living Jesus, Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson...one of my professors at seminary writes: “Faith
begins with the resurrection of Jesus...
...The resurrection is the grounding for the entire Christian life....
...and the resurrection is the chronological beginning of the Christian religion.”

In his book: The Case For Faith, author Lee Strobel writes: “The resurrection of Jesus could not have
been a legend....
...the apostle Paul preserved a creed of the early church that was based on eyewitness accounts of Jesus’
return from the dead---and which various scholars have dated as early as 24 to 36 months after Jesus’ death.
That’s far too quick for mythology to have tainted the record.
The truth is that nobody has ever been able to show one example in history of a legend developing that
quickly and wiping out a solid core of historical truth.”

Our hope---the glorious hope of believers--is based on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ...
...and there is no greater basis for hope in the entire world!

“According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of
the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel
and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”

The dead believers...our mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, children, grandmothers, grandfathers who have
passed on ahead of us will be the first to be caught up to meet the Lord.

Now notice that it is only the departed believers who will arise--no unbeliever will be resurrected...not at
this point.

And it will be the bodies of the dead believers that are resurrected!
The believers themselves, that is, their spirits, are already with the Lord...
...and when Christ returns
...their bodies will be raised and transformed to live forever with God...
...the change will be--as the Scripture declares: the infusion of a totally new nature!

As the Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians: “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the
perishable inherit the imperishable....for the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with
immortality.”

Our present bodies are corruptible and mortal, but the nature of our new bodies will be incorruptible and
immortal!

Just think, no more arthritis, no more aches and pains, no more disease, no more cosmetic surgery!!!

“But somone may ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?...
....All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.
There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one
kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another....
....So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown in dishonor, 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.”

The new bodies we will recieve as believers will be perfected so that we can live with God forever in the
new heavens and the new earth.

“And after that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds
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