THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD:
The Last Enemy
1Cor. 15: 12-34 (p 815) April 10, 2011
Anyone here today ever heard of a man named Charles Momsen…his friends called him "Swede"? Probably not, but Swede Momsen was responsible for one of the most remarkable rescue devices ever invented…."The Momsen-McCann Rescue Bell…
During the early years of submarining…if a ship sank…the crew died…there was no chance at rescue. In 1925 the Sub S-51 sank and all on board perished…in December of 1927 Sub S-4 sank…the difference was it was in shallow water…All her officers and men made it to non-flooded compartments…however, the majority soon succumbed, but six men made it to a forward torpedo room alive…heroic efforts was made to rescue these men…but a storm forced a stop on December 24 all forty men lost their lives…the last message the six men in the torpedo room tapped out to divers in this extremely cold water, 34 meters down was…."Is there any hope?"
It was this tragedy that motivated Swede Momsen to design and build a rescue chamber…it was this chamber that was used to rescue all 33 men on the submarine
Squalis in 1939. It took four dives and 13 hours…but all 33 were rescued in the first deep submarine rescue ever…no longer was a sunken submarine an automatic death sentence….now there was hope.
[Neal Straight once said, "Take from a man his wealth and you hinder him; take from him is purpose, and you slow him down. But take from man his hope, and you stop him. He can go on without wealth and even without purpose for a while…but he will not go on without hope"]
Folks, without the hope of the resurrection we are sunk…there is no chance for our rescue…and death wins.
Look with me at what the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Cor. 15, its on page 815. He's dealing with just this subject in verses 12 -19.
Read: 1 Cor 15: 12-19 (p 815)
You see what Paul is saying don't you?
I THE RESURRECTION IS OUR ONLY HOPE OF RESCUE
"If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith" (v 13,14)
If Christ has not been raised your faith is futile, you are still in your sins" (v 17)
"If Christ is not raised, those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost" (v 18)
Sin has consequences…sometimes those consequences are immediate and severe….embarrassment, disease, pregnancy, jail, broken marriages …horrible stuff.
But the most profound and final consequence of sis is death…"The wages of sin is death" according to Rom 6:23…Paul even calls it "the Last Enemy" in our test…why is it the last enemy?
When death is concerned there are no do-overs, no mulligans or second chances…"It is appointed unto man once to die…and then face the judgment. (Heb 9:27)
As far as life on this earth is concerned when you stand next to a casket or prepare to take your place in one…Hope is all you have left.
And as Paul writes to the Corinthians he is answering questions about what happens after death? And the Corinthians have been infiltrated with individuals who want to say…Nothing…there is no resurrection…its impossible for the dead to live again.
Even the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus day argued this point…the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead…the Sadducees did not…that why they were sad…you see!
Within the first century of Christianity a group of people called "Gnostics" arose. "Individuals who claimed special knowledge from God" began to teach that all flesh is evil, therefore Christ was not physically raised from the dead…it was just his spirit.
It's this heresy that Paul combats…and it's till a heresy that many promote today.
He says, "If they are right we are Liars about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ fro the dead" (v 15)
"If our hope is only in this life in Christ, then we are to be pitied more than all men" (v 19)
Paul's' saying….if I live my life for Christ and others and then on the other side of death there is nothing…you should feel sorrier for me than anyone else…I should have partied harder here….I should have selfishly given into every sin, because Christ's death was worthless and it doesn't matter….I've wasted my only chance to "eat all I want, drink all I want…because tomorrow I die and that's it…game over.
My Taps of "Is there any hope has fallen on deaf ears…" and not just for me, but for all my loved ones in Christ who went before me.
[Having stood next to my father's casket, and one of my best friend's caskets (Darrell) both committed believers and followers of Christ…countless other friends and church members…I can only imagine the turmoil caused in the hearts of these Corinthians 2.
believers when some people said, "you'll never see them again because there is no resurrection from the dead"]
Both we and they have put our hope in a gospel that believes "Christ has indeed been raised from the dead; the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep" (v.20)
The apostle Paul moves from this discussion to his firm belief that…
II THE GRAVE WASN'T THE END FOR JESUS OR FOR US
"Christ has indeed been raised!"
Death seems so final…people think of it as "The End", Most people consider it the last chapter in the book of their lives…we fear it, seek to avoid it all costs…but scripture teach that death isn't the last chapter…death isn't the end."
Job wrote "I know my redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see Him with my own eyes…How my heart years within me" (Job 19: 25-27)
Listen to what Paul says to the Corinthians in our test.
1 Corinthians 15: 21-28 (p 815)
Adam and Eve's sin in the Garden opened the door for death….the consequence of their sin was they went from forever livers on earth to temporary livers on earth. They went from innocent obedient children to rebels in that instance…It changed them….and us forever. Their nature changed from wanting to please God, their creator to wanting to please self….their children inherited this nature and their grandchildren…all the way to us. "All Have Sinned…all our sinners….its in our spiritual D.N.A. And yet their soul and ours is designed by God to last forever. It never stops existing…No one's does.
The problem is that forever soul resides in a body that's gonna die…How will God remedy this problem…the issue of an eternal soul living in a body that's temporary?
The answer: "for in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive…but each in his own turn: Christ the firstfruits; then when he comes, those who belong to him".
Christ died for the sins of all mankind, but his resurrection is the proof that God was providing a way for us to conquer death…to be eternal livers once again. He conquered death first…so as the firstfruits…there could be a harvest of millions…When? At His return…
He is the resurrection and the life…please understand there will be two resurrections. no one dies and first stops existing. When Christ returns He will bring with him, "those who have fallen asleep in him" (1Thess 4:14) "The dead in Christ will rise first" (And there will be believers alive when this occurs on earth ) (1 Thess 4:16) 3.
This first resurrection is recorded in Revelations 20
Revelations 20: 1- 6 (p878)
Satan will be bound for a 1000 years…those who have believed…those who are part of this resurrection will be priests of God and reign with for 1000 years.
When the 1000 years are over Satan is released from his prison…He deceives the nations…is on the attack against God's camp but God protects them.
And then comes the 2nd resurrection.
Rev 20: 10-15 (p878)
It's the totally ending of this old earth…it's the finale….when death and Hades are thrown into the lake of fire…" Please know everyone will be raised for eternity…but the only thing that determines your ultimate, forever and ever destination is "whether your names found written in the book of life"…You'll be able to see it clearly because it will be written in the blood of Christ.
"the Last enemy to be defected (destroyed) is forever death. the 2nd death…and its defeated because of Christ obedience to the Father, even to the point of dying on a cross…and god will put everything under the feet (the authority ) of Jesus.
This is the final chapter here…not death but eternity.
Reread 1 Cor 15: 24, 25
How does the Apostle Paul end this amazing section of the scriptures concerning the ultimate resurrection?
III THE HOPE OF HEAVEN IS WORTH THE RISKS HERE
1 Corinthians 15: 29-34 (p815)
What does verse 29 mean? I'm not completely sure.
It's my belief he's using it to illustrate the fact people believe so much in a resurrection that they're trying to provide hope for even those who have died….
He's not saying…do it…or this works…He's saying why would they even try this if there is no resurrection" (Just my opinion)
But Paul's first point is…why is you think I put myself at risk everyday…crucify myself daily (all my rights, wants and desires) Fight with enemies in Ephesus…its not for any worldly rewards…it's for eternal ones!
I choose carefully my traveling companions….so should you…
Wake up…come back to your senses like the prodigal in the program…stop sinning, because there are people still not ready for eternity….sham on you!! your new life now should match your hope of the new one to come.
[Satan's greatest tool isn't lust, or gossip, or murder…there will be people in that heavenly resurrection who have been forgiven of all those things.
Satan's greatest tool is "Delay" "it's eat, drink and party for self now…wait till tomorrow to prepare for eternity…the problem with that is…that way of thinking becomes a life…and then tomorrow rears it's hard….and you die.
"Only One life and soon it's passed…only what's done for Christ will LAST!"