Summary: The resurrection of the dead is one of the key foundations for the hope of those who believe in Jesus!
Resurrecting Your Hope
In one of his lighter moments, Benjamin Franklin penned his own epitaph. He didn’t profess to be a born-again Christian, but it seems he must have been influenced by Paul’s teaching of the resurrection of the body. Here’s what he wrote: The Body of B. Franklin, Printer Like the Cover of an old Book Its contents torn out, And stript of its Lettering and Guilding, Lies here, Food for Worms, But the Work shall not be wholly lost: For it will, as he believ’d, Appear once more In a new & more perfect Edition, Corrected and amended by the Author.
The belief that Jesus Christ will return to earth someday is held by 62 percent of all Americans.
George Gallup, "Religion in America," Leadership, Fall, 1987.
Read Text: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
I. The Hope of Your Transformation
50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
A. The nature of this transformation
1. Our current body is flesh and blood
a.) Our human body is physical in nature and is material like the world around us
b.) Our human body is meant to exist only in this world
2. Our current body is corruptible
a.) Our human body will not last forever. Our human body fails us both in ability and capacity
b.) Our human body is in the process of decay
Our hair turns gray or falls out
Our bodies slow down and our energy decreases over time
Our ability to perform certain activities diminishes
3. Our current body requires a change
a.) Our human body cannot last through eternity because it is material, physical and fallible
b.) There must be a change of our bodies to take them from being perishable to being imperishable
B. The mystery of the transformation
1. Not all Christians will fall asleep
a.) The fact is that there will be those who will still be alive when the resurrection takes place.
b.) The resurrection of believers will be for those who have died in Christ and it will be a raising to new and everlasting life. Those who die without Christ will not be raised at this time
2. All Christians will be changed
a.) Every one of those who have place their faith in Christ will experience the reality of the resurrection
b.) There will not be one Christian forgotten. All of those who have been before us and all of those who will follow after us will be changed
3. The change will be instantaneous and complete
a.) Notice verse 52, Paul gives a vivid description of this reality: In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet
b.) In a flash – The understanding is one of being indivisible. The change will happen so quickly that there would not be more than one moment and would occur faster than blinking our eyes
4. The change will be from one kind of body to another
a.) The dead will be raised to an imperishable life. Those who believe in Christ will never again taste death. Our bodies will be changed from being mortal to being immortal
b.) Paul shows the absolute necessity of this change by using the word must. If we are to experience the full power of the resurrection of Jesus, we must be changed forever
II. The Hope of Your Triumph
54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." 55 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
A. The promise of coming victory
1. God promised to give us victory over death
a.) Paul shows that once this transformation takes place that the promise of God will be made complete. We will gain victory through the power of Jesus
b.) At this point, God will bring new life and a new hope into existence
c.) Isaiah 25:8 -
2. God’s promise brings us hope
a.) We have the hope that God will bring us an unending future. We have the hope that we will live after we die. We have the hope that will witness the final and full display of the resurrection power of Jesus.