Summary: Funeral sermon for a believer
THE MYSTERY AND THE PROMISE
READ 1 CORINTHIANS 15:50-58 (NIV)
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- 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. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 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."
"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I. A GREAT MYSTERY
A. Paul tells us that what we inherit as children of God is an imperishable immortal Kingdom. It is a
spiritual kingdom. We will be in the presence of God forever and we will sing praises and enjoy the
benefits of Heaven: no pain, no troubles, no tears, no worries.
B. Paul lets us in on a little mystery. The mystery is that not all of us will have passed away when the
Lord Jesus returns. Heaven is promised to all who believe wherever they may be in their journey of life. We really don’t understand it all… we are only given hints and clues in Scripture, that’s why it is a mystery.
II. A GREAT CHANGE WILL OCCUR AT THE END: Paul tells us that the last trumpet will sound and we will all be changed in a flash… from the fleshly people that we are… to something else quite spiritual.
1) The dead will be raised and will meet those still alive.
2) Those who are alive will become like those who already passed away.
3) Both groups will meet Jesus face to face.
III. A GREAT PROMISE TO US: We are given great promises about death in this passage.
1) Death has no victory and has no sting.
a) Victory would mean that we never see anyone we love again and would not enjoy the
presence of God.
b) Sting would mean that there is no hope for those who are left behind.
2) The life after this one is imperishable and immortal.
READ PSALM 33:18-20 (NIV)
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.