Summary: # 5 in a series on Eternity: What Awaits after death. This sermon talks about the new physcial body believers will have for all eternity.
“Eternity: What Awaits After Death”
Sermon # 5
“Transformed For Life Into Heaven”
In 1 Corinthians 15:35 the Apostle Paul asks two questions that concern us all. “But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul is writing to a group of Christians who were struggling with the issue of what happens after you die. Although they were living about twenty years after the resurrection, their thinking about life and death were being influenced by their culture. I am afraid that is also a plight that we may share.
As a young man growing up in the Methodist church we recited the Apostles Creed a portion of which says. “I believe in the …. communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.”
Recent surveys have shown that about 30% of all Americans believe in reincarnation. Reincarnation is the belief that each individual soul lives a succession of lives in various human bodies over the course of history. The purpose for such reincarnation is to gradually purify the soul so that it eventually reaches perfection. Those who believe in Reincarnation believe that we continue to be reincarnated until we get it right. The problem is that even those who say they are reincarnated have no memory of how they got it wrong in order that the might now get it right. Even harder to understand Gallop also found that 20% of those who describe themselves as born-again/evangelical Christians say they believe in reincarnation. That makes absolutely no sense. Reincarnation is diametrically contrary to the truth of the Gospel.
Even among Americans who believe in the resurrection of the dead, two-thirds believe they will not have bodies after the resurrection. (Alcorn p. 110) But in reality that is self–contradictory there can be no such thing. Resurrection by its very definition requires a body. If we didn’t have bodies, we wouldn’t be resurrected.
We have noted thus far in our series on “Eternity: What Awaits After Death” that physical death is the separation of the body from the soul. At death of a believer the body is committed to the grave and soul and spirit goes to be with Christ.
Death is an abnormal condition because it tears apart what God created and joined together. God intended for our bodies to last as long as our souls.
The reason we are decaying and dying is not because we have bodies. It is because sin has infected our bodies.
The Biblical doctrine of resurrection is an affirmation that we are a spiritual and physical unity and that God intends to put us back together again. Although the soul is separate from the body at death, this separation is only temporary.
Some of you could care less about what happens to your body – after you die. You are just hoping to find enough aspirin, icy/hot and duct tape to keep the thing running now. I understand how you feel, I really do, but indulge me just a bit this morning. I want to share some exciting news about what eternity holds for you physically. Hey, wait a minute did you say, physically? Yes, indeed, one day you are going experience the ultimate extreme, make-over. We can look forward to a new body.