Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to give a simple overview of the resurrection and then give some practical steps to prepare ourselves for it.
What Will the Resurrection be Like? And
How Can I be Sure That I Will Be Ready?
July 20, 2003
John G. Paton, a nineteenth-century missionary to the South Seas met opposition to leaving his home in Scotland and going to preach to the cannibalistic people of the New Hebrides Islands.
A well-meaning church member moaned to him, “The cannibals, the cannibals! You’ll be eaten by the cannibals!”
Without hesitation, Paton replied, I confess to you that if I can live and die serving my Lord Jesus Christ, it makes no difference to me whether I am eaten by cannibals or by worms; for in that Great Day of Resurrection, my body will rise as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer!
B. As we continue our study of 1st Corinthians 15, today we will look at verses 20-34, I want to ask two questions today: What will the resurrection be like? And “How can I be sure I will be ready?”
I. What Will the Resurrection be Like?
1 Corinthians 15:20-28 (NIV), But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
A. The resurrection began with Christ’s resurrection. (20-22)
1. Paul begins his description of the resurrection with Christ’s resurrection.
2. Paul said in verse 20 that Christ was the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
a. When Paul says “firstfruits,” he simply means first.
b. If you could think of the resurrection as a tree, then the people that are raised from the dead are the fruit of that tree; and Christ was its “firstfruits.”
3. When Paul says “those who have fallen asleep,” we’d refer to them as being dead.
4. Of those who have died, Christ was the first to rise from the grave.
5. Christ is the first in the resurrection.
6. He wasn’t the only one, He was just the first; the “firstfruits.”
7. “For since death came through a man,” that man was Adam.
8. “since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man,” and that man is Jesus.
9. Because of the sin of Adam, death came to man.
a. God told Adam not to eat the fruit of the tree, but he did.
b. And God’s law says that if you sin you die; so death came through Adam.
c. And since Adam, nearly every human being has died.
d. Death came through a man.
10.But then life after death also came through one Man.
a. Since Christ rose from the dead, so shall we.
b. Christ wasn’t the only one to rise from the dead, just the first.
c. “Since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
11.In the order of the resurrection, Paul tells us that Christ was first.
B. Then in verse 23 Paul tells us that those who belong to Him will be next.
1. Next in the order of the resurrection are those who belong to Christ.
2. Christ was the first to rise from the dead; second will be those who belong to Him.
3. Christ was first and then those who belong to Him.
4. Christ’s resurrection has already occurred.
5. But the resurrection of those who belong to Him is still in the future.
6. The resurrection of those who belong to Him will be when Christ returns.
7. When the trump shall sound all of the dead in Christ will rise first.
C. Then those who don’t belong to Him.
1. Now Paul doesn’t specifically mention those who don’t belong to Christ.
2. But it can clearly be inferred that those who don’t belong to Christ will rise after those who do belong to Him.