“WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?” SERIES
Message #7 – “He Arose – We Will Arise”
CWBC – 4/8/18
INTRO – Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad we can be together to worship the Lord this morning here at Country Woods!
Campbell Doty – clumsy, goofy, lovable kid in my youth group at FBC, B’haven. He was a typical 15 yr-old kid when I moved to B’haven in Feb. of 1991. Fell in love w/ him. His dad was the Minister of Music there.
April 5, 1995 – 23 years ago, this past Thursday. Getting ready for our Wednesday night youth worship service, “ROCK Solid.” Vicki came in & told me Campbell had been in a wreck & that no one could get in touch w/ his parents…Campbell died that evening at Methodist Hospital in Jackson.
How many of you have a favorite cousin? You know, that cousin that’s more like a brother or sister than a cousin. Ray was that cousin for me on my daddy’s side of the family.
Diagnosed on Oct. 20, 2006. Died exactly 3 months later on Jan. 20, 2007.
Don’t mean to start this sermon on a sad note, but all of us here have had some kind of experience like we had w/ Campbell’s death or w/ my cousin, Ray’s, death. All of us have lost a friend or a family member in some kind of untimely manner. And there is no question more fundamental to the human race than, “What happens to us when we die?”
GOD HAS PROVIDED AN INCREDIBLE ANSWER FOR HIS CHILDREN, & we are going to think about that today. Grab your Bible, a pew Bible, or open up your Bible app to 1 Cor. 15:50-58 (page 962). Stand as we read God’s Word.
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 English Standard Version (ESV)
50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
What we can’t do – v. 50
One of the first heresies that crept into the early Church was the denial of the believer’s bodily resurrection. There were a few different false teachings that were pervasive that denied any resurrection after death, or said that there simply was no existence after death. But Paul made it very clear that there will be a resurrection of our bodies after death. Look at v. 42-44 in the NLT (slide).
It’s pretty obvious that, right now, you & I are living in “flesh & blood” bodies that cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Our bodies are physical, not spiritual. They’re made of physical & earthly substances & materials. In our present physical state, we are made to live in this physical world. John Gill: “…the body, as it now is, is not capable of possessing the heavenly glory; was it to be introduced into heaven, in the condition it is now, it would break in pieces, and crumble into dust; it would not be able to bear the glory of that state and place…” (https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/1-corinthians-15-50.html)
In order for us to be able to live in the eternal Kingdom of God, our bodies must be completely changed from mortal, destructible bodies, into immortal, eternal bodies. In our present state, these bodies of ours that are failing right now, wearing out & wearing down right now, & moving toward an ending point, cannot take possession of the Kingdom of God, the heavenly glory that God has prepared for us.
What we will do – v. 51b-57 – Since what we CAN’T do is inherit God’s Kingdom in these decaying earthly bodies, what we WILL do is we will be changed! God has provided a way for us to inherit His Kingdom. For those who know Christ, God is going to wonderfully & miraculously change us “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (v. 52). Paul said that this is a “mystery,” which means that the only way we can know this truth is for God to reveal it to us. It’s not one of those things that we can just figure out on our own, or that scientists can explain. It’s not one of those things that most modern people are going to think about or agree with. God has revealed it to us through the resurrection of His own Son & through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit in us today. Ray Stedman: “The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the most remarkable, the most revolutionary act that ever took place on this earth. The result of it, as Paul says, is that there is a change coming to us.”
What a moment that will be! It will be a moment when we will:
- Clothe ourselves with new clothes! – v. 53
- Conquer death & sin! – v. 54b-55
- Cry out in thanks to God! – v. 56-57
What we should do – v. 58 – 3 things:
- “Be steadfast” – immovable
- Be busy – “always abounding in the work of the Lord”
- Be confident – “knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
The resurrection of our bodies is a promise that we as Christians can truly look forward to.
So here’s how we apply this truth to our lives today: BELIEVE! That’s it! A lot of times, we pastors feel a pressure to come up with the “how-to” points, ways to make the Scriptures more practical & make our lives better.
- How to be a better husband/wife
- How to be a better parent…son/daughter
- How to be a better citizen
- How to be a better friend
But sometimes, like today, the application isn’t necessarily found in a “how to” sermon, but in a simple “BELIEVE THIS” sermon, like today. The application for this passage of Scripture is to BELIEVE. Don’t have to understand it completely. Don’t have to be able to explain it completely. Don’t have to have seen it to believe it, b/c none of us have seen this YET!
So, as we like to sing here at CWBC, we BELIEVE!
Believe in the God who is the Author of this truth
- He’s HUGE & He’s HERE
- He’s POWERFUL & He’s PERSONAL
- He’s IMMENSE & He’s INTIMATE
- He’s UNKNOWABLE & yet we KNOW HIM
Believe in the Bible that contains this truth
The 3rd question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism: “What do the Scriptures principally teach?” “The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe about God, & what duty God requires of man.”
Believe in the reality that YOU will experience this truth…IF you know Christ.
IF you know Christ as your personal Savior & Lord, then believe:
- You WILL be changed
- You WILL be raised imperishable
- You WILL put on immortality
- You WILL rise victorious over death & sin