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The one theme running through the entire Bible is the struggle between not only good and evil, but the struggle between life and death. In unit 1 of this course we spoke of the beginning of life. In unit 2 we spoke of the fall of man and the entrance of death into the world. In unit 3 we spoke of Jesus and how He came to save us from death. In units 4 and 5 we spoke of what it means to have new life as born again Christians.
But we have to ask the question now, what does the Bible say about the final destiny of the Christian? Now that Jesus has risen from the dead what can we as Christians expect to happen next?
That’s a huge subject and there are A LOT of questions we are going to ask. But before we dive into it let’s get one thing clear.
1 Corinthians 15:19
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
There are people who proclaim Jesus as a God of prosperity. They proclaim Him as a fix for all of life’s problems. They focus ALL of their attention on how they can “Live their best life now!”
But the Bible says that if our pleasures and best life can be found here and now then we are of all men most miserable. What if this life is as good as it gets?!
Despite what you may have heard Jesus NEVER promised us a “good life.” In fact, He said “In this world you will have tribulation.”
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
There is a much better life that waits for the Christian. It’s a life that can not be stolen, can not be corrupted, and has been prepared by God Himself.
Here on earth as we live our current life we suffer at every turn. We deal with sickness, pain, violence, and all kinds of evil. All of this is the result of sin. But when Jesus returns and sits upon the throne of His glory all of these things will pass away.
There is coming a day when those who deny Jesus are separated from those who love and follow Him. Those who deny Him will go into everlasting torment. But, those who love Him will enter into the life that God has wanted us to have from the very beginning. A life and world that no man has ever been able to comprehend.
2 Corinthians 4:14
14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
1 Corinthians 15:51-53
51 Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
The simple truth of the gospel is that Jesus died to pay the price for our sins and was raised from the dead. He therefore shall also raise us from the dead because death has no reign over the sinless (as we are who have been washed clean through His blood).
Consider that the physical body of Jesus (a man who never sinned) did indeed die. In the same way our bodies will also die one day. As 1 Cor. 15:53 tells us our current bodies are corruptible. We live in a world that has been effected by sin. Therefore, our bodies also suffer the effects of sin on this world.
It is because of this that our bodies are going to die and decay. But that does not mean death has won! Because God will allow our current bodies to decay, but will raise us up with NEW bodies that can never decay!
Our flesh will fall off of us, but our spirit will never die! Instead, we will shed our old rags and step into new robes of glory!
2 Corinthians 5:1-4
1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
The resurrection of the dead is the one thing that is so vital to Christians and yet it’s one of those things that is so often neglected to be considered. The world finds Christianity to be unbelievable mainly for this reason alone!
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. 32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
It didn’t bother people to hear about a God that created and would judge the world. It didn’t bother people to hear about Jesus preaching that men should repent of their sins. It didn’t bother people to hear about a God that wants people to do right. But when you mention a God that raises people from the dead things get real!
Without the resurrection of the dead there are no lasting consequences for sin. Without the resurrection of the dead we are here today and gone tomorrow with no real need to worry about knowing God. Without the resurrection of the dead it doesn’t matter if God wants us to live right. But when a God raises you from the dead to hold you accountable for your life you all of a sudden have to come to terms with EVERY OTHER PART OF THE MESSAGE!
When death itself is not an escape from God you have to come to terms with Him. Yet so many are preaching about the best life today. We are preaching about a Jesus that wants you to be happy NOW. But the Bible tells us that now isn’t everything. In fact, it’s such a small drop in the bucket of eternity.
Let us remember that it’s the day of the resurrection that matters. Let us examine our daily lives in the light of that truth. Let us preach it to the world that must come to terms with a God that will hold us all accountable.
There will be a day when the dead rise again. The Christian to life eternal and the scoffer to damnation. We talked about the destiny of the scoffer in unit 2. But lets start answering some questions about the resurrection of the believer.
What kind of body will we have, when will it happen, where will we live? These are only a few questions we will answer. Once we understand these things we will begin to dive into end time prophecy. But before we do that it’s important to know the ultimate destiny of the believer. That destiny is life eternal in the Glory of God!
April 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm | | No comment