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June 23, 2015

WE WILL RISE FROM THE DEAD

by Leslie John

Leslie M. John

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

The corruptible bodies that we, the believers in Christ have now in this world change into incorruptible bodies and we will rise from the dead in the twinkling of an eye when Lord Jesus Christ comes again. It was a mystery, which was unknown in the Old Testament period, but revealed in the New Testament period as we read in 1 Corinthians 15:51-57.

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51)

What does it mean to say that “we shall not all sleep”?

Jesus explained it when he was on this earth. He never saw anyone die in his presence, but he saw the dead and raised them to life. Lazarus was one such man whom Jesus raised to life from the after having been dead for four days.

When Jesus came to the tomb where Lazarus was laid, he said “our friend Lazarus sleepeth…” The disciples of Jesus did not question Jesus as to why said that Lazarus was sleeping.  However, Jesus was explaining to them that although Lazarus died physically, yet he was not spiritually dead; but will be raised from physical death as well. Apostle Paul clarifies further and says that we will rise and be changed into glorified bodies.

Martha, one of the sisters of Lazarus, knew about resurrection and thought Lazarus will rise “at the last day”, but then Jesus said He “is the resurrection” (cf. John 11:13-14; 24-25). Jesus raised Lazarus to life in presence of them.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23)

Scripture says we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and if we say we have not sinned we make God a liar, but if we confess our sins to Him, He will forgive us.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:10)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Death reigned from Adam to Moses even when there was no written law because man was under the dispensation of Conscience. Satan cannot take the life of anyone who is righteous before God. Satan asked permission to end the life of Job but God denied permission to Satan while at the same time God granted him power to torment Job.

“And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life”. (Job 2:6)

There is salvation and everyone who acknowledges Jesus as Lord and believes that God raised Him from the dead on the third day will receive everlasting life. The Law points our guilt but cannot save us from sin. It is only by grace through faith in Jesus that we can be saved.  It is not by doing any good works that we receive salvation but by believing in the efficacy of the blood of Jesus that we are saved.  It is not by silver or gold or by any pilgrimage that we receive salvation but confessing our sins to God through the only mediator our Lord Jesus Christ.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9)

When we rise from the dead we will say…

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”  (1 Corinthians 15:55)

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