We are quickly moving through 2019 and the church will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on Easter. I love the Easter season and the privilege of worshipping our resurrected Christ because I know and believe that the resurrection is real.
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 reads: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So, when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY." "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? O HADES, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
I have read from this passage at many funerals. I have been encouraged and I have wanted to encourage and comfort others because of the resurrection and the hope we have in Jesus. Because He rose from the dead, we know we can as well. However, this passage was not written for a funeral. It was written to rebuke and fight against false teachers and false religions. Many people had heard about Jesus and His resurrection, and as the gospel message was spreading, people were getting saved and accepting Jesus as their personal Savior. False teachers came to the villages and told them ‘There was no resurrection.’ How could there be? After all, these human bodies can’t enter into heaven. False prophets and teachers were putting fear in people because they taught that those who died before the Lord’s return would not enter heaven. They would miss the kingdom of God. Because they were teaching, there would be no resurrection, Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. He shared with them a truth and a mystery. Think of it. Our mortal will put on immortality and our perishable will become imperishable. We will all be changed in the twinkling of an eye, as the last trumpet is sounded, we will be raised incorruptible and we will be changed. Hallelujah!
At the last trumpet all that we have been promised will take place. The trumpet was used for a lot of things in Jesus’ day. Trumpets were used primarily for four (4) purposes:
1. To proclaim victory
2. To call an assembly
3. To announce a warning
4. To call the troops to battle
Think what will take place at the rapture when the last trumpet is heard:
1. There will be victory for us over the world.
2. The saints will be called to assemble together in the presence of the Lord.
3. Trumpets will announce a warning to the world of its judgement.
4. The angelic troops will be summoned to battle.
When the trumpet sounds it will also be the signal that the army of God is moving out and moving up. Paul is telling us we are leaving for a better place at the last trumpet. The resurrection is real.
1 Corinthians 15:58 challenges us to do three (3) things while we wait on the last trumpet to sound.
First, we are to Be Ready to Go. Be steadfast and unmovable. Look for the Lord’s return for He is coming again. My prayer is that we do not get distracted and that we watch and pray for the Lord’s return. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 reads: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” We are admonished to ‘Love His Appearing.’ Are you ready to go?
Second, we are to Be Busy. Always abounding in the work of the Lord. While we are looking for the Lord’s return, we are to serve Him. We are on duty 24/7. With those we come in contact with every day, we need to look for opportunities to share the Good News. Let us pray for the Lord of the Harvest to give us opportunities to share Jesus and to build the Kingdom of God. I pray each of us stay busy.
Third we are to Be Confident. Knowing that our labor is not in vain in the Lord. Whatever we do and wherever we serve our labor is not in vain. Work as if the Lord will return today and live with confidence that our labor is not in vain, for, we serve the King of kings and Lord of lords. The resurrection is real and you and I have the privilege to participate in this wonderful mystery.
The Resurrection Is Real
(reference: Studies From Pulpit Commentary)