As we draw close to Easter and Passover the Church will celebrate and remember Jesus Christ's death, burial and resurrection. The resurrection is the central theme of our faith. There is no other religion in existence whose founder is alive. Mohammad, Buddah, etc. are all dead. Jesus is the only one who lives and overcame death, hell and the grave. Without the resurrection, the Apostle Paul says 1 Corinthians 15:14-20 (excerpts):
"And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. .... And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! .... If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."
The Good News of the Gospel
This gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached and which He has entrusted to His Church is presented in word and confirmed in power. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. He was the first one to rise from the dead. Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:8-10 that it is the Church's responsibility to present the gospel as Christ has abolished death and brought immortality to light.
The good news is Jesus got the victory over death, hell and the grave. He is the way the truth & the life. He is the resurrection (John 11:25-26). Why he even commanded his disciples to...
Heal the Sick Raise the Dead
Jesus said in Matthew 10:7-8;
"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand. ' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."
Jesus demonstrated His authority over death by raising the widows son, Jarius daughter and Lazarus from the dead. Healing, casting out demons and cleansing the lepers comes from the same authority and is the same commission that every believer shares in. I can say that through this commission and in the authority of Jesus name I've healed the sick and cast out demons. So far I've personally not seen any dead raised but then again, I've only prayed for one dead person so far.
In honor of this season I thought it good to review some of the basic bible doctrines Hebrews 6:1-2 calls the milk (basics) of the Word of God. These basics include the eternal judgment and the resurrection from the dead. Last week I thought it good to share with you what Jesus saves us from eternally. Click here for "What's the difference between, Sheol, Hell, Hades & the Lake of Fire. Now let's take a look at an element of the resurrection. Let's answer the question "what are our bodies like in the resurrection.
James 2:26 says that death occurs when the spirit leaves the body. When a body is resurrected the body and spirit are reunited along with the soul.
There are two Resurrections & Two Deaths
Luke 14:11-14 speaks of the resurrection of the just while John 5:28-29 calls it the resurrection of life and speaks the resurrection of condemnation. This is the sentence of eternal punishment.
Revelation 20:4-6 speaks of the two resurrections and of the two deaths. It says;
"And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years".
Great White Throne
Revelation 20:11-15 sheds more light as it says:
"Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books... And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."
Recognizing that judgment is merely a decision, the first decision God makes is, did they recieve the gift of life I provided through my Son? If they did, their names will be found in the Book of Life. If there names are found in the Book of Life, then other books will be opened to help determine their reward. Works are only used to determine reward; not salvation.
Jesus taught about these rewards in Luke 14:12-14 and in Revelation 22:12. The author of Hebrews 10:35 exhorts us not to cast off our confidence for their is great reward that accompanies our steadfast faith.
Part of that reward is our inheritance and that inheritance includes a resurrected body.
The Resurrected Body - What is is Like?
A variety of scriptures are used to shed some light on this subject. For example through Matthew 22:30-32 we learn that there is life but there is no marriage in heaven. We become like the angels of God in heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:35-55 provides further insight. Here are a few excerpts.
Jesus appears in His resurrected body in Luke 24:36-43. It says;
Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, " Peace to you." But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, " Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, " Have you any food here?" So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.
From this portion of scripture we learn that the resurrected body can be felt. It has substance. It has flesh and bones. At the same time it can move across physical and spiritual dimensions as demonstrated by Jesus' ability to appear in the midst of them. We can eat and enjoy food and we will also drink (Matthew 26:29).
The Inheritance of Saints - The Salvation of Our Souls
1Peter 1:3-9 says;
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith —the salvation of your souls"
There is a resurrection where the body will be reunited with the soul and spirit. In the resurrection of the just they will spend eternity with God. Personally, I chose eternal life and I strongly urge you to do the same. If you do not know Christ click here for Jesus saves.
Those who decide not to believe judge God have judged His word. They have decided that Jesus sacrifice on the Cross has no bearing on their life. They reject what Christ did upon the cross when He paid for their sin. They judge the blood of Christ with contempt. These will have their bodies reunited with their spirit and soul in the resurrection of the condemned before they go to the Lake of Fire. This is the second death. Click here for What is the difference between Sheol, Hell, Hades and the Lake of Fire.