Being and Becoming Christian
Shortly after a few days of my mom’s passing, my heartbroken dad had a dream. He told me that mom assured him that all was well. He said she was smiling and said, “Vernon, It is beautiful here. I am beautiful.” “You will see when He comes for you.” (Mom never felt good about her overweight body on earth or about herself, so this was not a vain thing to say but a relief knowing she was accepted in heaven.) Yes, dad was emotional, but I don’t doubt that this was God’s Holy Spirit’s way of reminding him of the hope we have in resurrection of us all and that our old, worn-out bodies will be changed in an instant to a body that will live forever praising God, The Father with Jesus Christ, His Son who made resurrection possible.
Read all of 1 Corinthians 15 as Paul makes it crystal clear from God as to what resurrection means for us. Our work on earth is to this end which is really the beginning of life forever! If we do not believe in the resurrection then there is nothing else that makes sense! No resurrection? Then where is the hope, faith, trust from Jesus work on the cross, in the grave and in the resurrection from that grave. He lives! We live! On the bad days, we must remember, we will be changed in a moment, a nano second from this life to the next. WHAT do we believe? Do we live like we believe it?
Here is the final pitch by God’s Holy Spirit working through Paul to help us understand why we believe in the resurrection and for what reasons…but read the whole chapter…maybe it will cause you to shout for joy as it did me! Dad is now with mom in glory. I shout because I believe!!
1 Corinthians 15, The Message…of Resurrection in Christ!
42-44 This image of planting a dead seed and raising a live plant is a mere sketch at best, but perhaps it will help in approaching the mystery of the resurrection body—but only if you keep in mind that when we’re raised, we’re raised for good, alive forever! The corpse that’s planted is no beauty, but when it’s raised, it’s glorious. Put in the ground weak, it comes up powerful. The seed sown is natural; the seed grown is supernatural—same seed, same body, but what a difference from when it goes down in physical mortality to when it is raised up in spiritual immortality!
45-49 We follow this sequence in Scripture: The First Adam received life, the Last Adam is a life-giving Spirit. Physical life comes first, then spiritual—a firm base shaped from the earth, a final completion coming out of heaven. The First Man was made out of earth, and people since then are earthy; the Second Man was made out of heaven, and people now can be heavenly. In the same way that we’ve worked from our earthy origins, let’s embrace our heavenly ends.
50 I need to emphasize, friends, that our natural, earthy lives don’t in themselves lead us by their very nature into the kingdom of God. Their very “nature” is to die, so how could they “naturally” end up in the Life kingdom?
51-57 But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed. In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. Then the saying will come true:
Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
Who got the last word, oh, Death?
Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?
It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!
58 With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.
What do we learn?
–We have a hope that we will all be raised with Christ! HE is our hope and our stay.
–NOTHING, absolutely nothing that we do to bring someone else to this hope of resurrection is a waste of time! (That’s why I write each morning!)
–Live as resurrected people of God! Don’t hold back!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the comfort of Your Holy Spirit as I mourn, with hope, the passing of both parents as you reassure me through your word of the resurrection power that awaits all of us. Thank you for being with us in “the wait” for you to come. Thank you for giving us a work to do in the wait. Help us to stay focused on You. In Jesus Name, Amen I believe.