The Glorified Body
Tim Temple

Introduction

For many weeks now we have been looking at Paul's first letter to the Corinthians under the title, “The Lordship of Christ in the Local Church.” As we have worked our way through this book, I hope that you have seen that the basic theme is that the Lordship of Christ in our church depends upon the Lordship of Christ in your life. Paul has chosen a number of topics that were problems in the city of Corinth among the Christians that lived in Corinth, and he has addressed those problems, and he has given answers and solutions to those problems. The focus has been not on the church, but on individuals, knowing that it is only as we individually walk closely with the Lord Jesus Christ is our church going to amount to anything. The maxim is true in the church that is true in any organization, but in case of the church it comes from God Himself that the church is only as strong as its weakest member, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So it's very important that we try to understand what is the issue in the various matters that God Himself has brought up as important in the matter of lordship.

As we come to this chapter of I Corinthians, Paul deals with a subject that is of much more importance than we might realize just from the surface. It's the matter of the Resurrection. As we think about the Resurrection, that might seem to be just an academic discussion or sort of a theological discussion, but I want you to think carefully about the matter of death. We have had several deaths of loved ones within the past few months–death of young as well as older people, deaths that were expected and some that were not expected at all. As we think about the matter of death, it is at those times that we really deal from a practical standpoint with the matter of Resurrection.

Life After Death

You are probably aware that a very popular concept right now is the matter of reincarnation and the idea of past lives and future lives, speaking to those who are dead and having messages from the past into the future. The reason that is so popular goes in cycles. It has popularity every few years. Every ten, fifteen to twenty years it comes up again; and the reason that is such a popular and continuing subject is that we all are curious about death, and not only about death, but what comes after death. Is there life after death, and if there is life after death, what kind of life is it? Is it a matter of coming back to this earth, or is it a matter of living somewhere else? What is the issue of life after death? Those are the kinds of questions that I Corinthians, chapter 15, addresses. It doesn't word them in those ways, and we don't often think about those questions. As I said, when we think about Resurrection, we tend to think about the theological aspect of it. But this chapter really deals with a question that our society is grappling with today.

As we come to the end of the chapter, it deals specifically with some very practical matters, and that has to do with the kind of body that the dead have. We've worked our way through the first 35 verses or so, and today we want to attempt to look at the remaining verses of this chapter, verses 35-38. The theme is set in verse 35. The question that we deal with about death and life after death is in verse 35, of I Corinthians, chapter 15:

I Corinthians 15

35But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

I say again, there are thousands and thousands of people in the world today asking that question. Many of us have heard this information before, and for us it will be review; but it is important for us to understand what God says about those who have died and about their Resurrection, particulary in this part of the chapter, what kind of life they will have and what kind of body they have, etc.

Distinctions In Glorification

In verses 35-38, Paul talks about the distinctions in glorification. He points these distinctions out by means of two questions in these verses. First, the question as to the possibility of Resurrection in the first part of verse 35: “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up?…” The second question is stated in the last part of verse 35, but it is dealt with in verses 39 and following: “…with what body do they come?” Now this kind of question is still often asked today. Think about this for a minute. What about Paul, who wrote these words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? Dead for two thousand years, the body now surely decayed thoroughly by this time, turned to dust, no doubt, yet Paul wrote that the body would rise from the grave.

How are the dead raised up? What about someone like the reformer, John Wycliff, for whom the Wycliff Bible Translation Society is named? John Wycliff had been a great promoter of the Bible in the language of the common people, and he died before the persecution of the reformers became real intense. Twelve years after his death, as the Catholic church was adamantly attacking and pursuing those who would have the Bible in the language of the common people, those who would reform the church–Martin Luther and John Calvin and those men–his body was dug up and it was burned at the stake, and the ashes were spread over the waters of the swift river and carried into the North Sea. What about that kind of death? What about a body like that? What about all of the bodies of those people who have been blown to bits in wars around the world throughout history, or in other kinds of explosions? What about the bodies of those who were probably crushed thoroughly in the collapse of the freeway in the California earthquake? What about those kinds of bodies? How are the dead raised up? It's a good question, isn't it?

God's Pleasure In the Resurrection

The only certain information we have is Biblical information. There have been many philosophers in the past who have tried to answer this question, and they know now whether they were right or not, but during their lifetime, it was only speculation. They could not speak authoritatively during their lifetime. This kind of question is relevant even to Christians, because we, too, get sick and die. Someone even said that the faith healers eventually die. So God's answer to the question is in verses 36-38. Skip down to verse 36, and notice:

I Corinthians 15

36Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
37And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
38But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

Let's stop there for just a minute and notice carefully what Paul says. The Holy Spirit, telling Paul what to write, says that the answer to these questions is so simple that it's foolish to overlook it. “Foolish one,” he says. Think about the agricultural world. When we plant a grain, does it die? No, it has died when we plant it, but it lives again. Incidentally, the word translated “fool” in verse 36 is a translation of the Greek word aphron , which means “one that is not thinking it through”. Another word for “fool” that Jesus used when He said, “Do not ever call someone else a fool.”, is the Greek word, moros , which means “stupid” or “rebellious”. But this is just a word that means you are not thinking.

When you ask those kinds of questions, you are not thinking it through, because all we need to do is look at the plant world and there is an illustration we can see every day. William Jennings Bryan, who was a great lawyer but also a great Bible student, commenting on this verse, said, “If God ordains to touch with divine power the cold and lifeless acorn, and to make it burst from it's prison walls, will He leave neglected in the earth, the man made in the image of His creator?” If He does this for mere plants, why would He not do this for the bodies for whom Christ died? The Resurrection is a very realistic truth.

Notice in verse 38 it says, “He does this as He pleases.” He chooses to give us a Resurrection body. It pleases Him. Now that's the first question. How are the dead raised up? They are raised up, first of all, because God pleases to do that, and if He has to regather broken bits and pieces of bodies, if He has to reconstruct bodies that have turned to dust, that's His problem. It pleases Him to do it.

Superiority of the Glorified Bodies

The second question raised in the second part of verse 35 is as to the precedent for Resurrection. With what body do they come? This is more to the point in the thinking, particularly of those of you who have lost loved ones in death. What kind of body will they have? What is the Resurrection body like? Is it anything like the body that we have now? Will we know each other in Heaven? Will the bodies that we have in Heaven look like the bodies that we had here? And of course these are very common questions, and their answers are in verses 39-41.

An answer was hinted at in verses 36 and 38. When you plant a seed, not only does it come up again, not only does it come to life again, and come up out of the earth, but it comes up in a more glorious form. You plant an acorn, and it comes up as a tree. You plant a seed of some other kind, and it comes up as a flower, but it is still the same kind of plant. You never plant wheat and harvest corn. So the principle is that the Resurrection body will be similar to this body. It will be the same kind of body, because that's what is planted, but it will be better than the present body, because that is the principle in Resurrection.

The more specific answer is in verses 39-42. Look at verse 39:

I Corinthians 15

39All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
40There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

Let's stop and think about these verses for a minute. The idea of there being differences in bodies is not an unacceptable or foolish idea. There is precedent for that. For one thing, it's not mentioned in these verses, but we know that there is change even in the human body. We now know that we have a completely new set of cells every three years. Unfortunately those cells still look old and they still fall into the same wrinkles and etc, but basically our whole body is renewed every three years.

Now the example the Scripture uses here is the different kinds of flesh in the animal world, in verse 39: He says, birds have one kind of flesh, fish have another kind of flesh, humans have another kind of flesh. Men have characteristics that animals don't have. Fish do things that birds can't do, and vice versa. So there are differences even though these are all living creatures.

The second scriptural example that he gives is the different kinds of creation in the universe. There are terrestrial bodies–that is, things that are common to the earth. There are celestial bodies–things that are out in space. There are differences in those two. Some of those planets can sustain life; others can't. Some have more oxygen than others–all kinds of differences, even though similar kinds of bodies. That's the principle that he is dealing with.

An Incorruptible Body

The application of the principle is that the difference between the earthly body and the glorified body is that the glorified body will be incorruptible. Beginning with verse 42, he gives the details of the glorified body. But let's review for just a moment what he has established–the fact that there are differences in God's creation, there are different kinds of animals, different kinds of flesh. He calls it different kinds of bodies, but all of these things are within the scope of God's creation. So it shouldn't surprise us if there is a difference between our earthly body and our resurrection body.

Beginning in verse 42 and going to the end of the chapter, we have details of glorification. In these verses, Paul is going to show us that the glorified body will have certain characteristics, and he uses two analogies to do that. First, there is the analogy of the conditions at the time of death, in verse 42-44. He lists some things here that are true of every one of us at the time that we die, and even though Paul doesn't say so, I want to point out to you that each one of these things disqualifies us for Heaven. He will deal with that problem in the next verses. But notice these conditions at the time of death. In verse 42:

I Corinthians 15

42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

At the time of death, the body is corruptible. It is sown in corruption. When we bury the body, it is a corruptible body. That is one of the reasons we bury the body, because if we don't, it is going to begin to decay and smell bad and look bad. That is because we have as a part of human life sickness and frailty, and everybody is subject to that, even though we don't all equally share in it. Some people have long healthy lives; other people have short, sickly lives. Whether you have had a lot of sickness or little sickness, all of us have these kinds of problems.

The last part of verse 42 says, “It is raised in incorruption.” Those kinds of problems are not a part of the glorified body. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.

Failure and Weakness of the Flesh

Then in verse 43:

I Corinthians 15

43It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

Here are two more characteristics of our human condition–dishonor and weakness. Someone says, “I have lived all these years, and in my business and in my profession and in my family, I have kept my honor intact.” What does “sown in dishonor” mean? Well, no matter how honorable, from a human standpoint, your life may be, how good your reputation may be or how good your testimony may be, every one of us is subject to disappointment and failure and the failure to recognize the potential that we have. There is no one here whose reputation and whose accomplishments could not be greater than they are. We all know what it is to fail. We all know what it is to disappoint someone else, no matter how successful our lives may be on the whole. No matter how mature a Christian you may be, even as Christians, we are guilty of this to one degree or another. We disappoint the Lord. We disappoint fellow believers. We are buried in dishonor, whether it is a public kind of dishonor or not.

Then it says we are buried in weakness. At the time of death, the body is weak. This is a reference to the general curse of sin on the human race. That's why we have dishonor, because we have inherited the ability to sin. We have inherited that sin nature, that rebellion against God. Each one of us, sooner or later, acts on that ability to sin. At this particular moment, you may be perfectly healthy and you may be perfectly in fellowship with the Lord, and thank God, both of those things are possible; but at the same time, you do not have the kind of body that Adam had before he sinned, and you do not have the kind of body that you are going to have when you get to Heaven. You do not have today the kind of body that your husband or wife or son or daughter or other loved one who has died has today. They have been raised in glory, and you and I only have a dishonorable body, a weak body. But of course, these verses tell us that that is taken care of at the time of the Resurrection.

A Spiritual Body At the Resurrection

A third characteristic of the resurrection body then is power, in verse 43. At the time of death, verse 44 says that the body is a natural body. Look at verse 44:

I Corinthians 15

44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Here is a very important point that often comes up, a question that often comes up. “What is that resurrection body like?” It says it is sown a natural body. That is all the things we are familiar with about the body, just a normal, human body; but when it is raised, it is a spiritual body. That does not mean that when we rise from the dead and when we are in Heaven we are a spirit; rather, what it means is that it will be especially suited for spiritual things. The word “natural” here in verse 44 is a translation of the Greek word, psuchikos. The word psuche refers to the psychological part of man, the dominant force of human life, that which activates these bodies that we live in. So our human body is suited to the kind of life we live here. It's suited to the psychological areas of life. It's suited to dealing with the kinds of things that come across our path in this life, but the resurrection body is a spiritual body. It will be dominated by the spirit, just like this body is dominated by the soul, by the psychological part of man. Romans, chapter 8, verse 16, says, “The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit.” In the human condition we have a spirit, and it's that part of us that the Holy Spirit operates through, but that is not the dominant part of our being. The dominant part of our being is still this human psychological setup we have, out of which we operate.

Our Limited Understanding of Heaven

All of us as Christians should seek to let that spiritual part of our makeup, even in this life, be the dominant force. But the natural order of things is that the psychological part of our being is what dominates. When we get to Heaven, we will still have that psychological makeup. We will still have a physical body, but it will be dominated by the spiritual. Let me insert something here that seems to bother a lot of people, and I have to confess it has bothered me at times. In the Scripture, we have relatively little specific information about Heaven. We have more information than most people realize, but even then, it still is relatively limited. The Bible does not really say anywhere that we will sit around on clouds and strum harps, but that's the picture we have of Heaven, isn't it? The Scripture does say we will sing praises to God and that we will be involved in praising Him. For everybody but top-level musicians, who know how to make music everyday, all day, whether it's harps or singing, or whatever it might be, that is a little hard to grapple with.

Let me just insert here that whatever questions you may have about Heaven and the kinds of things that make you wonder whether that's really worth looking forward to or not need to be filtered through the fact that we will really have a different kind of body. It will still be, as Paul is establishing, the same kind of body; but the dominant force in that body is going to be different from the dominant force in this body. The dominant force in that body is going to be the spiritual, and we will have an ability to appreciate and enjoy the spiritual that we simply do not have in this life, no matter how godly you may be, no matter how musical you may be; and I'm not saying that those two are necessarily synonymous. No matter how godly you may be or how much appreciation you may have for praising God in song, the best that we can do in this life is not anything like the appreciation that we will have in Heaven for those kinds of things.

What I'm saying is, don't worry too much when you read those things about Heaven in the Bible, and that's the only thing you can really go by. Don't worry at all about what people say Heaven is going to be like. But when you read something in the Bible about Heaven, and you think, “Well, I'm not sure that's too exciting,” don't worry about that, because you are going to have a completely different ability to understand those things when we get to Heaven. When we get there, it will be a perfectly wonderful, enjoyable place, because we will have the ability to appreciate and enjoy it in a way that we do not even have now. That is the first analogy, the difference between the way the body is when it is buried and the way it will be when it is raised.

In the Image of Adam

In verses 45-50, we have another analogy about the resurrection body and that is a comparison of doctrine. Now we are not going to take the time to read all of those verses, but let me try to summarize them for you. Really, verse 49 is a summary. Verses 45-48 lead up to verse 49, so skip down to verse 49 and notice:

I Corinthians 15

49And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Stop and think with me about that verse for just a minute. As I say, the other verses lead up to that, and what verses 45-48 tell us is that we were made in the image of Adam. The bodies that we have now are human bodies and have the characteristics of Adam and Eve, our first human parents. The Scripture tells us that they were literal human beings. They were not just some kind of myth about the life source, or something. They were literal human beings. They looked very much like we look. They didn't walk half crouched over, and Adam did not pull Eve around by her hair, with his club in his other hand. They were human beings like we are. All of that other stuff is just another category of baloney. But the Scripture says we were made like Adam. We have the same kind of body that Adam had after he sinned.

The Glorified Body of Jesus

Now what verse 49 says, the analogy, is after we get to Heaven, then we will be like Jesus Christ. Just as now we are like Adam, when we get to Heaven, the glorified body will be like Jesus Christ. Now that's helpful, because we have some record of what Christ was like in His glorified body. I John, chapter 3, verse 2, says: “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” Here in I Corinthians, chapter l5, verse 49, we read that we will have the same kind of body that He has, just like we have the same kind of body Adam had. And again, because of the limitations of time, we're not going to take the time to look at these references; but if you look in the closing chapters of the Gospels–Matthew, Mark, Luke and John–you will see in each of those Gospels a few brief references to what Christ's body was like after He rose from the dead.

He was on the earth for a few days before He went back to Heaven. People saw Him, and there are several incidents recorded in each of those first four books of the New Testament. For example, we know from various stories in John, chapter 20, and Luke, chapter 24, that Jesus, in His glorified body, was recognizable. The disciples knew exactly who He was. Now Mary, in the garden right after the Resurrection, because she wasn't expecting Him to be resurrected, didn't recognize Him until He spoke her name. But even that is a significant thing. Apparently even His voice was recognizable to her. After she got over the shock, she realized by looking at Him who He was. So that tells us something about the glorified body. We will look much like we do in this body.

Someone has suggested–this is not scriptural, but I sure like the idea of it–that everybody in Heaven will be about twenty-two or twenty-three years old. That's about our peak, isn't it? Maybe we will all look as good as a twenty-two year old girl looks, because the girls look even better than the guys do at that age. Some of you girls are just about at that point now, and this is probably about as good as it is going to get, girls. You know that too, but you just don't want to admit it. But in Heaven, we will be recognizable to each other. They knew who Jesus was by looking at Him and by even hearing His voice. Isn't that wonderful?

There are many happy memories that I have of my mother and her life. She's been in Heaven now for nearly twenty years, but I remember it as vividly as you remember your mother or father or other loved one who has gone on to Heaven. I can remember the sound of her voice. I can't wait to hear it again, and I will hear it again, because that is part of Resurrection, even down to the way we sound and the way we look.

John, chapter 21, says (and this is good news) that Jesus ate when He was in His glorified body. He didn't have to eat to stay alive. We talk about those people who eat to live and those who live to eat. Well, in Heaven we will live to eat. We will not have to eat to stay alive, but we will be able to enjoy food, and that is a happy thought to me.

Luke, chapter 24, says that He moved at the speed of thought. Doors and walls were no obstacle. He appeared and disappeared at will. “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” So those are some little hints about the glorified body.

The Dividends of Glorification

Coming back down to earth now and looking at I Corinthians, chapter 15, again, verse 50 is a summary of the whole section. Notice what he says:

I Corinthians 15

50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

On the basis of this verse and many others like it what this is saying is that in your body, as it is now, you cannot go to Heaven. Your body is a weak, dishonorable body. It is a sinful body, and that kind of body cannot be in Heaven. God has no place for bodies like that in Heaven, but in verses 51-58, we have the solution to that problem–the dividends of glorification. Notice in verse 51:

I Corinthians 15

51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

Let me pause here for just a moment and say that is a reference to the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ will come back to earth to take believers back to Heaven with Him.

Notice in John, chapter 14, verse 3:

John 14

3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

At some future point, maybe this afternoon, but at some unknown future point, He is going to come back and get us, and there is a generation of people who will be alive at that point. Maybe all of us will already be dead by that time, and the things about the burial of our bodies in this chapter will be true; but I Thessalonians, chapter 4, says that for those who have been buried, all of this reassembling of the body and bringing it into a glorified body mode in this chapter, will take place first. It will all happen instantaneously, and those who have died previously will come out of the grave first. Their physical bodies will be reunited with the essence of their being, which is already in Heaven, and then we who are alive and remain (I Thessalonians, chapter 4, verse 13) will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Bodies Changed At the Rapture

That's what verse 51 is talking about. We shall not all sleep; we shall not all die. There are some who will be living. This is one of the verses that indicates that Paul probably thought that he would still be alive. It turns out he was wrong, but that doesn't change the truth of the doctrine because whether we die or not, the next line of verse 51 says: “We shall all be changed.” If we die and go into the grave, we will be changed in the ways that we have been talking about in these verses. If we are still alive when Jesus comes, we will be changed without going through the burial process. Verse 52:

I Corinthians 15

52In 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.

What a glorious thought! That matter of corruption, that matter of weakness, that matter of dishonor, that matter of sinfulness–all of those things that disqualify us from going to Heaven–will be taken care of at the return of the Lord, and we will be moved into Heaven.

Victory Over Death

This chapter doesn't deal with it, but other passages of Scripture tell us “absent from the body and present with the Lord.” So these loved ones within our church family, who have died in recent weeks, the essence of their being is already with the Lord. We buried the body, but the real person is with the Lord. This chapter focuses on that part about the body, but all the principles are still the same. Their essence could not go to be with the Lord if it were not for the work of Jesus Christ, and that is what we find in verses 53-57:

I Corinthians 15

53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

What beautiful thoughts! Almost every time I conduct a funeral, I read these verses at the graveside, because I can think of nothing more appropriate for our final farewell to that human, earthly body that we've known. Sometimes as we bury those bodies, they are bodies that have been ravaged by sickness. Sometimes the family that is gathered there to bury that body is a family that has struggled through weeks or months of the care of that loved one, glad to do it, but burdened with it and weakened by it. Isn't it a wonderful thing to know that this corruptible must put on incorruption? Isn't it a wonderful thing to know that this mortal will put on immortality? Particularly is it so in these lengthy, laborious kinds of deaths; but really it is true no matter what kind of death it is. Look at verse 55:

I Corinthians 15

55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Satan uses the fear of death to keep men and women in bondage all their lifetime. The book of Revelation says that all of us are afraid of death. It's a natural human instinct. It's part of our makeup. But because Jesus Christ has paid for our sins and made it possible for us to go to Heaven, we can ask the question very literally, and it's a rhetorical question, because it is answered in the next verse: “Grave, where is your sting? Grave where is your victory?” What's so bad about death, in other words? Why? Because, in verse 57:

I Corinthians 15

57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We have the victory over the death. We have the victory over the grave, not because we have found some kind of a secret, not because we have channeled somebody from a past generation, not because we hope we will come back as someone a little better in the next life than we were in this life. No, that's not the victory over death. That's not the victory over the grave. Why do we have victory over death and the grave? Because of the Lord Jesus Christ. He gives us the victory. He died in our place. He took our sins in His body on the tree. God accepted that payment, and therefore we have nothing to fear from death. In fact, we have everything to look forward to in that glorified body.

Labor That is Not In Vain

One last verse about this subject. How would God have us apply this truth? Look at verse 58:

I Corinthians 15

58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

I love the last phrase of that verse: “forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Why is it that the stock market reports hold so much interest for people? Why is it that on a day like a Friday, when the stock market falls precipitiously, everybody anxiously awaits Monday's report to see if it was going to continue to fall? Why is it that we talk about “Black Monday” back in the 1920's and “Black Monday” in 1984, or whenever it was a few years ago when it fell even worse? Why is that? It is because that stock market index, in a very general sense, tells us whether or not people's labor has been in vain. If the stock market could crash, as it did in the 1920's, we know that people's whole lifetime of labor would be wiped out. The great fear is that it could happen even on a greater scale this time, probably on a world-wide scale; and every one of us, if we are honest with ourselves, know that it is possible to invest your whole life in something and have that come to naught. It doesn't always happen that way, but every one of us live with that possibility–that we will invest our lives in something or that we will invest a significant part of our energy in something, and it will come to nothing. It will be wasted. It will be lost.

Do you know what the message of the Word of God is? Because Jesus Christ has given us the victory over death, because Jesus Christ has given us assurance of eternal life in a resurrection body, where sickness and pain and death will never be another part of the problem, because we have that hope, we can invest our lives in telling others about that. We can invest our lives in helping others to grow in that knowledge. We can invest our lives in the things of God with no fear of it coming to naught, “for as much as we know our labor is not in vain in the Lord.” That is eternal, and anything you do related to Jesus Christ and the message of Jesus Christ–bringing others to Him, helping others to grow in Him–is not in vain. As we have said many times before, that extends even to the things you do in your neighborhood, the way you live your life before other people. All of those things fit together to bring people to Christ. It's not just talking about kneeling with someone while they pray to receive Christ, but all of those things that we do that might influence somebody sometime to accept Jesus Christ. None of that is ever wasted, but anything else we do in life always has the possibility of coming to naught.

Conclusion

So we close our study this morning with the words of Paul in I Corinthians, chapter 15, verse 58:

I Corinthians 15

58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.


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