“Can We Go Without Dying?”

Posted: October 21, 2012 in 1 Corinthians, Bible Prophecy, Christian Life, Rapture, Resurrection, Salvation, Spiritual Gifts

It won’t wrinkle, age, wear out, or fall apart. It will be glorious, eternally beautiful, and supernaturally strong but not omnipotent. It won’t be limited by time or space. Death and sin will have no power over it. It will be given to a group of people “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” with no waiting in line. Would you like to receive such a body?  You won’t have to go to the gym any more to stay in shape.  This body can be yours if you meet God’s one and only condition for salvation.  Do you know what it is (Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9)?

     Exception.  All true Christians who have died physically will be raised (not resuscitated) out from among the dead ones to receive such a body. But what about those believers who are alive when the “Rapture” takes place (1 Thessalonians 4:17)?  Believe it or not, that is when there will be an exception to the general rule concerning death (Hebrews 9:27). Enoch and Elijah were transferred from one realm of existence into another one without dying (Genesis 5:24;  2 Kings 2:11).  Don’t confuse the New Testament Christians’ resurrection with the Old Testament believers’ resurrection (Daniel 12:12).  They don’t occur at the same time.

     Mystery.  It is defined in Scripture as something that wasn’t known in the Old Testament times (Romans 16:25, 26).  But once it has been revealed, it shouldn’t be mysterious to believers.  Sadly, many Christians know little or nothing about the five bodily resurrections mentioned in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:23, 24, 51; Revelation 11:11).  Some allegorize what they find hard to believe or understand since it is not something that happens every day.  What is your understanding of these resurrections?
     First Mention.  After being rejected by His own people (John 1:11), Jesus told His disciples of His revised plan to go to the cross to die for all our sins and rise again bodily from the dead (John 14:1-3; Matthew 16:20-23).  The Apostle Peter vigorously protested His plan and had to be rebuked by the Lord for siding with the devil.  You see, His disciples were looking for Him to set up His kingdom here on earth.  It had been predicted in the Old Testament in a dream that was given to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and it was explained to him by Daniel the prophet (Daniel 2:44, 45).  Don’t worry, He will return to establish it on earth for 1,000 years (Isaiah 2:4; 11:1ff; 35:1ff; Revelation 20:1-7).  He has to do this or the devil will have won the conflict of the ages.

     Content.  The mystery revealed that not all Christians will die physically (sleep).  But all New Testament Christians who died from the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) to the Rapture will be raised (not resuscitated) from the dead and the living Christians would be changed instantly and receive a glorified body like Christ’s glorified human body (1 John 3:2).  No one will become a god as some cults or religions falsely teach.

     Sleep.  At death only the body sleeps (1 Corinthians 15:51), not the soul (emotions) or the spirit that belongs to the mind (Ephesians 4:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).  At death the believer’s soul and spirit depart from the body and go to heaven where they receive a temporary body, made with heavenly hands, to house their soul and spirit until the Rapture takes place (2 Corinthians 5:1-9).  This is when the soul and body will be saved (1 Peter 1:9; Romans 8:23).  Only the believer’s spirit is saved at the present time (1 Corinthians 6:17).  Thank God, we don’t have to spend eternity in these bodies that are subject to decay, disease, deformity, and death.  Does such a body excite you?

     Time.  This transformation is going to happen in the twinkling (flashing) of an eye at the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:52).  Apparently one trumpet will make two sounds.  One blast will be for the dead “in Christ” to rise and the second blast will be for living Christians to go to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16).  This trumpet must not be confused with the seven trumpet judgments mentioned in Revelation chapter 8.  What do you know about the seven seal judgments and the seven bowl judgments?  For whom are they intended?  Will you experience these judgments?  How can you avoid them?

     Fulfilled.  What God said and determined to do will happen and must happen (1 Corinthians 15:54, 55; Hosea 13:14; Isaiah 25:8).  The devil and death will not reign forever.  Do you know when Jesus took the keys of death away from the devil (Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 1:18; Ephesians 4:8)?  Since He did, no Christian should fear death.  We can’t die and won’t die until Jesus determines the time and manner of our death (John 21:18-23).  Do you know what you could do that might cause Him to turn the key so that you would die prematurely (1 John 5:16)?  Remember, we all have potential years and actual years.

     Response.  With these promises from the omnipotent God, every Christians can/should be thankful for the victory that He has promised to us.  We all need to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).  What do you know about the works that He planned for you to do even before you were born (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10)?  Are you doing them for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)?

     Song.  The song writer said it well.  “O joy! O delight! should we go without dying, / No sickness, no sadness, no dread and no crying, / Caught up through the clouds with our Lord into glory, / When Jesus receives His own. / O Lord Jesus, how long, how long, Ere we shout the glad song, Christ returneth! Hallelujah! Amen.”  Will you be included in this wonderful event?  Perhaps today!

      Share. If you have assurance of your own salvation, will you share the Gospel with someone in need (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)?  Leading others to Christ for salvation will earn for us a crown of rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).  What do you know about the other four crowns?  The crown of righteousness is reserved for those who love Christ’s any moment return (2 Timothy 4:8).  If you really love Him, you will talk to others about Jesus and His coming for us.  This hope (confident expectation) can/should have a purifying effect on us (1 John 3:3).  Those Christians who order their lives under the Holy Spirit’s control can’t/won’t fulfill the lusts (strong desires) that come from their sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25).  We all have a sinful nature that opposes God (1 John 1:8).  That’s why we need a new nature from above (2 Peter 1:3, 4).  Do you have one?  Do others know that you are a true Christian?  Do you exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit in your life (Galatians 5:22, 23)?

     Help?  If you’re confused and/or need spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com.  It’s designed to show people how to be saved and then grow in the relationship with God.  You also might want to listen to our corresponding talks on the Internet.

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