Archive for the ‘1 Corinthians’ Category

     The “Great Commission” hasn’t changed since the recent election. Christians are still being called upon to make disciples (true believers) of all people groups, baptize (immerse) them, and teach them to observe Christ’s command (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 13:34, 35). To carry this out, we don’t use man’s sword but the sword of the Spirit (the Gospel concerning Christ – 1 Corinthians 15:3-8). It is the power of God unto salvation for Jews and non-Jews (Romans 1:16, 17). We’re all saved the same way – by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone.

     Purpose.  God’s primary purpose is to glorify Himself by making Himself known to those whom He created, both human beings and spirit beings (John 17:4; 1 Peter 1:12). How many of God’s attributes can you list? Without knowing them you can’t worship God (John 4:24). The heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1). From nature we can learn that there is a God who is all powerful (Romans 1:20).

     Atheists.  Those who claim to be atheists are showing themselves to be but fools because they haven’t been everywhere in the universe to disprove God’s existence (Psalm 14:1). If they were honest they would admit that they are really agnostics who aren’t sure if He exists or not. Every believer’s primary purpose should also be to glorify God by making Him know to others (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 34:3). Our walk and our talk should harmonize (James 3).

     Vision.  We all have a world view (i.e. how we look at things). We also become more opinionated about many things as we grow older. We tend to think of ourselves more highly than we should (Romans 12:3; 2 Timothy 3:2). Pride of race, face, and place in life afflict us. We, Christians, like the early Jewish Christians, often hesitate to reach out to those whose languages and/or cultures are different from our own. The Apostle Paul didn’t have to learn another language to reach other ethnic groups for Christ because Greek was the common language. Jesus wants us to see people through His eyes as those for whom He died and many who “are already white for harvest” (1 John 2:2; John 4:35). Every human being is going to spend eternity either in God’s presence or he/she will be separated from him in hell to suffer forever (John 14:1-3; Matthew 25:41, 46). Where will you spend eternity?

     Goals.  The Apostle Paul wanted to have a deeper relationship with Jesus, the God-man, and to have His resurrection power available to him so he could accomplish the work that the Lord had given him to do (Acts 9:15, 16; Philippians 3:10). He also wanted to suffer with and for Christ (not His vicarious suffering), so others could learn about Christ’s offer of salvation to all men and be saved when they trusted in Him as their personal Savior (2 Timothy 2:10; Acts 16:31).

     Involvement.  When you live with someone day and night for three years, you learn a lot about the person. If Jesus had a fault or ever sinned, His disciples would have known about it. But He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). That is why He could die as our Substitute and pay in full the penalty that we owed to God the Father (Romans 6:23; 1 Peter 3:18). All of Christ’s disciples had sinned and needed to be saved. But some of them were more teachable and willing to change than others (2 Timothy 2:2; Romans 12:2). In what stage of spiritual development are you today – a babe in Christ, a young man, or a believer who has a relative degree of spiritual maturity? Maybe you’re a carnal Christian who hasn’t grown much yet. Would you like to change?

     Opportunities.. Like ships passing in the night, we all seem to have opportunities to share with others what we know about Jesus Christ and what He’s done for us. In order to reach more people, the Apostle Paul tried to be all things to all men so some of them would be saved (1 Corinthians 9:22). He looked for common ground so he could build a bridge into their lives. Yes, he was given opportunities to make plans for the future. Some of our plans are bad plans; others may be good, better, or the best plan (i.e. one that Jesus would make were He in our shoes). Those believers who submit their wills to God’s will and who are willing to be led by the Holy Spirit are the maturing sons of God (Romans 8:14). Do you insist on having your own way or do you want to do God’s will for your life?

     Honesty.  If we’re honest, we’ll all admit that we are prone to the same trials and temptations that others face in life (1 Corinthians 10:13). Being tempted to sin is not the same as engaging in the sin. Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). We sin when we act defiantly against God who has placed restrictions on us. Laws and rules are necessary for an orderly society. Yes, legislators make rules that regulate our lives. Any form of government is better than anarchy. Peter succumbed to a temptation from the devil. He denied the Lord three times (Luke 22:61). The Apostle Paul wrote about his struggles with his sin nature (Romans 7:15-25). Anyone who says that he doesn’t have a sin nature, including all Christians, is simply deceiving himself with reference to this Biblical truth (1 John 1:8). At the moment of his salvation a Christian receives a new nature (disposition) from God that is capable of pleasing God when he is filled and walking by means of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:4; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16, 25). The Apostle John warned Christians not to love this present world system that is passing away (1 John 2:15-17). Sadly, many Christians abuse rather than use the world system (1 Corinthians 7:31). God makes a way for Christians to live victoriously over all three of our spiritual enemies. Are you living victoriously? Would you like spiritual help?

     Support.  Older Christians are told to help younger Christians by bearing their burdens (Galatians 6:2-5; 1 Peter 5:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:11-14). These are the burdens that they didn’t bring on themselves. But sometimes we sin and bring things on ourselves and have to bear the consequences alone. Forgiveness can/will be granted to believers who confess their sins (1 John 1:9), but this doesn’t mean that they won’t have to suffer the natural consequences of their sinful conduct while they live here on earth (Galatians 6:7).

     Individuality.  Each believer has specific things that God wants him to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10). God leads us differently in life as exemplified in the lives of Peter and John (Romans 8:14; John 21:18-22). There are many members in the spiritual body of Christ (Romans 12:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 20). If you’re a Christian, are you using your spiritual gift for the glory of God and the good of others? Would you like to learn more about spiritual gifts? (Visit our web site: and go to the “Bible Basics” section). The Apostle Paul didn’t misuse his gift as an apostle and demand that Apollos go to Corinth to minister to those believers (1 Corinthians 16:12). Neither he nor Peter set themselves up as the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:1-4). Jesus Christ is the One and only Head of the church (Ephesians 1:22) and the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).

     Perpetuate.  Without one person’s telling another person where to find the “Bread of Life” we’d all be lost and headed for hell. We can/should spread the Gospel of Christ’s death for our sins…and His bodily resurrection with others so they can be saved. Without it people can’t be saved.

     Refresh.  If your purpose in life, your vision, and your goals have become dim, renew your commitment to the Lord and be re-energized by God the Holy Spirit, rely on His strength, and count on Him to supply all your needs to accomplish the task before you (Philippians 2:13, 4:13, 19; Ephesians 3:20).

     Help.  If you would like additional spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web page:  These articles often correspond to our talks on Sundays and some of them can be heard on the Internet.

Far too many people including Christians make plans for their future without taking God into their considerations (James 4:13-15 ).  While claiming to believe in God, they act like “practical atheists.”   God’s Word says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).
   Independent.  While it’s true that parents want their children to grown up so they can take care of themselves, we need to realize that we are all dependent on other people for most of our needs.  Try to imagine what your life would be like without all the people who serve you daily at the grocery store, gas station, utility company, bank, and many other places.  Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).  He is the God-man who gives us life and breath and the good things of life (James 1:17).  Have you thanked Him recently?
    Plans. People without any plans or goals don’t make it far in life.  Some people make things happen, others watch them happen, and still others say, “What happened?” The Lord’s half brother James gave some very helpful information for us to follow.  “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit;’ whereas you do not know that will happen tomorrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’  But now you boast in your arrogance.  All such boasting is evil” (James 4:13-16).
     D.V.  “Deo Volente” – “God willing.”  We don’t hear people talking this way very often.  Rather than making promises we may not be able to keep, we would be better off saying, “I’m planning to…” or even better, “Lord willing, I will make plans to…”.  This is not a way for you to get out of a promise but an acknowledgment that you are not always able to carry out what you honestly intend to do.
     Freedom.  God let’s His children make choices in life.  Some are detrimental to us or may even be sinful; others may be good, better, or the best (i.e. what God would choose for us).  How do you make your decisions in life?  If you’re a Christian, do you try to do those things that will glorify God by making Him know to others around you?  This should be our primary purpose in life (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 34:3).
     Prepared.  We never know when a marvelous opportunity will come our way or when a calamity may strike us.  But by our spending time with God in His Word and meditating on it (Psalm 1:2; 1 Timothy 4:15), we will be able to handle the situation better.  God wants us to be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks us about our faith in Christ and the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15).  He wants believers to display the “Fruit of the Spirit” as the need arises (Galatians 5:22, 23).  How do you respond to the good things that happen to you and to the challenging things that upset your life?  Do you give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20; 1 Timothy 2:1)?  If not, you should.
Concerned.  God is concerned about the well being of all His children.  Are you one of them or are you a child of the devil (1 John 3:10)?  We all start out life in the devil’s family and need to be born again from above if we want to go to heaven (John 3:3, 16, 36).  God the Father showed His love for us sinners by sending His unique Son, Jesus Christ to this earth to die for our sins…and rise again bodily from the dead on the third day.  As the God-man, He paid the penalty for our sins and made it possible for us to be saved from hell and enter heaven (Romans 6:23).  If you don’t go to heaven, it won’t be because God didn’t make it possible for you to go there.
Darkness.  Perhaps you love darkness rather than the light because your deeds are evil (John 3:19).  When we trust in Christ exclusively as our personal Savior, we are taken out of the kingdom of darkness and placed into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Colossians 1:13).
Difficulty?  Are you having trouble making wise decisions in life?  You can’t make them if you’re not a true child of God (Proverbs 14:12; Mark 8:36).  But God can/does put thoughts into the minds (spirits) of those believers who are rightly related to God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8:14).  He energizes us, enables us, and supplies all our needs so we can do His will (Philippians 2:13; 4:13, 19).
   Question.  Are you filled with the Spirit, walking by means of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25), and being led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14)?  This is the only way to really live abundantly (John 10:10).
Submission.  Believers who want God’s best for themselves and others can/should be willing to submit to His leading in their lives and sing: “Not what I wish to be, nor where I wish to go / For who am I that I should choose my way / The Lord shall choose for me, tis better far I know, / So let Him bid me go, or stay.”  – Austin Miles.  Obviously this attitude won’t appeal to you if you are proud, arrogant, and think you don’t need God or other people.  But some day you and everyone else will bow to the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:10, 11).  This doesn’t teach universal salvation as some false teachers say.  You may not want to go to heaven to be with a holy and righteous God or be with His children. Forcing you to go there would be worse than hell itself.  God won’t do that to you.
     Decision.  If you would like to have assurance of salvation and heaven before you die, we invite you to contact us here or visit our web page: for more help.  We’re here to assist those who are teachable, willing to change, and grow spiritually.

  “The most sensitive nerve in the human body is the one that reaches from a person’s hand to his checkbook.” Do you agree or disagree? Some people refer to the checkbook as a “spiritual journal.”  What could other people learn about you if they were allowed to look into your check book? On what kind of things did you spend your money? Which things are absolutely essential and which are discretionary things? With what should Christians be content (1 Timothy 6:8; Hebrews 13:5)?

Counselor. Suppose you were having money problems and decided to visit a financial advisor. He might ask you to keep a journal of all the money you receive and spend in a month. That might be hard for some people. Can you “window shop” without buying something?  Do you abuse your credit card? Do you pay just the minimum balance each month or do you pay off the whole amount? Did you know that compounding interest can work for or against you?

Needs. Are you a young adult weighed down with car payments, a big mortgage or high rent, credit card bills, or paying off a college debt? Would you like some advice from God’s Word to help you make wise decisions? Are you an older adult in your retirement years with your home paid off and a steady retirement income? Would you like to do something that could bring you greater joy during the rest of your life? If so, read on.

Evil. Money is not the root of all evil. It is the “love of money” that is (1 Timothy 6:10). It is a part of this present world system over which Satan himself rules (Matthew 4:8, 9; Ephesians 2:2). It is something that a Christian can use on earth but we aren’t supposed to abuse it (1 Corinthians 7:31). It’s possible for maturing Christians to misdirect their “agape” love away from God to the things of this world that are all passing away (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 3:10-12). But we who are Christians can/should glorify God by the way we earn, save, give, and spend money. Believe it or not, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Jesus

Stewards. Do you think of yourself as an owner or a manager of someone else’s things? “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17). Think about this, “What do you have that you did not receive” (1 Corinthians 4:7)? Most people are proud of something. It might be their race, face, or place in life. Don’t boast about it; you could lose some things in a flash.

Communism. The Apostle Peter warned us against those who would twist the Scriptures for their own advantage (2 Peter 3:16). There are many teachers and preachers within Christendom who misuse the words of Jesus (Red Letter Christians). They try to tell us that socialism or communism is what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and what the early church practiced (Acts 4:32-37). Not so! What happened in the early days of the church was a temporary situation that gave the richer Christians an opportunity to share with those in need. Barnabas gave willingly, he wasn’t forced to sell his land and give it to others.

Sermon. The Sermon on the Mount was addressed to Jews (not Christians) who were anticipating Christ’s earthly kingdom (Daniel 2:44, 45) when things will be dramatically different. They rejected Him (John 1:11) and had Him crucified by the Romans.  When He returns to this earth to set up His kingdom, all of man’s needs will be met (Isaiah 2:4; 11:1ff; 35:1ff), the devil will be bound in the Abyss for a 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-7), and the sin nature of man will be curbed though not eradicated (Jeremiah 31:34). By the way, all Christians still have a sin nature (1 John 1:8), but they also have a nature from above (2 Peter 1:3, 4). This is why Christians are sometimes doing sinful things they shouldn’t be doing.

Poor People. Jesus said, “For the poor you have with you always…” (John 12:8). He was chiding those who were condemning the woman who anointed His feet with costly oil. Judas and the others thought she was wasting money that should have been given to the poor.

Government. The government’s stealing from the rich and giving to the poor doesn’t help matters. Socialism or communism hasn’t worked in the past and can’t work today while man still has a sin nature.  It tempts him to be jealous, covetous, or envious of what others have. These attitudes can even lead Christians to commit murder (1 John 3:15; 4:20; James 4:1ff). A Christian can overcome these lusts by learning how to filled with the Spirit and to walk by means of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16-25). Are you yielding to sinful lusts or living victoriously over your sin nature?

Capitalism. Even though many people abuse this system, it’s not condemned in the Scriptures. (Do you know what the best form of government is?  Any form of government is better than anarchy.)  Before you can honestly give something to another person in need, you must own it as your own. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something [i. e. own something] to give to him who has need” (Ephesians 4:28).

Tithing Or Tipping? Did you know that in the Old Testament times, the Jews were required to tithe 23% of their gross income (Numbers 18:20-32; Deuteronomy 14:23-29)? They gave to be blessed (Malachi 3:8). Christians shouldn’t give “to be blessed” but can/should give because “we have been blessed” with spiritual and material blessings that God gives to us (Ephesians 1:3; James 1:17). Do you “give to get,” or “get to give?” If you attend church, what kind of a “tip” do you give? Why?  Do you give more to the waitress when you eat out?  Do you give grudgingly or cheerfully?

Thanks. The Christian’s giving is called a spiritual sacrifice (Hebrews 13:15, 16). When we give, we should be expressing our gratitude to God for an income (Ephesians 5:20), and expressing our faith in Him to keep on supplying all our needs while we are here on earth (Philippians 4:19).

Humor? A church member refused to participate in an offering for missions. When an usher passed the offering plate to him the miserly member muttered gruffly, “I’m not going to put anything in; I don’t believe in missions.” “Then take something out,” replied the usher, “it’s for the heathen.”

Motive. If you give to charity or to a church, why do you do it? Is it to gain favor with God or to earn your way to heaven? Maybe it makes you feel good or gets you notoriety so people will refer to you as a great philanthropist (Matthew 6:1). Jesus denounced the scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites. He said, “You devour widows’ houses, and for pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation” (Matthew 23:14). Yes, there are degrees of suffering in hell as there are degrees of pleasure in heaven. Where will you spend eternity?

Principles. The Apostle Paul gave Christians some guide lines to help us in our decisions concerning the use of money and our giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-4). It should be systematic, an individual matter, consistent, proportionate, and private.

Quote. Someone has said, “Under grace, God doesn’t look at the amount on the face of the check, but on the balance left on the tab. The man who makes $50,000 and gives 50% to the Lord still has far more left than the widow who gives 10% out of her meager allowance of $800 a month.”  Grace teaches us that our giving is not a legal obligation, but is a blessed privilege and becomes a measure of our love for God.

Question. Do you think of yourself as an owner or a steward (manager) of the resources that God has entrusted into your hands? How do you spend your time, your talents, and your treasures? It’s been said, “Only one life will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ shall last.” Are you doing all things for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)? “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?

Help?  If you need spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at These articles usually correspond to our talks on Sundays and can be heard on the Internet.  If you’ve been helped by this article, will you let someone else know about it?

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  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.

“Our Future Bodies”

Posted: October 7, 2012 in 1 Corinthians, Resurrection

They are absolutely right – “Flesh and ‘blood’ cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 15:49). But they are absolutely wrong to deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ and everyone else who dies (Luke 24:38-43; John 20:27; Acts 1:1-11; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 2 John 1:7). Christ’s resurrected, glorified body had flesh and bones but no blood. So will our resurrected bodies (1 John 3:2).  No one will be annihilated or reincarnated according to the Scriptures (Hebrews 9:27).

     Questions Galore. “What about babies-will they be resurrected as infants or adults? What happens to the bodies of those who’ve died violent, tragic deaths –who’ve been blown up, crushed, dismembered, or lost at sea? And what about people who’ve been cremated – some whose ashes have been carried away on the wind? How will God resurrect these people?” – Charles Swindoll. Consider the Corinthian Christians’ questions. They asked, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? (1 Corinthians 15:35). The Apostle Paul used some analogies from everyday life to explain the resurrection of the body that should have been obvious to them and to us.

     Seeds.  Perhaps as a child you planted a seed in a cup, covered it with dirt, watered it, and put it in the window sill so you could watch it grow.  Although you didn’t know exactly how it all worked, you saw the seed produce a stalk and then fruit with seeds in it.  Who made it grow?  Obviously, an omnipotent God did.  Farmers have a lot of faith and spend a lot of money when they put seeds in the ground hoping to have a crop.  Attributing the growth to “Mother Nature” is an insult to the true and living God. Have you thanked Him for your daily bread?

     Flesh.  When you go out to eat, you usually have a choice to make.  Do I want steak, fish, or fowl? You know that the texture of each one is different. Cattle graze in the field.  Fish can survive under water.  Bird’s flesh and bones were/are structured for them to fly in the air.  Human flesh is also quite different.

     Humor.  When the missionary was about to be put into a boiling pot of water and cooked by the cannibals, he told the chief that he might not like the taste of a white man. He said, “Let me cut off a part of my leg for you to cook.  Then you decide if you want to eat me.” When the chief agreed, the missionary pulled up his pant leg, cut off some of his wooden leg and offered it to the chief to eat.  After taking a bite, he spit it out and said, “You taste terrible.” Then he let him go.

     Celestial/Terrestrial.  The bodies we have on earth are called terrestrial.  But the bodies that New Testament believers will have in heaven are called celestial.  Currently our human bodies are governed more often by our souls (emotions) than by our spirits that belong to our minds (our rational part – Ephesians 4:23).  That’s why sales pitches usually are made to our fickle emotions rather than to our minds.  Furthermore, the believer’s soul and body won’t be saved until the Rapture (1 Peter 1:9; Romans 8:23).  Thank God, we won’t have to spend eternity in bodies that we now have.

     Glory.  When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they were stripped and realized that they were naked (Genesis 3:7).  Some Bible teachers believe that their garments of light were taken from them and the image and likeness of God was distorted.  For New Testament Christians the image of God will be restored and we will receive a garment of light like Christ’s at the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:49; 1 Timothy 6:16; 1 John 3:2).  Old Testament believers will be raised (not resuscitated) 75 days after the seven years of tribulation and will receive garments of light that shine like the stars (Daniel 12:3, 12).

     Great White Throne.  At the end of time all unbelievers will be raised from the dead to stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, the righteous Judge (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8), and their degree of suffering in hell will be determined at that time (Revelation 20:11-15).  No one will be annihilated.  Once conception takes place, you have a person who will exist somewhere forever.  This is why we are opposed to abortion.  Otherwise God isn’t who He claims to be: good, righteous, omniscient, omnipotent, truth, holy, and love.  All these attributes are perfectly balanced with each other.

     Human Bodies.  Our human bodies are subject to death and decay.  They smell even when we’re living, but the smell is intensified at death.  A dead body has no power to do anything.  But the believer’s resurrected body will no longer be subject to decay and will be raised in power to do far more than we can do now (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).  But we won’t be all powerful like God and we won’t/can’t become gods.

     Two Adams.  We are all the descendants of Adam and Eve.  After the confusion that took place at the tower of Babel, when God changed the languages of mankind, the ethnic groups developed.  We all belong to one of them and are part of the human race (Acts 17:26). But unless we become related to the last Adam, Jesus Christ, by being “born again from above,” we will perish and end up in the lake of fire forever (Revelation 21:8). We all need Christ’s righteousness to enter heaven (John 16:8-11).  God’s Word tells us that we receive it when we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead (Romans 4:24). If you place your faith in Him alone, He will save you from hell and take you to heaven. Yes, both places are very real or Jesus is a liar (Matthew 25:41, 46; John 14:1-3).

     Hope.  Every Christian, regardless of our current limitations, should realize that we will have a much better body that will be given to us at the Rapture. “God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things [will] have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).  “…the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). As long as God keeps us here on earth, let’s serve the Lord with gladness (Psalm 100:2). Let’s tell others about the wonderful grace of God (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  Let the “Fruit of the Spirit” be seen by others for the glory of God (Galatians 5:22, 23; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

     Help!  If you are struggling with a spiritual issue or aren’t sure of your eternal destiny, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site:  We have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages and other helpful information for Christians to grow in the Lord.  These articles usually correspond to our talks on Sunday and can be heard on the Internet. If you have been helped from this article, will you tell others where they can find help too?

     It might shock you to know that the Bible actually talks about the “baptism for the dead.”  The Apostle Paul wrote, “Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then be baptized for the dead?” – 1 Corinthians 15:29

     Interpretations.  There have been many interpretations of this verse.  One group believes that this verse is teaching “proxy baptism” for their deceased loved ones and friends.  They want unbelievers to have another opportunity to be saved after death and enjoy the blessings of heaven.  What a noble idea.  But is this possible?  Suppose the deceased person really hated God for not answering his prayer in life and didn’t want to spend eternity with God or Christians?  Believe it or not, there are many people who don’t believe God exists, and if He did they want nothing to do with Him or live under any of His rules.  Is this how you think and feel about God?

     Rules.  There are two principles of interpretation that we need to follow if we want to come up with a good understanding of what was written.  What is the context of the verse?  Are there other passages of Scripture that deal with the same subject?  Does the interpretation contradict other truths in the Scriptures (the 66 books of the Bible) that are crystal clear?  Woe to those who add to, subtract from, or who twist the Word of God (Revelation 22:18, 19; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Peter 3:16).

     Dangerous.  It is very dangerous to build a whole system of doctrine and practice around a questionable verse in the Bible.  Should we lead people to believe that they can actually save someone from hell by their good works such as being baptized for a dead person?  Others believe that by praying for the dead or giving money to a church the suffering of the deceased person can be shortened.  Do you believe that the dead person’s eternal destiny is really determined at the moment of physical death or are there other opportunities after death?  What does the Bible say about this (Hebrews 9:27)?

     Savior.  We believe that there is only one Savior of mankind, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31).  He died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day.  Only His sacrificial death for man’s sins is a sufficient and acceptable payment to God the Father for our sins (1 John 2:2).  We, as sinners, can’t die vicariously and pay the penalty for the sins of other people (Romans 6:23).  Jesus Christ is the just One who died for unjust ones like you and me (1 Peter 3:18).

     Key.  We believe the key to interpreting this verse correctly revolves around the preposition “for.”  This word in the Greek language conveys the idea of substitution.  (The New Testament was written in Greek.)  With this in mind, let’s translate the verse as we believe it can/should be.  “Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized ‘in place of’ the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then be baptized for the dead?”

     Quote.  “Paul is not here speaking of baptizing living believers in place of either believers or unbelievers who have died.  There is no assignment of saving efficacy [effectiveness] to baptism.  The argument is: Of what value is it for one to trust Christ and be baptized [immersed] in the ranks left vacant by the believing dead, if there is no resurrection for believers?  Why place life in jeopardy and forfeit the benefits of this life, if there is no life after death?” – Dr. C. I. Scofield

     Impossible.  The Scriptures clearly teach us if we are to be saved from hell to heaven, it must be on the basis of God’s grace (unmerited favor) through faith in Jesus Christ alone.  Our deliverance and the salvation of others, is not based of our works or another person’s good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  Eternal life is a free gift from God to all who believe on Christ (Romans 6:23).  It cost Jesus His life, but it is available to all men everywhere (John 3:16).  This includes you and me.  Have you accepted this gift yet (1 John 5:13)?  If not, why not do so right now?

     Results.  Since Christians believe in Christ’s bodily resurrection (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and in our own bodily resurrection, this doctrine should: bind us as believers together with cords of love (15:29; John 13:34, 35; Ephesians 4:4; Hebrews 10:24, 25), help us abstain from sexual immorality (15:32b; 1 Peter 1:16; 1 John 3:3), enable us bear up during hard times (Romans 8:18; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 15:32; 2 Timothy 2:10 ), and motivate us to share the Gospel with unbelievers.  Are you joyfully doing these things?  Shouldn’t we serve the Lord with gladness (Psalm100:2)?

     Help!  If you would like additional spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at  These articles usually correspond with our talks on Sundays and can be heard on the Internet.  Our web site was designed with people like you in mind.

   There is a lot of confusion in the minds of many people regarding the true and living God.  Is He one or three?  Is Jesus Christ God or a god inferior to God the Father?  Was Jesus Michael the archangel before He came to earth?  Are Jesus and Lucifer brothers?  Is Mary, the mother of Jesus a fourth person in the Godhead?  Is she more sympathetic than Jesus and should we pray to her?  Is she another mediator between God and man? 

     One God –Three Persons.  Assuming that there is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) who exists as three persons (Genesis 1:26; Proverbs 30:4; Matthew 28:19), let’s try to understand what God’s Word says about them in their relationship to each other. (We limit ourselves to the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.  Other cults add to the Scriptures and are in danger of God’s judgment. Revelation 22:18, 19)

     Comprehension.  Since we are finite beings who are limited by time and space, we cannot really comprehend eternal existence.  Furthermore, the natural, unsaved man and the carnal Christian will think the following information to be foolish (1 Corinthians 2:14-3:4).  Those believers who are rightly related to God the Holy Spirit (the Divine teacher and illuminator – 1 John 2:27) have the potential to understand this information.

     God.  He is declared in the Scriptures to be eternal; He has no beginning or end (Deuteronomy 32:27).  God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are also said to be eternal (1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 9:14).  All three persons share the same Divine essence and nature.  They all have these attributes:  goodness, righteousness, omnipotence, omniscience, truth, holiness, and love.

     Relationships.  In eternity past, the three Persons in the Godhead shared a horizontal relationship with each other.  During time the relationships have changed from a horizontal relationship to a vertical relationship.  One or more of them would be submissive to the other persons in the God head (To be explained later.)  When eternity future begins, the horizontal relationship will be resumed (1 Corinthians 15:28; Revelation 21:1).

     Council Meeting.  Before creating the heavens and the earth, spirit beings and human beings (Genesis 1:1, 26; Colossians 1:15, 16), the three Persons in the Godhead got together to discuss what they would like to do. Many options were available to them (Matthew 11:21-24). Then it was agreed that One of them would come to the earth where sinful men lived.  This Person would reveal to human beings and spirit beings what God was/is like (John 1:1-18; Ephesians 3:10).  Knowing that mankind would rebel against Him (John 1:11), the Son of God – the Lord Jesus Christ (who shared/shares an absolute equality with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit – Colossians 2:9), volunteered to come (Hebrews 10:9) and to be sent by God the Father to this earth to glorify the Father (John 3:16; 17:4).  One of the ways He did this was by living a sinless life Himself and then by dying as a perfect substitute for the sins of all men everywhere – past, present, and future (John 1:29; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:2). 

     Resurrection/Ascension.  After rising bodily from the dead, Jesus went back to heaven in full view of His disciples (Acts 1:9).  At that time God the Father exalted Him and gave Him all authority and power to carry out the rest of God’s plan known as the “Decree” (Matthew 28:18-20; Philippians 2:9-11; Ephesians 1:22, 23).  The Father exempted Himself and did not become submissive to God the Son (1 Corinthians 15:27).  Then Jesus, the God-man, sent God the Holy Spirit to earth to be our Helper and to indwell all Christians (John 14:16, 17; 15:26).  Our bodies are His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19).

     Things To Come.  Once God’s plan has been accomplished and Jesus has subdued His enemies, reigned for 1,000 years on earth, and raised all the dead (Revelation 19:20; 20:1-15), He will turn all His authority over to God the Father who will reestablish a horizontal relationship among the Persons in the Godhead (1 Corinthians 15:28).

     Submission.  It carries with it the idea of putting yourself at the disposal of another person so you can receive benefit from him.  During time, God has a plan or “chain of command” for believers (1 Corinthians 11:3).  Without it there would be disorder and more chaos in our world.

     Glory.  As God the Son came to earth to glorify His Father (John 17:4) so we should glorify God in everything we do (1 Corinthians 10:31).  Jesus always obeyed His Father and did His will (Hebrews 10:9).  Do you know that “…rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23)?

     Questions.  If you are a true child of God, have you submitted to the authority of God (Romans 12:1, 2), the government (Romans 13:1ff), your husband, parents, employer (Ephesians 5:22; 6:1-9; 1 Peter 3:1-7), Pastor (Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:1-5), teachers, and other spiritual leaders (1 Thessalonians 5:11, 12)?  They exist, like an umbrella, for our safety.

     Humility.  Have you humbled yourself before God and placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the grave?  If not, why not receive Him now before it’s eternally too late (John 1:12)?

      Prayer. Will you, like Jesus, say to God the Father, “Not my will, but Your will, be done” (Luke 22:42)?  They hymn writer said it well – “Not what I wish to be, nor where I wish to go, / For who am I that I should choose my way? / The Lord shall choose for me, tis better far I know, / So let Him bid me go, or stay.” – Austin Miles.  Those Christians who are habitually being led by God the Holy Spirit are the maturing sons of God (Romans 8:14).

     Help.  If you need spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at  These articles usually correspond to our talks on Sundays and can be heard on the Internet.

     “The Lord is my shepherd…Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me” (Psalm 23:1, 4).

     Death.  It’s a subject that most of us don’t like to discuss. It’s an enemy that brings us much pain and suffering. Part of this comes from our not knowing very much about the other side of death. In the Old Testament times people had much less information than we do. Today we have the completed Scriptures that tell us what God wants us to know for now. Since death is going to happen to all of us eventually (Hebrews 9:27), we would do well to find out what God has said about it in His Word. It is our only totally reliable source of information (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17; John 14:6; 17:17).

     Questions. Are there some people who won’t die physically? If so, who, how, when, and why? Is there a way for the sting of death to be removed? How should Christians respond to a fellow Christian’s death? What really happens when a person dies? Is he annihilated, reincarnated, or eventually resurrected? If so, how is his eternal destiny determined? Are there degrees of enjoyment in heaven and degrees of suffering in hell? Is there a “sin unto death” and if so, what is it? Who held the keys of death in the past, and who holds them now?

      Types Of Death. Physical death is the separation of the spirit and soul (immaterial parts) from the body (material and physical part) when the body ceases to function (Hebrews 5:7; 7:23). Spiritual death is the separation of man from God that began when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:17). Both physical and spiritual death can be reversed (1 Corinthians 15:21-26; Ephesians 2:1). But the “second death” is irreversible (Revelation 21:8). There are no additional opportunities to be saved after you die physically.

     A Three Part Being. A human being consists of a spirit (rational), a soul (emotional), and a body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Do you know in which order they get saved when a person trusts in Christ as his Savior? Which two parts still need to be saved? Hint – Romans 8:23; 1 Peter 1:9.

     The Exception. Normally everyone dies (Genesis 2:17; 5; Romans 5:12; 6:23; Hebrews 9:27). But the good news is, not everyone will die physically. Their bodies will be changed from being corruptible, mortal bodies into incorruptible, immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:54). Do you know when this will take place and to whom (1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17)? Would you like to be in this group?

     Potential/Actual Years. Did you know that we all have potential years and actual years? A normal person can expect to live 70 or 80 years (Psalm 90:10). Some live longer. But our actual years here on earth could be shortened by our “stepping on the landmines” in life. Accidents (incidents), illnesses, bad habits, and other things can shorten our days on earth. Carnal Christians, who act like unbelievers, can reduce their days on earth by engaging in lawless behavior (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; 11:30; James 5:20; 1 John 5:16).

     The Keys Of Death. Having keys usually indicates that one has authority to enter a building or to drive a car. Prior to Christ’s death and bodily resurrection, the devil held the keys of death (Hebrews 2:14). This is why people feared death. One day Jesus took those keys from Satan and today He is the One who decides the timing of our death (Revelation 1:18). This should encourage Christians to serve the Lord without the fear of man or the devil (Matthew 10:28; 1 John 4:4). Some believers may glorify God through great suffering (Peter was crucified upside down) and others may die a natural death as the Apostle John did (John 21:18-23; Hebrews 11).

     What Sleeps? When a believer dies physically his body sleeps (John 11:11-13). It will turn back to the dust from which our bodies came (Genesis 2:7; 3:19). The Scriptures don’t teach “soul sleep.” Dead people are very conscious (Luke 16:19-31).

     Our Tents/Dwellings. Immediately at death, when the spirit and soul depart from the body, a person is given a temporary body to house his spirit and soul either in Paradise or in Hades (2 Corinthians 5:1-8; 12:4; Luke 16:19-31; Deuteronomy 32:22). But at the time of each one’s resurrection from the dead, the body that turned back to dust will be resurrected and changed into a body that will never die again. Every person who has lived here on earth will spend eternity somewhere. What about you? Some people who thought they would enter the kingdom of heaven will hear some very disturbing words from Jesus someday (Matthew 7:21-13; 25:41, 46). They did religious works but were without Christ as their Savior. 

     Ultimate Victory. The last enemy that Jesus Christ will destroy is death (1 Corinthians 15:26). He will do this by raising every human being who has died back to life. But where you spend eternity will be determined by what you do with Him while you’re living here on earth. He died for all of our sins (past, present, and future)…and rose again bodily from the grave. He can/will save from hell those who place their faith in Him exclusively. We aren’t saved by our good works lest we should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

     Help? If you need spiritual help, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site where we have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” and other material to help believers grow. If you would like to hear the related message, go to

  Had there been newspapers in Christ’s day, the headlines of the Jerusalem Star Tribune the day after Passover might have read, “Jesus Crucified, Buried.”  That would have been good news to hypocritical religious leaders who hated Him but bad news to His followers.

  Extra! Extra!  But three days later the headlines would have read, “Jesus Alive!”  Had the scribes and Pharisees opened up their newspaper that Sunday morning, they would have been greatly troubled.  After all, they made sure that the huge stone that was placed in front of the tomb was secured with Rome’s seal and that guards were posted there day and night for three days.  This was done because Jesus had said that He would rise from the dead on the third day (Matthew 12:40; John 10:17, 18).  They wanted to make sure that this didn’t happen.  But they couldn’t hold Him down.

  Headlines.  You see, in the newspaper business journalists are told, “If it bleeds, it leads.”  In other words, bad news sells newspapers.  But extremely good news also sells newspapers.  When World War II was over, the headlines might have read, “War Over.  Japan Surrenders!”  That was good news for us but it was bad or sad news to the Japanese.

  Gospel.  The Gospel has bad news and good news in it.  The bad news is that Jesus died for our sins and was buried for three days.  The good news is that He rose bodily from the dead, was seen by over 500 witnesses, and is alive to this day (1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Hebrews 7:25).  The bad news turned out to be beneficial for us because Jesus was dying for our sins so we wouldn’t have to pay the penalty for our sins in the lake of fire forever (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46).  He died as the Just One for us, the unjust ones (1 Peter 3:18).  It was a once and for all payment (Hebrews 10:10).

  Swoon?  His resurrection from the dead was not merely a resuscitation from the dead.  He didn’t just swoon (faint) and come back to life after three days.  There are examples of people in the Old and New Testaments who were resuscitated back to life only to die again.

  Proof.  The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead proves many things to us:  He is the God-man (Romans 1:4; John 1:1-18; 5:18; 10:3-33), God is omnipotent (Philippians 3:10; Ephesians 3:20), judgment day is coming (Acts 17:31; John 5:22; 16:11), Christ’s sacrifice for our sins satisfied God the Father’s outraged holiness against our sins (Romans 4:25; 1 John 2:2), all dead people will be raised from the dead some day (1 Corinthians 15:21, 22).

  Resurrections.  There are five resurrections mentioned in Scripture (1 Corinthians 15:23, 24, 51-53; Revelation 11:11).  In which one will you be raised?  If you’re reading this article, please make sure that you are trusting in Christ alone for your salvation or you will be raised in the end resurrection which isn’t good (Revelation 20:11-15).  We aren’t saved by our good works lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  And by the way, there are no second chances to be saved once you are dead (Hebrews 9:27).  Annihilation or reincarnation are not taught in the Word of God.

  Good Works.  But once we’ve trusted in Christ alone for our salvation, the good works we do should be a demonstration to other human beings that we have been saved from hell and are on our way to heaven (Ephesians 2:10; James 2:14-20).  Beware!  The devil and his false teachers will do all they can to confuse you about how to be saved.

  Last Enemy.  The last enemy that Jesus will defeat is death itself (1 Corinthians 15:26).  How will He do this?  Just before the end of time He will raise up all the unsaved dead people, judge them according to their works, and determine the degree of suffering they will experience throughout eternity (Revelation 20:11-15).  Yes, there are degrees of suffering in hell as there are degrees of joy in heaven (Matthew 10:15; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

  Decision.  The only time you have to make your decision as to what you will do with Jesus Christ is now while you are physically alive.  Since our lives are like a vapor (James 4:14), wouldn’t it be wise for you to believe on Him right now if you’ve never done so before?

  Help.  We’re here to help you if you want spiritual help and assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13).  If you think that you are saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation?  Be honest with yourself.  Jesus talked about people who thought they would enter the kingdom of heaven only to hear Him say to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:23).  Eternity is more than we can comprehend, but let’s choose to believe Jesus and His Word, the Bible.

  Contact.  You may call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site: for more help and/or information.  Our web logs (Blogs) are usually a summary of one of our talks which can also be heard on the Internet.  If this article has helped you, will you help us get the Word out and share this information with others?

I want to challenge you to do something that you may have never done before.  Ask a few of your friends, one at a time, a bold question, “What do you think and really believe about life after death?”  Wait for their answer and then ask, “Why do you believe the way you do?  What if you’re wrong?  How has your belief in life after death affected your daily life?”  I know, you probably won’t enter into such a dialogue with others, but a few of you might have given some serious thought to the question, “What happens to me when I die?”

    Dialogue.  When the Apostle Paul went to the city of Athens in Greece he got into a conversation with some of the philosophers and thinkers who lived there.  When he talked about the resurrection of the body, some people began to mock him but others wanted to know more on this matter (Acts 17:32).  According to their way of thinking, the body was nothing more than the prison of the soul, and the sooner the soul was set free at the time of death, the better off a person would be.  But some other Greeks living in Corinth accepted the message of Christ’s death for their sins…and His bodily resurrection from the dead but they had a problem with their own resurrection from the dead.

     Hope.  To give them some hope for the future, and to correct their thinking, the Apostle Paul brought up some hypothetical questions concerning Christ’s resurrection from the dead.  Before we consider some of the questions he posed, let’s ask some of our own.  Who rolled away the stone from Christ’s tomb?  Why were the guards bribed?  Why wasn’t Christ’s dead body ever found?  Why would anyone doubt the testimonies of over 500 eye witnesses who said that they saw Him over a forty day period of time?

    Empty.  If Jesus Christ didn’t really rise from the dead with a resurrected, glorified body consisting of flesh and bones (but one without blood – 1 Corinthians 15: 50; Luke 24:33-43), then the preaching of the Apostles would be nothing more than empty words and there would be no foundation for the Christian faith.  If someone could disprove the resurrection, he could destroy Christianity.  Many have tried and failed.

    Futile.  Without the resurrection, those who had put their faith in Christ would still be helpless (Romans 5:6), hopeless (Ephesians 2:12), and hell bound (Romans 6:23).  Instead of foregoing the pleasures of this life for greater pleasures in heaven, they should eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow they will die and that will be the end of their existence.  This is what the rich farmer thought but God called him a fool (Luke 12:19).

    Liars.  It’s hard to imagine that over 500 eye witnesses of Christ’s bodily resurrection would deliberately lie and be willing to die for their belief if it weren‘t true.  It’s true that some men will die for a lie but they believe it’s the truth.  Hitler convinced many Germans with his lies.  The blackness of darkness forever in hell is reserved for false teachers (Jude 1:13).

    Lost.  Without Christ’s resurrection we would have no way of knowing if God the Father accepted His payment for our sins.  That is why He raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 4:25).  Instead of a secret ascension into heaven, Jesus ascended back into heaven in the presence of His disciples (Acts 1:1-11).

     Perished.  All those believers whom we thought were going to heaven when they died won’t be there if there is no resurrection of Christ.  Some believe in the annihilation of the wicked or perhaps in reincarnation.  I’d rather stick with the words of Jesus concerning heaven and hell (John 14:1-3; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46) than believe the lies of false teachers.

    Pitiable.  If there is no resurrection of the dead, Christians are wasting a lot of time going to church each week.  Instead they should be looking out for themselves and living for the moment.

    Grim Reaper.  He’s coming for all of us and he might come in such a time when you least expected him.  “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrew 9:27).  Once you’re dead your eternal destiny is set.  There are no second chances or back doors into heaven.

     Rapture.  The exception to the rule above will affect a generation of true Christians (1 Corinthians 15:51ff).  Do you know what you need to believe in order to gain eternal life and a place in heaven? It’s so simple that most people won’t avail themselves of “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation.”  We have it in 24 languages on our web site:

    Help.  We also have other material to help believers grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).  We want you to know about your spiritual gift (See “Bible Basics” section), and use it with love.  If you’re a Christian, your greatest joy in life will come by leading another person to Christ for salvation and helping that person grow (3 John 4).

These articles usually correspond to our talks on Sundays and can be heard on the Internet.

Portions adapted from “Calm Answers For A Confused Church” by C. R. Swindoll