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The Triumph of our Resurrection (1 Corinthians Sermon 65)

Series: 1 Corinthians

The Triumph of our Resurrection (1 Corinthians Sermon 65)

January 17, 2021 | Andy Davis
1 Corinthians 15:50-58
Resurrection of Christ

sermon transcript


Well, these are times of great uncertainty for Christians in America. 2020 was a challenging year, to put it mildly, with the COVID pandemic, with race-related riots, in which armed demonstrators were destroying property and terrorizing many. Then a season of political election resulted in massive questions about the process and the outcome and the future. 2021 dawned with another armed demonstration this time in the very heart of our federal government, with many taking their rage to the level of over-lawlessness. Our nation has taken some massive steps away from sound government, peaceful descent, and honoring of God and righteousness. A year ago, on January 30th, 2019, Democrats in the state of New York led the way in passing the Reproductive Health Act in that state, openly espousing infanticide. Legalizing abortion all the way up until birth for any reason in that state. Democrats in the New York State legislature stood and applauded at that time. Now, Democrats have been elected to control the presidency and both houses of Congress. Now as Christians, as we look ahead we may well ask, what does the future hold? What does the future hold?

Well, it is my delight, therefore, to preach this sermon this morning. To be able to give you the rock-solid doctrine of the resurrection of the body is what the future holds. The triumph of our resurrection from the dead is what the future holds. The second coming of Jesus Christ in power and glory. And the destruction, the effortless destruction of His enemies, with the sword coming from his mouth, with the breath of his mouth destroying the wicked government that will await him at that point. Effortless destruction. And the establishment of an eternal and perfectly righteous government, in which we will delight in the King of kings and Lord of lords for all eternity, and we will be in resurrection glory. That's what the future holds for the people of God.

So, therefore, as the Apostle Paul says plainly in Romans 8, I consider that our present sufferings aren't even worth comparing with that kind of glory. He's talking in Romans 8 about the resurrection body, the whole creations waiting for the children of God to be revealed in glory. And so I want us to swim this morning in that confidence. I want us to feel that I want it to just pulse through our spiritual bloodstream, to feel that kind of confidence that we should have when we read the words at the end of 1 Corinthians 15, the triumph of our resurrection.

Today is not Easter Sunday. I'm not deluded, I know that. Yet we are assembled, are we not on the first day of the week? And we're here to celebrate Christ’s mighty resurrection, victory over the grave. I believe this is right and proper. I think every single day should be a celebration of Christ's resurrection for Christians around the world, every day. Even the very pattern of corporate worship was changed forever in the New Covenant, we, the children of God, we Christians, assemble on the first day of the week, rather than the seventh day of the week. The Jews of old in the old covenant, they looked back, they were commanded to look back every week at the mighty power of God in the first creation. The creation of the present heavens and earth, by the word of His power. In six days, He made the heavens and the earth, and He rested on the seventh day. And so He commanded the Jews of old in the Old Covenant to assemble on the seventh day and to look back with joy and thanksgiving at the first creation.

But we are in the new covenant, it's a better covenant. Founded on better promises. So the book of Hebrews tells us. And we are commanded and we assemble on the first day of the week, what's called the Lord's day. To not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. And we meet on the Lord's Day to look ahead. To look forward to what's coming to the new creation, the New Heavens and the New Earth, the new Jerusalem, we meet, assemble in the light of Christ's resurrection, looking ahead. And it is right for Christians around the world to celebrate this mighty victory today and every day. And every Sunday. And so today we're gonna finish this marvelous journey through 1 Corinthians 15, it's been incredible. And we get to look at these final nine verses of the chapter, and we get to drink in the marvelous truths of these verses, to pick up all of the themes in these verses these nine verses. Like rare jewels, kinda hold them up and turn them around slightly in the light and see the different facets. By the Spirit's illumination to see the glorious glow of details in the texts radiating from this central reality. Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and the secondary reality that flows from it, and so shall we be in Christ, raised from the dead.

My main job here this morning is get out of the way of these nine verses, by the power of the Holy Spirit. I just want the words to flow through your mind, I want you to see the certainty of what we have believed, and to rejoice. That your faith would be strengthened. Faith would be strengthened. Again, this morning, I heard that quiet word from the Holy Spirit, that the Lord spoke to Peter, "Feed my sheep," feed them. And your food, the food of your faith is the word of God. So we get to do that today, we get to walk through these nine verses, how marvelous is that. And for us, this is the greatest triumph because it overcomes our greatest foe... Death our personal enemy. Death, the great thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy. Death, the enemy we could never defeat.

We live in the City of Medicine, and rightly celebrate amazing medical advances, scientific achievements made by brilliant medical researchers. But all they have done through their research, as they research cures, as they research vaccines and new surgical techniques, and genetically tailored design therapies that are just staggeringly amazing. All they have done by all that is postpone the inevitable. To divert the relentless stream of death to other tributaries, and it will come. The powerful, pounding, relentless flow of death, unstoppable by any human ingenuity, by any human strength, by any governmental authority. Death, the great penalty under which we all stand for our sin, we the members of this cursed race of Adam.

Hebrews 9:27, "It is destined all of us... For all of us, man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment." Or as God said to Adam in Genesis 3:19, "Dust you are and to dust you will return." Death is likened to a mighty tyrant whose power cannot be broken by any sinful descendant of Adam.

Romans 5:17, "By the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man." Death reigns like a tyrant, we can't throw off his yoke, and incalculable has been the sorrow brought by this vicious, relentless tyrant. How many parents have had their hearts ripped out by the death of a child? Over 20 centuries, Martin Luther, the great German reformer was one. As his little daughter was dying of an illness, he came frequently by her bedside to be with her. His heart was wrapped up in that little girl.

And when it became clear that she would die, he hugged her and wept over her and said to her, "Magdalena, my little girl, would you like to stay with your father here, and would you just as gladly go to your Father in heaven?" She answered, "Yes, dearest Father whatever God wills."

Her mother Katie, at that point, couldn't stand to watch the scene, so she stayed in the room but turned around, she couldn't watch it. At Magdalena's funeral as her little coffin was being lowered down into the earth, Luther said, "My Darling, you will rise and you will shine like the stars and like the sun." But even consoled by the promises of the Gospel, Luther's heart was breaking, he wrote to a good friend, "My wife and I cannot think of her without sobs and without groans, which tear the heart apart. The memory of her face, her words, her expressions in life and death everything about our most obedient and loving daughter lingers in our hearts so that even the death of Christ and what are all deaths compared to his is it seems almost powerless to lift our minds above our loss. So would you give thanks to God in our stead for hasn't He honored us greatly in glorifying our child?"

I believe that the kind of emotion that we see in that account is why Jesus wept in front of Lazarus' tomb right before raising him from the dead. He knew that death was the final enemy, as this chapter has taught us. And that only at the end of all things, would death be finally defeated. So in every generation, this vicious heartless foe would rip the hearts of every one of his people that would ever live. But here in the words of 1 Corinthians 15, we can celebrate ahead of time, the crushing of death forever. We get to celebrate that by faith, even though it hasn't happened yet, we get to look ahead, trusting in the words of scripture to a final victory. So let's just walk through these themes, seven of them, first, the fact of Christ's resurrection. Secondly, the link to our resurrection. Thirdly, the nature of our resurrection. Fourthly, the necessity of our resurrection. Fifth, the timing of our resurrection. Sixth, the triumph of our resurrection. And seventh, the application of our resurrection.

First three will be review. First, the facts of Christ's resurrection. Some Corinthians were questioning whether resurrection could even happen at all or even should happen. Verse 12, "How can some of you say, There is no resurrection from the dead." But the resurrection of Christ from the dead is foundational to the Gospel of our salvation. As he said at the beginning of the chapter, I wanna remind you of the Gospel that I preach, that we receive. That Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. And that He appeared to Peter and then to the 12, and after that, He appeared to more than 500 of the brothers at the same time. The fact of Christ's resurrection is foundational to the Gospel. Now that fact must be accepted by faith. We're not eyewitnesses. So a week after the resurrection, when Thomas was there, so-called Doubting Thomas. Jesus said to Thomas, "Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed." That's us, brothers and sisters. We have not seen and yet we have believed.

On what basis do we believe? On the basis of Scriptures, testimony to it. We read it in the Bible, we believe what the Scripture has said That Christ rose from the dead. The fact of Christ's resurrection. Now, faith in that fact, faith in Christ's resurrection is essential to our salvation. It's essential to us being forgiven of our sins. Romans 10:9 and 10, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." The fact of Christ's resurrection is essential to our salvation.

Secondly, the link to our resurrection. What good would it be to us personally, individually, if Christ rose from the dead, but we don't? We're condemned for our sins. What good would it be? The joy of Jesus' resurrection is this. As he said in John 11:25 and 26, "I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." That's the joy of Christ's resurrection. Victory, as he said in another place, "Because I live, you also will live." And in our chapter today, these two verses, verse 20, "Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep."

And then verse 23, "Christ the firstfruits. Then when He comes, those who belong to Him, we belong to Him," we will be raised like him. This is the fact of our resurrection, the link to our resurrection. We celebrate because we believe that Christ's resurrection has guaranteed our own resurrection, because he lived, we also will live. We believe that Christ has destroyed death for us. His victory over the grave is our victory over the grave. 

Thirdly, the nature of our resurrection. We walked through this last week. Paul addresses questions we all have about this doctrine, verse 35, someone may ask, how are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come? And so he gets into that question of the nature of the resurrection body, with the idea of continuity and contrast. There's a continuity with the seed that is sown, it is raised language. The seed that's sown rises up. So our bodies will be raised, not created ex nihilo, but raised up. So that's continuity, but there is definitely contrast. We walked through this last time, look at verses 42 through 44, "So will it be with the resurrection from the dead, the body that's sown as perishable it is raised imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body."

Do you remember that last week, a series of magnificent contrast with the present physical body four couplets, four pairings, perishable versus imperishable, dishonor versus glory, weakness versus power, natural versus spiritual. So the present body is sown like a seed in the ground, the corpse in-depth in the grave is sown a perishable seed and it begins immediately to decay, as Martha said by now, there's a stench. Perishable, it is sown in dishonor. There's a sense of shame connected. It's because of sin that we die. And so there's a dishonor to death, and it is sown in weakness is the very picture of weakness, weakness has to do with inability and the corpse isn't just unable, it can't do anything. So as we age, we come less and less able, but the corpse can do nothing, it is sown in weakness. And then natural, it is subject to the natural, the forces of nature. The laws of nature.

Now, by contrast, the resurrection body will be imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual. Imperishable means it cannot die, we will never die again, and we will not have a process of decaying or of losing capabilities over millennia of time and eternity. We will not lose any capabilities. Imperishable. Glorious. Matthew 13:43 says it all, "Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father." We are going to shine radiantly in glory.

Powerful, we will be characterized, our resurrection bodies will be characterized by power. We will not be omnipotent, that's God, but we will have power. Energy coursing through our resurrection body veins. We will be able to do anything God wants us to do. We will be powerful, tireless. And then spiritual, a spiritual body, spiritual body, what a mystery. We walked through that last week. A kind of a combination of the body and the spirit together. And we saw it in Jesus' resurrection body, how it had flesh and bones. Spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have. He said that plainly, but he's also walking through walls, the walls of the cave where he was buried, through the walls of the upper room. Twice though the doors were locked, he is disappearing. He's appearing, he's our spiritual body. So that's the nature of our resurrection.

Fourthly, now, new material today, the necessity of our resurrection, the necessity of our resurrection. The bodily resurrection according to this passage must take place. Has to happen. We MUST be transformed if we are to be fit for the new heaven and new earth. Look at Verse 50, "I declare to you today, I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable." Cannot inherit.

Now, it is of the essential nature, both of our humanity and of the purposes of God that we receive the resurrection body. Human beings are created to be like God, and in our sense, both physical and spiritual, in the image of God. For us through sin, to lose our physical side, forever. So that we would eternally be absent from the body present with the Lord would be to violate his original purpose in creation, and then his purpose in recreation, in redemption. It would be that He failed when it came to the body, but He will not fail. So this must happen. And clearly, it must happen because He has promised that it will happen, He has stuck his reputation to this, and so it must happen. The necessity of our resurrection body. If we spent eternity in these corruptible bodies, it would be a form of torture. It cannot be.

Paul says, "Our present bodies are perishable, they're corruptible, they are not fit for eternity, and God Himself cannot dwell in the presence of that corruption." He will not. He must have us pure. So our bodily resurrection is an absolute necessity, so that when we've been there 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun, we will be still vigorous and new as the first moment we are in our resurrection bodies.

Fifthly, the timing of our resurrection, the timing of our resurrection. Verse 51-53, "Listen, I tell you a mystery, we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed. In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised and perishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality." 

So we come to a Gospel mystery. What is a Gospel mystery? It's truths that were not revealed until a certain moment in redemptive history. People didn't know it in the past, but then it comes. And what is that mystery? Well, the mystery is not everyone will die. It is appointed to each one of us to die once. It says that in Hebrews 9:27, but you... Scripture interprets Scripture. You put it together, yes, except... Except for the final generation of Christians. They will not die. We will not all sleep, that is, we will not all die, but we will all be changed. So that's a Gospel mystery.

So this gives us insights into the circumstances of the second coming of Christ. As Jesus said, in Matthew 24, He talks about the second coming and the circumstances. And he says, "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage right up to the day Noah entered the ark. And they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That's how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field. One will be taken the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill, one will be taken the other left.

So life is gonna go on in some sense in a normal pattern right up until the second coming of Christ. So we're not all going to die, that's what the text is telling us here, but we will all be changed. We, meaning Christians, we Christians, we'll be glorified. We will be transformed, we will receive resurrection bodies, we'll be fitted for eternity, we'll be changed, transformed, made new as we've been saying.

So the first timing aspect that I'm giving you here, although I've already told you about the timing of the Second Coming, we'll get to that. But, how long will this take? Well, he says, "In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye." That's awesome, isn't it? The change will be instantaneous. A good translation of flash is split second. Split-second, a period of time actually so brief, it can't be split. That's the idea in Greek. It's just quick, in the twinkling of an eye, a blink of an eye. There will be no process to this. No training regimen. No time in the gym. No weight loss regimen. No dietary shifts needed. No training program for us. Just instantly resurrection, and we see it, don't we? In all of Jesus’ healings, they're instantaneous, except one which had its own purpose, the man that was healed progressively and then instantly after that, but all the other healings are just instant.

They are pictures of what Jesus can do to the body. There's no process. Glorification, the final stage of salvation, instantaneously, made physically perfect in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye. When will this happen? Here it comes, it happens at the second coming of Christ, at the last trumpet. Paul is speaking about the second coming of Christ here, this is the timing of the resurrection from the dead. Look at verse 52, "For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised and perishable and we will be changed."

Look earlier in the chapter, verses 22 through 24, "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive. But each in his own turn. Christ the firstfruits, then when He comes, those who belong to him." Friends, could it be plainer? Really couldn't be more complicated here or plainer. It's very simple. At the second coming of Christ, we get the resurrection body. At the last trumpet. Then the end will come. And elsewhere in Matthew 24:30-31, he says, "At that time, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. The second coming. The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the Earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory, and He will send His angels out with a loud trumpet call. And they will gather his elect from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other." 

That's what it means. Two men will be out in the field, one taken the other left, two women will be grinding with a hand mill, one taken the other left. The angels are sent out at the Second Coming to gather the elect. This is what we call the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, "For the Lord, Himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with a voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first." Could it be plainer?

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together... That rapture, caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. That's the timing of the resurrection, the second coming of Christ.

Number six, the triumph of our resurrection, Verse 54 and 55, "When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true." Death has been swallowed up in victory. "Where O death is your victory? Where O death is your sting?" These words are just filled with triumph, aren't they? Filled the triumph.

For all of human history, death has seemingly reigned undefeated and undefeatable by medical science or by Black Arts or meditation, or meticulous care or any human thing. Death wins. Death reigns. Death is the final enemy. The last enemy and a bitter enemy it has been. Death entered history as an enemy, death plunders like an enemy, death is a universal enemy, death is a mocking enemy, death is a sudden enemy. This great, powerful enemy is more than we can handle. And unless we have a savior, we shall be trampled under death's tyrannical boot. The Christ... In Christ, eternal victory has been snatched from the jaws of this terrifying monster. Death is addressed directly here and boldly, "Where O death is your sting? Your triumph, your victory."

So it's like a battlefield where enemies are talking to each other, and at the end of the battle, the foe is vanquished, laying down, prospered in the mud. And the vanquished foe is trampled and taunted and derided and mocked, "Where now is all of your vaunted power O death, what's become of all of your terrifying weapons now?"

And I love this expression, "Death is swallowed up in victory." Swallowed up. For those of you who like sports, Christ didn't eke out a one-point victory in double overtime over death. He swallows it up in victory. Swallowed up. Consumed. Overwhelmed death. How so? How so? Well, because death can never do anything to him again, and after our resurrection, death will never be able to do anything to us either. We're gonna be celebrating this victory for all eternity, that's death swallowed up in victory.

And Christ has rescued a multitude greater than anyone could count from every nation on Earth, and death will have no power over any of them either. So death is taunted here, Paul's quoting Isaiah 25 and Hosea 13, but he changes the word slightly from the old testament to focus on the victory aspects, zeroing in on victory, to rejoice over death and celebrate it totally.

Now, where did death get its existence and its power? Look at Verse 56, "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law." We should not imagine that death is merely a biological issue. You hear this a lot. "Death is just a natural part of life." No, it's not, death's an interloper, an enemy. God didn't create us to kill us, but sin entered the world through one man and death through sin. 

And then the law came. The law came to draw sin out and make it evident and apparent, it's holy and righteous and good. But it wasn't brought in to solve the sin problem and the death problem, not at all. Verse 20 of Romans 5 says, "The law was added so that the trespass might increase." That's strange. Yeah, let's get it all out. Let's see how big sin and death really are. You wanted an education in evil, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Here it is, look at it.

So the law was added for that purpose, and then Paul himself said... Personally, Romans 7:9, "Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died." We are all lawbreakers, we have the root of lawlessness inside our hearts. We are the ones out in the street spiritually rebelling against King Jesus and against God's kingdom, that's us.

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But Christ's death on the cross paid the penalty the law demanded for our sin. He died the death we deserved, and He removed for all time the stinger from the Scorpion or the spider of death, removed the stinger, "Where O death is your sting?" There's no sting for us. And it says, triumphantly in Verse 57, "Thanks be to God, he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." This is awesome. Thanks be to God. We're gonna spend eternity saying that, thanks to be to God.

It's like he said at the end of Romans 7, "What a wretched man I am, who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord." It's the same thing. I am looking forward to thanking God for my resurrection for all eternity, I'm looking forward to thanking God for yours too. I'll be so liberated from myself that I would care as much about your rescue as my own when I get to heaven. And I will celebrate it and say, "Thanks be to God for your resurrection victory and for my own."


Alright, so what application do we take of our resurrection? Well, Verse 58. And if any of you have been here all along as I've been preaching, 1 Corinthians 15, you may have heard this verse before. I basically decided to make it the application of every sermon I preach from 1 Corinthians 15, but here it is. And now it's time to look at it.

"Therefore, because of all of this magnificent truth... Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm, let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." So Paul lands the plane here on labor in the Lord, on the demeanor of Christians while they live in this world. He's zealous for our work in our labor in the Lord. A different translation says, "Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." He uses two different words, work in the Lord, labor in the Lord. So that's any work done for Jesus Christ, motivated by the Holy Spirit, but especially perhaps our spiritual gift ministries that he discussed, using our spiritual gifts, our labor in the Lord. But perhaps even more than that as we build up the church to maturity, it's the labor of evangelism. Doing the work of an evangelist proclaiming this good news to a world that desperately needs to hear it. Our labor in the Lord. That's what he's talking about, and he yearns for them to not give up those works.

This Corinthian church, this tempted, tried, assaulted Corinthian church to keep on doing their works for the Lord, to not give up through discouragement. Those labors and those works that God is using to build up the church to the end of time. Don't stop doing those works. And he talks about their demeanor, their attitude, their carriage as you would. Their approach to life, be steadfast and immovable, always abounding.

So defensively, offensively. So defensively, let nothing move you. Don't get swept away. Be steadfast and immovable. That's what he's talking about. Two words in Greek gave a sense of unshakable determination in the face of overwhelming forces. So he's really going after their morale. Can I just stop and ask? What's your morale these days? Are you steadfast and immovable in hope, in joy, in energy? Steadfast, protecting your attitude, your demeanor. Be steadfast and immovable. Don't let the flood of what Satan is doing, is temptations and accusations in the world, the flesh, and the devil, sweep you away. I have a better idea. Let's turn the thing around offensively, let's be the flood that sweeps His kingdom away. Jesus said, "No one can plunder a strong man unless he first ties up the strong man, then he can rob his house."

This has been 20 centuries of plundering Satan's house. Hey, let's take part. What do you say? He said in Matthew 16, "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it or prove stronger," That's a defense mechanism by Satan, and by death. We're coming at the gates and we win, we are the flood. And every one of the unconverted elect to the ends of the earth is going to be rescued. None of them are gonna be missed, he's gonna raise all of them up at the last day.

And so we're the flood, be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Abounding, be rich, superabundance. Let not your works and labors for Christ be few, let every day be lived fully to the glory of Christ, do all the works that God has ordained for you to do. He's gone ahead of you and set up works for you to walk in. Don't have a batting average, get them all. I want it, Lord, I don't wanna miss any of the good works you've gone ahead of me and prepared today. I wanna be abounding in the work of the Lord, always. Not some days. My abounding in the work of the Lord days are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. No, don't do that. Always be abounding in the work of the Lord, every day be rich.

And why? Why? Because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. That's what he says. How do we know? This is the whole point of this whole chapter, 57 verses of resurrection body means work hard for Jesus. You know this by faith. And labor in the Lord is not in vain. That brings me back to the Book of Ecclesiastes. You remember where he... The depressed... The most depressed writer of scripture ever. Vanity of vanities. Everything is vanity. All of our works are vanity, all our relationships are vanity. Everything's vanity. Well, that's true, because we die and sink into the... But if there is a resurrection, and if the works we do for the Lord now actually make a difference in eternity, winning people to Christ, building other saints up in the faith, all of that goes across Judgment Day into eternity, then our labor in the Lord is not in vain. That's the link, he begins, verse 58 with, therefore, because of 57 verses of resurrection truth. Work hard for Jesus.

So when we look around at current events, we look at things that are going on in our country, we should care, we should occasionally weep, we should pray. We should do various tasks that God's assigned for us to do. People have different callings in life. We should do them for the Glory of God, we should pray for Christians in government to be like Daniel was in a pagan government in Babylon. Salt and light in influencers, we need to pray for brothers and sisters that are doing that, and pray that their labor in the Lord would not be in vain, 'cause we know it's not.

For you who are listening to me who are not yet Christians or weren't when you heard this message at the beginning, I pray that now you believe in Christ, that I proclaim plainly that Christ has been raised from the dead. And that He came to remove the sting of sin, which is the law, that you violated the laws, but Jesus came to take your punishment on Himself. He died in the place of sinners. Trust in Him. I want you to be shining like the sun on that final day because you believe in Jesus. You don't need to do any good works for the forgiveness of your sins. All the work has been done by Jesus, trust in Him.

And for those of you that are Christians and just rejoice in your future resurrection, study this chapter, I hope you get the sense that I've gone rather quickly through these seven points. That you could go back this afternoon and meditate on each of them. So feed on it, ponder the details of the resurrection body. As I said last week, don't fear aging and death. Don't fear it. Be ready to die well, die filled with hope, if the Lord calls you to not be one of the final generation, but actually to go through physical death, die well, die in hope knowing that you're gonna be raised first before those that are still alive at the second coming. And always be abounding in the work of the Lord. Use your spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ. Encourage, use your gifts, whatever God's gifts are, that he's given you. And be rich in good works and be active in evangelism and in missions.

We're surrounded by people who are without hope and without God in the world. And they need us to be filled with hope. I believe you have in these 58 verses, everything you need as a Christian to be filled with good hope, close with me in prayer. Father, we thank you for the time we've had over weeks now to walk through this incredible chapter, and I thank you for these nine verses with which it closes.

I pray, Father, that you would strengthen each one of us. Fill us with good hope, fill us with joy, fill us with energy, and enable us, O Lord, to do the good works of both evangelism and discipleship that you've gone ahead of us to prepare. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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