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Your Friends and the Resurrection 

First Corinthians 15.31–34

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • September 24, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. Job asked,

    “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14.14)

    1. What do you think?
    2. People all over the world
      1. in every age
      2. have asked this question.
        1. It must be something inherently within us.
        2. Solomon put it this way,

          He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end (Ecc 3.11).
  2. God made us with the concept of eternity in our hearts. 
    1. Somehow we know that life comes with more than this experience.
    2. We know that when we die,
      1. we live again, so,
      2. we want to live again.
  3. We also sense that religion has something to do with eternity. 
    1. Therefore, we read the Bible and discover that living by its precepts
    2. we become successful, content, at peace, and other good things
      1. while living on the earth.
      2. That leads us to want to know what it says about living after we die.
        1. We discover that it says much about our manner of living now and
        2. how it connects our earthly manner of living with our eternity.
  4. I want to show you a place in the Bible 
    1. where it teaches that our manner of living affects our eternity.
    2. In First Corinthians 15, Paul explained why
      1. the future resurrection of the dead shall happen.
      2. Part of his argument involved showing
        1. that we have to live in anticipation of the resurrection,

          31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” 33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame (1Co 15.31–34).
        2. See that the resurrection connects your life with eternity.


  1. Why Did Paul Mention “Evil Company” in His Teaching on the Resurrection? 
    1. First, he warned them not to be deceived, because
      1. false teachers at Corinth taught that the dead are not raised.
      2. Do not let anyone deceive you
        1. into thinking that there is no resurrection.
          1. Either such teachers desire to corrupt you or
          2. they do not want to cease their own corrupt living.
        2. The point being, denying the resurrection comes from ulterior motives.
    2. Notice in verse 32,
      1. Paul agreed that if the dead shall not arise,
        1. let’s eat and drink, enjoy our lives the way that we want to, because
        2. tomorrow we might be dead.
      2. On the other hand, knowing of the future resurrection
        1. we live in anticipation of facing our Creator.
        2. We want our manner of life to please Him.
          1. Yet, evil wants us to ignore God and the resurrection.
          2. Do not underestimate the power of the influence of evil.
    3. Therefore, in verse 34 Paul exhorted us to awake to righteousness.
      1. Do not sin, because the dead are raised.
      2. Paul said, those denying the resurrection have no knowledge of God, for
        1. He teaches that there is a resurrection and
        2. that our lives determine our eternal destiny.
    4. Matthew 22 shows a conversation that Jesus had with the Sadducees.
      1. Remember that they did not believe in the resurrection.
        1. They thought that they found an argument against the resurrection.
        2. They presented a situation to Jesus of a woman who had been married
          1. to seven brothers, one at a time.
          2. In their minds a woman cannot have more than one husband.
            1. Therefore, in the resurrection
            2. they wanted to know which brother would have her for a wife.
      2. Listen to Jesus pounce on them,

        29 Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. 31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32 ‘I am [not I was, DR] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ ? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matt 22.29–32).

        1. Marriage does not continue after death in the afterlife.
        2. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob exist right now.
          1. When the resurrection happens,
          2. God will reunite them with their bodies.
        3. Paul in First Corinthians 15.34, simply affirmed
          1. what Jesus said in Matthew 22, that
          2. “some do not have the knowledge of God.”
    5. Therefore, if you hear an alleged believer deny the resurrection,
      1. you can know
        1. that he does not know the Scriptures,
        2. that he does not know the power of God, and
        3. that he has an ulterior motive.
      2. Do not listen to anymore of his teaching.
    6. Listen to how Paul ended his teaching on the resurrection,

      Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1Co 15.58).

      1. Your good life in Christ matters.
      2. Likewise, an evil life will keep one from living with God.
  2. A Closer Look At First Corinthians 15.33

    Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits” (1Co 15.33).

    1. There are two kinds of company you can keep: Good or Evil.
    2. What is companionship?
      1. Fellowship, association, friendship, keeping company with another, mate.
      2. Does that mean we cannot have friends in the world?
        1. No.
        2. Back in First Corinthians 5, Paul had said,

          9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world (1Co 5.9–10).
    3. We have to associate with the people of the world.
      1. However, it depends upon the foundation of that friendship.
      2. Is it built upon
        1. being neighbors,
        2. co-workers,
        3. a common interest, or
          1. is it built upon a sin?
          2. Do you follow that person into sin?
      3. The Bible warns of this in other places,

        Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (Jam 4.4).

        14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God (2Co 6.14–18).

        Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? (Amos 3.3)

        1. If you seek to please the world, you will displease God.
        2. If you fellowship the darkness, yourself alienate from the light.
        3. If you agree to lawlessness, you become an enemy of God.
    4. Evil companionships corrupt good lives.
      1. Look at what happened to Solomon.
        1. The Lord had warned against marriages with idolatrous nations.
        2. First Kings 11 shows what happened to the wise Solomon,

          For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David (1Ki 11.4).
      2. Listen to Nehemiah make a point to his brethren who did the same,

        “Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless pagan women caused even him to sin (Neh 13.26).
    5. Therefore,

      Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits” (1Co 15.33),

      1. and remember the resurrection.


  1. We need to nail these down in our minds: 
    1. After life comes death.
    2. After death comes the resurrection.
    3. After the resurrection comes the Judgment (Heb 9.27).
      1. At the Judgment our lives come into view.
      2. Then after the Judgment comes eternity and
        1. the destiny of our eternity
        2. will have been determined by our lives.
  2. Now consider Psalm 50
    1. This Psalm shows that God knows how we think.
    2. He knows that we forget Him and the resurrection because
      1. He says nothing to us about our behavior.
      2. He knows that we conclude He must be like us.
        1. Our silence often means that we have ignored or forgotten something.
        2. However, that is not the case with Him,

          16 But to the wicked God says:
          “What right have you to declare My statutes,
          Or take My covenant in your mouth,
          17 Seeing you hate instruction
          And cast My words behind you?”

          1. Why do the wicked think
          2. that they can draw conclusions from His words?
        3. What was the evidence that they ignored Him?

          18 “When you saw a thief, you consented with him,
          And have been a partaker with adulterers.
          19 You give your mouth to evil,
          And your tongue frames deceit.
          20 You sit and speak against your brother;
          You slander your own mother’s son.”
        4. How did God respond to their evil?

          21 “These things you have done, and I kept silent;
          You thought that I was altogether like you;
          But I will rebuke you,
          And set them in order before your eyes.”

          1. He waits for repentance.
          2. He wants His goodness to change us.
        5. True, no one has heard from God,
          1. no one has received a rebuke from Him, but
          2. do not misinterpret His silence.
        6. He revealed next that He will do something about our behavior,

          22 “Now consider this, you who forget God,
          Lest I tear you in pieces,
          And there be none to deliver:
          23 Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;
          And to him who orders his conduct aright
          I will show the salvation of God.”
          (Psa 50.16–23)

          1. Once God takes action against evil,
          2. no one can deliver the evildoer from God.
            1. However, if you praise God and
            2. live has He has taught,
              1. you will see the salvation of God.
              2. This happens at the Judgment.
  3. How then should you live?