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The General Resurrection

Our bodies shall be raised on the last day

First Corinthians 15.35–54

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • April 22, In the year of our Lord, 2018


  1. As Job suffered immensely, he cried out to God,

    13 “Oh, that You would hide me in the grave,
    That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past,
    That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
    14 If a man dies, shall he live again?
    All the days of my hard service I will wait,
    Till my change comes.”
    (Job 14.13–14)

    1. Job did not know the answer, but
    2. he had that longing, because
      1. as Solomon said in the Book of Ecclesiastes,
      2. God created us with with the longing to live on,

        11 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 (Ecclesiastes 3.11).
  2. Eternity is in our hearts,
    1. that is why we do everything we can to live long, but
    2. we can only fulfill this longing
      1. through the event for which Job longed and hoped for,
      2. that of the resurrection of the body.
        1. As Solomon said further,
        2. that while we have eternity in the heart,
          1. we cannot find out the work that God does
          2. from beginning to end,
            1. we cannot figure out how He will make eternity happen, but
            2. we just know that He shall resurrect us and then
              1. we will enter eternity.
              2. Our part is to prepare for that great event.


  1. Everyone Shall Be Raised
    1. John 5 records Jesus as prophesying
      1. that the resurrection shall include every single person,

        28 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5.28–29).
      2. Marveling at this…
        1. Sure, imagining this happening makes us marvel, but
        2. do not let that lead you to believe that it cannot happen, for
          1. He who created all life,
          2. can re-create it again.
        3. Therefore, do not marvel
          1. that the Creator can resurrect
            1. all the dead
            2. from all history
            3. at the same time.
          2. Rather simply look forward to that event!
      3. Even as Lazarus heard the voice of Jesus and came out of the tomb,
        1. so every person
        2. in every grave and
        3. anywhere else
          1. that they may have died and
          2. not been buried,
        4. shall hear the voice of the Son of God and come forth!
      4. This will include both
        1. those who have done good and
        2. those who have done evil.
          1. That is a way of saying that not one of us shall be left out.
          2. You cannot avoid the resurrection
            1. by saying that you want no part in Jesus or
            2. by saying that you are not a Christian.
      5. Those who have done good shall be resurrected to life.
      6. Those who have done evil shall be resurrected to condemnation.
    2. Revelation 1 shows that decades later John wrote again,
      1. that everyone shall see the returning Jesus,

        7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen (Revelation 1.7).
      2. Even the people who tried to get rid of Him,
        1. shall see Him because
        2. He will have raised them from the dead upon His return.
  2. Our Bodies Shall Be Raised
    1. If our bodies shall not be raised, then
      1. it is not a resurrection.
      2. The resurrection refers not to the spirit, but
        1. to the body, for
        2. it dies when the spirit leaves.
          1. The spirit survives the death of the body and
          2. when the spirit re-enters the body you have a resurrection.
    2. The Bible makes it clear that our bodies shall be resurrected.
      1. Some question how a resurrection could possibly happen,
        1. considering that most of the world’s dead bodies
        2. have completely decomposed.
      2. First Corinthians 15 shows
        1. that Paul anticipated some Christians
        2. questioning how the resurrection of the body could happen.
    3. At one time, I did not realize that it is a bodily resurrection.
      1. My friend Steve Lloyd showed me what the Bible teaches.
      2. I am not sure what I thought was going to be resurrected, but
        1. I think I got something confused and
        2. it is probably what many other people do who dispute the bodily resurrection.
          1. We know that flesh and blood cannot inherit heaven.
          2. So we confuse the end product with the way it begins.
            1. We know that we shall have a spiritual body.
            2. Thus, we tend to think our natural bodies will not rise.
    4. Listen to First Corinthians 15, noting the wording carefully,

      35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” 36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:35–54).
    5. Our spirits shall re-enter our bodies, but
      1. when that happens,
      2. the Lord shall change our bodies
        1. from natural ones
        2. to spiritual ones.
    6. Someone says: I do not like my body.
      1. Verse 38 said that God will give us a body as He pleases.
      2. This is not about us; it is about Him.
    7. From verse 42 through verse 48 Paul explained
      1. that our spiritual bodies will be bodies of glory.
      2. They will not be capable of decay, but
        1. as we shall see,
        2. they will be wonderfully glorious bodies.
    8. Verse 49 creeps up on us and we may not realize what Paul declared,

      49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man (1 Corinthians 15.49).

      1. We have bodies similar to the body that Adam had.
      2. At the resurrection, we shall a body like the body that Jesus currently has.
  3. Our Bodies Shall Be Changed
    1. First John 3 says
      1. that as children of God
      2. we shall be like Jesus,

        2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3.2).
    2. Philippians 3 speaks of our thinking.
      1. As opposed to those who mind earthly things,
      2. Paul showed where our minds are when he said,

        20 [Our] citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself (Philippians 3.20–21).
    3. Do you want to see what the body of Jesus is like now?
      1. When John wrote First John 3.2,
      2. he had not seen the body of Jesus as it is now.
    4. However, in Revelation 1, we discover
      1. that John got to see the glorious body of Jesus Christ,

        12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength (Revelation 1.12–16).
      2. John noticed first the overwhelming sight of light, the lampstands.
      3. Then he could make out a man standing in the middle of the lampstands.
        1. The man wore a garment down to the feet.
        2. The man’s head and hair were white,
          1. white like wool and
          2. white as the snow.
        3. The man’s eyes looked like a flame of fire.
        4. The man’s feet looked like brass that had been refined in a furnace.
        5. The man’s face shined brightly like the sun in its full strength.
    5. The followers of Jesus Christ will resemble that picture of Jesus Christ.


  1. Are you ready?

    15 As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
    I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.
    (Psalms 17:15)

    3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure (1 John 3.3).