It’s About the Resurrection, Stupid

Remember the slogan President Clinton used in his campaign for office in the early 1990’s? “It’s the economy, Stupid.” They boiled big issues down into one brazen, attention grabbing statement.

So, when it comes to death, I’d say, “It’s the resurrection, stupid.” No disrespect intended to you who read this, of course.

But there’s so much error and wrong emphasis on what happens when someone dies. When I die and wake up in heaven, it may be that years have passed. I do not believe the Scriptures teach there’s some sort of intermediate state I’ll go into when I die. Paul’s teachings in 1 Corinthians 15 make that quite plain.

So what about hell and eternal punishment for the wicked? The word translated “hell” in the Scriptures, particularly in the King James Version, in reality means nothing more than the grave. That’s the first death. Revelation 20:14 refers to a second death–the end of all death.

Here’s the crux of the matter. I’m convinced we don’t take death seriously enough. We don’t realize what it really means. One day when we as believers are in Glory, we’ll see the stark difference between the eternal life we’ll have then and eternal death. We’ll see that death is indeed the cessation of existence, and that that is the ultimate punishment–the worse punishment possible.

When Paul refers to death having a sting, he’s not kidding. Death is meant to be painful in this present world. Grief is justified. We’re reminded rather brutally of man’s fall as told in Genesis 3.

But there’s hope for those who are believers in Jesus Christ. Thank God for victory over death through resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:19-22, 26, 45, 50-57
19. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive….
26. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death….
45. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit….
50. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51. Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall 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 shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56. The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Revelation 20:14
14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Philippians 3:10-14
10. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11. If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible Study, Thoughts from John

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