View from the Pew – Resurrection Consequences

Can you answer these questions from last week’s sermon?

Q1: Where in the Old Testament can you find an early description of how believers’ and unbelievers’ bodies will be resurrected?

Q2: At the resurrection, our (believers) bodies will go to heaven to be reunited with what?

Q3: Where do the resurrected bodies of unbelievers go?

Q4: Something special happens to a believer’s body in heaven. What is it?

Q4: An unbeliever’s resurrected body will be made fit for what?

Q5: What did the Greeks and Romans believe happens after death?

Q6: Did Jesus’ enemies at the time of His death also believe that he rose from the dead?

Q7: What three things testify to the historical truth of the resurrection?

Q8: Who was the Roman Pharisee that was miraculously changed into a man that loved Jesus?

Q9: What becomes worthless if our bodies are not resurrected?

Q10: What is man’s greatest need?

Paul is still talking to us about our resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15, which is an essential theme of the gospel. Daniel 12:1-3 gives us a glimpse into what resurrection looks like for believers and unbelievers.

During the resurrection, the material bodies of believers are reunited with their immaterial disembodied spirits that are already in the presence of the Lord. These bodies are then glorified and fit for heaven.The resurrected bodies of unbelievers go to Sheol or hell and are fit for the Lake of Fire.

The apostles speak of the “dead” in Christ as unbelievers awaiting a “resurrection unto death.” They speak of believers as those who are “asleep in the grave” or “alive” in Christ. The Greeks and Romans did not believe this. They believed that once a person dies, their spirit gets absorbed back into God. Paul tells the Corinthian church that this notion has disastrous consequences. He proceeds to lay out three proofs of the veracity of the gospel preached about Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection.

Proof #1: The Testimony of Scripture

Jesus’ whole life, death, burial, and resurrection was prophesied in the Old Testament and fulfilled exactly as scripture said it would be. Paul, the twelve disciples, Peter, James, and over five hundred people, witnessed the resurrection. Because of the mountain of proof during this time, no one, including Jesus’ enemies, denied that Christ’s resurrection happened. These enemies tried to cover it up by paying off the Roman guards at the tomb.

No one questions if President Lincoln was shot and killed at Ford’s Theater in 1865 because witnesses saw it, talked about it, wrote about it, and the evidence was examined over and over from that moment until now, just like Jesus’ death. Neither event has a witness that we can now question in person. They are all dead. However, the historical fact of both dead men is proven in the same way.

Proof #2: The Testimony of a Changed Life

Paul was a third-generation Pharisee. He was a highly educated debater and a Roman citizen. Paul was miraculously transformed from a zealot who hated Jesus (Acts 8:3, 22:4-5) to a man who loved Him and spread the Gospel.

Proof #3: The Testimony of the Church

Millions of believers all over the world, in an un-broken timeline, join together to express belief in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of a human man named Jesus. The church believes this of Him and the fact that he said we (human believers) will rise to life again with Him in heaven. Paul points out that you cannot deny the future resurrection of humans, and at the same time, accept Jesus’s resurrection without doing damage to the truth of his humanity. If our resurrection is not a certainty, then our faith is in vain.

“Jesus suffered as a human, was tempted as a human, was buried as a human, and He rose as a human, or He didn’t rise at all.”

Pastor Steve Wilson

If the god-man Christ did not rise from the dead, then we will not rise from the dead, and our faith is worthless. We, therefore, will die still in our sin. The forgiveness of sins is man’s greatest need, and without the completed work of Christ, there is no forgiveness of sins. Paul points out how pitiful we would be if Christ were only helpful to us in this life. It is His true resurrection that secures our bliss in the next life.

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Melissa Strautman

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