The Mature Christian Anticipates the Resurrection, Part 2

Excerpted and Adapted from Preparing for Heaven: A Guide for Going Home to God, by Steve Swartz

July 6, 2020

 

Heaven: Our Glorious New Home, Part 6

In the city of Corinth in the Apostle Paul’s day, some in the church were proclaiming, “There is NO resurrection of the dead.” But Paul had an answer to this claim. Paul, in essence, replied: If there is no resurrection from the dead, then not even Christ has been raised! And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain! We’ve been misrepresenting God! And if we’ve been misrepresenting God then your faith is pointless and useless and wasted, and you are still going to die in your sins! In fact, if in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. If the dead are not raised, then let us eat and drink—let’s just party until we’re numb, for tomorrow we die (1 Cor 15:13–19, 32).

When God created mankind, He created us as both physical and spiritual beings, but because of sin, death entered the world. The spiritual deadness of the soul and the coming physical deadness of our bodies now comes to all of us. Redemptive history is the story of God returning mankind to the glory that Adam and Eve enjoyed in the Garden of Eden—a perfect physical and spiritual life in the presence of God to enjoy all the goodness of His creation. This is also known as the doctrine of the resurrection of the saints.

Why is the doctrine of resurrection important? Because Jesus Christ was the firstborn from the dead and was the first to die and rise, never to die again. He is preeminent over all the saints who will rise again. He is the crux of the issue, the core of resurrection and our motivation to do the work of the Lord is our upcoming resurrection in Christ.



"Preparing for Heaven: A Guide to Going Home to God"

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Steve Swartz, D.Min

Dr. Swartz is the senior teaching pastor of Grace Bible Church in Bakersfield, California and author of Shattered Shepherds and Strength in the River. You can hear him on the Steadfast in the Faith broadcast.


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