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The Daily Word of Righteousness
He Will Never Die, #9
They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. (Luke 24:42,43—NIV)
This is what it means to live. This is what we will experience in the future if we keep on believing in Jesus.
I don't know about you, but having been raised on the East coast I much prefer the idea of standing by the ocean and eating broiled fish or crabmeat or clam chowder or lobster to the thought of floating around in the spirit realm doing nothing of significance.
The bodily resurrection from the dead will complete our return to normal life. If our destiny were eternal residence in Heaven there would be no need for the resurrection from the dead. The purpose for the resurrection of our flesh and bone body is that we might continue a normal life on the earth.
The resurrection from the dead is so important the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians is devoted to it.
The resurrection from the dead is the blessed hope of the Christian Gospel, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. This major doctrine is being ignored in favor of an unscriptural "rapture" of the believers to Heaven. We of today believe there will be a bodily resurrection of the believers, but we are very confused about it. We do not understand even the difference between the resurrection of our flesh and bone, and the body from Heaven that is being fashioned from our behavior.
The doctrine of the resurrection has been destroyed. We do not really believe in it anymore and the thought of it does not influence our behavior. This is unfortunate because our behavior today is determining what kind of resurrection we shall have. The Evangelical churches need to preach this truth because American Christians are going to reap corruption in the Day of Resurrection. Many of them are living in the flesh, not realizing they are affecting what they will experience in the Day of Christ.
The Apostle Paul had no confidence in the value of our living forever in the spirit realm. He believed that if we are not to be resurrected we have missed the whole Gospel plan of salvation.
For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. (I Corinthians 15:16-19—NIV)
The context of the above passage reveals that when Paul said "if only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men" he did not mean we also have hope in Christ in Heaven. He meant that if we had no hope of being restored to life in the resurrection we are to be pitied.
The current Christian mythology of eternal residence in a mansion in Heaven was not known to the Apostle Paul. Paul groaned for the immortalizing of his physical body that he might continue life on the earth. This is the central hope of the Gospel of the Kingdom—the resumption of life on the earth in an immortal, sin-free body.
To be continued.