“HAPPILY EVER AFTER?”
Week Five – “Body Beautiful” I Corinthians 15:35-52
Everyone has an “ever after”. Some will have a “happy ever after” and some will not.
The “happy ever after” place is Heaven. We have talked about that.
Last we talked about the “horrible ever after” place called hell.
Now that we know where our spirits will go, what happens to our bodies after we die? Will we float around on clouds forever?
I. THE NEW BODY IS REAL, V. 36-38
Why do you think the Great Apostle addresses this issue?
Then, like now, there were many false theories and bad ideas about what would happen following death – both to the spirit, but in particular – to our bodies.
Surveys say 30% of Americans believe in reincarnation……..
Even more troubling is 20% of professed evangelical Christians say they also believe in reincarnation.
Death Is Necessary For Resurrection – V. 36
The New Springs From The Old, Vv. 37-38
(Note His Illustration Of The Seed)
“We see that the blueprint for our glorified bodies are in the bodies we now possess. While orthodoxy (Christian doctrine) does not dictate that every cell of our present bodies will be restored in the resurrection, it does require continuity between our earthly bodies and our heavenly bodies. Just as there is continuity between our earthly bodies and the bodies we had at birth – even though all those cells and sub atomic particles have been replaced and renewed – so too there will be continuity from death to resurrection, despite the fact that not every particle in our bodies will be restored. In fact without continuity, there is no point in even using the word ‘resurrection’”. – (Hank Hangraaf – “Resurrection”)
Joni Eareckson Tada, is a beautiful lady, inside and out. She was paralyzed in a diving accident while still a teen and has spent the last 40 years as a paraplegic. She wrote about her trials in her book “Heaven Your Real Home”. “Somewhere in my broken paralyzed body is the seed of what I shall become. The paralysis that makes what I am to become all the more grand when you contrast the atrophied, useless legs against the splendorous resurrected legs. I am convinced that if there are mirrors in heaven (and why not?), the image I will see will be unmistakably ‘Joni’ although a much better, brighter Joni!”
THE NEW BODY IS REAL! Not only is it real but…..
II. THE NEW BODY IS RECOGNIZABLE
A question many have is this, “Will we know our loved ones and will they know us in heaven?”
Let me ask you this – “Do you think we will know more in heaven than we know now or will we know less?”
Of course! Not only will we be able to recognize everyone we love – we will love everyone we see it heaven!
Famous Missionary, Amy Carmichael wrote, “Shall we know each other in heaven? Shall we love and remember? I don’t think one need wonder about this or doubt for one single moment! For if we just think, we know! Would you be yourself if you did not remember? Your memories are an important part of you! We are told we shall be like our Lord Jesus and does He not know and love and remember? He would not be Himself if He did not! And we should not be ourselves if we did not!”
I find three examples of resurrected bodies in the Bible. Of course, there was Jesus, who appeared to thousands for 40 days following His resurrection. You will recall that he could be seen and recognized and touched and that he ate with them. His new body bore a new and improved version of His earthly body!
On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James and John saw Moses and Elijah and they recognized them – even though they had never seen them before!
THE NEW BODY IS RECOGNIZABLE! Not only is it recognizable but….
III. THE NEW BODY IS RADICALLY DIFFERENT. V. 35
The New Body Will Be Indestructible – V. 42
Unlike our earthly bodies which age and wear out and are plagued by diseases – our new bodies will be perfect and stay that way forever!
The New Body Will Be Glorious, V. 43a
The word “glory” = “brilliance” – Philippians 3:21 says, “who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
The New Body Will Be Powerful, V. 43b
Jesus was able to walk through doors and into locks rooms………
The New Body Will Be Spiritual, V. 44a
Fitted for an eternal spiritual Kingdom – not ghosts or spirits………
THE NEW BODY WILL BE RADICALLY DIFFERENT! Not only that but.
IV. THE NEW BODY IS REVEIVED AT CHRIST’S RETURN, V. 51-52
Finally, Paul addresses the question, “Who will be resurrected and when?”
Those saints who have died will arise first and receive their beautiful eternal bodies.
The believers who still remain and are alive at the coming of Christ will then be supernaturally transformed as they rise to meet Him in the air.
The Apostle speaks to that in another passage:
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” I Thessalonians 4:16-17
WHAT IF YOU COULD HAVE THAT BEAUTIFUL BODY WITH NO DIETS OR WORKOUTS?
WHAT IF YOU WOULD SPEND AS MUCH TIME AND EFFORT AND ENERGY DEVELOPING YOUR SPIRIT AS YOU DO TRYING TO DEVELOP YOUR BODY?
YOU KNOW THAT BODY YOU ARE DYING TO HAVE. IF YOUR SPIRIT IS RIGHT WHEN YOU DIE YOU WILL HAVE THE BEAUTIFUL BODY ONE DAY – RESURRECTION DAY!
It Will Be Real – It Will Be Recognizable – It Will Be Radically Different – AND – It Will Be Received At Christ’s Return!