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I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE


1 INTRODUCTION

John 11:24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;

John 11:26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

The context is the occasion of the death of Lazarus. Jesus himself cried when he was faced with the death of one his close associates. He was touched by the gruesomeness of the fact of death. If it was not a serious thing, there was no reason for Jesus to cry. He could have explained to Mary that it is only a passing body. Let it rot. Lazarus is still there, though you cannot see him now. No. that is not what Jesus said. He went on to do something to restore Lazarus. Evidently this was not the resurrection, since resurrection cannot take place until the power of resurrection is released by Jesusí resurrection. Lazarus died again declaring that the power of death is still present. resurrection is not accomplished yet. But we do look forward to it.

1.2. THE OLD TESTAMENT CONNECTION

The Old Testament in their earlier part does not specifically mention anything about resurrection. But allusions to it may be found scattered all over, so that we may assume that it was tacitly acknowledged.

For example:

Gen 22:5 Abraham said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you."

Author of Hebrew explains this statement as Abrahamís faith in Godís ability to bring back dead.

Heb 11:19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.

Psalmist declares this concept of resurrection:

Psa 49:15 But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself.

Isaiah prophesied about the resurrection of the dead at the end time before the day of the Lord, the judgment day.

Isa 26:19 But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.

The latter verses goes on to the description of the Judgment day indicating a time frame for resurrection.

Another clear reference to the resurrection at the end is given in Daniel.

Dan 12:13 "As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance."

But the greatest declaration of faith in resurrection was made by Job:

Job 19:25 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

Job 19:26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;

Job 19:27 I myself will see him with my own eyes--I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

It was however clearly taught in the Apocryphal books of the Old Testament especially in the Book of Wisdom 3:1 and 4:15 and also in the II Maccabees 7:14,23,and 29)

The doctrine of resurrection was commonly believed by the common Jew and this can be inferred from the reference in the Gospel.

Among the devout Jews there were two groups of people Saduccees and the Pharisees. Pharisees firmly believed in the resurrection of man in flesh - i.e., the bodily resurrection. However Saducees did not believe in that. They were the rationalists-- liberal theologians of the time. Among them were varying shades of teachings -- starting from the pure materialistic interpretation of annihilation of man with death to the resurrection of the spirit of man.. This they achieved by clever hermeneutics. Saducees did not give much authority to the prophets any way. In a liberal interpretation of the text, scripture that alludes to resurrection could be laid off either as poetic utterances or imagination of a pious man or wishful thinking and or as contextualy untenable. However the concept is reiterated by every Jew in his morning and evening prayers that repeats such terms as "from age to age" , " In ages to come" and "world without end.". Pharisees on the other hand believed that even the denial of the doctrine of resurrection of the dead would bring eternal damnation.

So the question was raised before Jesus by the Saducees. The problem presented was typical of the Saduccean approach. It was more a ridicule than inquiry.

Mat 22:23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.

Mat 22:24 "Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him.

Mat 22:25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother.

Mat 22:26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh.

Mat 22:27 Finally, the woman died.

Mat 22:28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?"

Mat 22:29 Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.

Mat 22:30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

Mat 22:31 But about the resurrection of the dead--have you not read what God said to you,

Mat 22:32 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."

Luke 20:34 Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.

Luke 20:35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage,

Luke 20:36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection.

Reply of Jesus was cleverer than their question. He points our to their ignorance of the other world. It was their inability to rise above the fallen nature that made them incapable of seeing the greater truth. Mathewís version emphasizes the immortality of the soul. Abraham, Issac and Jacob are not dead. They are still living. Lukeís version points out to the bodily resurrection that are to come in a later time. Yes man will be resurrected in body. But the relationships between man and woman and man and man are different, because they are the children of resurrection. They are like angels because they do not reproduce any more. Therefore the question of marriage does not arise.

Paul was a Pharisee and he claimed it to the end. So there is no question of interpreting any of his statements regarding resurrection other than bodily resurrection. In fact at least in one occasion he used his pharisaic faith in resurrection to win over the Pharisee group against the Saducces in his trial.

Acts 23:6 Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, "My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead."

Acts 23:7 When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.

Acts 23:8 (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.)

Then Paul unequivocaly states that he has the same hope as that of the Pharisees.

Acts 24:15 and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.

Any attempt to distort Paulís teachings to mean anything other than bodily resurrection would be a distortion of historical reality.

2. WHAT IS DEATH AND WHAT IS RESURRECTION?

The Greek word for resurrection is Ďanastasis which when translated means to make to stand or rise up. The evident meaning is to revert back or bring back to the original form.

2.1 RATIONALISM AND CAUSE EFFECT CONFUSION

In the recent years rationalists have come up with the interpretation that "raised from the death does not mean actual bodily resurrection." The question is certainly critical and the Apostles actually grappled with that  questions. This modern attempt is based on three tendencies.

2.11 HOW CAN THE BODY BE RESURRECTED?

First it is based on skepticism regarding bodily resurrection. How can a body that is decayed be formed again into the same original form?. We see death around. We bury our dead. Some are burned or even eaten by animals, birds and fishes. How are we to expect a reformation of these bodies back to human form.

The whole universe we know is in a flux. The external world of matter consists of matter in incessant motion. We know that body changes with time. The cells die and are replaced constantly. Living organisms grow in size, while they retain the essential form. But each individual has their unique form. What form each individual has is determined by two factors. The first factor decides the species form and the second is unique to each individual. If molecules are constantly changing, body is constantly changing. It is said that our body is completely changed every three years. Almost all our molecules are replaced by another similar one at the right place. After 60 years after 20 such cycles of change we still have our eyes and ears and noses and vital organs in the same relative place. There are changes in size and slight variations in shape. I have developed a bulging abdomen, while my athletic friend has very strong muscles. What makes this constancy of form with variations? Evidently our body is programmed somewhere so that cells are produced in exactly same way as and when required and placed in the right place. Such data is not body but it produces the body. It is a code. The body can be regenerated or recreated from the code. The code changes to some extent from person to person and is actually determined by the person. It is decided by the life style and thought pattern and state of a person in his interaction with the material world and the spiritual world. This is unique to every person in that sense. The body code therefore is in the soul. Body is essentially relational and positional matter. Evidently our body is programmed somewhere so that cells are produced in exactly same way as and when required and placed in the right place. Such data is not body but it produces the body. It is a code. The body can be regenerated or recreated from the code. The code changes to some extent from person to person and is actually determined by the person. It is decided by the life style and thought pattern and state of a person in his interaction with the material world and the spiritual world. This is unique to every person in that sense. The body code therefore is in the soul. It is part of his personality genetically started and developed by the uniqueness of person.. Even if the body is totally destroyed, the soul will be able to recreate the body. This explains the Christian concept of resurrection. "God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep........And the dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive, who are left shall be caught up together with them in the clouds" (2 Thess. 13-18)

Pharisees explained this in a mythical form in the following way. There is a small bone in the spine that is indestructible, and from this the whole man can be reconstructed. This may seem ridiculous. But we know today that the entire body can be reconstructed from one cell from a dead body. All information necessary are encoded in every human cell.

2.12 MAN WITHOUT BODY?

Second it is the influence of the New Age, which is nothing but the modern version of Hinduism. There are several variations in this group. Basically they consider that man is not his body. Man is the person or the personality or soul (Atma) that reside in the body. Body is only a garment. the soul may therefore change their outer garment and take another form. In fact the form of the body is selected according to the state of the soul. They therefore consider man a spirit being. All other outer forms are embellishments that the soul brings on due to his ignorance of his real state which is the identity with Godhead.

This is contrary to the basic Christian understanding of what man is. Man was created as a result of and consequent to the creation of the body. Human form is fundamental to man. Person is Body, soul and spirit. Only when all the three are joined together he is man. Any one part kept apart is not man. You may keep the dead body preserved for years. But that is not man. You may have the soul kept separate in its own dimension, But that is not man.

2.13 IS MATTER EVIL?

Third, it is based on the misunderstanding of the nature of Matter as understood by the scripture. Matter is not considered evil in Christian thought. Far from it. It is considered good.

After the creation of matter and all things God looked at them and said "they are good".

". And God saw that it was good."

But matter is now under a bondage of decay.

Gen 3:17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

Gen 3:18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

Gen 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

The direct and emphatic teaching of the bible is that earth and all matter is kept in bondage of decay and death because of the sin of man.

2.2 DID ADAM DIE THAT DAY?

The contention that the Biblical concept of the resurrection involves a spiritual rising of man out of sinĖdeath, [i.e. separation from God caused by sin]; a restoration of man to the presence of God

But we need to go a step further. Sin has alienated man from God. It is this an alienation that eventually leads to death.

In Genesis 2:15Ė17 God told man concerning the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil "in the day you eat thereof you will surely die." Man and woman ate of the fruit; did they die that day? Amazingly, most people will say "No!" because Adam and Eve did not die physically after they ate the forbidden fruit. But this is not the whole story.

The Argument usually presented is : " If Adam and Eve did not die the day they ate, then Satan told the truth and God lied! God said you will die in the day you eat, Satan said you will not surely die, Genesis 3:1ff. Who told the truth to Adam and Eve? Unless one can find Adam and Eve physically dead in Genesis 2Ė3 then the death they died was spiritual and not physical!" This may sound simple logic. But is it?

For one thing "on that day " does not even imply a 24 hour day. Even today Arabic word "yom" is used to denote a time span. Even in English language common use it implies a period only. It simply means because of the disobedience, death will come on you. Only a legalistic hermeneutics will permit a 24 hour day period. Elsewhere this concept is made clear by Peter.

2 Pet 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

Peter was talking about the second coming of our Lord.

How long did Adam live?

Gen 5:5 Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.

Did Adam die in that day?

In fact death came the instant Adam disobeyed. Decay and death started with disobedience. The fact that Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden and were kept from entering it was only the great mercy of God. A sinful person with a decaying body will be living in death if dissolution did not come and release man from this body.

"He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

Gen 3:23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken."

Gen 3:24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

There is an interesting story of a situation when the god of death went on strike in Hindu mythology. People were getting old and feeble. But death would not come. To live in decay even under regeneration that continue to decay will be a life of pain, suffering and misery. The situation is one that we face even today. We could prolong the life to a great extent with medicines. But does that help in alleviation of suffering? It brings back to memory the science fiction that I have read where an elixir of immortality was discovered. Elixir of immortality is not a solution to the dissolving decaying world. It will only agravate the situation. Was it mercy or punishment that God drove Adam and Eve out of Eden?

Even after the disobedience we see God seeking Adam. It was God who provided the garment of skin for Adam and Eve. God even talked to Cain and gives him counsel. God was not seperated from man. Adam was still Godís son. But he has subjected himself to death by sinning. God unlike a spoiling father refused to condone the sin and live with it. Adam has to take the consequence of his own action. Adam created his own environment. We all build our own bodies the way we eat, act and behave. We take the consequence of our own actions in our bodies as well as in our spirit and soul.

2.3 WHAT IS DEATH IN THE BIBLICAL SENSE?

Death therefore in the biblical sense is the process of decay leading to the dissolution of body from soul and spirit. This is the consequence of disobedience and sin. Hence we have the emphatic statement.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death.

Seperation and assertion of independence from God is not death in itself, it is the cause of death that finally brings to the end a moral death, a spiritual death and finally bodily death.

Wages are paid at the end of the service period not before.

This death is in the toal man - body, soul and spirit.

James summarizes this in the most beautiful way thus:

James 1:14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.

James 1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

So also Paul reiterates thus:

Rom 7:5 For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.

Rom 7:24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
(evidently Paul refers to the death in the body and not of spirit)

1 Cor 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

3. CREATON ITSELF WILL BE LIBERATED: Full implication of resurrection

It is this wholesome manhood that Jesus regained through his cross and resurrection.

In Jesus we not only have the resurrection and redemption of our bodies, he also obtained the redemption of the law of decay and death on the material world.

Let me make this point clear.

Rom 8:19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

Rom 8:20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope

Rom 8:21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Rom 8:22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

Rom 8:23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Rom 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?

Rom 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

The appearance of the sons of God - i.e. the redeemed people with redeemed bodies is a prerequisite to the material world to be liberated from the law of decay. See that these two are directly related. Because of the sin of man, the universe where we live in is subjected to decay and dissolution. The reverse action will take place when mankind is redeemed.

What is this body that Paul talks about?

What is this law that Paul talks about?

He is talking about the bodies that we now posses since we are eagerly waiting for the redemption of this body. The context is the creation - material, physical matter, the corpereal flesh and blood.

Creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay

One fundamental law of Physics which is not a priori, but is empirical and is not found violated is the second law of thermodynamics. This law in simple layman terms is that everything goes from order to disorder. We can build a highly ordered system - a car, a machine, a computer anything - but in time it will decay and nothing other than an intelligent being can restore order from this disorder. That is a universal law today. In scientific terms the movement from order to disorder is called increase in Entropy. Decrease in entropy means it goes from order to greater order. If entropy remains same no order is created nor any disorder is created in any change. In that case changes can only be effected by the intervention of an intelligence. In the current universe where we live entropy is always increasing. But it need not be so. There is no reason why it should not have been the other way round. The world could have gone from order to greater order by itself without the intervention of an intelligent agency. It must have been that way before the fall of Adam. Or at least the entropy would have remained constant when Adam entered the scene and Adam had the ability to choose the law of his universe. He favored the increase in entropy bringing in dissipation of energy and decay and death. It is this reversion that Paul refers to as "creation was subjected to frustration" ; "that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay"

Notice again that Paul speaks of redemption of our bodies as a the sign of becoming sons of God by adoption.

When Jesus said "I am the resurrection and the life" he was talking about the resurrection of man as a wholesome being. Instread of "death reigning in our bodies" i.e. on the matter as it does today, Jesus brings life to the mortal bodies.

Rom 6:9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.

Rom 6:10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

Did Jesus bring life? We do not see it. As it was with death, so it is with life. The resurrection power is released and it started at the tomb of Jesus. According to normal law of decay, Jesusís body would have been decayed. But it did not. What happened in that tomb was the greatest violation of the second law of thermodynamics - the law of order to disorder. Instead it went from a decaying body into a non decaying imperishable body. There was a reversal of the inviolable law of entropy in the tomb of Jerusalem 2000 years ago. It is this resurrection power that Jesus offers to every believer. A believer is not resurrected. But the force of decay is abated. But for the realisation of this into reality - we have to wait for it. Resurrection is not an accomplished fact for man yet. It is an offer. It starts the minute one puts his faith in Jeus christ.

1 Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

The same choice that Adam had is still with man. Will you choose life?

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;

John 11:26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

4. REALISATION OF RESURRECTION.

We are still awaitng this realisation, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us.

Donít be led astray by those who profess that the resurrection has taken place. Paul has clearly warned us against such false teachers.

2 Tim 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

2 Tim 2:16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.

2 Tim 2:17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,

2 Tim 2:18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.

We wait for this even today.

Rom 8:23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Rom 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?

Rom 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

There are today a large number of realised eschatologists. These are essentially people who have been led astray by the interpretations of times and periods. They were trying to predict the coming of Christ and repeatedly failed. If Christ did not come when they predicted it what are they to do. Reinterpret the coming of Christ to fit their timing. So they declared that Jesus has come. But where is he? The answer is "You canít see him. He has come in the spirit. He will not come in person. Resurrection has been achieved. Resurection is not bodily resurection but spirit." They reinterpret scripture to fit their failures.

5. RESURRECTED JESUS

5.1 DID JESUS RESURRECT IN BODY?

Ultimately the resurrection is to be related and understood in terms of the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus was the New Adam. He is the first fruit of resurrection.

The first evidence of resurrection was the empty tomb.

He is Risen

Mat 27:63 "Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise again.'

Mat 27:64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day.

The priests and the Pharisees understood the resurrection as bodily resurrection as they secured the tomb.

Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Acts 1:4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them,....

Basic thrust of Apostolic teaching was based on the bodily resurrection. Otherwise they were basing their appeal on halucination. Or if Jesus took up the body and showed it to them to prove his resurrection, Jesus was lying to them, end justifying the means, something which Jesus vehemently objected to. Was Jesus fooling his disciples when he showed his hands? Or when he ascended into heaven before his disciples? What is the significance of the empty tomb and the winding clothes left behind?

John 20:20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

He showed them his hands and his sides

John 20:24 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.

John 20:25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."

John 20:26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"

John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

WHAT TYPE OF BODY WAS IT?

We notice that the resurrected body was more than the natural body with which he died.

First Jesus could never die. This body is not a decaying body. It is immortal, imperishable. Whe we say a body is imperishable it simply means that the order in it could never become more disorder. it could grow from order to order. Indeed it is this that Jesus gives to every believer through the abiding of His Spirit within us.

2 Cor 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Being transformed into his likeness

Jesusí body after resurrection was not ordinary three dimensional body. He could enter the closed rooms and appear and disappear. Yet the body was material and real. This we know is possible only when the body exists in multidimension. Scripture uses the term spiritual dimension. The resurrected body exists not only in material dimension but also in the spiritual dimension. This transformation is what Paul describes.

1 Cor 15:35 But someone may ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?"

1 Cor 15:36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.

1 Cor 15:37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.

1 Cor 15:38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.

1 Cor 15:39 All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.

1 Cor 15:40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another.

1 Cor 15:41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

1 Cor 15:42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;

1 Cor 15:43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;

1 Cor 15:44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

1 Cor 15:45 So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being" ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

1 Cor 15:46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.

1 Cor 15:47 The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.

1 Cor 15:48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.

1 Cor 15:49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

1 Cor 15:50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

This transformation happens as a translation, in a twinkling of an eye.

1 Cor 15:51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--

1 Cor 15:52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

1 Cor 15:53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

1 Cor 15:54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."

1 Cor 15:55 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"

1 Cor 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

1 Cor 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Trumpet will sound

EACH IN ITS TURN

Jesus was the first fruit. What he is, is what we will be. Eternal life (the life giving spirit within us) is already within us. But its work will be completed on his appearance.

There are several resurections as Paul makes clear:

1 Cor 15:23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

The resurrection evidently occur only when Jesus come. Then it will be the turn of all those who belong to him.

Revelations indicates that the unbelievers are raised from the death only after another 1000 years.

Rev 20:5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.

There are no confusion here.

First Christ

Then those Old Testament Saints

Then the Believers who died before

Then the Believers who are alive.

Then all the dead just and the unjust.

Then come the resurrection of the material world as we have seen earlier. The whole universe bound in decay will be liberated from that bondage.

This is the final event.

1 Cor 15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Death has been overcome.

RESURRECTION OF THE WICKED

Rev 20:5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.

Then after a thousand years the rest of the dead came to life. These are not the believers. Then

Rev 20:13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.

Here a group of righteous men is added to the list of life as we see in Matthew.

Mat 25:31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory."

Mat 25:32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

Mat 25:33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Mat 25:34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

Mat 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,

Mat 25:36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Mat 25:41 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

They were not asked the question whether they believed in Jesus or not. These righteous inherited the earth, while the redeemed entered into their rest already.

The implication is that they were eventually added into the redeemed through certainly the blood of Jesus.

When God counts iniquity can anyone stand?

For the ultimate redemption of the material universe to happen all evil must be removed from this universe. As long as evil men are there in this universe this cannot be achieved. Hence the solution proposed in the Bible is to remove them into another universe hades. It is across the bottomless pit - the blackhole. It opens up into another universe filled with the concentrated evil men from this world. They still have life, with a decaying body. They have willed it themselves. This is the second death.

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

Rev 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

Rev 20:15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Has God got a plan for their salvation? Bible never discloses that. As far as we know it is another world of pain and sufferring worse than we have now.

But the life in its fullness is given only to the redeemed through the blood of Jesus. That is why Jesus add the word

"and Life"

He that has the Son has life.

It is assured to every one that believes.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;

John 11:26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"