What about the dead?

I usually post a Biblical text each morning on Facebook to encourage my readers.  Recently I posted this Scripture:

“But look! I tell you this secret: We will not all sleep in death, but we will all be changed. It will take only a second—as quickly as an eye blinks—when the last trumpet sounds. The trumpet will sound, and those who have died will be raised to live forever, and we will all be changed.”

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 NCV

One of my readers posted this in response:

“I have a question on this verse. But I need to study it 1st. Thanks for sharing God’s Truth! Well…the question is about the dead in Christ will rise 1st. I keep thinking that is the dead in Christ….meaning those who don’t know God thru Jesus yet … dead in spirit. Like they will rise first when they see Jesus. And as the Bible says, How much more are those blessed who believed without seeing. My question is also based on …. well I believe the graves are already empty and our loved ones have already received the 2nd Resurrection ….as Jesus told the repentant thief that Today, he would be with Jesus in Paradise. I know there is more. I haven’t had time to get the Written agreement yet. But, I trust your leadership & believe I can just come to you talking this out before I know any more. I would love to hear your revelation thoughts.” Love in Christ, Karen

So, this is my response to Karen, and I pray that it helps our readers:

“The Christians of Paul’s day were looking forward and expecting the Lord’s return at any moment. However, they questioned: what about those who have died and are in their graves when Jesus returns?  Paul explains in this text, this chapter, that even those who have died will participate in the transformation (the resurrection) from this life to the everlasting life. In fact, Paul says that those who have died will be transformed first, then those who remain when He returns, in the eye blink those will then be transformed into the new body.”

When studying scriptures, pray for inspiration and then we must ask these questions:  who, what, when why and how?  Who wrote it, what was the occasion, when was it written, why was it written and how was it presided to the readers?

When we ask these questions, usually, the letters from the Bible become more understandable and we can unlock its meaning.  In the letters to Corinth Paul is dealing with a church with tremendous troubles.  One of those was the debate over the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.  The word of the Cross is an offence to the Greeks, in part because they reject the notion that the body has any value.  So they sneer at the idea that a body on a cross can bring spiritual salvation.

In I Corinthians 15 Paul deals with their doubts about the resurrection.  Most believed that at death it was the end to the body.  But as we see with the resurrection of Jesus who had a new body, one that cooked, ate and yet went thru closed doors.  So Paul is stating that even though they might be dead when Jesus comes, those ones will be resurrected to a new body and they will be first in line.

Praise the Lord.  Revelations tells us that when He comes there will even be a new heaven and new earth.  Total transformation.  Our new lives will have no tears, no cancer, no disease and will be eternal.

Praise God.  What a great hope we have?

I am praying for you and your family,

Leonard Navarre

Lubbock, Texas

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