The Gift of Immortality
The Gift of Immortality
Immortality belongs to God. It is an immensely priceless gift which God can give as He desires. Paul is clear about the time and place where God bestows immortality to his people. It is 'at the last trump' that this mortal must put on immortality. See what Paul says below.
1 Corinthians 15:51-55
51 Look, I'll show you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed.
52 In a moment, (in the twinkling of an eye),
at the last trump: (for the trumpet will sound),
then the dead will be raised, and we will be changed.
53 ...For this mortal must put on immortality.
54 ...So when this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?
After reading this, we can ask so many questions.
- When does the last trumpet sound?
- When are all the dead raised?
- When do human beings receive immortality?
- When does death cease to exist?
There is 'one singular event' spoken about in the Bible which fulfils these requirements. This is the grand resurrection event to which the world is heading. The dead will be raised, and this mortal must put on immortality (v52, 53).
First Corinthians chapter 15 gloriously describes
- The raising of the dead (v52)
- The giving of immortality (v53)
- The end of death (v54)
What chain of events take place at this time? In what order do they occur?
- The trumpet sounds
- The dead are raised
- We are changed -- our mortal bodies put on immortality
- Death is swallowed up in victory
This occurs at the last trump -- for the trumpet will sound -- the dead will be raised (v52)
This is truly good news for the human family.
Jesus taught the resurrection
Jesus described the resurrection when He was teaching about the end of the world (Matthew 24). Jesus describes Himself coming at the end of time -- with power -- with great glory -- with fanfare and the blast of a trumpet. Angels accompanying Him will gather together God's elect.
30 Then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven... they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven -- with power and great glory.
31 And he will send his angels -- with the great sound of a trumpet -- the angels will gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
These are the details Jesus gave
- The Son of man will come
- with power
- with great glory
- with the blast of a trumpet
- Angels will gather together God's elect
This is the same event as described by Paul, 'at the last trump -- for the trumpet shall sound -- and the dead shall be raised.' (1 Corinthians 15:52)
Christ believed and taught about the resurrection at the last day. Likewise the Christian church believed and taught about the resurrection at the last day.
Not everyone believed in the resurrection
The Sadducees, a major Jewish religious organization did not believe in the resurrection. (I've been told, that is why they were SAD-YOU-SEE.) See Mark 12:18, and Acts 23:8.
...the Sadducees who say there is no resurrection...
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection...
Also, some Christians did not believe in the resurrection. This we read about in 1 Corinthians 15:12, 13. My guess is that they were sad also -- just like the Sadducees.
1 Corinthians 15:12
"How can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead?" asked Paul.
Martha believed in the resurrection
Martha (when questioned by Jesus) stated firmly that she believed in the resurrection at the last day.
23 Jesus said to her, Your brother will rise again.
24 Martha replied, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die.
Jesus assured Martha that He was the resurrection and the life. He demonstrated this clearly at Lazarus' funeral.
39 Jesus commanded, "Take away the stone from the entrance to the tomb."
40 He said to Martha, "Did I not say that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
43 And Jesus with a loud voice cried out, "Lazarus, come out."
44 Lazarus came out -- he was bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was bound with a napkin.
Jesus said to them, "Free him, and let him go."
45 When many of the Jews who had come to mourn saw the things Jesus did, they believed on Him.
No funeral I've ever attended has ended in such a triumphant way. God in all things has His time and place. In the meantime we are reassured that all things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8: 28).