Cure For What Ails-
The Next Big Thing
1 Corinthians 15:50-58
In chapter 15 Paul writes detailed instructions regarding the doctrine of resurrection. In the concluding verses Paul turns his attention toward describing the resurrection experience for believers who are alive when Jesus returns (often referred to as “the rapture”).
Paul begins by reminding his readers that this information is a mystery, unknown by those living in the Old Testament but now revealed during the church age (Paul had discussed similar information regarding this mystery in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). While all believers will not experience physical death, all believers will be changed or transformed (the original Greek word Paul used is similar to the English word “metamorphosis”). This “Next Big Thing” in God’s program will commence with the sound of a trumpet, the dead in Christ being raised, and then the transformation of living believers. Paul then states that in resurrection an exchange must take place: the perishable must put on the imperishable (for those dead in Christ) and the mortal must put on immortality (for those alive in Christ). Because our perishable and mortal bodies have become imperishable and immortal, death has been defeated once and for all (Paul paraphrases Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14 to make this point).
To conclude his discussion of resurrection, Paul provides a practical response of motivation- a firm belief in Christ’s resurrection in the past plus a solid hope for our future resurrection offers incentive to stand firm and serve relentlessly in the present!
- This passage contains one of several occasions where a “mystery” is unveiled in the New Testament. What does this say about how God reveals information to his people?
- Take some time and revisit 15:58. How can the hope of a future resurrection/rapture affect how we live in the present? How should this help shape our thoughts and actions?