We would like to examine Paul’s statement and conversation to the early Church concerning the day of the Lord and their redemption. And what we will need to take note of as we go through this review on why we are to be preparing for the coming season and day of the Lord. Well, it is because of what Paul was discussing with the early Church, and why we see in Psalm one the righteous man making arrangements to escape what we called the coming season.
And what we have overlooked according to the context of Paul’s discussion with the early Church, is that Paul was providing assurance to the early Church there will be a resurrection for those who died believing in the return of Jesus Christ. And after confirming with those around him, those who had died during the persecution of the Church will be resurrected upon the return of Jesus Christ. Paul went on to remind the brethren that after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, many of the disciples who knew and walked with Jesus saw him after his resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:12 “Now if Christ is preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? This was the question presented to the early Church because they were believers in Christ. And if believers, what is the hope of the gospel? Therefore, examining this conversation Paul was having with the early Church, we can see that Paul was addressing a doctrinal problem within the early Church brought in by some who were students of the Sadducees class who had embraced a doctrine of faith in God; however, it was not a doctrine that included the resurrection of the dead.
The question presented was, “how can we believe in Jesus as Messiah when we say there is no resurrection, and if we preach the hope of Christ and eternal life, and do not believe in a resurrection, how can that be called hope, and again, how are we then saved from God’s wrath? This was the debate of the day.
1 Corinthians 15:13-19 “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ does not rise, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then Christ is not raised: And if Christ is not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
This was the argument, it was about those who had fallen asleep, and Christ had not yet returned to establish his kingdom, therefore the concern and debate among the early Church were how will the dead take part in the coming kingdom of God. The living during the days of Paul was also concerned about their salvation, and place in the kingdom to come.
Paul then addressing this issue said, 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
And what Paul was explaining, was the events that will take place upon the appearance of Jesus Christ because, upon the appearance of Jesus Christ, those who had fallen asleep, and those among the living who will themselves fall asleep before the return of Jesus Christ, will appear with him having being granted new incorruptible bodies upon their resurrection. Therefore, we who are alive upon the return of Jesus Christ will at the same time be transformed in an instant at the appearance of Christ to meet our loved ones who had fallen asleep ahead of us into glory.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Watch and pray, prepare and be ready and keep on working until our Lord returns… Because we shall be changed in an instant in the twinkling of the eye to meet our loved ones with Christ. Then we shall be with Christ forevermore.