The Believer’s Hope, Part 3

1 Corinthians 15:51 “…we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed…”

No one likes being the odd man out. Paul has explained that every believer must receive a new body in order to enter the kingdom of God, and each one who dies in the Lord will be raised with just such a body. But what about those who remain alive until the coming of the Lord? Will they be left behind, since they will not be raised?

While this may seem like kind of a silly question to us, it was a mystery which had not been revealed to God’s people until Paul wrote 1 Cor. 15:51-52. When the trumpet sounds at the return of Jesus Christ, the dead in Christ will be raised incorruptible, and those who are alive in Christ will be caught up with them in the air, changed from their present bodies to match the immortal bodies of the resurrected saints. We need not fear being left out, since all those in Christ will be changed, re-created to live in heaven for all eternity.

The only way to be left out is if you are not in Christ. Instead of being raised to immortality, the Bible says that all the unsaved will be raised to stand before the Lord in judgment. The apostle John saw a vision of this day in which the dead were judged according to their works, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:15)” Have you trusted in Christ to save you from your sin? Is your name written in the Book of Life?

The unsaved cannot be in heaven at all, and the saved must have their bodies changed.” – W. Harold Mare

Scriptures to read: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; John 3:1-16

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