Resurrections - Part 2

SERMON TOPIC: Resurrections - Part 2

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 1 April 2018


Sermon synopsis: In 1 Cor 15 the First Resurrection is compared to the planting and harvesting of a crop. Harvesting has 3 parts:
1) It began with the gathering of the firstfruits which were offered as a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God.
2) It proceeded with the general harvest. But not all was taken in this harvest.
3) Some of the crop was left in the field to be gathered by the poor and the needy. This was called the gleanings (Leviticus 19:9-10).

There are also 3 parts to the First Resurrection.
1) Using this imagery, the Bible presents the resurrection of Jesus as the firstfruits of the resurrection of the righteous.
2) The gathering of the Church Age saints, living and dead, at the appearing of the Lord (the Rapture) is thus the general harvest stage of the resurrection of the righteous (Jn 14:1-3 & 1 Thess 4:13-18). 2
3) But there is a third and final stage to this resurrection of the righteous. It is the gleanings, and it occurs at the end of the Tribulation when the Lord’s Second Coming takes place. At that time the Tribulation martyrs (Rev 20:4) will be resurrected.
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Part 2

Last time we saw the importance of Jesus’ resurrection.

The only sign Jesus would give to a wicked generation.

One of the criteria used for apostleship was that the person had to be a witness of the resurrection.

A focal point of the preaching of the early church.

Belief in it is crucial for salvation.

Necessary for our justification.

Without it, our faith is useless and futile.

Christ’s resurrection is intrinsically linked to ours. If Christ was not raised, then neither are we.


Early Christian, Marcus Minucius Felix (died c. 250) wrote, “See, too, how for our consolation all nature suggests the future resurrection. The sun sinks down, but is reborn. The stars go out, but return again. Flowers die, but come to life again. After their decay shrubs put forth leaves again; not unless seeds decay does their strength return. A body in the grave is like the trees in winter: They hide their sap under a deceptive dryness. Why are you in haste for it to revive and return, while yet the winter is raw? We must await even the spring of the body.” [Octavius 34:11–12]


The Bible speaks of 2 general resurrections, one of the just (or righteous) and the other of the unjust (or unrighteous). Paul says the following to Felix.


… I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. [Acts 24:14-15]

Though they are mentioned together, does that necessarily mean that they occur together in time? No! There are references that put the birth of Jesus and Second Advent together, but timewise they are actually 2000 years apart (See Ps 2:8-10; Isa 9:6; 61:1-2; 1:1-4).

Many verses speak of the resurrection of the righteous dead alone, with no mention at all of the unrighteous dead. Jesus explained the resurrection of the righteous in Matthew 22:31-33; Mark 12:25-27 and Luke 20:34-38.

The resurrection of the righteous and the resurrection of the unrighteous are two separate events.


There are 1000 years between the Resurrection of the righteous and the Resurrection of the unrighteous.

Rev 20:4-5 They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.

In 1 Cor 15 the First Resurrection is compared to the planting and harvesting of a crop.

Harvesting had 3 parts:

It began with the gathering of the firstfruits which were offered as a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God.


It proceeded with the general harvest. But not all was taken in this harvest.


Some of the crop was left in the field to be gathered by the poor and the needy. This was called the gleanings (Leviticus 19:9-10). This is what Ruth did on coming to Israel initially.


There are also 3 parts to the First Resurrection.

Using this imagery, the Bible presents the resurrection of Jesus as the firstfruits of the resurrection of the righteous.

The gathering of the Church Age saints, living and dead, at the appearing of the Lord (the Rapture) is thus the general harvest stage of the resurrection of the righteous (John 14:1-3, 1 Thess 4:13-18).

But there is a third and final stage to this resurrection of the righteous. It is the gleanings, and it occurs at the end of the Tribulation when the Lord’s Second Coming takes place. At that time the Tribulation martyrs (Rev 20:4) will be resurrected.




1 Cor 15:20-24 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep… in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him…

Rev 1:5… Jesus Christ, who is … the firstborn from the dead…



1 Thess 4:14-16 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him… For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.



Rev 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.


There are many passages which teach that unbelievers will also be raised.

John 5:28-29 says “a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out… those who have done evil will rise to be condemned”.

Daniel 12:2 (NASB) Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

Paul says, “there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” He tells us how he applies this truth in the next verse: “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” (Acts 24:15-16)


This is why those who take part in the first resurrection are called blessed.

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

After the Millennium, the rest of the dead are raised.

Rev 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it… And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books… each person was judged according to what he had done… If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


Unbelievers will suffer eternal punishment in their bodies, in the final hell (i.e. the lake of fire):

Matt 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”.

Marcus Minucius Felix wrote:

I am not ignorant of the fact that many, in the consciousness of what they deserve, would rather hope than actually believe that there is nothing for them after death. They would prefer to be annihilated rather than be restored for punishment. [Octavius 34:11–12]


Some deny the spirit and emphasize only the body and desires (materialism). Others deny the body or the value of the body and only believe in the supreme and pure soul or spirit (Platonism, Christian Science, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, New Age).

Christianity equally affirms the value of both the body and the spirit.


The two extremes



no body

no spirit

Greek philosophers from the time of Plato thought only in terms of immortality of the soul.

Paul refuted the Greek philosophers when he wrote to the Greek cities of Corinth and Philippi, teaching not only that our soul is immortal, but that our bodies will be changed (transformed):

Phil 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.


Our transformed bodies will be like Jesus’ resurrected body.

Phil 3:20-21 …the Lord Jesus Christ … will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 15:48-49 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.


We will have the same bodies (but transformed).

1 Cor 15:51-52 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.

There are many Scriptural reasons for believing that we will be raised with the same body that died. First, Christ was raised in the same body He had before He died. We know this because the tomb was empty (Luke 24:1-6) and because His resurrected body retained scars from the crucifixion (John 20:25, 27). Since Christ’s resurrection is the pattern that our resurrection will follow, then we will also be raised with the same body. 1

1 “The Great Christian Doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body” athens/ Delphi/ 8449/ body2.html


What was Jesus’ resurrected body like? (Remember Jesus’ resurrection is the prototype for the resurrection of mankind i.e. “we shall be like him”).

He could be recognized.

1 Cor 15:4-7 … he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time… Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles…


But he had the ability to conceal his identity.

Luke 24:13-31 … two of them were going to a village called Emmaus… Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him… When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him


John 20:14-16 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).


Jesus’ body was tangible.

He could eat and drink:

Peter says: “He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.” (Acts 10:41)

John 21:12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”


He could be touched:

Matt 28:8-9 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.



Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe. (Jesus to Thomas in John 20:27)

Yet he could disappear at will:

Luke 24:31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

And he could pass through solid objects:

John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”


John 20:26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though


the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

In what ways will our bodies be transformed?

Immortal and imperishable

Rom 6:9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.

1 Cor 15:42-53 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable… nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable… For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.


They will be spiritual bodies - they will be fully oriented to and filled with the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor 15:44-50 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body… I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…


They will be powerful - our bodies will not be subject to stress or fatigue or weakness.

1 Cor 15:43 … it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power

They will not get sick, die, age, or become injured.

Rev 22:1-2 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations


They will be glorious

1 Cor 15:43 it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory…

1 Cor 15:39-47 All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendour of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendour of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendour, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendour… So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.


Wayne Grudem comments on this:

Because the word ‘glory’ is so frequently used in Scripture of the bright shining radiance that surrounds the presence of God himself, this term suggests that there will also be a kind of brightness or radiance surrounding our bodies that will be an appropriate outward evidence of the position of exaltation and rule over all creation that God has given us. This is also suggested in Matthew 13:43, where Jesus says, ‘Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.’ Similarly, we read in Daniel's vision, ‘And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever’ (Daniel 12:3).


Our bodies will not be subject to sin

Rom 6:5-10 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. … The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

1 Thess 5:23 … May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


1 Cor 15:54-57 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


There will be a continuity between our bodies now and in the resurrected state. Using an analogy from agriculture, Paul compares the resurrection of the body to the growth of a plant from a seed.

1 Cor 15:35-38 But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.


The plant that results is definitely much better than the seed, just as our resurrection bodies will be better than those we have now.

But there is also a real continuity between the seed and the plant, for they are the same organism. The same seed that was sown becomes the plant that grows. Likewise, the same body we have now becomes our resurrected body.


But just as the plant is a result of the seed being transformed into something with better capacities and qualities, so also our resurrected bodies will be the transformation of our current bodies into a body with better qualities and capacities.


If you study Jesus’ interactions with Mary Magdalene (John 20:10-18), Thomas (John 20:24-29) and Peter (John 21:15-22), you will see how similar they are to his interactions with these same people before he died. The fact that Jesus picked up his relationships where they’d left off is a foretaste of our own lives after we are resurrected. We will experience continuity between our current lives and our resurrected lives, with the same memories and relational histories. 1

1 apr08devo.html


Romans 8:21-23 also teaches a physical resurrection.

Paul teaches that we are waiting for “the redemption of our bodies” (v. 23). Our bodies are not going to be thrown away. They are going to be renewed, restored, revitalized.

Also notice the context. Paul is teaching that the whole creation is currently subject to decay and corruption. Then he says that “the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption.”

As John Piper has said, “The creation is not destined for annihilation. It is destined for liberation.” Thus, the physical creation will last forever--in its renewed state. Since our bodies are part of creation, we must conclude that they also will be transformed and yet remain physical.


Joni Eareckson Tada says it well: “Somewhere in my broken, paralyzed body is the seed of what I shall become. The paralysis makes what I am to become all the more grand when you contrast atrophied, useless legs against splendorous resurrected legs. I’m convinced that if there are mirrors in heaven (and why not?), the image I’ll see will be unmistakably ‘Joni,’ although a much better, brighter Joni.”


Randy Alcorn writes: “Inside your body, even if it is failing, is the blueprint for your resurrection body. You may not be satisfied with your current body or mind—but you’ll be thrilled with your resurrection upgrades. With them you'll be better able to serve and glorify God and enjoy an eternity of wonders he has prepared for you.”


Why does God bother with our bodies? Wouldn’t it be far simpler to take our spirits to heaven and live forever with the Lord without any bother with a resurrection? 1

God created matter and therefore it is good. God calls the physical world “good” seven times in Genesis 1 and the last time it is said to be “very good” (Gen 1:31).

Even though the heaven and earth “pass away” later, God will keep the physical world in a renewed form, in a new heavens and new earth (Rev 21).

The physical body is not some evil thing that we need to escape from (as the Gnostics taught). Jesus had a physical body, and there was nothing wrong with that. 1

1 SOURCE: lit/ prophecy/ resbody.htm


In fact, Jesus was made flesh for the very purpose of redeeming all things (Col 1:19-20). God is not abandoning the physical world--he is rescuing it. Romans 8:21 tells us that the physical creation will be liberated from its bondage when we are transformed into glory. This salvation involves the “redemption of our bodies”. 1

Our bodies will be redeemed, not discarded. Our bodies will be raised immortal and imperishable, freed from the decay that affects the physical world today. Christ has made it possible, as shown in his own resurrection with a body that transcends the limits of space and time. The fact that the physical world will be redeemed, the fact that our bodies will be raised, means that we must value the physical world that God has placed us in and made us part of. 1 1 Ibid


Our body is not inherently evil.

When Christ saves us, our “body is a temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 6:19).

Our bodies can be used to glorify God.

We are told that “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord” (1 Cor 6:13).

You are instructed to “honour God with your body” (1 Cor 6:20).

You must “offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness” (Rom 6:13).

Rom 12:1 … offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship.


Man is incomplete without a body. Without a body we are naked. When the “tent” (our mortal body) is destroyed, it is replaced by a more durable “house” (our immortal body).

2 Cor 5:1-4 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.


We will need bodies, because we will live on earth!

As Premillennialists we believe that after the 2nd Advent, we will reign with Christ for 1000 years on earth.

But even after that, when God creates a new heaven and earth, we live on the new earth. We don’t go to heaven to live with God; he comes to earth to live with us!

Rev 21:1-3 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God… And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.


Some wonder how God could raise the same body that died when most people have been dead for thousands of years and their bodies have decayed to such an extent that the original body seems entirely gone.

Remember what Jesus told the Sadducees who questioned the resurrection: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” (Matt 22:29)

God says to Abraham: “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Gen 18:14)

Paul says to King Agrippa, “Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead? (Acts 26:8)



1 Cor 15:21-22 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.



John 5:20-29 “For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it… I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” 


 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”


Jesus has promised us eternal life

John 6:44-51 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day… I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever…”


Jesus who promised us the resurrection, was himself raised from the dead.

Rom 1:2-4 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.


Listen to what the one, - who regarded the dead as though they were merely asleep – said to Martha in John 11:21-26.


Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.

Your brother will rise again.

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

We have been promised a resurrection to immortality.

2 Tim 1:10 (NASB) but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel

Rev 20:6 (ESV) Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power…

Rev 21:4 (ESV) “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


How can you be a part of the resurrection of the righteous and have the promised eternal life?

Jesus gave us the answer

John 3:14-17 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”



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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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