In our last article we established the fact that there is only one bodily resurrection, both of the saved and the unsaved, at the end of the world, not several as Premillennialism and Dispensationalism teach. For us as believers, that one resurrection is the focus of all our hopes, as the Word of God reminds us in I Corinthians 15:12-19. It is that resurrection of believers in the last day that is the subject of this article.
I Corinthians 15:14, 16 teach us that if there is no resurrection of the dead for us, then Christ is not raised either. There is such a close relationship between the two, that one cannot take place without the other. It is not only a serious error to deny Christ's resurrection, but also that of believers.
There have always been those who have denied Christ's resurrection. Very often such a denial accompanies a denial of Christ's divinity, His virgin birth, His miracles, and His atoning blood-sacrifice. But there have also been those who have denied the resurrection of believers. There were such in the early church (II Tim. 2:17-18; I Cor. 15:12) and there are such around again today.
Some, found especially among those who of the Christian Reconstruction movement, who, taking a preterist view of prophecy, have resurrected the errors of Hymanaeus and Philetus. These people, believing that much, if not all, prophecy is already fulfilled (preterist means "past"), have begun to say that the resurrection also is past.
Paul, however, tells us that to deny the future resurrection of the bodies of believers is to deny Christ's resurrection and to make faith vain, leaving us in our sins. It is, therefore, a most serious error. Why is that?
First, the denial of a future bodily resurrection is a denial of Christ's resurrection, because the resurrection of believers is part of Christ's resurrection. They belong to the body of Christ, the Church, and have the resurrection life of Christ in them. The result must be that they also are raised from the dead with Christ. If they are not, then the only possible explanation is that the resurrection life of Christ does not exist, -- that Christ did not rise and conquer death. The power and victory of Christ over death are proved not only by his resurrection but also by ours!
Such a denial of the resurrection also leaves us in our sins because Christ's resurrection is the proof of our justification before God. When He made atonement for sin, He said, "It is finished." When God raised Him from the dead, then God Himself as Judge said the same, so that the resurrection was a declaration of our justification before God. That is what Romans 4:25 means: "Who was raised again for our justification."
Also, since our hope is of heaven, and "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, we wait and long for the resurrection. That hope is vain, however, if the dead rise not and our bodies are not changed in the resurrection. We must, therefore, believe not only in Christ's resurrection on the third day, but also in our own resurrection with Christ, when our vile bodies shall be changed into the likeness of His most glorious body.
- Volume: 8
- Issue: 4
Rev. Ronald Hanko (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: November 1979
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1979; Trinity, Houston, TX - 1986; Missionary to N.Ireland - 1993; Lynden, WA - 2002; Emeritus October 15, 2017Website: www.lyndenprc.org/sermons/
Address13823 Clear Lake Rd.
State or ProvinceWA