Seeds, Skin, & Stars (1 Corinthians 15:35-58)

September 3, 2023

Series: 1 Corinthians

We’re going to get into our lesson today. Now we’re up to chapter 15. And if you know anything about 1 Corinthians, you know there are only 16 chapters. So we’re getting to the end. And so it’s been a great study. We’ve covered a lot of ground, a lot with the Corinthians, and I believe this and I forwarded those along and your messages. It was a great message.


Now, the week before that, I believe our dear brother, Keith, talked about this section just before what we’re looking at today. In verse 33, there’s a very interesting verse. We’ve heard it a lot. “Bad company corrupts good character.” Typically, we pull that out of this section and it can be applied to a lot of situations because it’s still true. The concept is true. But the context of those words was resurrection. Paul wanted them to understand, you don’t need to hang around with people who don’t believe in the resurrection because we don’t believe in their life. Because the dead are raised. Okay, the dead are raised. I’m going to read you a couple of passages before we get in our main text for the day. John 5:28, I’ll just read it for you.


“Jesus says this, Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their grade will hear His voice and come out. Those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.”


Everyone in this room, everyone watching online will be raised. Some of us will be raised to life in a relationship with God for all eternity. Some will be raised to condemnation. Those are the words of Jesus. Paul says something similar in 1 Thessalonians, because you can say, okay, well, what if you don’t die? 1 Thessalonians 4:16, I’ll read this for you. “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with a voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” So the Bible is clear. We’re all going to be raised up. Some raised to life, some raised to condemnation.


So I wanted to make sure you hear that as we start. This is something we will all experience. Paul is also dealing here with some people that had problems with the idea of resurrection. These people, they were skeptics. They felt like, okay, how is this going to happen? This doesn’t make sense to us. That’s the part of the lesson that we’re going to get into today. And I’ve titled the lesson “Seeds, Skin and Stars”. I can see frowns on your face. What is that? Those are the three illustrations that Paul uses to talk about resurrection. He talks about seeds, he talks about different kinds of skin and the heavenly bodies, the stars. And there will be two basic sections that we’ll cover today. Chapter 15:35-49, talking about the resurrected body, what that will be like, and then 50 to 57, the conquest of death. I believe this could really be a helpful lesson for you if you really give your hearts to it. The more I got into it, the more I thought, Wow! Man, my mind is going all over the place, thinking of different things. What 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 the seed, perhaps of weed or something else. But God gives it a body as He has determined and to each seed, He gives His own body. Not all flesh is the same. People have one flesh, animals have another, birds another, and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies, and there are earthly bodies. But the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun is one kinds of splendor. The moon, another, and star is another, and star differs from star and splendor. Will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable. It is raised imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 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 is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the Earth. And as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. Okay, a lot there. Before we can begin to dissect this, let me point out one very important thing to keep in mind as we look at this section. All through this section, Paul is talking about things that no one really knows anything about. I mean, he can’t tell you turn to this book of the Bible, and I’ll teach you what I’m talking. He’s talking to you about things that no one knows about. He’s not talking about verifiable matters of fact. He’s talking about matters of faith, and there’s a big difference. He’s trying to express really the inexpressible. He’s trying to describe the indescribable, and he’s using the human terms and words the best that he can to help us to understand what’s going on.


Now, at the same time, he’s dealing with critics. He’s dealing with skeptics with what he’s talking about here. There were these guys who basically said to Paul, Okay, Paul, you say there’s going to be a resurrection. And then he just read the verses where Jesus says there’s going to be a resurrection. And he referred to first Thessalonians, where you talk again about how there’s going to be a resurrection. But how is that going to happen? I mean, if we look at it physically, gosh, you put somebody in the dirt. And what continues to happen immediately? Decay. The body breaks down. Even with Lazarus, Martha’s like, “okay, Lord, by now he’s a little bit smelly.” As if Jesus did know about anatomy and how the human body works, but she felt like she needed to say that to him. And so you got these guys said, Well, wait a minute. I hear always talk about resurrection, but how is that going to work? And what body are people going to come back? I really think that, again, the Corinthians were shaped a little bit by their times. The Greeks held this notion that there was immortality of the soul, but of the body?


No. I mean, the body going on was unthinkable. Then you also had the Sadducees who didn’t believe in resurrection. And so these guys really think they have Paul backed into a corner. They have been trapped by their questions. And they probably got other questions like, Okay, how is God going to raise from the dead a person whose body was burned in a fire? How is God going to raise from the dead someone killed by a shark in the ocean? Or what about somebody who has lost at sea and their body just disintegrates and their molecules are all over the place? How is God going to work that one out to get their molecules back together? What about people who died during 9/11? What about that? What about people that were looking, wondering where their loved ones were, these people are missing? How is God going to work that out? What about people who died instantly in some explosion? What about, and this one comes up a lot nowadays, what about people who decide to be cremated? What is God going to do there? There. How is God going to separate all those molecules? And not to just remind you, but the Bible talks about how our bodies go back to what?


They go back to the dust anyway. So you put them in this really nice tomb, nice thing, box, they call it. And I see people who are so excited. Did you see the box they buried mom in? That day was so nice. I’m thinking, do you realize it’s going to be dust in there in just a little while? Now, if you want to have your fancy box, I’m not saying don’t do your fancy box. That’s up to you. But you got all of these ashes in a graveyard. Okay, God, how are you going to work that out? How are you going to work out all these ashes all over the place? What’s really interesting about Paul is that he knows their skepticism. These guys are being a bit cynical. They’re trying to trap him. They’re not necessarily there because they want to know. You know how it is.


When you’re with somebody and they want to know the truth, then gosh, you bend over backwards. You take every step you can to help them, right? But when you’re knowing it with somebody that really isn’t interested in knowing the truth, you get to a place where you say, Why am I studying the Bible with you?


Why am I wasting my time with you? I’m just giving you a window in the Eddie’s soul. If you don’t have a good heart, don’t ask me to study. Go study with somebody else and waste their time. Paul is trying to deal with this stuff. He knows they have a bad heart and all that. And look at what Paul says to him. He says, “How foolish.” But someone would ask, How are the dead raised? What body will they come? He says, How foolish. But don’t you love to come in the English Bible? At verse 30, he said, Look fool. But then the easy to read version, I thought he said, these are stupid questions. Now, if you have questions about what happens after we die in our bodies and you’re sincere, don’t take Paul’s words and go to a bad place with that. God will answer. It says, ask and will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be open. God will answer a good heart.


But Paul knows he’s dealing with a not so good hearts here, and these guys don’t sincerely want to know. He said, your questions are stupid. You think you’re trapping me with these stupid questions, but you don’t realize that our resurrected body is different from our present body. God can do that.


But let me give you the illustrations he uses. He gives three illustrations to show why their questions are really dumb and stupid. Point number one, he says, The seed is different from the plant. Now you would think, okay, that’s pretty obvious. A seed is a really little thing. You put it in the ground and it comes up something different. Look at verse 35, it says, “But someone would ask, ‘How are the dead raised? ‘ Or what 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 the seed, perhaps a wheat or something else. The seed comes to the end of its existence as a seed. It’s put in the ground, it dies, but in due time, a plant comes up. What is sown in the ground is not what you see later on. But at the same time, it’s still the same seed.” If you plant wheat, you get wheat.


And you would think that that would be easy because these guys, probably a lot of them do farming and whatever, but they didn’t get it. Paul felt like he had to use this analogy. The seed will come back still wheat when it grows up, but it would be different. But it shouldn’t be that difficult for us to wrap our minds around. And here’s why. Even in this life, we go through a ton of changes. We’re still the same person, but we go through a ton of changes. You have a newborn, then you have an infant, then you have a toddler, then you have an elementary-aged kid, then you have a middle-schooler, then you have a high-schooler, then you have a college student, then a single, then you got married people, then you got middle-aged people, and then you have the really old ones among us. And through it all, you’re the same person, but you’re going through changes. And what’s Paul’s point? Just like with that seed, our earthly bodies will be buried, but we will be raised up in a resurrected form in a different form, in a different form. And we should be able to get that.


But that form that comes up will still be you. You will still be you, I’ll still be me, but we come up in a different form. So that’s the analogy of the seed. Let’s look at the one about the flesh. All flesh is different from other flesh. Verse 38, “But God gives it a body as he is determined, and to each seed, he gives his own body. Not all flesh is the same. People have one flesh, animals have another, birds, another, and fish, another.”


Second principle he lays down is there’s not just one body. Our guide in creation, he created each body to be perfectly adapted for his environment. Fish have a certain body, animals have a different one, we have a different one, birds are different, but it’s all suitable for its place in creation. That’s the way God did it. And if that’s the case, it’s reasonable for us to believe that He can give us the count of body we need for the resurrection light. Just like he gives each body different skin, whatever. Here’s the thing you got to understand. God can give anybody anybody He wants. All right, anybody. He can give anybody anybody He wants.


See, the second anybody was like the first anybody. I got that one a little bit off. But I wanted to just stress that God can do whatever He chooses to do. We will come back differently. We will be in a transformed mode when we come back, and God will give us just the body we need for the resurrected life. You’ll still be you, and I’ll still be me. All right, let’s go to stars.


Point number three, star different from stars and planets. Verse 40, “There are also heavenly bodies, and there are earthly bodies. But the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun is one kind to splendor the moon another, and star is another, and star differs from star in splendor.” The sun, the moon, the stars, all of those things have their own splendor. There’s a splendor of the sun, but then there’s also a splendor of a rose. There’s a splendor of the heavenly bodies, but there are also the splendor on the earth. And he says, The stars have their own kind of splendor in verse 41. And so what’s the big deal about that?


In our Milky Way, and let me just throw it out, how many stars are in the Milky Way Galaxy? Anybody knows? Well, in our Milky Way galaxy, there are between 100 and 400 billion stars. That’s just the Milky Way. That’s not the universe, all right? And yet, what did we just learn? Every star is different. Every sun is different. Every moon is different. It’s all unique. There’s no two stars alike, no two suns are alike, no two moons are alike. There are no two flowers that are alike. There are no two blades of grass that are alike. There are no two birds that are alike. There are no two anything they’re alike. Not even identical twins. None of them are alike. And so what is God saying? He has limitless capability. God can do whatever He chooses to do. If you wonder, How is it going to work in the next life? Just go out at night and look up at the stars.


I think that’s His point. God can do whatever is needed. Now, there’s some basic thing we can know about this next body that we’re going to have, and we’re going to hit that section. One, we know it’s spiritual because God knows what we need, first of all. But secondly, because in 1 John 3:2, it says, We will be like Him, like Jesus. You can know that body is going to be spiritual. But what else can we know? Let’s look at verse 42 through 44. It says, “So it will be with the resurrection of the dead.” And wrap your minds around this. This is good stuff. “The body that is sown is perishable. It is raised and perishable. It’s sown in dishonor, it’s raised in glory. It’s sown in weakness, it’s raised in power. It’s sown a natural body. It is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”


What is our future state to be like? This is that million dollar question that you want to know. What’s it going to be like? Well, the first thing he said in verse 42, The present body is perishable, but the future body is imperishable.


Everything in this life is subject to change and decay. From the moment you were born, you started to die, and you will continue to weaken. And over time, you will get to a point where this body will completely wear out and it’ll be gone. And I couldn’t help but think about what the writer of Proverbs, about the Proverbs 31 woman, this is really interesting. It says, “charm is deceptive and beauty is what? Fleeting.” Now, you are all are some beautiful women in here today. And online, I know you’re just as beautiful as well. But I got a secret for you. It’s going to change. Okay, it’s going to change. I know you said I came to church to be encouraged, but here’s the encouraging part about the change you’ll go through. Your beauty will have a permanence that will never go away. I mean, guys, you won’t have to worry about any beauty treatments. You don’t have to worry about any anti-aging creams. You don’t have to worry about getting any more mani, pedi’s, and all this stuff. Your nails will always be perfect, and you can just think it’ll be the right color all the time.


It’ll be awesome. You won’t even need to worry about dieting anymore because you’ll be the perfect size forever. So it’ll be awesome, okay? So that’s my encouraging part. Things will change. The other thing he says here is that the present body is sown in dishonor, the future body would be sown in glory. And what I believe he means by this is, sadly, we do a lot of dishonorable things with our body. A lot of dishonorable things. In 1 Corinthians, it talks about how our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.


Guys, we don’t always use our bodies in a godly way. Our feet take us to places that we know we shouldn’t go. Our thoughts cause us to think badly about somebody next to us or in church. Our thoughts have us thinking all sorts of impure things. Our eyes see things a lot that we shouldn’t see. Our mouths say things that we shouldn’t say, and sometimes we put things in our mouths that we know shouldn’t be there. God, we don’t use our bodies in an honorable way, and that is true of all of us, every single person in this room.


But in the light to come, our bodies will no longer be servants of dishonor, but it’ll be pure service to God. That’s what we have to look forward to. Then he also talks here in verse 43 about how the body is sown in weakness. The future body will be sown in power. Those of you who know me have known me for a long time. I love basketball. My dear brother, Freddie, just yesterday, Freddie had a picture sent to him when he was still playing ball at Bowling Green. I said, Freddie, you got to send me that picture, man. I said, I want to see what you look like. And there he was with his warmers on and and Brian across the back and all this good stuff and that kind of thing. But here’s the thing. Freddie’s changed a little bit. Just a little bit, all right? We’re all changing.


You get to a point where your body says to you, you can go this far, but no farther. That’s it. Okay? I may say I want to run a marathon. It ain’t happening. You know? One day, my daughter tried to encourage, she said, Dad, you can run a marathon. I said, You are not listening to me. No, I can’t. This body ain’t got it in me anymore.


But the cool part about it is that we may get frustrated with these bodies, but one of these days, it’ll be a body with great power. Then he talks about how there’s a natural body and our future body will be a spiritual body. One commentator says, I think the basic thought here is that we’re imperfect vessels. Right now, we’re used imperfectly by the Spirit, but the time is coming when God will use us completely. There’ll be perfect service, perfect love that now is only a vision for us. But here’s the thing. I don’t know about you, but I get questions that come up in my mind when I think about this whole thing of the resurrection and the body. I started thinking, okay, what would my dream body look like? I tell you, well, what version of me are you going to bring back, God? Are you going to bring old Eddie? The Eddie right now, I have a lot more wisdom. And so somehow, God, if you can take what I’ve learned and put that in this new version of me, that would be good.


But I’m also weaker and I’m also balding. And it’s really funny. I’ll tell my wife I’m bald and she said, Eddie, don’t worry, nobody can see up that high anyway. She is always so encouraging and all that. But then one day I’m watching one of our services online and I said, Who is that bald guy on the front row? I could see my ball spot way on the… I said, Oh, my goodness. This is sad. I thought, I said, Okay, but what version are you? Give me the wisdom. Take away the baldness. Take away the weaker frame. Then I said, Maybe I would want to be this version of Eddie. All right. The Eddie wearing the Daisy dukes. My dear wife was so encouraging, she said, Eddie, your shorts are shorter than mine. I thought, Wow! I said, I guess they are. But I want this young Eddie. I want this Eddie because I remember when I was young, I could stand underneath a 10-foot basket and jump straight up and slam dunk. I can’t even dream of things like that anymore. I want that Eddie used to love playing brothers football, and I love playing cornerback or defensive back and picking off a pass and running it back for a score and all this kind. That was a lot of fun. I used to run farther and run faster and do a lot more. I wouldn’t mind having that, Eddie. I put all the athleticism into this, Eddie. But then I thought maybe my real dream body would be this. Be like the rock. I mean, the man’s thighs are bigger than my whole waistline. I mean, just incredible guy.


I’m just thinking, God, give me a combination of all of that. The brains and the wisdom and the physique and all of that. But what’s Paul’s point? Let’s go back to it, is God can give anybody, anybody anybody He wants. That’s the teaching of verse 38. Let’s move on. We’re going to read the next section. I will encourage you to spend more time with it because it’s a great section. It talks about Adam and Jesus. The first Adam being the Adam of Genesis 2. Second man, Adam, referring to Jesus Christ.


Let’s read this together, make a couple of quick thoughts. Verse of 45, “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, spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth. And as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we are born the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.”


Okay, what are some quick thoughts? Paul is saying here, he talks about Adam, Genesis 2, being the first man. He was from the dust of the earth. But then God takes us and makes us like Jesus, who was the incarnation of the very Spirit of God. And that’s what we want. Under the old life, we were one with Adam. We shared his sin. We inherited his death, having his body. Under the new life, we are one with Christ and we get to share His life and eternity, His being. We had a physical body to begin with, but one day we’re going to have a spiritual body. That’s the good news. But spend more time. There’s a lot of deep stuff there. Let’s close with this last section about death and how death goes away.


1 Corinthians 15:50. We’ll read this together in a few minutes. We’ll get ready to take communion. Verse 50, “I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does a perishable inherit the imperishable. 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. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised and perishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality. 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.”


You got to keep in mind, Paul is dealing with things which defy language and expression. There’s nothing that he can point us to, so he’s doing the best to help us understand. What does he say in verse 50? We are not fit for the kingdom of God as we are. We could not go to heaven in our current form. That shouldn’t be, hopefully not too much for us to understand.


There are a lot of things in this life that don’t work in our current form. Like, for instance, I may run well enough to catch a bus outside. I see the Lynx bus coming. I may run just well enough to go 30, 40 yards to catch that bus. But that marathon ain’t going to happen without me being changed. That’s something really, something miraculous would have to happen for that one. Now, by the same token, writing, you may write well enough to amuse your friends, have a great time with your writing, that kind of thing. But if you got to do a dissertation, if you’re trying to get your doctorate, there’s a different writing. I remember we got to sit in on Jessica’s defense when she got her doctorate. And it’s a different kind of writing. I looked at what she had done, and I thought, Whoa, this is impressive. Different kind of change has to take place. Now, you may talk well enough.


Say you’re at a book club, you hang out with your friends, you’re discussing a book, you’re having a great time. You may have a great time talking in a setting like that. But if you got to get in front of an attorney who is trained to talk, who is trained to argue you’re in trouble. I remember I had to sit on a deposition, and my attorney told me, Eddie, when you’re in there, make sure you only answer what you are asked. Because if you say anything more, they’re going to take it and run with it. That’s the way attorneys work. You got to be a different communicator. That’s all he’s saying is that we’re not fit the way we are the next life.


God’s got to change us. And how does that change happen? He says, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye. And I would dare say the blink of an eye is too long. The twinkling of an eye might get a little closer. This is a very short period of time. And then lastly, he said, But we don’t need to fear that change. Why? Because death will be swallowed up in victory.


Death’s sting will go away. People are fearful of death. They are really fearful of dying. I think one of the reasons is that we fear the unknown. We just don’t know what is on the other side. Hopefully after today, you’ll be encouraged to know that God knows what’s going to happen, and we’ve set you up to be ready for that. And so the fear of the unknown can mess with us. But then there’s also our sin that bothers with us. Most people don’t realize that they’re sinners, or at least they won’t acknowledge that. I’ll say it that way.


Romans 3 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Every single one of us. And yet too many people are in denial. And you know what denial is? D-e-n-i-a-l. “Don’t even know I am lying”. That’s a good way to remember denial. Don’t even know I’m lying to myself. Out. A lot of the time, we make excuses. We compare ourselves to others. We build up the good things we’re doing. We say, But I’m a hard worker, or I get good grades in school, or we build ourselves up. I have a job.


As if to say the good things are going to outweigh the bad, it doesn’t work that way with God. We flatter ourselves way too much to detect and hate our sin. Psalm 36:2. But look at what the psalmist says in Psalm 90. “We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins, in the light of your presence. All our days pass away under your wrath. We finish our years with a moan. And all our secret sins in the light of your presence.”


Everything we do in secret. I remember that. A lot of times when I’m up late at night and I’m watching something on TV, I’ll think about you guys. I’ll think about the fact that anywhere you go on the internet, somebody’s tracking you. They know what you’re looking at. And that’s why out of nowhere, we start getting stuff. But God knows about the pornography. He knows about the affair and all the changes you go through to make that happen. He knows about the sexual immorality. Yeah, you may hide it from those close to you, but God knows about that.


He knows about the illegal drug user. Well, I have a marijuana card or whatever, but I wonder how much drug use was there before you got a marijuana card. Something to think about. He knows about the cheating. He knows about the stealing. He knows about the lying, the jealousy, the hatred. God sees it all. He says, Our secret sins are there in the light of your presence. And what is sin do to us? Isaiah 59:1-2, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save nor is ear too dull to hear, but your iniquities have separated you from your God and your sins have hidden this faith from you so that he will not hear.”


John 8:21, Jesus says this, “Once more, Jesus said to them, I’m going away and you will look for me and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.” Unless we repent, unless we all repent, you will die in your sin. And Jesus says, And where I’m going, you can’t come. Those are just the words of our Lord. But here is the good news. I love this. In verse 57, it says, “God gives us the victory through Jesus Christ.”


We are afraid of death, but Jesus has taken care of it. You don’t have to fear death. John 3:16-17, we know the first for God so love the world. But look at verse 17, “For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” That’s the purpose of our Lord.


He wants you to be with him for eternity. I don’t know where everyone is here in the room, but I pray that you’ll make a decision that you’re going to go for it. Let me remind you of some basic things we hit on today in this next section. Our resurrected body is different from our present body. God didn’t have to worry about decay and all that stuff. He knows what He’s doing. God can give anybody, anybody He wants them to have. Our future body is imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. God will change us so that we are fit for the Kingdom of God again if there’s a relationship with Jesus. Paul says, okay, let me summarize everything I’ve told you. We’ve talked about the Gospel at the beginning of the chapter, talked about how he appeared, Jesus appeared to all these people to prove that He was alive.


We talked about the body that we’ll have in resurrection. You got all this glorious stuff to look forward to. You’ll have a powerful, glorious body. It’ll be amazing. In light of all of that, here’s what He says in verse 58 to wrap it all up. He says, “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, stand firm.” Hang in there. The Christian life is worth it. He says, “Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor and the Lord is not in vain.”


Paul gets practical and he gives them a call for action. He says, if you have all of this glory to look forward to, if you have all of these great promises from God, if you know that you serve the God who created everything in the universe and definitely can take care of you in the next life. If you have all of that to look forward to, stand firm. Don’t give up. The Christian life is worth it. And sometimes you can be around other people, like I said at the beginning, that may get you to think, okay, there’s nothing after this life.


Don’t listen to that. My encouragement to is if you’re not right with God at this point, if you know you’re not right with God, let me encourage you. Get with someone here. I know a lot of people in this church can study the Bible with you. We’re one of those churches that believe that everybody needs to be equipped to make disciples. It’s not just Marcus and Eddie and Keith. Everybody should be able to do that. We have a lot of people who can help, and I would encourage you to go after that help so that when that great resurrection morning occurs, you’ll be ready. And for those who are my brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s just stand firm. Hold on to the teachings. Hold on to those things that you know to be right. John Chapter 8 says, “Then we are really His disciples when we hold to His teaching.” Let’s hold on to those things because we know that our labor and the Lord is not in vain.


Let’s get ready to take communion. It talks about how Jesus, it says, what Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.And before you take communion, I want you to just ask yourself, what is your personal response to the resurrection of Jesus Christ? What does it mean that he died for your sins? And I want to encourage you, make some decisions today, this week, that you’re going to embrace the cross of Jesus and his resurrection for us. And I couldn’t ever think about the song that we sing here at this church from time to time. It says, I give myself away so you can use me. My life is not my own to you I belong. I give myself, I give myself to you.

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