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The Final Resurrection


According to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, along with the return of Christ there will be the resurrection of the dead. We will look at this in more detail at the end of our study of The Apostles' Creed. For now, it is enough to notice that what Paul is talking about here is the union of believers' souls with their resurrected bodies. The Lord is going to take these old bodies of ours, what substance is left of them, whether it be bones in a grave or ashes scattered in the sea, and he is going to fashion out of that substance new bodies that will never grow old and never die. Paul talks about this happening in an instant. Furthermore, the final resurrection won't be an isolated event. It will be part of God's renewal of the cosmos. Paul talks about this in Romans 8....
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
How will this be possible? Our finite minds cannot comprehend. But perhaps this story gives us a hint....

One day an assistant of the famous chemist Michael Faraday accidentally knocked a little silver cup into a beaker of very strong acid. In almost no time the silver object disappeared. The great chemist was summoned. He quickly put a certain chemical into the jar, and in a moment every particle of silver came together at the bottom. Removing the shapeless mass, he sent it to a silversmith, who recreated a cup that shone as bright as ever.

What Michael Faraday did in his laboratory is but a small picture of what our mighty God will do on resurrection day for all his children.

Thus, we have seen what Paul has to say in this passage about the Return and the Resurrection. Tomorrow we will examine what Paul tells us about the Rapture....

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Psalm 110
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