gift of life #14
you two point oh
There’s going to be another you, a you after this you – a you two point oh. One of the fundamental truths that we Christians believe is that when Jesus returns, he’s going to raise us from the dead. Your resurrected you will be the same you, but with a very important upgrade. If you are a believer in Christ today, when he returns, he will make you perfect, sinless and immortal.
The apostle Paul explained the details of this you two point oh in 1 Corinthians 15. First, he taught that there is evidence now that our coming upgrade is going to happen. That evidence includes the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead. He’s the first to undergo the upgrade. Another evidence is the fact that the people who knew Christ the best (the apostles) gave their lives to preach the gospel. Another evidence is the change that takes place in peoples’ lives when they give those lives to Christ now. He makes a difference now; we expect him to make a difference then.
Paul even gave us a timetable for the future resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. He talked about the order of the resurrection, describing it as a great harvest. Jesus was the firstfruits of the harvest, so his resurrection came first (verse 20). Then, when Christ returns, all the dead in Christ will be raised at once, and all the living in Christ will be caught up with them, and together we will all be with the Lord (verses 51-52). Then, there will be a time period in which Christ will reign and put all his enemies under his feet. I believe this time period is the millennial reign (verses 25-26). Finally, after that reign, the end of the harvest will come, the final resurrection of all the remaining dead (verse 24). Here’s why that timetable is important. Christ has promised us a resurrection. The fulfilment of the promise will happen not when we die, but when he returns.
Also in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul described the nature of this resurrection as well. The resurrection is not a re-creation, starting over with all-new materials (and hopefully getting it right this time). No, our upgrade will be the plant from the present seed. It will be a continuation of this life with which God originally intended to bless his universe forever. Sin entered your life and corrupted it, making it necessary for you to die. But God loves you too much to let that be the last note of your song. The resurrected you will be the same you, purged of all those things that cannot exist forever, and transformed into something extraordinary.
Finally, Paul described our present state: “of the dust of the earth” (46), perishable (50), mortal (53). God cannot endure that forever. He plans to purge his universe of the disease that humanity has become, so that it can once again be pronounced “very good.” Your upgrade state is imperishable and immortal. Your upgrade will be you as God intended you to be. Paul described his resurrection chapter as essentially the gospel message that he preached (1-2). It is right for believers to emphasise the benefits we already have because of the death of Christ: forgiveness of sins, permission to approach God in prayer, guidance from the indwelling Holy Spirit, etc. But let us never forget that the gospel is not complete if it stops there. You have not heard the whole gospel if the message you have heard fails to include the promise of the next upgrade.
If you have any questions about this teaching, you can ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join me for this entire series as we search the scriptures to learn about the gift of life.
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