The Resurrection of Christians

As a young man, D. L. Moody was called upon suddenly to preach a funeral sermon. He hunted all through the Four Gospels trying to find one of Christ’s funeral sermons, but searched in vain. He found that Christ broke up every funeral He ever attended. Death could not exist where … More


In the first half of this chapter Paul dealt with the resurrection of Christ. Now, in the last half of the chapter he deals with the resurrection of Christians. Christ arose and so shall we who know Him.

Paul had explored the logical happenings which followed the denial of the bodily resurrection of Christ (vv. 12-19). He now explores the theological argument that the destiny of Christians was bound up in the destiny of Christ, and he set forth the positive consequences of this union. The big question is - When are the dead raised? Paul used three images to answer that question.

  1. First fruits (vv. 20,23) - The term “first fruits” refers to the Lord Jesus Himself (v. 20). When Jesus was raised from the dead, it was God’s sign (assurance) to us that we shall also be raised one day (at the rapture) to be with Him (v. 21).
  2. Adam (vv. 21-22) - Paul saw in Adam a type of Jesus Christ by the way of contrast. The first Adam disobeyed God and brought sin and death into the world (Rom 5:12-21), but the last Adam (Jesus Christ) obeyed the Father and brought life and hope (v. 22).
  3. The Kingdom (vv. 24-28) - When Jesus comes to this earth to judge, He will banish sin for a thousand years ( “the millennium”) and establish His kingdom (Rev. 20:1-6). After this there will be one final rebellion against God which Jesus will end (Rev. 20:7-10).

It is evident that God has a sequence of events that He follows in the resurrection. There is no such thing as a “general resurrection“ taught in the Scriptures.  Revelation 20 makes it clear that the dead are raised in two groups, with the millennium coming between. The Lord Jesus will have finally and completely put down all hostile powers and authority. Even death itself will at last be destroyed.


World events may seem out of control and justice may seem scarce, but I can be sure that God is in control and things will come to pass according to His time table.

I Corinthians 15:20-28 (English Standard Version)

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