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Heaven: The Life Beyond
“Keep seeking the things above where Christ is seated…Set your mind on the
things above, not on the things that are on earth” – Paul 60 A.D.
Part 5 “The Day Death Dies”
Scripture: 1Corinthians 15.50-58
Subject: Death is the enemy of all men in all ages. It has caused more sadness, fear and pain than any
other human experience. Man fears both death and dying. It is the curse upon the human race. Each day
the newspaper obituary column reminds us of our woeful enemy. He is the one we must ultimately meet.
Paul’s last few words on the subject are a battle cry. Victory, yes we will be victorious over the last
enemy. Death will finally be conquered at the resurrection.
Survey: In the previous verses Paul answered the question “what kind of body” will we have in the
resurrection (15.35)? In these final verses of the longest chapter of the letter, Paul answered the
question, “how are the dead raised?” In times past this was a mystery, but now Paul unveils the truth of
the rapture and resurrection. “Behold I tell you a mystery!”
1. The Transformation At The Trumpet: 15.50-53
“Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the
perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be
changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the
dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the
imperishable and this mortal must put on immortality.”
A. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” God made a wonderful human body for us to
dwell on this earth. David said, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are your works and
my soul knows it very well” (Psalms 139.14). The human body is an amazing creation of God. But
it was made for earth and not heaven. It is incompatible with the heavenly kingdom. The human
body functions in perfect harmony with our earthy environment. Yet it cannot enter Heaven without
a complete transformation. We have a perishable body, but we need an imperishable!
B. The mystery, previously unknown, is that believers who remain on the earth at the return of the
Lord will not have to die. They will be changed in the Rapture. “Then we who are alive and remain
will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall
always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4.17).
C. The characteristics of this transformation:
1) It will be instantaneous, “in a flash in the twinkling of an eye” (15.52a). This is not a slow
progressive change, but a lightening fast _______________ of our human body.
2) The transformation will be sudden and ________________. “At the last trumpet; for the trumpet
will sound (52b). “For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of
the archangel, and with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will rise first”
(1 Thessalonians 4.16).
3) The dead will be raised imperishable, that is with a new body that will be compatible with our
eternal existence in the new world.
D. The clothing ________________: Paul used the phrase, “put on,” many times to refer to a type of
spiritual clothing (Romans 13.14; 2 Corinthians 5.2-4; Galatians 3.27; Ephesians 4.24; Colossians
3.10-12; 1 Thessalonians 5.8). The new clothing will be a perfect continuation of the earthily body
transformed into its eternal and heavenly body.
2. The Triumph Over Sin: 15.54-56
“But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on
immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death
where is your victory? O death where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is
the law.”
A. Paul quoted from two Old Testament passages (Isaiah 25.8; Hosea 13.14).
1) Paul used these metaphors to illustrate death’s final defeat. The metaphor uses the sting of a
hornet or a bee leaving its stinger in its victim. Christ suffered the sting of death for all men.
Paul used the questions almost in a taunting fashion so as to say that death’s apparent victory
and sting have been defeated by Christ’s death. Christ took the sting in our behalf. Stingless
death is now swallowed up and __________________. Death has no sting!
2) “The sting of death is sin.” Adam’s sin brought death upon all mankind (Romans 5.12). Christ
atoned for our sin, thus defeating the sting of death. Our sins are forever forgiven and now we
do not face death in fear, but in peace and _____________________.
3) “The power of sin is the law.” The law revealed to man God’s perfect standard. Man fell short of
that standard (Romans 3.23; 4.15). So because of the perfect law of God sin was revealed to
us. Sin dominated us until Christ came into our lives to defeat sin by His redemption. Without
the law we would not have a known sin (Romans 7.7). Sin is powerful over us because we are
in rebellion against God’s perfect law.
B. Death’s final defeat will be at the resurrection. This will be the death of death. It will be the day that
death dies. No longer will death haunt us and taunt our uneasy soul of the unknown.
C. Before there can be eternal life there must be death. But death will be swallowed up and be
removed in our eternal victory!
3. The Thanksgiving For Victory: 15.57
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
A. Thanksgiving is something we take for granted, even overlooking it more often than not. But our
hearts should overflow with praise and thanksgiving for our victory over death. The one thing that
brings ultimate fear to all is death. Through the obedience of Christ on the cross we have the
victory over death. This transformation will give us an imperishable body incapable of dying. We
will be delivered forever from the curse on mankind brought about by Adam’s sin.
B. “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the
same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the
devil, and might free those how through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives”
(Hebrews 2.14-15).
C. “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of
fire…and there will no longer be any death” (Revelation 20.14; 21.4a).
4. The Task Until He Returns: 15.58
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”
A. Steadfast means to be settled, focused and firmly ___________________.
B. Immovable means to be anchored and securely fixed in our Christian faith and ___________.
C. Abounding in our work for the Lord is how we are to labor until He comes. The meager effort of
some is contrary to the His intention for our service. Our labor is to be abounding, overflowing,
untiring and enthusiastic for Christ. In the parable of the pounds (money) the nobleman instructed
is servants to take the money and invest it saying, “Do business with this until I come back”
(Luke 19.12-27). The servants were rewarded on how well they invested the money and
produced a profit. The parable teaches us to serve effectively and ____________ our lives in the
advancement of His kingdom on earth. We are to labor fervently. “Not lagging behind in diligence,
fervent in spirit, serving the Lord” (Romans 12.11). Time is of the essence. We must be busy now
while there is time remaining to reach others for Christ. “Making the most of your time, because the
days are evil” is the strong advice Paul gave to us (Ephesians 5.16).
Ecclesiastes 3.14 states, “Whatever the Lord does it shall remain forever.”