Behold, I Show You a Mystery

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 15:51 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

I can understand why Paul said that this is a mystery, as even today, nearly two thousand years later, this subject is still misunderstood, although it has been recorded here in Corinthians for centuries. “We shall not all sleep” means that not every “Christian” will die before Christ returns, some of us will be living at the return of Christ, and this is indeed our lively hope. Yet when Christ does return, we all (believers in Christ) shall be changed, and receive new spiritual bodies.

I Corinthians 15:52-53:
-52: In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead {sleeping} shall be raised incorruptible, and we {who are alive} shall be changed.
-53: For this corruptible {those who are asleep} must put on incorruption, and this mortal {the living} must put on immortality.

I know that the common belief today is that all those who have died are actually up there having the time of their lives living in Paradise, Heaven, and some who are less fortunate are in purgatory or hell. However, the Scriptures do not entertain these ideas! If the dead are living and these unbiblical notions were really true, then we should get out a pair of scissors and start cutting out verses from our Bibles starting with those above. If everyone who has died is really living, then what is the purpose of the resurrections, and our gathering together (I Thessalonians 4:13ff)?

Romans 5:5 – And hope {the hope of Christ’s return to gather the dead and the living} maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost {holy spirit} which is given to us.

Having the hope of Christ’s return and our gathering together unto him “maketh not ashamed” meaning just the opposite of shame, giving us something indeed to be proud of. On the other hand, without hope of our gathering together the Christian does indeed have shame. Paul said in I Corinthians 15:19 “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” The context here is that if we hope in Christ and our gathering together and he does not return, then we should be the most wretched people on the planet. However, Christ indeed is returning, so we will be gathered up and blessed for all eternity. For the present time God has given to us His own love to sustain our lives as we continue in His Word, believing in our hope.

The Prize

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Philippians 3:11-12:
-11: If by any means I might obtain unto the resurrection of the dead.
-12: Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

In verse 11 the Apostle Paul wanted, if possible, to be alive when Christ returns. The word “obtain” literally means to be here on earth (alive), the word “unto” means to reach the destination fully, and the “resurrection” in the Greek text means a rising out from among (the dead). Paul wanted to be alive at the “out resurrection” of the dead. The Christians who have passed away would be those who are raised out and up from among all the dead, but Paul hoped to be alive when Christ returned.

At the return is when Paul, you, and I will be perfected with our new bodies. The hope that Paul followed in his believing was to anticipate, every day, the actual return of Christ. Paul wanted to actually be here physically to see his body change from earthly to heavenly. This is the prize that God will give to the living believers. It is certain that there are many more Christians (through the centuries) that have fallen asleep in Jesus, and in the scope of this bigger picture, the living will be few in comparison with all who will be raised at Christ’s return. The living will have the blessing to experience the actual changing of our old earthly bodies into new heavenly bodies and to have this in our memories for eternity.  We may look forward to this wonderful prize.

Philippians 3:13-14:
-13: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended {the prize yet}: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind {the past}, and reaching forth unto those things which are before {the return},
-14: I press toward the mark {finish line} for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

What a magnificent lesson we have here. First, Paul teaches that the “one thing” has two aspects: (1) forgetting the past, and (2) reaching forward. The reason for this is that only as we let the past fall by the wayside will we have room for the hope of the future, the hope in Christ’s return, to receive the prize. This is the believer’s “high calling.” We all have been called into God’s grace, but the high point of His calling will be the return of Christ!

With the anticipation of our future hope, the past can be put to rest. Looking forward to the return of Christ, anticipating the joy and excitement of this marvelous prize, to obtain “the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” is the believer’s greatest hope because it will deliver over to you one of the greatest prizes that can be received. It is receiving an eternal treasure even before you arrive into heaven (for you will be transformed as your feet leave this earth), and in heaven is where and when you will receive all the rest of your rewards for believing God’s Word today.

Ye Shall Be as Gods (Albeit – Being His Children Is Better)

“With all the knowledge we can receive from God, we cannot give the so-called Darwinism theory a eulogy (as many have given to God) because the deathbed of evolution will not allow it to lie down and pass quietly into the night (because of who possesses that bed and the doctrine of, Ye shall not surely die . . . your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods– Genesis 3:4-5). The theory of evolution itself keeps returning over the centuries and rising from the ashes in various and sundry forms almost with unfathomable resurrection power; like the beast that was {alive}, and is not {for it is dead or has died}, and yet is {―――back again}- Revelation 17:8. Through the ages, man’s concepts of evolution continues rising up from the ashes like a mythological phoenix or a new sphinx as this is the fallen nature and mythical course fallen man chooses to follow pointless and endless genealogies that ultimately lead away from God. Darwin’s book (who many claim to be an affront to God’s Book), ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life,’ and it is obvious that fallen, natural man must follow suit and struggle his way through life. However, we can come to Jesus who said, I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly– John 10:10. He gave us rest, not struggle, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light– Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus said, I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]– John 16:33, The Amplified Bible*). This sure beats the hell out of Darwin’s struggle for life.” ~LMJ~

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission