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Let’s begin by reading 1 Corinthians 15:37-42, “And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.”  In the portion here, the Apostle Paul is answering anticipated questions dealing with the resurrection of the redeemed at the coming of the Lord.  In 1 Corinthians 15:35 we read, “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?”

Paul answers the first question by using the example of a seed sown.  1 Corinthians 15:36 says, “Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.”  Just as a seed must be planted in the ground for new life to spring up, so is the resurrection.

He next answers the question about what kind of body those who are resurrected will have.  Paul points out that even when a seed is planted, you do not reap that seed.  What is reaped is a mature and changed product of that seed.  There are many kinds of bodies: bodies, or flesh, of men, beasts, fishes, and birds.  These are not the same.  Similarly, there are bodies that belong to the sky, such as the sun, moon, and stars.  There are some bodies that belong to the earth.  Neither are these the same.  The earthly bodies we have are corruptible.  In the resurrection of the dead, believers will receive bodies that are incorruptible.  Paul goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 15:44, “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”  Natural bodies equip us for living on the earth while spiritual bodies equip us to live in the Glory with our blessed savior.

When does this remarkable transformation take place?  It will happen when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back for His church.  The event is referred to as the rapture.  1 Corinthians 15:51-54 tells us, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

What a blessed hope we have.  We, as believers, live in anticipation of that time when the Lord Himself will come for us and take us to be with Himself forever.  We have these words of great assurance in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”  (117.4)