The Resurrected Body 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.
October 5, 2023, 8:35 AM


13.-18  "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

In this passage Jesus introduces the hope of the resurrected bodies we will receive at His return. This is also called the rapture of the church, when we meet the Lord in the air. When Christ returns the souls of the saints will join with Him and receive their permanent resurrected bodies. Those who have “fallen asleep” are also called “the dead in Christ”. That includes all believers who have died and professed belief in Christ. They will rise again.

We will know others and be known by others, even though we haven’t met. Paul also goes into a lengthy explanation in I Cor 15 of the differences between the body now and the body that is to come. How could God take bodies which have deteriorated, burned, or been destroyed in different ways and reconstruct them again? What if a cannibal ate a person? There are all kinds of things that are hard to understand. Yet, when God first made mankind he did so out of dust. Do you think recreating new bodies is any harder chore for the God of all creation? Paul uses figurative illustrationsw to helps us understand four truths.

First, although it is a body it is very different in nature from our physical bodies. Take for example a seed. It seems dead, having indication of life in it at all. How can a new plant come from this dead seed? Today we may explain it, but it is still a miracle created by God. If God can bring this dead seed to life, He can do the same with a dead body, regardless of its state. We must adjust our thinking from our present bodies to glorified bodies in heaven and in the millennium.

Second, our new bodies do not die or decay. No one will comment on your age or notice the years taking their toll. Dr. Hinson wrote: “The stars shall live for a million years, A million years and a day. But God and I will live and love, when the stars have passed away.”

we are raised in power. We are raised in strength. With the resurrected body there will not be any material barriers. We will not have to worry about things we cannot lift or places we cannot go. The angel that rolled the stone away was not to let Jesus out, but did so that the disciples might enter and see the empty tomb.

Some of the details of our new bodies and existence in heaven are speculative. Babies and children who have died will not remain as babies or children , but have the completeness that awaits us all regardless of our age. The one who dies with one leg or is paralyzed or burned at the stake will all be completed. Even gravity will not hinder the resurrected body.

Fourth, we shall receive this spiritual body. God desired that soul and body be balanced together along with the spirit. We are to be a reflection of His image, so we reflect the glory of God and serve Him. The resurrected body will resemble that of Christ’s resurrected body. It will be as real as Christ’s body was before His ascension, but “real” as defined in eternal terms, not earthly ones.

The best is yet to come.