Showing posts with the label Death

Abolishing Death

The future resurrection of believers is not a major subject in Paul’s “pastoral” letters, but he does raise the subject when dealing with the problem of false teachers in Ephesus. As he states, “ God did not give us a spirit of fear but of a sound mind .” The theme of “ sound teaching ” is prominent in the three pastoral letters, and the future resurrection is a classic example of foundational apostolic doctrines. After all, Jesus “ abolished death ” when God raised him from the dead.

An Incomplete Salvation

The biblical faith is forward-looking and integral to its doctrine of salvation is the future resurrection of the righteous dead, an event that will also mark the commencement of the New Creation. In the New Testament, this hope is linked to two events. First, the past resurrection of Jesus, and second, his future arrival at the end of the age. Moreover, the church’s salvation will remain incomplete until Jesus raises the dead, transforms all those still alive, and then “ gathers ” all his saints to himself.

Sorrow Not

Foundational to the church’s future hope is the bodily resurrection of believers when Jesus arrives in glory . Paul’s description of the “ arrival ” of Jesus is written to comfort believers concerning the fate of their compatriots who died before that event. They need not sorrow “ like the others ”  BECAUSE  the dead will be resurrected when the Lord “ arrives .”

Final Events

In writing to the Corinthians, Paul outlines the events that will occur at or shortly before the “ arrival ” or ‘ parousia ’ of Jesus, one of several Greek terms applied by him to Christ’s future coming. Regardless of which term is used, he always refers to one “coming,” “revelation,” or “appearance” of Jesus at the end of the age, not two.

The Death of Death

Some church members in Corinth were denying the future bodily resurrection of the righteous. Paul responded by stressing the necessity for resurrection, and he appealed to the past resurrection of Jesus as the precedent for the coming raising of believers from the dead. The followers of the Nazarene will be resurrected bodily when he “ arrives ” at the end of the age, and that event will signal the termination of death - death will be no more.

Meeting Jesus

Paul reassures the Thessalonians regarding the participation of dead saints in the arrival of Jesus from heaven – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.  Paul reassures the Thessalonians concerning the participation of saints who die before the ‘ parousia ’ in the glories of that day.