Imperishable Qualities

This entry is part 161 of 329 in the series Inquiring Minds
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Why are there imperishable qualities in the book of Corinthians when the whole Earth is destroyed by fire at the end of Revelations?

If you are referring to 1 Corinthians 15:53-54, Paul explains that the imperishable and eternal cannot be inherited by the perishable, flesh and blood (1 Corinthians 15:50). He is in the middle of describing how this will happen.

God will have to transform flesh and blood into imperishable material (1 Corinthians 15:51). The way he does this is through the resurrection of believers. Even Paul doesn’t understand this side of heaven exactly how God does this. It’s a mystery to him but God has revealed to him part of how he will do it.

The change will happen so subtly that we won’t even be able to blink (1 Corinthians 15:52). The trumpet sounding refers to the Angels blowing trumpets when the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, returns in the clouds (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

Paul says we will not all sleep but we will all be changed. Sleep, impending on the context, refers to death. Those who sleep refer to the saints that have already passed from this life into heaven and are dead. Those who are not sleeping refer to the generation that will be alive when Jesus returns (1 Corinthians 15:52).

It begins with believers who have already passed away and are in their graves (1 Corinthians 15:52). They will be changed into imperishable beings for eternity as they come out of their graves. Following them will be those who are alive at the coming of Christ. These will be changed in the twinkling of an eye and meet the Lord in the skies.

This is how the Lord will transform the perishable bodies we have now into the imperishable bodies we will have in heaven (1 Corinthians 15:53). This agrees with the principle Paul presents in 1 Corinthians 15:50.

This is how physical and spiritual death are defeated in all of the saints (1 Corinthians 15:54-56). Sin causes death, but sin was defeated by Christ at the cross. And death is defeated in the resurrection of believers (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).

I can just imagine Paul getting so excited when he quotes the Old Testament and proclaims that sin and death and the grave have been defeated by Christ and that victory extends to all who believe in him. Christians may experience physical death but because of their vibrant relationship with Christ they will never see eternal death.

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