Pastor Herman Kneller Editorials
God's Secrets Revealed
The apostle Paul has much to say about the resurrection in first Corinthians, chapter 15. Beginning in the chapter he gives us the assurance of the resurrection for he says Christ died and was buried but on the third day He rose again. His disciples and many others saw Him and talked with him. Then, some weeks later He took the group up on a hill outside the city and as He talked with them He was lifted up. They watched Him go until He was out of sight. Two angels came and said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into Heaven will so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven.” Jesus went in human form and will return that way, we will recognize Him. He went as a friend and will return as their friend.
Some years later Paul saw Him so he told all to assure them that the resurrection of Jesus was a real experience. We can believe that it took place. As surely as Jesus passed through the experience of death and the resurrection so also will all those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
Paul goes on to say, “Behold I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed.” Here Paul is saying we shall not all be dead when Jesus comes. Many will be alive but he says the same change will come to all. Then he talks about time. He says in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, a very small period of time at the last toot for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised, incorruptible. That means no more to get sick or die.
What about the living in Jesus? Paul says we shall all be changed. The same change will come to those who are alive when Jesus comes. No more to die.
Now let us look at that moment. Paul talks about what all happens in that moment. The wise man, Solomon, said the living know that they shall die but the dead know nothing. Job said, “In death, the rich, the poor, the slave, and the master all share the same thing.” Nobody knows what is going on.
When Paul talks about the moment he also talks about the time of death that those who sleep in Jesus will experience. When that moment of death or sleep arrives the heart stops. The breathing stops. The mind quits functioning and everything (the knowledge of the passing of time) comes to and abrupt halt. Then when the trumpet blows and the Creator and Life Giver shouts. The dead come to life. The living change and to those who have, long or short, been dead the coming of Jesus will seem as coming immediately after death (for time had stopped and so had everything else, to them) and now a new life of eternity begins.
In the scriptures, Paul says we shall together be caught up to meet Jesus in the clouds. So shall we ever be with the Lord. Jesus and His host do not touch the earth at His coming.
So far we have dealt exclusively with those who have accepted Jesus as the Lord of their lives, who have put all wrong doing and selfishness out of their lives, followed Jesus, kept His commandments, praised Him for His sacrifice on Calvary and for providing for their daily needs.
What about those who have lived for themselves? In 2 Thessalonians 2:8 Paul says, “Then shall that wicked be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” The glory of the coming of Jesus will raise those who love the Lord but destroy those who have been deceived by the working of satan.
All that is of real importance, that we take a close look at the word of God and what Jesus has done for us and wants to do for us when He comes. The prophet Jeremiah said, “I behold the earth and lo it was without form and void.” He looked and saw a very desolate earth with none living, no birds or wild life and the places that had been fruitful were wilderness and he saw the cities of the earth broken down by the coming of the Lord.
What a sad picture but Jesus has something better for us if we seek Him and He has promised...if we look for Him He will be found. This is a promise in His word.