1 Corinthians 15:50-58 – “Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. 55 ” O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” NASU
There is so much that I would like to say and realize that there is not the time or space to do so. Therefore, I will focus my attention on the title thought of ‘mortal putting on immortality.’ The Bible declares in Hebrews 9:27 that every person who lives upon this earth has an appointment that is inescapable with death. Yet, here in Corinthians Paul reveals something he calls a ‘mystery’ that some will escape this inevitability and leave this world without the natural process we call death and the Bible calls sleep.
Paul speaks of an event or time when those who are followers of Christ alive on planet earth at this juncture in time will be ‘changed instantaneously’ when God’s trumpet sounds and the dead are raised. I won’t get into a debate as to the timing of this rather I focus on the fact of it. It is this event that the apostle Paul tells his hearers is to solidify their hope and confidence in the Promises of God and Eternity. He identifies this as a complete obliteration of the pain and sting death. It is identified as a source of inspiration and hope in that our labor has not been in vain and to encourage us to continue laboring until He returns.
Paul tells us that ‘flesh and blood’ or the natural man in his natural state cannot inherit the Kingdom of God because these temples of clay are perishable but there will come a day when the imperishable (souls) of men and women will put on the imperishable and transition from the temporal to the eternal. I believe that as a literal fact in Scripture and rest my hope on the sure promise of resurrection or this translation whichever my state is at that time.
Most of us have loved ones who have preceded us into eternity and have experienced the ‘sting of death’ in the sense of the loneliness that accompanies losing a loved one. We have experienced the seeming ‘victory of death’ in that it took from us someone we treasured. Even when we know in our hearts that they are in the presence of the Lord the loss is still painful. But, one day, one glorious day WE WILL BE CHANGED! One day our MORTAL will put on IMMORTALITY! That will be a glorious day!
God bless you as you go through your day!