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R694 The Resurrection

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
October 8, 2021 8:00 am

R694 The Resurrection

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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The resurrection, what an exciting topic. It's today's topic with Dr. Don Wilton with 1 Corinthians 15 being our reference. As we open God's Word to study about the resurrection, know we'd love to be connecting with you on our website at www.tewonline.org. Drop by today.

It's tewonline.org. Now, Dr. Don Wilton. I'm going to invite you this morning to take a copy of God's Word and open your Bibles to 1 Corinthians and chapter 15, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. You'll find this on page 1116 in the Pew Bible, and I want to advise you that you will be well advised to read along in Scripture yourself, because we are about to discover some wonderful things that God tells us, some great reminders concerning the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. All of us have encountered death. All of us.

It may have been a personal friend or a husband, a wife, a grandparent, son, daughter, neighbor, and there are many perplexing questions about death. Where are we going? What are we going to look like?

How do we get there? Well, we recognize one another. There's lots of talk. We talk about saying, well, at funerals, we say, don't worry, we'll see one another again.

Well, how do we know that? I want to show you some of the most exciting things that I've personally ever discovered, and it all has to do with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. All that we celebrate together on Easter Sunday morning. I'm going to read to you from 1 Corinthians chapter 15. Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel, you are saved. If indeed you hold firmly to the word I have preached to you, otherwise you have believed in vain. For what I received, I passed on to you as of paramount importance that Christ Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter and then to the Twelve.

After that, He appeared to more than 500 of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living. That is at the time that this was written by the Apostle Paul to the church at Corinth. Now, I want you to turn with me to verse 12, chapter 15 and verse 12. If it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that He raised Christ from the dead. But He did not raise Him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Those who have fallen asleep in Christ then are lost. Now, if you'll just pause a moment here because in verse 6 of chapter 1 of chapter 15, we see the word fallen asleep. The time the Apostle Paul wrote, there were some who were still alive, there were some who had fallen asleep. That literally means there were some who were still alive and there were some who had died. I love the way in which God's word uses that word literally translated fallen asleep.

Literally translated fallen asleep. Have you ever wondered what actually happens to you when you die? What do you feel? What do you go through? Well, the Bible tells us for those who are in Christ, it's like falling asleep.

We can all identify with that. We get into bed, we may be tired, we may be exhausted. Our minds may be occupied. We may be struggling with things. We might even be in pain somewhat. And then all of a sudden we're overcome with sleep.

We fall asleep. That's the picture that the Bible gives you of those who are in Christ Jesus. It's a wonderful, beautiful metaphorical picture. It's an image that is presented to us here in chapter 15. And the Bible says in verse 18, then those, in other words, if we do not believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, then those who have fallen asleep in Christ, in other words, those who have died, having already received Jesus Christ into their hearts and lives, are in fact lost. In fact, verse 19, and I'll explain it again later, if only for this life we have hope in Christ, we ought to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead.

The first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. And that is a very interesting phrase there. It's a Jewish phrase. They were accustomed to that. You'll know that the Jewish people were an agrarian people.

They raised crops, many of them. And God in His word in the Old Testament gave very careful instructions. When they raised their crops, they had to give one tenth of the first fruits of their labor, of their crops back to God. It's called the tenth or the tithe, T-I-T-H-E. That's why God tells us to tithe what we have back to God, the first tenth.

Now it's interesting to note was the first fruits, not the second fruits or the last fruits or the final fruits or the bottom fruits. In other words, what God said was that they had to give first and foremost of the first and foremost of the very best of the crop to God. Now that's where I've had a problem many times because I get my check at the end of the month and I pay my house bill and my car bill and I pay my visa card and I do this and that and I see what's left and I say, okay, based on what is left, let me see what I can give to God. God says, uh-uh, I'm not going to bless that kind of giving. What you do is when you get your check, you give to me first fruits.

You give it to me out of the top, not out of the bottom. Now let me show you how this applies to the Scriptures. You see, Jesus Christ was the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep in Christ. In other words, Jesus Christ demonstrated by virtue of his own death upon the cross, he gave of himself who was Jesus. He was the first fruits. He is the only begotten of the Father. He is God's choicest son. He is the only begotten, the unique one. There was nobody else.

There couldn't be a substitute for him. He was the first fruit and he gave of himself. How did he give of himself? He died upon the cross of those who then following the death of Jesus Christ and who are in Christ have fallen asleep or have died in him.

In other words, Jesus Christ did for us what he now is able to do for us through his death and resurrection upon the cross. Look at verse 21, for since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. Why did death come through a man? Because Adam sinned, the Adamic man. Why did life, the resurrection come through a man? Because Jesus Christ is the God man. He became man for us. That's how he took away our sin.

He took upon himself the sin of the world. Verse 22, for as in Adam all die, so it is that in Christ Jesus, who is the first fruits, so it is he so it is in Christ Jesus, we will all be made what? Alive.

Folks, watch this. Jesus Christ is alive. Now we've got wonderful news today. You don't ever have to worry about when you die, about what's going to happen after you die if you've given your heart to Jesus Christ. You have received the alive of Christ, because Christ is alive, so we are also made alive. Well, let's move on to verse 35, because now we're going to get into the real stuff. But someone may ask, and by the way, I don't know how the apostle Paul knew I had this question, but I did. How are the dead raised?

I mean, let's be honest with each other, folks. How does this work? Have you ever watched a dead body? I don't, I've watched many a dead body. What do you mean the dead are raised?

What does that mean? And look at this, with what kind of body will they come? Now folks, we don't do this in our world, excepting unless there is a reason. We don't exhume bodies. We don't bring bodies back up.

We don't go and dig bodies out of the grave. But if you were to go and dig up a body that had died, depending on the time lapse, you know what you're going to find? Nothing but dust and bones. The body is disintegrated. So the question is this, here's this body, it's disintegrated, it died.

This person loved Jesus. Not only how's the body going to be raised, but here's a good one. What's it going to look like? I mean, all I'm looking at is bones and dust.

So what am I going to look like when I get into heaven? Folks, none of this can make sense if I don't believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. That's why the Bible says Paul told the church in Rome that you and I must believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead.

If you do not believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you have no hope. All right, let's see what he says here. How foolish. What you sow does not come to life until it dies. Look at me again quickly. We're going to go into an illustration here.

It's an agricultural illustration. He uses the illustration of a seed that when you plant a seed in the ground, it must die in order to come to life. Now watch me, folks, watch me.

Listen carefully. If you want to know that you are going to be raised from the dead, if you want to know that you are going to receive a resurrected body and be with Jesus forever, you have got to die first. And there are two ways in which you've got to die. Number one, you've got to die by repenting of your sin and by placing your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Now you say, what does that mean that I die?

Paul puts it like this. He said, I have been crucified with Christ. Well, what happened when Jesus was crucified? He died. You cannot be crucified with Christ unless your old man, your natural man is crucified with Christ.

That's that little preposition in. When we are in Christ, it means that we have become crucified with Christ in the fellowship of his sufferings. That's the first way that I die. My salvation experience is the death of my natural body. It is the death of myself because I'm crucified with Christ.

It is continual present tense. I have died. I am dying. I will continue to die until I'm brought into the presence of almighty God, because he rose from the dead. The second way that I die is by virtue of a physical natural death. If Jesus does not come back before I actually die. And I'm going to show you later on verse 51, how he tells us about that.

He settles that issue right there. He says, we're not all going to die. We're not all going to go to sleep, but we are all going to be changed. Forgive the interruption. We'll be back in just a moment, but Dr. Don wants me to remind you. We're here for you. Ready to pray with you and for you anytime at 866-899-WORD.

Jot the number down, store it in your cell, 866-899-9673. We'll connect you with one of us. Happy to talk or listen or pray or connect with one of our resources like the Call for Courage. If you haven't seen it, drop by our website at tewonline.org for details.

That's tewonline.org. Now back to today's teaching with Dr. Don. We're not all going to suffer the physical death, but one thing is for certain, because Jesus Christ rose from the grave. We are all going to be changed in a flash, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. All right, now watch this.

Let's read about it together. It says how foolish in verse 36, what you sow does not come to life until it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just some seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.

But God gives it a body as He has determined, and each kind of seed He gives it its own body. Watch me again. Folks, don't you think I looked jolly good this morning?

Somebody say amen out here, please. Now I'm going to tell you something. I can look out across this congregation, and when I look out across this congregation, I can see people that I recognize. I look up there, I see Dr. Rick Mathis, my dear friend. I recognize Rick Mathis. I see Randy Wilson. I recognize you, sir.

I see all my friends and people, family members. Scott Stancil, I see you. Bobby, I recognize you. Bill Adams, I recognize you. Kent Holt, I recognize you.

I see you there. I know who you are. How do we recognize one another? Well, because we're all made uniquely. We've all got our own facial characteristics and features.

Some of us are this way and that way and that way, and I'm going to stop right there, but we can recognize one another, right? Now, watch what God says here, folks. This is very important.

This is very important. God gives it a body as He has determined. To each kind of seed, He gives its own body. All flesh is not the same. He talks about men having one kind, animals, birds another, and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies.

Note the difference here. There are earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another, stars another. He used the illustration of the stars.

He says star differs from star in splendor. Verse 42, I couldn't wait to get there. So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.

The body, this body, Don Wilton's body is sown perishable. It is going to be raised imperishable. It is sown in dishonor. It is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness.

It is raised in power. It is sown in natural body. It is raised as spiritual body. If there is a natural body, so also is there a spiritual body. For as it is written, the first man, Adam, became a living being. The last Adam, a life giving spirit. By the way, have you ever tried to describe the difference between God and man?

It's right there. Man is a living being. God is the life giving spirit. Now what's the difference? Man is a living being by virtue of the fact that God who is life giving spirit has breathed into the nostril of man the gift of life by virtue God who is creator has the authority to create man as a living being after the image of God, but it is only God who is the life giving spirit. All right, now watch this. The spiritual did not come first.

Why? Because you've got to be born in this world in order to be born again. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural. I was born into this world. Then comes the spirit.

After that, the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, Adam, Don Wilton. The second man who is Christ Jesus from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth.

Ha are rats. Adam, that is our Adamic nature. But as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.

We've got a big clue here. And just as we have born the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we one day bear the likeness of the man from heaven. I declare to you then that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Listen, I tell you a mystery. We will not all die. Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4, when he comes back, there will be those who will be alive and remain. We will not all die, but we will all be changed in a flash, 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.

Let me give you three reminders. If you go back to 1 Corinthians 15 and verse one, Paul says, I want to remind you of some things. Well, the resurrection reminds us of three things.

Number one, it reminds us of the reality of the gospel. And when the resurrection reminds us of the reality of the gospel from verses one through four, it reminds us of the reality of the gospel upon which we stand. It's what he says in verse one, which you received and upon which you've taken your stand.

What does that mean? It means, my friends, the apostle Paul puts this down as the fundamental basis upon which we stand. He says, listen, he said, if you want to know what the resurrection reminds you about, the resurrection gives to you the very foundation upon which you stand and place your entire belief. Without the resurrection, there is no Christ. There is no faith.

There is no hope. While the resurrection reminds us of the reality of the gospel upon which we stand, it also reminds us of the reality of the gospel by which we are saved. He says in verse two, by this gospel, you are saved. What gospel? The gospel of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Number three, it reminds us of the reality of the gospel for which Christ died. Verse three, I received what I passed on to you. And notice here, the apostle Paul says, this is very, very important that Christ Jesus died for our sins.

When I prayed at the beginning of the service, I began in the garden of Gethsemane. Why? Because the betrayal and the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross is the necessary precursor to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus had to die in order to be raised up again.

Why? Because it was in his death that his resurrection became the reality of the gospel. And it is in the reality of his resurrection that you and I have life.

But there's a fourth fact that is given here. The resurrection reminds us of the reality of the gospel through which Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. Verse four, that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures. What an incredible thing in the resurrection reminds us of the reality of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Isn't that wonderful? Number two, it reminds us of the raising of the dead. Now you've got to go with me to verse 12 because we're going to look at some things that are really interesting here and very, very important to our faith. The resurrection reminds us of the raising of the dead.

How can these things be? Well, he tells us a couple of things here that contextualizes this for us. Helps us to get to the point of the climactic expression. By the way, he builds up like a drum roll all the way from verse 35 and then he eventually gets to the mystery that we're all going to be changed in a moment in a twinkling of an eye.

But one precept begins to build upon another. God begins to help us to understand how these mysterious things can possibly take place. And here what he says is this, that the resurrection reminds us of the raising of the dead without which there is no preaching.

Have a look at it in verse 14. He says, if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless. Folks, that means to tell you that this morning, all across the world today, as the gospel is proclaimed, it's useless. It's null and void.

It's a waste of time. Without the raising of the dead, if we didn't believe what God says that the dead in Christ are going to be raised, our preaching is useless. Number two, without which there is no faith.

Now that's a how do you do. He says, there's no faith in verse 14. He says, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. In verse 17, he reminds us, he says, if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Now folks, that brings to question the entire spectrum of my Christian faith. Paul leaves no doubt here. If I do not believe that dead in Christ are raised, not only is my preaching useless, my faith is rendered worthless.

Number three, without which there is no witness. In verse 15, he says, more than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God because we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. Here's what he says.

He looks at Don Wilton and he says, Don Wilton, do you believe that God raised Jesus from the dead? Yes or no? I say, well, no, sir.

I just don't think I can accept that. Number one, your preaching is useless. Number two, your faith is useless. Number two, your faith is a waste of time. Number three, you're a liar.

You're a liar. You're a false witness. You're no better than David Koresh in Waco, Texas. You're no better than Jim Jones in the jungles of Guyana. You're leading people up the garden path. You're a false witness.

All you're doing is rallying people around a nothingness. And number four, without which there is no hope. In verse 19, he says, if only for this life, we have hope in Christ. Now, what does that mean? That means that Paul says, if you don't believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that the dead and the that the dead as a consequence of that in Christ are raised to be with God in heaven forever. What it means is that all you're doing in your life is you're playing this game, trying to find hope in Christ. And if you are doing that, you ought to be pitied more than all people, because you could be out there playing games and hitting a golf ball and doing anything other than being in church this Sunday morning.

You're just wasting your time. What's all this stuff? Why build buildings? Why go to church?

Man, the beach sounds awfully attractive, doesn't it? What hope would an older person who knows that their days are numbered, what hope would such a person have if it weren't for the fact that the dead in Christ are raised to be with him? You've been listening to Dr. Don Wilton, our teacher here on The Encouraging Word. And as he moves from the pulpit to the studio, I pray you'd open your heart to what he wants to share next. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Why don't you pray this prayer with me right now? Dear God, I know that I'm a sinner, and I know that Jesus died for me on the cross. Today, I repent of my sin, and by faith, I receive you into my heart in Jesus' name. My friend, I welcome you today into the family of God.

This is exciting news. If you just prayed along with Dr. Wilton to give your life to Christ or rededicate your life, Dr. Wilton has resources he wants you to have for free if you'll call us at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673. We would love to connect with you. You know, I'm so glad that we've been able to share together by means of radio today.

You just mean so much to me and how thankful we are for the Word of God together. You can call right now and connect with me at 866-899-9673. Did you get that? 866-899-9673. Call and connect with me right now. Our time's gone for today, but we're staying connected on our website, tewonline.org. That's 24 hours a day, as well as 866-899-9673. We're here to connect with you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-13 01:13:25 / 2023-08-13 01:23:43 / 10

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