Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, April 15th. Jesus rose from the dead so believers can be assured that a home in heaven awaits them. Celebrate Easter by embracing the message of the resurrection. What I'd like to do in this message is simply explain to you what is the real message of the resurrection. It isn't simply the fact that Jesus died on the cross and somebody placed him in their tomb and sealed it up and Romans that were there to guard it. And simply the fact that the stone was rolled away and suddenly his body was not there. That is the event.
These are the things that took place. But what is the message of the resurrection? So whether you're a believer or not, I want you to listen carefully. The first thing that I understand about the message of the resurrection is this, that our Christ, Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is our Savior and our Lord and our Master, the Son of God is alive. He is not dead. And my friend, the world needs to hear the truth that the God whom you and I serve, the living God, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, is not buried in a tomb.
He is not here. It is his absence, not his presence, but his absence that causes us to rejoice. The second message of the resurrection is this, that our sins have been forgiven and we are absolutely eternally secure in him. If you recall, he says he came to give his life a ransom for many. He came to seek and to save that which is lost.
If you will, in Ephesians chapter one, Ephesians chapter one, beginning in this very first chapter, Paul talks about how we have been chosen in Christ. And then he says in verse seven, in him that is in Christ Jesus, we have redemption. That is, his death purchased our salvation through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
You'll recall also in first Peter chapter one, when he is describing what Jesus has done for us, here's what he says in first Peter chapter one and beginning in verse 18, knowing that you and I were not redeemed or saved with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life, inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood as of a lamb, unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. What is the message of the resurrection? The message of the resurrection is that our sins have been forgiven. The message of the resurrection is that you and I are returnally secure in him. But is that all the message of the resurrection?
No, it's not. Because we too, not only are going to live forever, but we too are going to experience a bodily resurrection. So I want you to turn to first Corinthians 15.
Let's look at this for a moment. And I want us to look at these verses. First Corinthians 15. Jesus called this resurrection a resurrection unto life. And so in this 15th chapter, he gives us some things here that I want us to notice. We also are going to experience a bodily resurrection.
Now, when is that going to happen? Here's what he tells us in verse 23 of chapter 15. He says, But each in his own order, Christ the firstfruits, after that, those who are Christ at his coming.
Here's what he's saying. The first person to be resurrected from the dead and to live forever is the Lord Jesus Christ. Those whom Jesus Christ raised from the dead in his day died. But Jesus Christ is the one who raised from the dead and lives forever. And so the message here is this, that all of us who are his children, we too are going to have a bodily resurrection. That's the message of the resurrection. It isn't just the fact that somebody died.
It isn't just the fact that somebody rose from the grave. But this message is the message of hope and assurance and confidence for every single believer. Now, I want you to go back to John Chapter six.
With all that in mind, this has takes a little different meaning now. John Chapter six. He said in verse thirty seven that the father, he says, all that the father gives me shall come to me and the one who comes to me, I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of him who sent me, that of all that he's given me.
Listen to this now. He says, I lose nothing but raise it up on the last day. He didn't say, I don't lose him. Go raise him up. He said, I lose nothing. You know what that means? That means God is not even going to lose these bodies.
Listen, the total you is not just your personality, but it is your body. So what is he going to change? Well, naturally, our spirit, when we leave this earth, we walk into his presence in absolute holy perfection. And so what happens when he resurrects this body? You think he's going to get some tainted, distorted, diseased, decayed body and bring it to heaven? No, absolute perfection of what a sovereign authoritative God who said Jesus said it about himself. He said all authority is given to me in heaven and in earth.
So what is he going to do? He says in a twinkling of an eye, these bodies are going to be resurrected. Listen, fashion like under the body of the Son of God.
His body was absolutely, totally glorified. When we leave this earth and this body leaves this earth, these bodies are going to leave this earth perfectly transformed, absolutely in the glory of the Son of God himself. That's the message of the resurrection. Man, listen, we don't only have hope that we're going to heaven. Look how we're going and look what we're going to be like when we get there. We're going to serve the living God forever. There's not going to be any ugly people in heaven. There's not going to be any good-looking and ugly. You know what? We are going, we're going to bear the image of the glory of the Son of God.
What are you going to look like? Something that you and I couldn't even imagine. I don't know whether there are heaven and mirrors in heaven or not.
Probably not because, well, there can't be any sins or there can't be any advantages. So let me just stop right there. But when you think about what, listen, he doesn't do anything partially. He doesn't do anything halfway. He has provided an absolutely perfect heaven for us, which is going to include the heavenly city and this renovated earth. And we are the living sons of God. His love is absolutely unconditional. He's always done his best for us. Will he not do his best for these bodies?
Yes, he will. And that's why he says we're going to be like him. And he says, listen, he says, I'm not going to lose anything, but raise it up on the last day.
This is the will of my father, that everyone who beholds the son believes in him may have eternal life. And I myself will raise him up on the last day. He's speaking of the body because we'll already be with him. Raise him up on the last day. Raise up these bodies.
That's not going to lose anything. Bodies will be transformed, just like he said. What's the message of the resurrection? Every single one of us who knows Christ as our Savior, we too are going to experience a resurrection. Now, not only that, but heaven is going to be our eternal home. The message of the resurrection is that heaven is our home. Because Jesus said, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I'm coming again to receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
There you may be also. You may say, well, I don't believe in Jesus, but I believe in God. I believe that my God is the kind of God who ultimately is going to take everybody into heaven because he's a God of love.
He is also a God of justice. I believe that somehow if I do my best, and if I'm a good citizen, a good husband, good wife, good son, good daughter, pay my taxes, don't hurt anybody, don't kill anybody, surely God's going to take me to heaven. I believe I'm as good as the next one. And I don't believe you have to believe in Jesus and all that stuff. I believe that somehow I'm going to get there. Well, now, my friend, listen to me carefully. I say this with all the compassion of my heart.
I know you may believe that, but you're deceived. Here's what the only person who ever conquered death, rose from the grave, seated at the Father's right hand, here's what he said. This is the same one before whom all of us will stand, either in the judgment of rewards, rewarded for our good works, or the great white throne judgment where we will be condemned for all eternity for our sinfulness.
He's the one who made this statement. Nothing unclean, no one who practices abomination, those things that God hates, and lying shall ever come into heaven, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life, period. It doesn't make any difference what I feel. It doesn't make any difference what I think is right and wrong and good and just. The issue is, what did the judge of all mankind, what did the only person to rise from the dead, and the only person to be seated at the Father's right hand, and the only person who has proven and validated every single promise he made by rising from the dead himself. Here's the one who said, only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life will enter heaven.
It doesn't make any difference what you think or what you feel. The issue is, what does Almighty God say? And he makes it very clear and very simple. He says, for example, there'll be no reason for light because there's not going to be any darkness there. He says in verse 3, we're going to serve Him. He says in verse 4, we're going to see Him face to face. He says also in verse 4, His name will be in our foreheads. And He says in verse 5, and there shall no longer be any night. They shall not have any need of the light of the Lamb or the light of the sun because the Lord God shall illumine them, and they shall reign forever and ever. Now, if we had time, we could talk a lot of things about what the Bible says about heaven. But you see, the most important thing about heaven is not what the streets are made of and whether they're going to be castles or whether they're going to be something else. That's not even the issue.
The issue is this. The issue is that God's there. The throne of God's there. Jesus is there. The issue is that we're going to be there.
We're going to be serving Him, worshipping Him, praising Him, living with Him and living with our love. Listen, all that Almighty God has provided for us, listen, you and I can believe it because Christ rose from the dead, which validates everything He said. If He had not risen from the dead, we'd say, well, you know, other people have made all kind of promises and we can look in their Bibles and see all of these things, but how do we know? Listen, the fact that He rose from the dead, listen, that's proof.
Listen, because that's the final test. That is the ultimate proof that He's the Son of God. The ultimate proof that He's divine.
The ultimate proof of His promises to be true. And He says that He's provided a heaven for us and that's where every single person whose name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life is going to spend eternity. But I want to tell you something else about the resurrection. A wonderful, wonderful truth about the resurrection, that's this. We have the promise that we're going to meet our loved ones there and we're going to know them.
Why do you get that? Well, in the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians, for example, He says we're going to know even as we're known. Let me ask you, what would heaven be like if it were just a matter of a bunch of faceless people, just a bunch of faceless spirits? When He said in 1 Thessalonians that when Jesus Christ comes, listen, He's bringing those who have passed on before our loved ones with Him, then we too shall be caught up together and He says to meet them in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
He didn't have to say that. Now, why would He say we're going to meet them in the air if we weren't going to know them? And the truth is, it wouldn't be heaven if they were all faceless creatures. We're going to know each other. We're going to have some kind of relationship that I don't think anybody can fully understand. But it will be a wonderful relationship with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. We'll have an absolute perfect relationship. We'll have a perfect relationship with one another. That relationship is going to be to such a degree of intimacy and such a degree of pure holiness that you and I couldn't possibly understand on this earth contained in these physical bodies with our emotions and our sinfulness how you could relate to someone so absolutely in such a heavenly fashion.
But that is exactly what's going to happen. We're going to know each other. We shall know even as we're known and we absolutely shall be no doubt and unquestionably perfectly known in heaven. So somebody says, Well, does that mean that I'm going to be able to see the Apostle Paul?
Yes, I believe that's true. Well, am I going to be able to ask him some questions? I doubt it. Let me tell you why. There have been so many people who've lived and died who wanted to ask Paul questions. Eternity would be for Paul answering questions. So that wouldn't be heaven for him at all. So it's not going to be any of that.
You know why? Because you're not going to have all the answers. We're going to know what we've been wanting to know. I believe that God is going to give us an absolute perfect knowledge. I believe that somehow we're going to be able to look back and glance and see all of time from the beginning to the time you and I in His presence and we're going to see and watch the wonders of this almighty, sovereign, unconditionally loving, forgiving God. Work through time. Work through space.
Work through civilizations and how He moved in every circumstance and how He controlled every event of human history to bring, listen, to bring to final ultimate climax the coming of His Son and then the return of His Son and then the judgments. I believe that somehow we'll be able to perceive and understand all of that because you see, then life will be over and all that will be will be a renovated, absolutely glorious, heavenly earth and a heavenly city. Will we know each other in heaven? Yes, we will. Will it be an intimate relationship beyond our comprehension?
Yes, we will. Why would God deprive of us anything, listen, anything He would not? Is He not the one who placed on a mother's heart a love for her children? Is it not He who places in a father's heart the love and care for his family? Is it not He who places in a child's heart love for their parents? Does not God know that oftentimes He has allowed a child to be taken away from a blessed mother early in life? Naturally, she longs for, looks forward to and oftentimes people who've been married a very short time, one of them's gone quickly without any warning.
What does that person do? They live years and years and years looking forward to the time they see them again. Will we know each other in heaven?
Absolutely, we'll know each other in heaven. Well, there's just one other message of the resurrection I want to share. That's this. When I look at this chapter and I see the events that took place and all about the tomb and all of these things and the spices and all the rest and this is where people get hung up usually. That's not the message of the resurrection. That's the event of the resurrection. The message of it is this. The message of the resurrection is because Jesus Christ rose from the dead and is living on the inside of every single one of us who is his children. We can face all the tomorrows with confidence and assurance and perfect peace. That no matter what we have to face we will be victorious. We will because this earth is full of strife and stress and strains and violence and harm and hurt and shame and because it is full of sorrow and pain and because our valleys are oftentimes very long and very deep and because our pathway oftentimes is full of pain and hurt and disappointments and discouragements. The message of the resurrection is this.
You're not going to walk through a single valley. We don't walk through along any pathway of life no matter how hurtful and how painful without the presence of the Son of God to enable us, strengthen us, help us, guard us, guide us, empower us and cheer us on our way. That this life is not what it's all about. This is just part of the journey. And at some point out there when this journey is ended the Son of God who rose from the dead who made us all these wondrous promises is going to be standing there waiting for us to fulfill His last awesome promise. I will come again to receive You to myself that where I am, there You may be also. Thank you for listening to Part 2 of The Message of the Resurrection. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
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