Adrian Rogers - The Resurrection Body
Would you be finding First Corinthians chapter 15, which is the resurrection chapter in the Bible, and we're going to be thinking today about the resurrection body. There's something very wonderful that's going to happen to these bodies of ours. If you know Christian theology, you know that when a believer dies, his spirit goes immediately into the presence of the Lord. The Bible says in Second Corinthians 5:8, "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord," so you may have some loved one whose body is out yonder in the cemetery, but their spirit is with our Lord, rejoicing with Jesus, face to face, which the Bible says is far better.
Dr. Rex Russell's grandmother died and they had taken her down to the funeral home. They were going to have visitation, and they had her body laid out in a particular room. They were going down to view the body. Dr. Russell said to his little boy playing in the back yard, "Would you like to go with me"? And he said, "Great-grandmother has gone to Heaven, but we're gonna go down and see her;" a little confusing to the boy. So he and the boy got in the car, and they went down to the funeral home and went into that room, and there she was. He looked at her for a while; he looked all around, looked back at her again and said, "So this is Heaven"? No, it wasn't Heaven. No, the body stays here for a while to rest in the good clean earth until the resurrection, but there is coming a resurrection of the body. These literal bodies are going to be raised up.
I heard about a man in England whose name was Solomon Peas and he died, and thought he'd have a little fun, so he had this put on his tombstone, "Beneath this sod and beneath these trees lies the body of Solomon Peas. But this ain't Peas, it's just the pod. Peas shelled out and went to God". And that's so good. This is just the pod that we live in, the Bible calls it, "Our earthly house," but the Bible teaches that one of these days there will be a resurrection of the human body. Now look if you will in First Corinthians chapter 15 and verse 35, "But some man will say, 'How are the dead raised up?'" Implying, how is that possible, and if it were possible, what would it be like? "How are the dead raised up," speaking of the probability or the possibility of it, "and with what body do they come"? Questions about the resurrected body.
So that's what we're gonna think about and friend, we're thinking about you. If you're a child of God, this is your future, so you need to pay attention. How are the dead raised up? Now some people think that this is scientifically impossible to have the resurrection of the human body. Well, friend, scientifically it may be; we're not talking about science, we're talking about Almighty God. Acts 26 and verse 8, Paul said to King Agrippa, who doubted the resurrection, and he said something with inexorable logic, he said, "Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you that God should raise the dead"? Now he didn't say that God 'should' raise the dead, but that 'God' should raise the dead. I mean, if you admit the fact of God, you won't have any difficulty with miracles, Amen?
Friend, listen. If you can get past Genesis 1:1 in the Bible, you won't have any difficulty with the rest of it. Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth". If God can make the Heavens and the earth out of nothing, certainly he can raise a human body out of something. Say, "Amen," to that. I mean, "Why should it be thought a thing impossible with you that God should raise the dead"? Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great preacher of yesteryear, said, "Everything that God does is wonderful till you get used to it". I mean, you think of all of the miracles. If you've never seen a seed before and then saw what a seed, you'd say, "That is incredible". We're just used to it. Everything that God does is wonderful until we get used to it.
Now, there are five things I want us to learn about your body, your resurrection body. Number one, it is illustrated with grain, it is illustrated with grain. Look now in First Corinthians 15 verses 36 and 37. Paul begins to answer that question, "Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened," the word quickened here means made alive, "except it die and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain; it may chance of wheat or some other grain".
Now Paul does not use just a mere seed here as an illustration, but a particular kind of seed; grain. He says that the resurrection is like grain, like wheat, that's put in the ground, it dies, it rots, it decays, and then it fructifies and comes back as life. Now he didn't say that it's like an apple seed, an orange seed, an avocado seed, but he said it's like grain. What is the difference? Well, in an apple, the fruit of an apple seed is an apple tree. But the fruit of a grain of wheat is another grain of wheat, exactly like it, so Paul is using a little exactitude here. He says, "It's like grain;" you put grain in the ground, and it dies and then it comes back again, beautiful, wonderful, and brand new. You say, "Well, Adrian, that's not a particularly good analogy, and here's the problem with your analogy, Adrian".
Well number one, it's not mine, it's Paul's, but here's the problem with that. Your mind says, "You know, when a grain of wheat goes into the ground, it only appears to die, it decays, it rots, but there is a germ of life that stays in that seed and therefore, the seed reproduces. But when you're dead, you're really dead". Wrong. There is a part of you, friend, that never dies. There is the spiritual nature in you that does not die. That's the whole point of the thing. Jesus said in John 11 and verse 26, "He that lives and believes in Me shall never die". Your everliving spirit cannot die and that spirit is that which your resurrected body is going to be, raised up around and so don't have difficulty with the idea that it is illustrated by a seed that rots, it is a wonderful, beautiful analogy.
Now, somebody says, "But wait a minute, Pastor. How is that possible? I mean, you think about it, how the body, the human body disintegrates. Here's a man who's born in Florida and then he grows up, enlists in the army, he's drafted and he goes overseas and he gets in a battle and he loses a leg to a land mine and the leg is buried somewhere overseas. And then the man comes back to the United States and he goes out, goes up to New York and he gets a job in a lumber mill and cuts off a finger and leaves that finger there. And then he finally is called to be a missionary, and he goes to Africa and he dies in Africa and they bury him in Africa beneath an apple tree and the apple tree roots, reaches down and absorbs that man and turns what's left of him into apples. And then the apples fall on the ground, a pig comes along and eats them.
Now Pastor, where is he? Where is he? You tell me how God is going to raise him up"? Well, friend, don't let that bother you. You see, our bodies, this particular body that you have right now, is not the one you had ten years ago, did you know that? You see, I am the same person I was when I was a baby, but I was a beautiful baby, but look at me now. You see, we're constantly changing. You have about 25 trillion red blood corpuscles, and they last about 120 days, but they're going. They're constantly changing. There's not a particle in your body here today that was here, say, 10 years ago. You're changing, you're adding particles and you're leaving particles, adding and leaving. In 1963 I crossed the Mississippi river for the first time; I was going out to California. And I said, "There's the mighty Mississippi. I've seen it for the first time".
Now, if I were to go down and look at that same river today, would I see the same river? Yes, but not one drop of water is in that river today that was in that river in 1963. Now it's the same river. There's not a particle in my body now that was in my body then when I crossed the river that long ago. You see, we are constantly changing, but there is a life principle that makes my body my body and not your body, it is my body. We know now, as we have gone into how the molecular structure of the body and we know something about what the scientists call what? DNA; that your body has a particular structure that makes you you and me me. It's not particular hide, hair, skin, bones that I have right now, but there is a principle in me that makes me me.
For example, and it's amazing how exact the Bible is. In Psalm 139 verse 16, here's what God says about a baby in its mother's womb. Listen to this, "Thine eyes did see my substance yet being unperfect". That is, "God, You saw me in my mother's womb. You saw my substance. I was unperfect," that is, "I'd not been mature". "And in Thy book," listen, "in Thy book, all my members were written when as yet there were none of them". Even before I was conceived, the omniscient God had all my members written in a book. There is the DNA, that incredible plan for Adrian and for you and for each of us written in a book. "Before there were any of them, which in continuance were fashioned when as yet there was none of them. All my members were written which in continuance were fashioned when as yet there was none of them".
So what makes a body the particular body it is? The stem cell, that DNA that's in there, and then in continuance the body is fashioned. Now, it is God who made everything out of nothing, who will take the particular plan that He has for you and when the resurrection comes, God will go into His book. He says, "There's an Adrian Rogers, put him in the thing," and up comes Adrian with a brand new body, but yet in reality is the body that He has given me. It is illustrated with grain. It is illustrated with grain. The grain of seed goes in the ground, there's a life principle that remains, that grain of seed comes out of the ground a brand new grain of seed. No particles in the old grain are in the new grain and yet it is part of the old grain. Understand it? No. Believe it? Yes. Amen. Alright, it's illustrated with grain.
Number two; it is individualized with uniqueness, uniqueness. Now don't get the idea that God is gonna make us all the same when we get up to Heaven, that we're gonna be a group of clones up there. No we're not! God makes no copies, God only makes originals. Look in chapter 15 verse 38 of First Corinthians, "But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed his own body". Now we're not all alike in Heaven, God makes no two stars alike, He goes on to say. God makes no two bodies on earth alike; God is a God of uniqueness. God makes no two snowflakes alike; God makes no two leaves on a plant exactly alike. God makes no set of fingerprints exactly alike. God is a God not of replication, but God is a God of infinite variety and differentiation.
So you will be you in the resurrection, I will be me in the resurrection; we're not all just some part of some amorphous group of whatevers. We are going to be unique and different. A little boy got a fingerprint set for Christmas and somebody asked him how he liked it. Said, "Well, I like it pretty well". But he said, "The guy who wrote this thing was a liar". "What do you mean he was a liar"? He said, "Well, here in the instructions it says, 'No two human beings have the same fingerprints.'" He said, "I know one person at least who has the same fingerprints". Say, "Who's that"? He said, "Santa Clause, Daddy, and whoever it was that broke into my piggy bank".
It was the same person, the same person. God makes us unique. And you know when you get to Heaven, you'll be you, I'll be me, we'll, "Howdy," we'll fellowship and on the Mount of Transfiguration when Moses and Elijah appeared. Moses was Moses, Elijah was Elijah, Jesus was Jesus. The disciples had never seen them before, but they knew them, they didn't need any introductions, they were absolutely unique. So, your body is individualized with uniqueness, that means we'll know one another in Heaven.
Number three, not only is it illustrated with grain, not only is it individualized with uniqueness, but number three, it is infused with perfection, infused with perfection. Look now in First Corinthians 15 verses 42 through 44, "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory, it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power, it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body". There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body. It will be the same, but it will be infused with perfection. You know, you say, "Pastor Rogers, I'm not sure I want my body back again, if you only knew all the pain and the trouble and the heartache that I have in my body". Well, you'll be satisfied with it, I'm gonna show you that. As a matter of fact, you will like it very much.
If you don't like the way your photograph looks when you get it back, just wait. If you don't like what your IQ is like right now, just wait. A lot of us are smarter than we're able to perform. For example, your brain is the gray matter, that has to do with your intelligence. Your mind uses your brain to think with. Your mind and your brain are not the same thing. Your mind is to your brain what a pianist is to a piano. Now some folks have a grand piano and some of us have a spinet, isn't that right? But in the resurrection, you're going to have a mind that you're going to be able to think with. So, it's going to be an incredibly new wonderful body.
Look again, for example, in verse 42, "It is changed from corruption to incorruption". Now what does corruption mean? It means that which decays, we're sitting here decaying; I mean, we are dying right now. We're dying by degrees. And each time our heart beats, it's just, as the poet said, "A muffled drum beating a funeral march to the grave". So our body's corrupt, but it's gonna be raised in incorruption, it's gonna be changed, verse 43, "From dishonor to glory". Now God wants us to have a glorious body. Which of us today would say that our bodies now are glorious? No. I mean, we say, "I'm grateful for what God has given me," but I'd be awful vain to say it is glorious and even if it is glorious, just wait a while. But God is gonna give us a glorious body, from dishonor to glory. It'll be the same body, but it will be changed. Ladies, look at that diamond on your finger there.
What's the difference between that diamond and a lump of coal? You say, "For one thing, the size". Well, I'll tell you, both are carbon, both are made of carbon. The diamond is made of carbon; the coal is made of carbon. The coal is carbon in humiliation; the diamond is carbon in glory. Same substance, only improved and changed. You see an ugly, repulsive caterpillar, and then you see a beautiful monarch butterfly. What's the difference? Well, the caterpillar is the creature in humiliation; the butterfly is the creature in glory. It is the same, but it has been changed. And so we're going to go from corruption to incorruption, we're going to go from dishonor to glory. You see, most of us have never really ever even seen a man as man was intended to be. You don't realize what God made when He made you. If we were to see Adam and put Adam in here after Adam came off God's assembly line and put him up alongside one of the men in this congregation, you'd realize that we are in dishonor, not in glory.
You see, centuries of sin have marred and scarred and debilitated mankind. We have something between our ears called a brain, I alluded to that before. I read in a scientific journal, the most brilliant of persons will use less than two-fifths of one percent of his brain capacity; two-fifths of one percent, the most brilliant person. Incredible ability that God has put into the human being that has been marred and scarred and dampened and disfigured by sin. Suppose you had never seen a train, a railroad train, never seen a railroad train at all and there's a train wreck and I take you out to see that train wreck and I say, "There's a train". Well, have you seen a train? Well, it's debatable, I guess you could say you've seen a train, but what you've really seen is what? A train wreck.
Now you take that fella over there. Look at him. Now you think that's a man? That's not a man, that's a wreck, he's a wreck, he's not what God intended a man to be. He's now in dishonor. One of these days he will be in glory. And then again look if you will, it's changed from weakness to power in verse 43. Have you ever wanted to sing or serve or preach or pray or witness or just worship better than you do? One of these days, all of the limitations of this earth will fall away, and no more weakness, no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying, no more trying, we will have that perfection that God wants us to have. And then again, look in verse 44; it's changed from a natural body to a spiritual body, that's what verse 44 says. It's not a natural body. The word natural means soulish. It's a soulish body. It's a body motivated by soulish principles rather than spiritual principles. Now, pull over and park here for just a moment. He doesn't say, "A spirit body". He says, "A spiritual body".
Sometimes people trying to escape the idea of a bodily resurrection, say, "Oh, it's just a spirit body". There's no such thing as a spirit body, that's a contradiction in terms. A spirit body would be like a square circle. A spirit body would be like a silent noise. A spirit body would be like a filled vacuum. It's a contradiction in terms. It is a spiritual body, not a spirit body. Jesus said in Luke 24:39, "A spirit has not flesh and bones". It's raised a literal, actual body, but it will be motivated by spiritual principles, not by soulish principles. It will be liberated from the soulish principles and be given spiritual principles. There will be a body, Heaven is a real place for resurrected bodies and there will be a resurrected place for you to put a resurrected foot on. Heaven is a real place. Jesus said, "I go and prepare a place for you" - John 14:3.
Now here's number four. It is identified with Jesus. This new body is identified with the Lord Jesus. Look now in verse First Corinthians chapter 15 verse 45 to 49, "And so it is written, 'The first Adam,'" who was the first Adam? Adam, that's an easy question. Alright, "'The first Adam was made a living soul. The last Adam,'" who was the last Adam? Jesus, "'was made a quickening spirit,'" a life-giving spirit. "Howbeit, that was not first which was spiritual, but that which is natural". In other words, Adam, the natural man, came before Jesus, the spiritual man. "And afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from Heaven". So the second Adam is Jesus, "As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly".
Now here's the key, look in verse 49, "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly". Now, right now I have the image of the earthy. Who is the earthy? Adam. One day I'm gonna have the image of the heavenly. Who is the heavenly? Jesus. So right now I'm like Adam in my body. One day I'll be like Jesus, see? You're looking at a man who one day's gonna be like Jesus, is that not incredible? I will be an individual, it'll be my same body, but my body will be like the Lord Jesus Christ, God is gonna conform me to the image of Jesus Christ. I'm gonna bear His image. You know, every now and then we hear people say, "Well, we're all in the image of God". Wrong. Look around. You think God's in this kind of shape? We're not in the image of God; we're in the image of Adam.
Look again in verse 48, the Bible says, "We bear the image of the earthy". Adam was in the image of God, but that image was marred and disfigured when Adam sinned, and now, the Bible says in Genesis 5:3, "Adam brought forth a son after his likeness and in his image," see? We're in the image of Adam. But one day we will be transformed to the image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Now I don't know exactly what we're gonna be like, but I'll tell you what I do know. First John chapter 3 verse 2, "Beloved, it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is".
Now you can ask me questions I can't answer about our resurrected body and you could ask the Apostle John, and he couldn't answer it. He said, "It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is". Some things you can't be dogmatic about, some things you can be bull-dogmatic about. We're going to be like the Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus had a real body. He was not a phantom; He was not a ghost after His resurrection.
As a matter of fact, put in your margin Luke chapter 24, and begin in verse 36 and go through verse 40. Jesus is speaking after His resurrection to His disciples, "And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them and saith unto them, 'Peace be unto you.' But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. But He said unto them, 'Why are you troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your heart? Behold, My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have.' And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet".
You see, Jesus was real, He could be touched, He could be handled, He ate food, He fellowshipped with them, He had a real body, a resurrected body, and so will I. We're gonna be made like Him. And here's a wonderful verse for this Easter morning, Psalm 17 verse 15, "As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness". Won't that be a day? "I will behold Thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Thy likeness". The old body goes down to the grave, resurrection morning it wakes up, and there it is, just like the Lord Jesus Christ and yet the individual you. Now here's the fifth thing about this body, this resurrected body, it is immortalized with victory, it is immortalized with victory. Now begin in chapter 15 and look in verse 51, Paul says, "Behold I show you a mystery".
What is a mystery in the Bible? It's not like a murder mystery written by Agatha Christie. A mystery in the Bible is a sacred secret that you could only know by divine revelation and something you would not figure out by human prognostication. Look again in verses 51 through 54, it says here, "Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep," that is, not everybody on earth is going to die, there are millions alive right now who may never die. "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we," inferring those who are still living, "shall be changed, for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal." the word mortal means that which dies from the Latin mortis, why we call it a mortuary.
"This mortal," that which can die, "must put on immortality," that which can never die. "And so when this corruptible," that which decays, "shall put on incorruption," that which can never decay, "and when this mortal shall have been put on, shall put on immortality," now watch this, "then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'" And then Paul begins to spiritually swagger a little bit, and he begins to boast a little bit. Continue to read verses 55 to 57, he says, "Oh, death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law, but thanks be unto God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ". It is immortalized with victory. We become immortal and we have victory and we can look at death and say, "Death, where's your sting"? We can look at the grave and say, "Grave, where's your victory"? This is the two-fold anthem of the redeemed.
See, some will die and go to the grave before Jesus comes; others will be alive when Jesus comes. Those who are alive and never die, they can look death in the face and say, "Hah! 'Death, where is your sting?'" And those who come out of the ground can turn back and look at the grave that tried to hold them and say, "Grave, where is your victory"? Now, the sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law. We're sinners, that's why we die. Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is death," that's the sting of death, is sin. A little boy and his sister were with the mother in the garden and a big old bumblebee, you've seen those kind that come out, landed on the little boy and stung him. He began to cry and jumped up in his mother's arm, and the bee began to buzz around their head, and the little girl was frightened to death.
The little boy by this time had his tears dried, and the mother said, "Sweetheart, you don't have to be afraid of that bee". She said, "But he stung brother". She said, "Yes, but come over here and look". And there on brother's hand was the stinger, still in that flesh, and she pulled it out and said, "See there? He left his stinger in brother and because brother was stung," said, "You can't be stung because that bee has lost his stinger". I want to tell you, the Lord Jesus took the sting of sin for me and for you and old death may buzz, he may frighten you, but friend, the sting is gone because of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Oh, death, where is your sting? Oh, grave, where is your victory"? Jesus has taken the pain out of parting, the dread out of dying, the gloom out of the grave, and Jesus has given us a hope that is steadfast and sure. And it's like Paul is just flinging an insult to death and sin, and he begins to boast, and he says, "Look, I can fling my body into the grave, and I can serve notice to every greedy microbe, this corruption will put on incorruption. I'm coming up out of that grave. I have a promise of a resurrected body".
Second Corinthians Chapter 5 and verse 8 says, "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord," but the body itself is going to be raised and given a new life. That is victory, friend. Easter is about victory. As we read in Second Corinthians 2 verse 14, "Thanks be unto God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ". It pays to serve Jesus, it pays every day. That's the reason He says in First Corinthians, verse 58 of chapter 15, "Therefore, My beloved brethren, be therefore steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as you know, as much as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord," it pays to serve Jesus. It's all of this and it is Heaven, too. Yes, my spirit is going directly to Heaven, but one of these days, one of these days my body is going to be raised up from the dead, gathered around that principle that makes me uniquely me, that which was written in God's book, and I'm gonna rise and I'm gonna be like the Lord Jesus Christ and it's going to be glorious, it's going to be wonderful.
That's what Easter is all about. When Jesus was on that cross, the demons of hell said, "Jesus is defeated. Satan has won"! But I'm gonna tell you that Calvary was Satan's biggest mistake because Jesus defeated the enemy at Calvary. And on that Easter morning when the fog lifted, we saw, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story, the rest of the story. That's why I love Easter, that's why I love the celebration of our Savior who suffered, bled and died and walked out of that grave and because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Would you bow your heads in prayer? Heads are bowed and eyes are closed. You know, the important thing today is really that you come to know Jesus Christ. Would it not be tragic for you to come and celebrate the resurrection, and then be lost and die and go to hell? God wants to save you, and He will save you. I can't think of a better day to be saved than on the day that we celebrate Easter. So if you're not certain that you're saved, let me help you to get certain today. Would you like to pray and receive Him? I'm not asking you just to turn over a new leaf or promise to be a better person; I'm asking you today to receive the gift of eternal life. For the Bible says in Romans 6 verse 23, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". You can receive that gift right now by faith if you will. Mean business now. We're not playing games. Be as sincere as you've ever been and pray like this:
Dear God, I know that You love me and I know that You want to save me. Jesus, You died to save me, and You promised to save me if I would trust You. I do trust You, Jesus. I believe You are the Son of God. Thank You for dying for my sin. Thank You for taking my place on the cross. Thank You for paying my sin debt. I believe that God raised You from the dead, and I now open my heart and by faith, like a child, I trust You as my Lord and Savior. I don't ask for a feeling, I don't look for a sign, I just stand on Your Word, I trust You, Jesus. Forgive my sin; cleanse me, Lord, thank You for doing it. Come into my life; take control of my life now. I receive You as the Lord of my life and my dear Savior. Save me, Jesus.
Pray that out of your heart.
Save me, Jesus.
Did you ask Him? Then thank Him.
Thank You for doing it, Jesus. I trust You to do it and that settles it. You're now my Lord, my Savior, my God and my Friend. And Lord Jesus, because You've saved me, I will live for You, and I will never, ever be ashamed of You if You'll just give me the courage to make this public. In Your name I pray, Amen.