Jesus is the Life and He is Life He gives life, and we wrap our lives around Him
Technology Tries to Solve the Problem of Death
The longest any human has lived is 122 years, according to Guinness World Records. But a few years ago, Time magazine announced that Google is funding a company that will try to extend human lifespan and solve the diseases of aging. The weekly’s cover asks, in huge letters, “Can Google Solve Death?”
The death-curing company Time is referring to is Calico. According to a press release put out at the same time as the article, Calico “will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases.” Calico’s CEO and founding investor is Arthur D. Levinson, the former CEO of Genentech, the biotech corporation. Levinson has been given a new role to alter the basic nature of human existence.
But if you’re looking for more details about Calico from Time’s cover story, don’t bother. All Google offers is the following about all-knowing data. Former Google CEO Larry Page wrote on his blog:
OK … so you’re probably thinking, “wow! That’s a lot different from what Google does today.” And you’re right. But as we explained in our first letter to shareholders, there’s tremendous potential for technology more generally to improve people’s lives. So don’t be surprised if we invest in projects that seem strange or speculative compared with our existing Internet businesses.
Why Do We Fear Death?
In the 2007 film The Bucket List, two terminally ill men—played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman—take a road trip to do the things they always said they would do before they “kicked the bucket.” In anticipation of the film’s release, Nicholson was interviewed for an article in Parade magazine. While reflecting on his personal life, Nicholson said:
I used to live so freely. The mantra for my generation was “Be your own man!” I always said, “Hey, you can have whatever rules you want—I’m going to have mine. I’ll accept the guilt. I’ll pay the check. I’ll do the time.” I chose my own way. That was my philosophical position well into my 50s. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to adjust.
But reality has a way of getting the attention of even a Jack Nicholson. Later in the interview, Nicholson adds:
We all want to go on forever, don’t we? We fear the unknown. Everybody goes to that wall, yet nobody knows what’s on the other side. That’s why we fear death.
What Should We Focus On?
One of the challenges of life in the 21st century is the amount of information we are expected to keep up with. television, radio, news, emails, phone calls, the Internet—all demand our time. In terms of human history this is relatively new. Some have argued that up until a few hundred years ago, it was possible for an educated person to know almost everything about almost everything. Before the railroad system came along, the fastest information traveled was the speed of a horse or a sailing ship. Now the information pipeline is instant, overwhelming, ever-expanding. It’s hard to keep up.
Of course, remarkably little of what comes our way is important—and much of what is critical for today is forgotten within a week. This has led some to complain that Americans know everything about the last 24 hours, considerably less about the last 24 years, and next to nothing about the last 2,400 years. But some of what comes our way is important, and the risk is you will overlook it. All of this means that one of the key questions we face is this: What should I be paying attention to? What should I be focused on? What actually matters?
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul is fighting for the faith of the church in Corinth.
What’s important is not the size of your faith, but the size of the God you put your in.
The First Fruits of the Harvest
1 Corinthians 15:20-28
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
Death is Defeated
1 Corinthians 15:24-25, reminds us of the victory of Christ over death. Today, sin and evil run rampant throughout the world. Any daily newsstand clearly proves the point through the reports of fighting and war, immorality and crime, selfishness and greed, corruption and death. The news can easily become discouraging and make a person wonder what the fate of society and man will ultimately be. But not to the true Christian believer. The day is coming when Jesus Christ Himself will “put all enemies under His feet,” all sin and shame, deceit and lying, violence and abuse, hurt and murder, crime and injustice—all enemies shall be subjected to Jesus Christ. The kingdom of love and righteousness will be presented to God and love and righteousness will rule forever and ever.
We should be courageous in death, knowing that Christ has conquered death.
PRINCIPLE: We will spend eternity in resurrected bodies.
Because of the Resurrection of Jesus, we can be saved.
29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?
Paul pointed out that it would be meaningless to live as a Christian if there were to be no resurrection.
Why worship, why be baptized, why observe the Lord’s Supper, why pray, why read the Bible if there is no resurrection of the dead? All religious worship and rituals are empty; they are meaningless and profit nothing if there is no resurrection. This is the meaning of this particular point and it is easily understood.
Anytime you read a difficult verse and are not sure of its meaning, it’s an opening for a false teaching. False teachers will develop theology around it.
When I read a difficult verse, it doesn’t bother me. God can explain it when we go to heaven. We do know for sure that baptism is for believers.
Paul wasn’t trying to confuse us. This was for the Corinthian believers and they understood what he was referring to.
There is certain hope that someone who has died in Christ will be resurrected.
Because of the Resurrection of Jesus, We Serve
30-32 – And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
Because of the Resurrection of Jesus, We are sanctified.
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.
Who are you spending most of your time with? It will influence your beliefs about God.
People who say there is no resurrection are excusing their sin.
Watch out for selfish sinful philosophies.
Be on guard against those who argue against the truth of faith and hope and love of God.
Acts of Faith in the Resurrection
When the world seems a defeat for God and you are sick with the disorder, the violence, the terror, the war on the streets; when the earth seems to be chaos, say to yourself, “Jesus died and rose again on purpose to save, and his salvation is already with us.”
- Every departing missionary is an act of faith in the resurrection.
- Every peace treaty is an act of faith in the resurrection.
- Every agreed commitment is an act of faith in the resurrection.
- When you forgive your enemy
- When you feed the hungry
- When you defend the weak you believe in the resurrection.
- When you have the courage to marry
- When you welcome a newborn child
- When you build your home you believe in the resurrection.
- When you wake at peace in the morning
- When you sing to the rising sun
- When you go to work with joy you believe in the resurrection.
The Resurrection Makes the perishable imperishable
Our resurrected bodies will be perfect, not subject to death, disease, or weakness.
1 Corinthians 15:35-50
35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.
40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we[g] bear the image of the heavenly man.
50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
APPLICATION: We should look forward to receiving our perfect, resurrected bodies as the time when our salvation will be completed.