Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Truth About Resurrection

by Rev. James Wong

The most bizarre news a week ago in Sabah was the discovery of the body of a cult leader in Penampang, identified as Chin Chi Vui @ Ivan. He was the leader of a church known as Church With No Walls (CWNW). His body was kept in a room for 13 months because members waited for his resurrection. (Please refer to pages 7-8 for more details). Did the bible ever talk about preserving the body of the dead and pray for their resurrection? No!

The followings are some important truths about resurrection.

Resurrection is the raising of a dead person to life. It is a divine act of God in causing a dead person to become alive again. Resurrection is the abolition of death, the rescue of the body from corruption and the soul from Hades.

1. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Christian church. Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ there will be no church because the Christian faith was founded on the belief that Jesus Christ the son of God was raised from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion (see 1 Cor 15:6-19). Easter day is a celebration and proclamation of Christ’s resurrection. Romans 1:4-5 says: “Jesus was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord (NLT).” Jesus is now alive forever and ever and he holds the keys of death and Hades (Rev 1:18).

2. The resurrection at the last day. There will be a resurrection at the end of the age. Luke 20:34-38 says: “Those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead... cannot die any more, for they are like the angels, and are sons of God being sons of the resurrection.” It will be a resurrection of reward for eternal life or condemnation. John 5:28-29 has this to say: “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out — those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” The dead will be resurrected at the last day not now because 1 Thess 4:16-17 says: “the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves (NLT).

3. The resurrection unto eternal life. This is the hope and assurance of our faith in Christ. Those of us who believe in Christ will resurrect from the death unto eternal life. In John 11:25, at the raising of Lazarus, Jesus said : “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me shall live even if he dies.” Only those who believe in Christ will live on to eternal life as Jesus promised that anyone who believes in him will never die (John 11:26). The resurrected body is a different body. “The dead shall be raised incorruptible... this mortal must put on immortality (1Co 15:50-55).” Our hope of resurrection is based on the fact of Christ’s own resurrection from the dead. It is the grace of God for us.

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