In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return (Genesis 3:19).
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:4-5).
One of the most poignant verses in scripture is found in Genesis,
And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died (Genesis 5:5). Why - because God his creator said that the day you eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall surely die. Thankfully, God was gracious and didn’t strike Adam and Eve down that instant, but death is actually just the separation of man from his Creator, and the separation began at that instant. Just as Satan always does, he drove a wedge between God and man with his half-truth and it cost them everything. Adam and Eve found out too late the word of God alone can be trusted. They died and all of humanity and the earth itself fell under the curse of death from that time forward. We cannot avoid death. No matter how advanced we become in medicine or as a society, we continue to die. But there is coming a day when death ends. Did I hear a hallelujah? A time is coming when the last enemy will be gone. Our lesson focuses on a right understanding of death and the believer. We know that those who are born again will return to God the Father as a part of His rightful kingdom through the intercessory work of Jesus, who could fix what was broken by sin.
21 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Because we are the children of Adam, we carry the curse of sin. Because a man caused the damage. God became man in order to repair it. If we follow the first Adam, compromising the word of God and obeying our own lusts, our best years will end at the grave, and we will spend an eternity in an agonizing state of separation called Hell.
If we follow Christ, who was without sin and therefore took our sin to the cross and paid the price to free us from the curse, our best days will begin at the grave, and we will spend eternity in fellowship with God in the perfection of His provision, love, and purpose. Every man is cursed by Adam, but every man can also be made free by Christ. Resurrection power is something that we’ve lost focus on in our modern church. If we think through what it means to know for sure that we will live again, it will set us free from fear and allow us to live lives like no one else. The resurrection of Christ is my guarantee that this world is not the end. Confidence in that fact renders all of Satan’s weapons against you worthless.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
We know that when the Lord returns, yes I said when, not if, when the Lord returns, those Christians living on the earth will be instantly changed. Gravity will lose its power to hold us here, and we will meet our Lord in the air. All those who have died in the Lord are coming with Him in their resurrected bodies, changed beyond recognition from what was buried in the earth. Jesus did it first. What we need to know about our own resurrection can be based on His. Jesus appeared and disappeared from among His disciples. He could be touched, he could eat, He had a body that functioned here until He ascended. However, when He is seen on the Isle of Patmos by John, His appearance was very different. “It does not yet appear what we shall be,” Paul wrote, “but when He appears, we shall be like Him.”
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
When our Lord returns for His Church, He will begin a period of terrible judgment, unlike anything we have ever seen on the earth. He has not appointed us unto wrath, scripture tells us, in other words, when punishment is unleashed it will not be unleashed on those who are believers. All of the enemies of Jesus Christ will be defeated, Satan and his fallen angels will be judged and abolished. The King of Kings will show in fullness that He alone has all power and all glory. We have had a glimpse of Him, but we’ll need new eyes to take in who He actually is.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Paul said, “Oh, grave where is thy victory, Oh, death where is thy sting?” That is not to say that we do not grieve the loss of those we love, but as Christians, we do not grieve as “those who have not hope.” We know by the promises of God that those who die in Christ are safe with Him. “For to be absent from the body is to be present with God.” For now, the separation causes much pain, but Death itself will die. Christ has already defeated it; when He finishes his plans for this earth, none of His children will experience being separated ever again. I’m grateful that I have a place prepared for me with God, but I am even more glad that in that place, all that I love will be there with me.
27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
I am filled with the Holy Ghost, signifying I belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God the Father. There is a divine and holy order to life on this earth that has been ignored and rejected by sinful men, but it won’t always be this way. All that is wrong will be made right. Our long-suffering Savior allows us to share the gospel in a sin-wrecked world in order that “whosoever will might be saved.” When He decides that the time is right, He will return. If I die before that time, I may rest assured that for me, the curse of death will end, and I will be at His side. If I am alive when He returns, I will be changed, the curse will be gone, and I will watch Him win the world He created and set all things as they should be. I’ll see my champion rule and reign. As a believer, I am already part of the Kingdom that is coming, but when He comes, it will be made clear to everyone. Praise the Lord!
Thank you for studying with us! God bless!