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Why Are Pulpits Silent Regarding Our Future Resurrection?

Updated: Apr 3

There’s an old saying that warns of “putting the cart before the horse.” This signifies that there’s a necessary order for many things, a cause and effect. A team doesn’t celebrate winning a game when the outcome is in doubt, or they are far behind in the score, but wait until they secure a victory.

We also see this in 1 Corinthians 15. Jesus’ resurrection secured our receipt of imperishable and immortal bodies. Apart from His victory over death and the grave, our faith would be “futile” because we would still be in our sins (15:17). Paul sums up this woeful state in verse 19: “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

Our hope of resurrected, glorified bodies rests upon Jesus’ death on the cross and the empty tomb signifying His resurrection. This came first, and it secured our hope of eternal life.

Of course, we magnify the Savior on Resurrection Sunday as a day set aside to remember His victory over death. The practice of meeting on the first day of the week began because that was the day Jesus rose from the dead.

However, pulpits far too often remain silent regarding the implications of Jesus’ resurrection for us as believers. I have heard many Gospel presentations that end with the certainty of God’s forgiveness of our sins, which is essential, but contain no reference to eternal life.

The message thus becomes one of “your best life now,” which Paul decries in 1 Corinthians 1 5:17-19. It’s similar to a horse outfitted to pull a cart, but he stands alone with no wagon.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus emphasized “eternal life” as the result of believing in Him (John 3:15-16, 5:24, 6:40, 10:28). Martha understood that Jesus’ promise included that of a resurrected body, as evidenced by her words pertaining to her brother’s death, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day” (John 11:24). Eternal life signifies a bodily resurrection, which Jesus secured for us on the cross, after which He became the “firstfruits” of our future restoration to life (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

After Jesus’ ascension, the Lord revealed more details of this hope to His apostles. Through the Holy Spirit, they wrote about Jesus’ appearing when He would raise the “dead in Christ” and catch us up “to meet Him in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). In Philippians 3:20-21, the apostle sums up the promise of 1 Corinthians 15:47-55 with these words: “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

Please know we love hearing sermons about Jesus’ resurrection, however, we cannot remember a time when we heard Jesus’ promise of our imperishable bodies even briefly mentioned by a pastor. Is not this a key reason for our rejoicing on Resurrection Sunday? We have hope beyond this life because we serve a risen Saviour.

This leads me to a couple of questions:

  1. Why do pastors refuse to mention the wonders of our “blessed hope?”

In most cases, unbiblical beliefs regarding Bible prophecy account for the silence regarding the New Testament promise of resurrected bodies for the saints. The most popular teachings regarding the end times focus our hope on the church as either the current kingdom of God or as the vehicle to bring in the millennial kingdom minus our Savior.

Some teach that the fulfilment of 1 Corinthians 15:50-55 happens at the time of our regeneration, while others point believers to an end-of-the-age wrap-up of human history with no mention of the saints receiving glorified bodies. The most popular teachings in churches today deny the Rapture and leave the saints with no expectation of their resurrection.

Other pastors claim to believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture but refuse to mention anything that relates to it so as not to offend those with other beliefs or the unsaved.

2. Why does it matter?

The New Testament fixes our hope solely on Jesus and His imminent appearing to take us home. Such an eternal perspective is essential not only for our encouragement in these perilous times but also for our growth toward spiritual maturity. I say this because such a focus:

  • Motivates us toward purity in our lives (1 John 3:1-3).

  • Teaches us to value eternal realities over temporal things (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

  • Calms our souls with the certainty that Jesus will intervene in our world, bringing “sudden destruction” on the wicked (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11).

Jesus’ death in our place upon the cross, His burial, and His resurrection three days later are essential to the proclamation of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-11). However, the Apostle Paul does not stop there but continues to explain that our receipt of immortal resurrected bodies is a direct outcome of our faith, without which it would be useless (1 Corinthians 15:12-58).

One of Satan’s big lies is that we now enjoy all the benefits of God’s promised kingdom in our flesh and blood bodies with a rapture less future devoid of glorified bodies. Though extremely popular in churches that claim to believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, it’s most definitely not what the Bible teaches, and it contradicts most of what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15.

This is why we defend the Rapture with so much passion. Pastors that deny it or refuse to talk about it deprive those under their care of sorely needed comfort for the day in which we live.

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However we celebrate our ascension into heaven although it has not yet happened!

We shared the Lord with some people today and we most definitely spoke of 'destinations'!

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