I used to enjoy watching a TV show called Extreme Home Makeover. The show producers identified a deserving family in desperate need of a home makeover. The condition of the homes was often unsafe, or unhealthy. Sometimes the homes were so bad, they were torn down and completely rebuilt. The climax of the show was the “big reveal.” The family, removed during the weeklong renovation, would return eager to see their home’s transformation, only to find a large bus blocking their view. The show’s host would then yell, “Move that bus!” When the family finally saw their “new” house, they’d go crazy with uncontainable joy, blown away by their improved home.
- When have you seen a transformation in something or someone that was so astonishing you were blown away by the change?
READ THE WORD: 1 CORINTHIANS 15:50-58 (ESV)
50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
- Paul used the words perishable/imperishable and mortal/immortal eleven times in four verses (vss. 50-54). What point was he driving home about bodies that are fit for the kingdom of God?
- What was the mystery Paul told the Corinthians (vss. 51-52)? What did Paul mean when he said, “We shall not all sleep?”
- Paul quoted Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14 in verses 54-55 in some of the most hopeful passages in all of Scripture. In these verses, what questions did Paul ask of death? Who brings victory over death?
- What hope and encouragement did Paul give in verse 58, in light of death being defeated?
- How do these truths encourage you to be steadfast, immovable, and abounding in the work of the Lord today?
RESPOND TO GOD
When it comes to heaven, we are like the families on Extreme Home Makeover. We imagine it will be great, but we are not quite sure what it will look like. We know it will be better than this earth, but we sometimes doubt. In this extremely encouraging passage, we learn that we’ll be transformed: The perishable will become imperishable; the mortal, immortal. For those who wonder about heaven, I can assure you that God will make all things right, renewed, and amazing. At the last sound of the trumpet, when we see the big reveal, we’ll react just like those families on the show. We will go crazy with joy!
- Thank Jesus for defeating death and the grave on our behalf.
- Ask God to make you steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord.