3/30/2006 6:16 AM
Title: DEATH ISN’T THE END, BUT VICTORY WITH JESUS IS
S: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 NKJV (50) Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. (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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  (55) ” O Death, where is your sting? 
O Hades, where is your victory?”  (56) The sting of death is sin, and the strength 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 brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
O: This is a wonderful promise from God, through Paul, that death isn’t the end product. Death isn’t the final winner. I love those two texts from Isaiah and Hosea – that Death isn’t the victory and death isn’t the sting we thought it was. Death is ultimately swallowed up in victory.
Paul simply says that BECAUSE death is swallowed up in victory – at the 2nd Coming – then our labor isn’t in vain. Hallelujah!
And when it is swallowed up, we become incorruptible, we become immortal, we become the victors. Hallelujah!
A: Good words for me. Good words for anyone who may be a bit tired of what they are doing. Good words for anyone who may be a bit on burnout. It isn’t for vain! It is headed towards victory! Don’t give up! I hear those words.
But I also hear, in the shadow of my mom’s death, words of comfort, words of joy. I hear words that say – it’s not the end. The dead will rise, the dead will put on incorruptible and they will put on immortal bodies. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
P: Lord, part of me wants to say come soon because we’re tired of this old world, its sins, its ability to drag us down and its corruption. But there is also a part of me that says NOT YET!
I don’t think it’s a selfish that I say not yet. I think I’m saying that because I truly want to see more people in the kingdom. I want to see a revival in the land, in my church and in my family first. I want to see people accept you and follow you – even if for just a short time.
Lord, I pray for a balance there. There is a tension between those two. I’d love to give up building my house right now so that I could get a mansion in heaven. I’d love to not worry about whether the floors are going to be tile or wood, but that they would be made of gold. I’d love to raise my kids in heaven and have them not have to experience the pain and suffering this world has to offer. I’d love to see my mom again and not have to experience the pain of another parent dying. I’d love to see the work of the church be finished and we can rest with you around the tree of life.
But the tension is, Lord, that Greg and Kim are not saved. John and Denise aren’t saved. Kevin and Darla aren’t saved. Ken isn’t saved. Todd isn’t saved. And so many others aren’t saved. Lord, I could think of name after name after name of people who aren’t saved, and yet, I know that they need make their decision. I can’t make it for them. Lord, I pray for them. I pray for the work the church must do right now. I pray for the work they church must do to get ready for the coming of your kingdom. I pray you will guide me, guide us, guide us to do the task before us.
Lord, death and sin will be swallowed up some day. I know that. I pray that it is soon, but not yet. I don’t know how to balance that issue, Lord. But I’m glad for the promise. I’m glad for the hope. I’m glad for you to be in charge of the situation, Lord. And I’m glad for the Holy Spirit who will guide us until that time comes.
I love you Lord. I will serve you. Thank you.