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Paul reminds the Corinthians that he was the one who taught them all about Jesus. How he died and rose again and appeared to loads of people. Even to little ol' Paul. He's the hardest working apostle in this Christ-business.
Now, they're saved… unless they start to slip a little.
There are some people in Corinth who doubt Paul's teachings. For example, the one about the dead being raised when the world ends.
Yeah, that one.
Paul explains that if there's no resurrection of the dead, then that means:
(1) Jesus was never resurrected. Say it ain't so!
(2) Paul is a big fat liar. Who you callin' a liar, Corinthians?!
(3) Their faith is all a waste a time. What?
(4) And every one who has died believing in Jesus just turned to dust. Whoa.
Right, so Christians would look pretty stupid if the resurrection of the dead thing wasn't true.
It's the End of the World, But Paul Feels Fine
But the truth is Jesus was resurrected. He's just the first in a long line of people who are gonna be back when the world comes to an end.
Everyone in the world had to die because of way back in Genesis (nice going, Adam). But now, everyone will live because of Jesus.
It's actually pretty simple:
(1) Christ died and rose again.
(2) Soon, this world is gonna end and he's gonna come back again.
(3) That's when he'll raise all his faithful followers from the dead, too.
(4) After that, Jesus will defeat all evil and hand the reigns over to God. All in a day's work.
You can't subtract one of those steps. You kind of need them all or else God's plan isn't going to work. He hates it when that happens.
Here's another thought. If there's no resurrection of the dead, then why do the Corinthians bother getting baptized on behalf of dead people? What's the point?
Oh, and why are Christians risking their lives, families, relationships, and social standing for a God who just lets them die and turn to dust?
Basically, according to Paul, if the whole resurrection of the dead thing isn't true—Christians are wasting their time.
Okay, so Paul's established it. There's gonna be a resurrection of the dead, right?
So what's the deal with our bodies? Are we talking zombie invasion or do our bodies change somehow when they rise again?
Well, our bodies are kind of like seeds. We're planted and die, but then we we're reborn into a nice thick stalk of wheat or a tulip or something lovely like that.
Our boring earthly bodies are weak and perishable and pretty much all around boring. But, our heavenly bodies are going to be… well, heavenly.
It's like with Adam. He was a physical person first. Then Jesus came and he was a spiritual person. First, we're physical, then we'll become spiritual. Get it?
Look, we're gonna change. It will happen in an instant. A trumpet will sound and we'll be different.
It's the only way God will totally get one over on death.
So rest easy, Paul says. Everything he says is true, so if you believe, you've got nothing to worry about.