1 Corinthians 15:50-54
Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.…
This is one in which you will be, not merely spectators, but parties concerned. It is an event the most certain. It is a solemnity that is continually drawing near. Note —
I. THE UNION THERE IS AMONG THE FOLLOWERS OF THE REDEEMER. "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed."
1. Of the number of this universal Church, some "sleep." Death is often an alarming subject, and to reduce this dread we should do well to view it;as Scripture does as a departure — a going home — a sleep. Man is called to labour, and "the sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much." So Christians must "work while it is day," etc. But then they will "rest from their labours." Sleep is a state from which you may be easily awakened; and, lo!" all that are in their graves shall hear Christ's voice, and come forth."
2. Many will be found alive. The earth's inhabitants will not be gradually consumed till none are left: the world will be full; and all the common concerns of life will be pursued with the same eagerness as before. And, "as it was in the days of Noah," etc. Many of the Lord's people too will be found alive; and perhaps they will be much more numerous than at any former period.
II. IN WHAT MANNER WILL THIS BE DISPOSED OF? "We shall all be changed." We are always varying now. But what a change is here from time to eternity, from earth to heaven, from the company of the wicked to the presence of the blessed God: from ignorance to knowledge; from painful infirmities to be "presented faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy!" But the change principally refers to the body: "for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God," etc. Enoch and Elias, though they did not die, passed through a change equivalent to death. The same change which will be produced in the dead by the resurrection will be accomplished in the bodies of the living by this transformation; and of this we have the clearest assurance (vers. 42-44).
III. THE EASE AND DESPATCH WITH WHICH ALL THIS WILL BE PERFORMED. "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." What a view does this give us of the dominion and power of God! Think of the numbers that will be alive — all these metamorphosed in one instant. And "why should it be thought a thing incredible?" "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
IV. THE SIGNAL. "At the last trump," etc. When the Lord came down on Horeb to publish the law, "the voice of the trumpet waxed exceeding loud." By the sound of the trumpet the approach of kings has been announced. Judges in our country enter the place of assize preceded by the same shrill sound. And those who have witnessed the procession well know what an awe it impresses, and what sentiments it excites. Will the last trump call you to "lamentation, and mourning, and woe"? or will its language be, "Lift up your heads with joy, for your redemption draweth nigh"? Conclusion: He who will then be the Judge, is now the Saviour. He will then say to the wicked, "Depart" — but He does not say so now to any — His language is, "Come."
Parallel VersesKJV: Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.