1 Corinthians 15:53-57
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.…
I. WE ARE MORTAL. As a simple statement of truth, this proposition needs neither proof nor illustration. If it did, the one might be found in the churchyard, the other in the sighs of the mourner. But while we all know and acknowledge the fact of our mortality, it is strange how seldom we consider it, how little we are affected by it. Those among us who are the most devoted to pleasure are universally found to be the most regardless of death. This can be accounted for only on the supposition that they think not at all, either of mortality or immortality, that sensual pleasure is an opiate powerful enough to lull every anxiety, to preclude every solemn reflection. And yet it seems incomprehensible how any thinking being should be able to shut his eyes to the fact that he is dying. The world is full of death, from the first and feeblest efforts of life, up to its most perfect examples.
II. WE ARE IMMORTAL; and it is from this second fact in our destinies that death derives most of its solemnity, and all its moral force. It is fearful to think that this very spirit, busied now with trifles, must continue to exist, busied with something, for ever and ever. Mere fatigue may lull the most wretched here into the repose of a little slumber; but when this mortal shall put on immortality, there shall be no opiate for ever and ever to soothe the spirit's sorest anguish, not even a troubled dream to vary the uniformity of torture. The spirit may prey for ever on itself, but shall never be consumed — it may weep and wail for ever, without wailing itself to rest.
III. THE CHANGE BETWEEN THE PRESENT AND FUTURE CONDITIONS OF MAN WILL NOT DESTROY THE IDENTITY EITHER OF HIS PERSON OR CHARACTER. There is no alchemy in death to distil charitable and holy dispositions from the gross elements of selfishness and malignity — in it there is no purgatorial fire to change our base metal into refiner's gold. As the soul enters the troubled waters of dissolution, so must it pass out of them on the other side, bearing that very transcript of character which time and the world have written on it. Are we striving, then, day by day, incessantly, to lay the restraints of godliness on our naturally rampant corruption? Are we watching and praying to guard our hearts from temptation by all the defences of piety and devotion?
Parallel VersesKJV: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.