“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” – 1 Corinthians 15:51
Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
A mystery for us is something enigmatic or puzzling. In the Bible, however, mystery is a truth that can be known, but only by revelation. Mysteries are truths once concealed and now revealed. The mystery Paul reveals here is that this radical transformation we must undergo to inherit the kingdom of God will take place on the last day when Christ returns.
“We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” A friend of mine once saw this line cleverly adorning the wall of a church’s infant nursery. It embeds a serious truth, however. Not all will die before Christ returns; some will be alive. All, however, will be changed in a moment, “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable and we will be changed.” The transformation will not be a slow metamorphosis; it will be instantaneous. At the trumpet sound heralding the end of this world, the dead will be raised with imperishable bodies.
Our loved ones who believed in Jesus are in heaven, absent from the body, but present with the Lord. Though preferable to earth, heaven is not their or our final destination. Those who are in heaven are still waiting—for the trumpet sound, for the return of Christ. Then their earthly bodies, presently vacated by the soul, will be resurrected and transformed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye and so perfectly suited to inhabit the fullness of the kingdom.
Suggestions for prayer
Pray for the return of Christ today, for the resurrection of the dead, and for the unveiling of the new creation in which sin and sickness, sadness and suffering, are finally absent.
Dr. Bill DeJong is the lead pastor of Blessings Christian church in Hamilton, ON and adjunct professor of Religion and Theology at Redeemer University in Ancaster, ON. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.