5 Reasons Why First Corinthians Fifteenth Chapter Speaks About Second Coming
We must understand that Apostle Paul spoke about the resurrection of martyred saints in 1 Cor 15:50-58 who will live during the Great Tribulation of whom many will be those who are left-behind and will be resurrected in the Second Coming of Jesus to the earth, while another resurrection of believers Paul speaks in 1 Thess 4:13-18 is about the secret coming of the Lord in which all the Church beleivers will be resurrected to eternal life and raptured to heaven before the Great Tribulation starts.
"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 [i.e. all shall not die because God will keep some of His sheeps alive physically for the Millenium kingdom (Matt 24:21-22)], but we shall all be changed [Note: "all be changed" shows that no believer of the Church Age or the Tribulation saints will be left in their graves after the Second Coming of Jesus to the earth]— 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 [Note: Only if we have gone through Tribulation and have been martyred, then we will be raised and changed in to a glorious body]. 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." (1 Cor 15:50-58).
The overall theme speaks about the final victory of all believers over death.
1) Firstly, when the theme starts saying, "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" it is pointing to a time in which God will start to raise people to enter in to the kingdom of God on earth. The kingdom of God will be established on earth only when Jesus comes back to defeat all nations and establish His kingdom over all the earth from the city of Jerusalem (Rev 19:11-16). Who are the believers who will inherit the kingdom of God at the time of His Second Coming? The living believers in their natural bodies who have gone through the Great Tribulation and survived it will be seperated as sheeps and will inherit the kingdom of God (Matt 25:31-34). Then all those who have died during the Great Tribulation will rise up exactly when Jesus comes back to rule the earth and will inherit the kingdom of God in their glorious bodies, to live and reign with Christ as a priests of God and of Christ (Rev 20:4, 6). How do we know for sure that only those Great Tribulation Martyrs will be raised during the Second Coming? In Rev 20:4 Apostle John said, "And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years." Hence this Scripture can only be a Second Coming Scripture that points to people inheriting the Kingdom of God on earth.
2) Secondly, the mystery at the Second Coming will be "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed". This means that the living people at that time shall not die, but all those who have died till that time shall all be changed. Those who are alive shall inherit the kingdom of God in their physical bodies but the dead shall all inherit the kingdom of God in their spiritual bodies.
3) Thirdly, when Apostle Paul says, "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. ", he is telling that no believers who have died in faith till that time shall remain unchanged at the Second Coming of Jesus. Note Apostle Paul is speaking here about only one category of people who were dead, and then says they will be raised to incorruptability and then again gurantees that we shall all be changed at that time emphasizing that some were already raised from the dead before this. Then when Paul says, "we shall be changed" he is saying that there will be no more resurrection after this for atleast a thousand years (Rev 20:4-6). All those who were raptured already during His secret coming will come with Jesus to wage war and defeat the Anti-Christ in the battle of Armageddon. And those who were left behind on earth to go through Tribulation and martyred for their faith will rise from the dead in their glorious bodies exactly before the feet of Jesus will touch the mount of Olives at His Second Coming (Rev 19:7-8, 14; Zech 14:3-4). The "armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean" were the raptured believers who received their glorious bodies during the secret rapture of the Church (Luke 21:36; Rev 3:10). Paul is referring to the last trumpet as the last to sound in succession, in a series of sounding that will end. In Revelation 11:15, John describes this sounding of the "last trumpet" as the "seventh trumpet," which is the last of the trumpets of judgment. How can we say for sure that this trumpet is the last trumpet? Because in the context of this verses in Rev 11:14-18, it is seen, at this time, that the kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of God and Christ. It points only to the Second Coming and none other can fit the exact description. He shall reign only after the battle of Armageddon on earth (Rev 19:15; 20:6). The third woe is the ultimate wrath upon Antichrist and the False Prophet which will trigger the battle of Armageddon in which they will be captured and will be cast in to the lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev 19:20). On the sounding of the seventh angel the mystery that Paul spoke about will be finished because already the kingdom of God would be established before this sounding ends (Rev 10:7; 1 Cor 15:51). The elders who fell on their faces and worshipped God for the seventh and the last tumpet revealed that 1) God has taken His power which was given to AntiChrist for three and half years. God has taken His sovereign power back for Himself to reign (Rev 11:17). 2) The nations were angry because the time of God's ultimate wrath of third and final woe has come towards them to consume them in the battle of Armageddon (Psa 2:1-6, 10-12; Ezek 38:15-17, 22-23; 39:2; Rev 19:19). 3) The time of the dead has come for the unbelievers to be judged and killed by the vengeance of God on the battle of Armageddon and its suceeding judgment of nations (Matt 25:31-32, 33, 41, 45-46; Rev 19:21; 2 Thess 1:8-10). 4) The reward for the saints, prophets, those who have feared God including small and great people of God shall be rewarded by being invited to be partakers of God's kingdom on earth for a thousand years (Matt 25:34). 5) These saintly rulers along with Christ will then destroy all those sinners for a thousand years who will try to destroy the earth (Rev 11:18).
4) The phraseology of Paul which says, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" describes a unltimate and final resurrection before the Millenium rule of Jesus Christ begins. We can be sure that Paul the Apostle is speaking about this final resurrection at the Second Coming of Jesus which is also called the "first resurrection" for the martyrs by John the revelator (Rev 20:5-6), because in it we see the ultimate victory over death forever which he describes as "Death is swallowed up in victory.” In other words, death cannot rule over the earth and intimidate men with its fear tatics and keep men away from the pure faith in God because Jesus by that time would have taken control over death. Already as Jesus himself said He has the "keys of Hades and of Death." (Rev 1:18). It means already the devil cannot kill or destroy a believer's life without Jesus allowing it to happens in His sovereign will. But during the Millenium Satan will be bound till the end and only when Jesus allows a curse upon any man whom he finds as a sinner, that person will die, no other person will die for a thousand years (Rev 20:1-3; Isa 65:20; Zech 14:17-19). Many godly people who will enter the Millenium will live for the whole thousand years by the grace of God. This is what it means for death to be swallowed up in victory. We cannot say the same thing about the Rapture of the Church because after the Rapture many Tribulation saints will still die for their faith (Rev 13:7-8, 10).
5) When Apostle Paul says, "sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law", he is speaking of the goverment of the world that is under the law apart from the heavenly goverment of Jesus that God is sovereignly running (Phil 2:9-11). Jesus is running a heavenly goverment over all universe, but on earth over only those who are in his Church (Matt 16:18). Even though the believers live in this world and agree to the local govermental laws, they will reject any law that makes them to disobey the higher law of the kingdom of God (Acts 4:18-20; Rom 12:21). This human govermental law was instituted from the beginning of time by God, only to be superseded by the goverment of heaven nearly two thousand years ago though Jesus the perfect man (Gen 9:3-6; Rom 13:1-6; 1 Tim 2:5). Sin have always kept people in subject to its bondage through the fear of death (Heb 2:15). This evil plan of sin, fear and death has been instigated and promoted more and more by the god of this world Satan and his evil demonic minions (2 Cor 4:4). But all believers experience victory over all these evil of sin, fear and death because God "gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ". So we must keep working for the Lord and not care about the obstacles that the Devil brings in our path. The victory is sure, whether the believers are resurrected in their glorious bodies before Tribulation, which is during the Rapture of the Church, or were martyred during the Tribulation and raised at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the victory already belongs to us because Jesus had already demonstrated His power over death by getting resurrected in a glorious heavenly body after three days of death (Rom 6:9; 8:11; 1 Cor 15:12). The only law that will be there in the Millenium will be the law of Jesus over all the earth (Psa 9:8). So we will be free from death and sin completely in our glorious bodies. Praise the Lord!
All these things that we have seen proves that 1 Cor 15:50-58 speaks about the resurrection of the Tribulation saints at the time of the Second Coming of Jesus and does not speak about the Rapture of the Church which will happen before the Tribulation starts.