Since the fall of mankind, as Adam sinned, we human beings shall return to dust because we are from dust. When we are born, we see death, and we will die. That is a norm we have expected and expect to die and decay on earth. The conclusion of today’s sermon is Jesus came from heaven to earth to give us an understanding that it doesn’t have to be that way. He can change things. From Earth to Heaven. From natural body to spiritual body.
Let the Word remind us why Jesus came. The Bible clearly tells us there will come a day and time when the perishable will put on imperishable, and the mortal will put on immortality. When is that day?
1 Corinthians 15:51-55 (NKJ)
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed– 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. 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?”
“Sleep” refers to our temporary death. The last trumpet is the Word of God proclaimed in the end times. We will be changed. Jesus came and told us a fact. All the people in the Old Testament have been waiting for the Messiah, the Israelites were waiting to go to heaven with the Messiah. The Israelites were waiting for Jesus to come because their lives were so difficult. We want that liberation and freedom from Rome, says Israel. These are personal reasons, a mind that wants to escape from reality in my life today. That is why they questioned who is this Messiah. Born as a baby in a stable, born into a family who did not have enough money to check into a hotel. No cradle so the baby was put into a food trough which is a food bowl for animals, a dirty dusty earthly place. Born into a poor carpenter’s family. He began His ministry taking 12 gangsters here and there wandering around, and saying “You are from below, I am from above.”
John 8:23, John 6:63. He also had that flesh, physical body, He bleeds when you cut Him with a knife. He doesn’t float on the ground, He walks, gets tired, sleeps, and goes to the bathroom. Why then did He come just as a human being?
1 Corinthians 15:44 (NKJ)
It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
The only way for people to reach heaven is for heaven to come to reach us first. Jesus came in a natural body, to show us how we can go from a natural physical fleshly body into a spiritual body. Jesus came to the earth and lived as a human being on earth, but He came to fetch us to the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is saying, you and I look the same, also have the same flesh but you know the difference through the Word and the Spirit. How do we change from a being from below, to a being from above? How do we change from earthly to heavenly beings?
Hebrews 6:7-8 (NKJ)
For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears thorns and briars, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
Reverend Abraham Park preached on this. This is a mystery. It speaks of the ground receiving rain, and the blessing comes. It speaks of 2 different kinds of ends. The ground that drinks water from heaven. There is something that begins from the ground and something from above (rain). This is explained by Genesis 2 when God created the heavens and the earth, God created man and put him in the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 2:5 (NKJ)
before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground.
There was no rain, and no man to cultivate the ground. Therefore there is no produce and result, no fruit. Are you receiving that rain today? Jesus came down from heaven, He is the Word, the seed sown upon the ground. Rain represents the Word of God, the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. When we the ground continue to receive the seed in the ground, which is receiving the Word of God and the blessing of God’s grace, there will be a change from the natural body into the spiritual body.
Jeremiah 5:1 (NKJ)
“Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; See now and know; And seek in her open places If you can find a man, If there is anyone who executes judgment, Who seeks the truth, And I will pardon her.
Do we have the heart to seek the truth? Or just comfortable with my life right now? Are we seeking? In Genesis 2:5-6, there was no rain because there was no heart to receive it. A mist is a fog. Is my life clear and receiving the rain, working to receive that fruit, do we have a direction goal and aim? Or just living an unclear, confused, foggy life not sure where we will end up?
From that point on, in Genesis 2:7 God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed the breath of life, there was a change. This man is from earth but he had a spirit from heaven. He was a link between heaven and earth. He was supposed to spiritually cultivate and bear the fruit so earthly can become heavenly, but he failed. He sought instead fleshly things against the Word of God, rejecting the Word of God. He failed and sunk to the earthly level. We need that spiritual resurrection, so we don’t live hopelessly on this earth, born on this earth and living only towards death.
1 Corinthians 15:42-43 (NKJ)
So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
Romans 11:17, 24 We are grafted from an earthly tree to a heavenly tree called Jesus Christ. We need to take this Jesus all the way to the kingdom of heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:48-49. When we are grafted onto Jesus Christ, we will also receive His image and enter in eternity.
Isaiah 64:8, Jeremiah 18:4, Jesus’ work is to give us resurrection from that death and hopelessness. In conclusion, 1 Corinthians 15 contrasts earthly vs heavenly.
1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 49, 53 I pray that everyone here will receive the above blessings of righteousness, glory, power, spiritual body, the image of the heavenly Jesus, and immortality.
When Jesus first came into my dirty heart, my heart used to be an animal’s food bowl like the manger. God told Satan the serpent you will eat dust all the days of your life, and we became like serpents eating dust all our days, but Jesus replaced our lives. We used to be animal’s food, defeated, but Jesus took our place in that dirty manger for us. Of all the Christmases in your lives up to now, if Jesus were to be born into your heart, what kind of house do you have prepared in your heart for Him? A manger on earth, or a heavenly mansion in your heart? When Jesus comes into your heart then, will it be a different house from this year’s house in your heart?
Galatians 5:19-23. Those who have received Christ, those being changed into a heavenly spiritual body, will be able to have the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit.