Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 8, 1970
NUMBER 22, PAGE 7,8b

A Body Resurrection, "Yes" Or "No"?

Shelby W. Sanders

This is the heading of an article on page eight of the Gospel Guardian of 4-30-70, written by Carol R. Lumpkin. I have never met Bro. Lumpkin — at least I don't recall meeting him. I appreciate his kind manner of writing, and I don't question his Sincerity, even though I do disagree with his position on the subject of the Resurrection. I am persuaded that he makes the same mistake on this subject that some others make on Rev. 20, in using a passage that taken alone could be teaching certain things; but we can tell by other plain statements in the Bible that what some say these passages teach cannot be true.

Most arguments used against the resurrection 'of our bodies are based on I Cor. 15. This is an odd situation in view of the fact that Paul used most of the chapter to prove this basic fact. The meaning of "resurrection" is "a raising up" — "to cause to stand." In I Cor. 15:42 we read "It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption" . . . "It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory" ... "It" is mentioned a number of times in these verses, and "it" has the same identity all along, it seems to me.

That a change will take place Paul clearly teaches in I Cor. 15:51. This is speaking of those who will be alive at the Lord's coming. But verses 42, 43, etc. also show that a change will be wrought on the bodies that are in the grave. This mortal becoming immortal does not mean it must be another body. If so, let's speak of a new creation rather than preaching the resurrection from the dead as did the apostles.

Job so said in his book, chap. 19:26. Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2; Eph. 4:9-10; Jn. 5:28-29; Rev. 1:7; I Thess. 4:16.

In order for Christ to make an offering for our sins it was necessary for Him to be a priest (Heb. 7:21). This offering then could not take place on earth (Heb. 8:4). Then Heb. 10:10 shows a body was offered. I believe that it was the crucified, buried and resurrected body. (Jn. 20:24-29).

I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God — not because He was crucified (the two thieves suffered death in like manner) — but God saw fit to use as cardinal proof of this sonship, the raising of Him from the dead. (Rom. 1:4) This doctrine of the resurrection was the very heart of the Gospel. I Cor. 15:14; Acts 1:22; Acts 4:2; Acts 4:33; Acts 17:18. I know many of these passages deal with verification of the resurrection of Christ, but I Cor. 15:20 shows that Christ was the first fruits of them that slept, and Paul shows what his own expectations were in Acts 23:6. The resurrection was then and is now the heart of Christianity. It stands or falls on this very issue. Something overlooked seems to be the fact that deity is responsible for our bodies as well as our spirits, or souls, and we all believe that the sacrifice Christ made could and can redeem both body and soul. Bear in mind that the heart, or soul of man never dies. (Ecc. 12:7 — Ps. 22:26). Some of these individuals were not guilty of sin — babies, and those incapable of knowing right from wrong. I ask, if the body was not ransomed by the death of Christ, what bearing or effect did it have on these innocent who lived before (or since) He died?

Christ did not by His death and resurrection make the soul of man eternal. (Ecc. 12:7) He did make an atonement for guilt, and conquered the grave. (Jn. 11:25). Yes, I have read I Cor. 15:50, but I still believe in the resurrection of the body. Flesh and blood without being made immortal could not endure forever and ever. Don't ask me how God can do this — I don't know. Neither do I know how He preserved the clothes of the Israelites for 40 years. (Neh. 9:21)

If ancient Egyptians could so embalm bodies that they could be preserved for centuries, is it incredible to believe that God can preserve them live? Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of Heaven is often quoted to do away with the very heart and soul of Christianity. Is the theory correct that God wants and makes certain demands on our souls but has no interest in our bodies? Rom. 12:1 and other passages show that God wants our all — body, soul and mind. I do know this: No flesh (nationality) is by that fact alone going to inherit the kingdom of heaven. Jesus made this clear to Nicodemus (Jn. 3:3-5). Paul's case also proves this. He was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, but this did not make him a citizen of the kingdom of heaven. (Acts 22:16). I believe I Cor. 15:50, but I refuse to accept the interpretation some draw from it. Some scoffers contend the only difference between a person before and after baptism is that they were dry when they started, and wet when raised. We believe there is a far greater change than this. A new life has begun. (Rom. 6:4;

Cor. 5:17). So far as outward looks is concerned there is no difference. The difference is that they are pardoned, born again, thus becoming citizens of the Kingdom. If all of man is involved here, then all is in the Kingdom. This being true, then I Cor. 15:50 must be accepted in a qualified sense.

Maybe this story will help here: A lady was absent from church services and later told the preacher she was at services in spirit. He begged her not to do that any more, as he had seen that spirit floating around the building and it scared him. Perhaps this accounts for a lot of church absenteeism. If the body is going to the grave and stay there why should it be required to go to services when tired — or at all?

I do not expect all to agree with me, and some may call me radical — but I doubt if any call me a Sadducee.

— Box 374, Reedley, Calif. 93654