Choosing Your Resurrection

April 20, 2014

Topic: Sermon Passage: John 5:25–5:29

John 5:25-29

It was JOB who asked the ages-old, haunting question that preys upon everyone’s mind: “If a man dies, will he live again?” (Job 14:14a)
The Bible ANSWERS that critically important question, & the answer is an emphatic “YES!”

BELIEVERS in Christ will experience 2 ASPECTS of resurrection:
We were SPIRITUALLY resurrected when Christ SAVED us.
We will be PHYSICALLY resurrected at some appointed time in the future. Phil. 3:20-21 assures us that “the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they may be like his glorious body.”

But UNBELIEVERS will ALSO experience PHYSICAL resurrection, being given transformed bodies that are suitable for ETERNAL PUNISHMENT.
Warren Wiersbe put it simply & succinctly: “Believers will be given resurrection bodies so that they might reign with Christ in glory. Unbelievers will be given resurrection bodies – that they might be judged and then suffer punishment in those bodies.”

Scripture REPEATEDLY speaks of the CERTAINTY of our RESURRECTION:
Job 19:25-27
Dan. 12:2: “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.”
Hosea 13:14: “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?”
2 Cor. 5:1: “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”
1 Thess. 4:16: “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”
1 John 3:2: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

NOW, in THIS life, your choices DETERMINE WHERE you will SPEND that eternity.
In these verses, Jesus speaks of the TWO ASPECTS of RESURRECTION:

SPIRITUAL Resurrection

The PEOPLE who will be resurrected: v.25 – “the dead”
“An hour is coming” – this speaks of the FUTURE, PHYSICAL resurrection of believers.
“And is now here” – this speaks of the SPIRITUAL resurrection that believers have ALREADY experienced.
As D.A. Carson explained, “the resurrection life for the physically dead in the end time is already being manifest as life for the spiritually dead.”

There is a frequent emphasis in the New Testament on the reality that UNBELIEVERS are SPIRITUALLY DEAD:
Eph. 2:1: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.”
Col. 2:13: “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ.”
A spiritually DEAD person, therefore, is TOTALLY UNABLE to RESPOND to Christ.
That is why one of John’s major THEMES is the glorious news that Christ CAME to give ETERNAL LIFE to the SPIRITUALLY DEAD.

The PERSON Who resurrects: v.26
John MacArthur: “No one can give to others what he himself lacks; thus no sinful human being can generate for himself eternal life, nor impart it to anyone else. God alone possesses it, and He grants it through His Son to whomever He wills.”
Jesus can execute JUDGMENT, then, & RESURRECT life, because He has life IN HIMSELF.

The PURPOSE of resurrection: v.25b
Only those who truly HEAR will experience spiritual RESURRECTION.
John 10:27: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
John 18:37: “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
In terrible contrast, those who are NOT His “sheep” do not HEAR His voice, in a SAVING way.

PHYSICAL Resurrection

The PEOPLE who will be resurrected: v.28 – “all”
ALL people –
The RIGHTEOUS dead who are now in HEAVEN;
The WICKED dead who are now suffering in HELL – “all” will have RESURRECTION bodies FIT for ETERNITY.

The PERSON Who resurrects: vs.27-29
Unlike verse 24, this does not refer only to those who SAVINGLY hear, but to EVERYONE; for everyone will HEAR & HEED the sovereign COMMAND of Christ.
Kent Hughes: “A bugler could stand at the edge of a graveyard and play reveille, but nothing would happen . . . Those dead men need a far greater authority to bring them to life, and that authority is the voice of Jesus Christ.”
Carson: “The voice of the Son is powerful enough to generate spiritual life now; it will be powerful enough to call forth the dead then.”

The PURPOSE of resurrection: v.29
Jesus is not teaching SALVATION by WORKS here! John 6:29
GOOD WORKS do not SAVE; they simply provide the EVIDENCE of salvation: Eph. 2:8-10.
Believers are not SAVED by works, but we will be JUDGED by our works: Rom. 2:6-11.
Good works, then, merely reveal the PRESENCE or ABSENCE of salvation; they cannot PRODUCE salvation.

YOU & I, then – ALL of us – will experience RESURRECTION; we will LIVE FOREVER.
But, WHERE will you live forever?

The answer to that question all depends upon the “3 R’s:”
REPENTANCE – have you repented? Have you turned FROM your SIN, & have you turned TO Christ?
RELATIONSHIP – do you have a personal, intimate, thriving RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ? Do you KNOW Him? You can only know Him by FAITH.
RIGHTEOUSNESS – is you salvation VERIFIED by a HOLY life?

Choose JESUS, & choose LIFE.


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