Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be
hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that
you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will
come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come
down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And
this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he
has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father,
that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will
raise them up on the last day.'
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four
days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews
had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard
that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha
said to Jesus, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But
even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.' Jesus said to
her, 'Your brother will rise again.' Martha said to him, 'I know that he will
rise again in the resurrection on the last day.' Jesus said to her, 'I am the
resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will
live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe
this?' She said to him, 'Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son
of God, the one coming into the world.'
Jesus said to his disciples: 'Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God,
believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it
were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if
I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself,
so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where
I am going.' Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we do not know where you are going. How
can we know the way?' Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the
life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'
What then are we to say about these things? If God is
for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up
for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring
any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It
is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will
hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written,
'For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.'
No, in all these
things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced
that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor
things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
But in fact Christ has been raised from
the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through
a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being;
for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own
order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he
has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until
he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
For 'God has put all things in subjection under his feet.' But when it says, 'All
things are put in subjection,' it is plain that this does not include the one
who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him,
then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection
under him, so that God may be all in all.
Otherwise, what will those
people do who receive baptism on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised
at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?
And why are we putting
ourselves in danger every hour? I die every day! That is as certain, brothers
and sisters, as my boasting of you - a boast that I make in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If with merely human hopes I fought with wild animals at Ephesus, what would I
have gained by it? If the dead are not raised,
'Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.'
Do not be deceived:
ruins good morals.'
Come to a sober and right mind, and sin no more;
for some people have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
But someone will ask, 'How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they
come?' Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what
you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat
or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each
kind of seed its own body. Not all flesh is alike, but there is one flesh for
human beings, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There
are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is
one thing, and that of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun,
and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; indeed, star differs
from star in glory.
So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What
is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonour,
it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown
a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there
is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living
being'; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual
that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from
the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust,
so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who
are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also
bear the image of the man of heaven.
What I am saying, brothers and
sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does
the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We
will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of
an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be
raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put
on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable
body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the
saying that is written will be fulfilled:
'Death has been swallowed
up in victory.' 'Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death,
is your sting?'
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is
the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus
Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling
in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labour is not
1 Thessalonians 4.13-end
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have
died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe
that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him
those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that
we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means
precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with
the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven,
and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will
be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and
so we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore encourage one another with these
I, John, saw a new
heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down
out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard
a loud voice from the throne saying,
'See, the home of God is among
mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for
the first things have passed away.'
And the one who was seated on
the throne said, 'See, I am making all things new.' Also he said, 'Write this,
for these words are trustworthy and true.' Then he said to me, 'It is done! I
am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give
water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit
these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.'
If you want to talk with someone in person, please feel free to call 212-864-5436
The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and
Executive Director of CrossCurrents.
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here. God and Science (Hypertext Edition,
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion: Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).
Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.