50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 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 imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power 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 brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Our focus today is on the last verse, but we need to see it in context. In these verses, Paul is talking about the future – eternity. Sinners will not be with God for eternity. We all have sinned, the penalty for sin is death (eternity without God). But God loved us so much, that He sent His only Son Jesus, who was sinless, to die in our place. He took our penalty of death! So for most of this passage, it is speaking to believers – those who have accepted God’s forgiveness thru Jesus death on the cross for our sins. As we get closer to the end times, there will be believers who will not die a physical death. Christ will return – we will have a perfect body that will not die, deteriate, get sick….
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our sin – takes away death’s penalty. Death, sin, the enemy – no longer has victory over us! We are victorious in Christ Jesus!
So what is the last verse about? It is talking to fellow believers. We are to be steadfast – stand firmly in our faith. We are to be immovable – I was thinking of “keep on keeping on”, not be discouraged, firmly persistent. We are to be always abounding in the work of the Lord – abounding speaks of abundance. We are to be knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. This speaks about our hard work is not for nothing – there is a great purpose and great result. We are to rest in that, even if we do not see the results right away. So what is the work we are supposed to do….
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
We are to share the Gospel – the GOOD news that Jesus died on the cross for our sins!
Do you know the Savior? Have you trusted in Jesus’ death on the cross for your sins? Are you sharing this GREAT news with others?