Jesus Christ died, then he came alive again
My Christian friends, I want you to remember the good news that I taught you. You listened to that message and believed it, and you still strongly believe it. And if you keep on believing that good news, God will save you. If you don’t keep on believing it, I reckon you didn’t believe it properly in the first place.
You know, God told me that message, and then I taught it to you. And, you know, a long time ago, God got his men to write about some of those things, and they are in God’s book. Now I’ll tell you the important part of that message again. Everybody did bad things. We are all bad, but Jesus Christ died instead of us. That message is in God’s book.* People buried Jesus. Then after 2 nights, on the 3rd day, God made him alive again. That message is in God’s book too.* After that, Jesus showed himself to Peter. Then later he showed himself to all of his 12 special workers.* After that, he showed himself to more than 500 of his followers at the same time. Most of those 500 people are still alive, but some of them have died. Then he showed himself to James, and later he showed himself to all of his special workers.
All those people saw Jesus. But I was different from Jesus’s other special workers. He didn’t show himself to me until some time later.*
But before I ever saw Jesus, he sent out his other special workers. They were the first people to go out and tell his message, so they are all more important than me. You see, I used to make a lot of trouble for God’s own people, so I’m not really good enough for anyone to call me one of Jesus’s special workers.* 10 But God was very good to me. He changed me and made me the way I am now. And so more people heard the good news about Jesus. You see, I’ve worked harder than any of his other special workers. But it wasn’t really me that did that work. No. It was God that gave me the power to do his work, so he is the one that did it. 11 So it doesn’t really matter who told you God’s message. Maybe it was me, or maybe it was one of his other special workers. We all tell people the same good news about Jesus Christ, and that is the good news that you believed. That is the important thing.
God will make dead people come alive again
12 This is our message. Jesus Christ died, and then God made him alive again. But some of you reckon that God never makes dead people alive again. But you are wrong. 13 You see, if you reckon that God never makes dead people alive again, you are also saying that God didn’t make Jesus Christ alive again. 14 And if you reckon that God didn’t make Jesus Christ alive again, you are saying that our message is useless, and that you believed something that was wrong. 15 If that’s what you reckon, you are saying that we lied to you about God when we told you that he made Jesus Christ alive again. But you are not right. 16 You see, if you reckon that God never makes dead people alive again, you are saying that he didn’t make Jesus Christ alive again. 17 And if God didn’t make Jesus Christ alive again, like you reckon, then you believed in Jesus for nothing, and it means that you are still guilty of the bad things you did. 18 And if you reckon that God never makes dead people alive again, you are saying that the Christians that died are now lost and gone for ever. 19 You reckon that we can only be sure that Jesus Christ will look after us here in this life. But we Christians get trouble in this life, and other people in the world are more happy than us. So if God will not make us alive again after we die, they can feel sorry for us. But that is not true.
20 Listen, this is the true story. Jesus Christ died, and God made him alive again. Jesus was the first person to die and then come back to life again, and to live for ever.
21-22 You see, it’s like this. God said that everyone that does bad things has to die. Remember the first man, called Adam. He did something bad, so he died. And we are all from Adam, so we are all in his family, and we all do bad things too, so we all have to die. But then another man came, and he only did good things. That man is Jesus Christ. So now, after people die, God can make them alive again. You see, everyone that believes in Jesus Christ is in Jesus’s family now, so God will make them alive again. 23 But we each have to wait for our turn. The first one was Jesus Christ. He died, and then God made him alive again. He is the first one to live again. After he comes back, all his people will live again too. 24 Then Jesus will finish up all the bad spirits. Some of them are bosses, and some of them have power. He will take away their power, and he will finish them all up. Then the end will come, and Jesus will give everything to God, the father, and God will be the biggest boss for everybody.
25 You see, Jesus Christ will keep on being the big boss, until he wins against his enemies, and God makes all those enemies do what Jesus says.* 26 In the end he will stop us from dying. He will keep everything alive, and nobody will die any more. 27 God’s book says this,
God will win, and he will make everything do what he says.”*
Those words tell us that God is the one that will make everything do what Jesus says. You see, Jesus will not be the boss over God, but he will be the boss over everything else. 28 When God makes everything do what Jesus Christ says, then Jesus, God’s son, will have God as his boss. Then God will control everything everywhere. He will be the one and only biggest boss.
29 You know, sometimes a Christian dies before anyone baptised them, so sometimes you mob try to help them, and you baptise another Christian instead of them. But think about it, if dead people will never live again, that is a useless thing for you to do.
30 And think about me and the other people that work with me. We tell everyone God’s message, and some people get angry with us and they want to kill us. 31 Every day, I worry that somebody might kill me. My Christian friends, I’m very happy that you are trusting our leader Jesus Christ, so I’m telling you this. 32 At that town called Ephesus, I got trouble for telling people about Jesus. Some men there tried to kill me, and I had to fight back. I was like a man fighting wild animals. But, if God will not make me alive again after I die, it means I got all that trouble for nothing. Some of you reckon that dead people will never live again. If that is true, then we can be like the people that say this,
We are going to die tomorrow, so today we will have fun.
We will eat and drink as much as we like, and we will not worry about tomorrow.”*
That is what they say, but it is not true.
33 Listen, don’t let anyone trick you with that sort of talk. Remember that wise people say this, “Don’t have friends that do bad things, or they will get you to do bad things too.”
34 So start thinking properly, and do what is right. Stop doing bad things. I think that some of you don’t really know God. I’m saying this to make you feel shame.
We will get new bodies
35 Somebody might hear me say that dead people will come alive again, and they might ask me, “How can that happen? What sort of bodies will they have?” 36 That’s a stupid question. You know, all sorts of things die and then they get new bodies. Think about seeds and plants. If you plant a seed in the ground, that seed dies. But that is not the end. A new plant grows up. That seed comes alive again and grows up into a new plant. 37 The thing you put into the ground was just a seed (maybe a wheat seed, or whatever). You don’t put the body of the plant in the ground, but just the seed. 38 Then God makes it grow up and become a new plant, with its own sort of body. God gives every sort of seed its own sort of body.
39 Every sort of thing that is alive has a different sort of body from every other sort of thing. People have one sort of body. Animals have a different sort of body. Birds have another sort of body, and fish have another sort of body. 40 And other things have different sorts of bodies too. There are bodies in the sky, and there are bodies here on the earth. They are all beautiful in their own way. The bodies in the sky are beautiful in a different way from the bodies on the earth. 41 The sun is bright and beautiful. And the moon is beautiful too, in a different way from the sun. The stars are bright and beautiful too, but they are different again, and some stars are brighter than other stars.
42 Well, it will be like that for us when God makes us alive again. The bodies we have now will die. But after God makes us alive again, our new bodies will never die. 43 The bodies we have now are weak and not very good. But after God makes us alive again, our new bodies will be beautiful and strong. 44 The bodies we have when we die are normal bodies. But after God makes us alive again, we will have new bodies, and they will be spiritual bodies. You see, there are normal bodies, and there are spiritual bodies. 45 This is what God says in his book,
The 1st man, Adam, became a living person.”*
But we can think of Jesus, that he is the last Adam. You see, he is the spirit that makes people alive. 46 It is like this. Right now, each of us has a normal body. They are the bodies we got at first. But later we will each get a new spiritual body. 47 And think about Adam. He was the 1st man, and he came from the ground. But Jesus, the 2nd man, came from heaven. 48 Everyone on earth has a body like the man that came from the ground. But the people that belong to heaven will have a body like the man that came from heaven. 49 You see, the bodies that we have now are like Adam’s body. He was the 1st man, and God made him out of the ground. But our spiritual bodies will be different. They will be like Jesus’s body. He is the man that came from heaven.
50 My Christian friends, this is what I’m telling you. We cant go to God and live for ever in his family in our normal bodies. They are made of meat, blood, bones, skin, and all that. These bodies that we have now have to die. They cant go on for ever.
51 Listen, I’m telling you something new. God didn’t tell other people this message before, but it is important. He will change all of us. Some of us will still be alive at that time, but maybe some of us will be dead. It doesn’t matter, God will change all of us. 52 It will happen like this. We will hear the sound of somebody blowing the last trumpet, then straight away God will change us. It will be quick, as quick as you can blink your eyes. You see, as soon as that trumpet makes its sound, God will make his dead people alive again. At that time, he will give us new bodies that will never die. God will change all of us, those of us that are alive and those of us that are dead at that time.* 53 You see, the bodies we have now will die, but they will get new life. God will change our normal bodies into bodies that can never die.
54-56 You know, whenever we do bad things, we break God’s law, and God’s law says we have to die for doing those bad things. There is a power that gets us to go wrong and die like that. It is like a cheeky scorpion that stings us and kills us. But God will change our bodies into bodies that will never die, and at that same time God will finish up that power that makes us go wrong. You know, a long time ago, one of God’s men wrote about this, and it is in God’s book. He wrote,
“God will finish up that power that makes everything die.”*
“It will be gone. It will not sting us any more,
and people will not die any more.”*
And it will happen just like those men wrote.
57 You see, our leader Jesus Christ has won the fight. So with Jesus we win too. And we say, “Thank you God.”
58 So always remember those things, my Christian friends. I love you, and I want you to stay strong for God. Don’t let anything take you away from him. Keep on working hard for our leader Jesus. Remember, he will help you, so that everything you do with him will be good. It will not be useless.
* 15:3 Isaiah 53:5-12 * 15:4 Psalm 16:8-10; Matthew 12:40; Acts 2:24-32 * 15:5 Matthew 28:16-17; Mark 16:14; Luke 24:34, 36; John 20:19 * 15:8 Acts 9:3-6 * 15:9 Acts 8:3 * 15:25 Psalm 110:1 * 15:27 Psalm 8:6 * 15:32 Isaiah 22:13 * 15:45 Genesis 2:7 * 15:52 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 * 15:54-56 Isaiah 25:8 * 15:54-56 Hosea 13:14