But tell me this! Since you believe what we preach, that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying that the dead people will never come back to life again? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ must still be dead. And if Christ is still dead, then all our preaching is useless and your trust in God is empty, worthless, hopeless; and we apostles are all liars because we have said that God raised Christ from the grave, and of course that isn’t true if the dead do not come back to life again. If they don’t then the dead do not come back to life again. If they don’t then Christ is still dead, and you are very much foolish to keep on trusting God to save you, and you are still under condemnation for your sins; in that case all Christians who have died are lost! And if being a Christian is of value to us only now in this life, we are the most miserable of creatures.
Don’t be fooled by those who say such things. If you listen to them you will start acting like them. Get some sense and quit your sinning. For to your shame I say it, some of you are not even Christian at all and have never really known God.
But someone may ask, “How will the dead be brought back to life again? What kind of bodies will they have?” What a foolish question! You will find the answer in your own garden! When you put a seed into the ground it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it “dies” first. And when the green shoot comes up out of the seed, it is very different from the seed you first planted. For all you put into the ground is a dry little seed of wheat, or whatever it is you are planting, then God gives it a beautiful new body- just the kind he wants it to have; a different kind of plant grows from each kind of seed. And just as there are different kinds of seeds and plants, so also there are different kinds of flesh. Humans, animals, fish, and birds are all different.
The angels in heaven have bodies farm different from ours, and the beauty and the glory of their bodies is different from the beauty and the glory of ours. The sun has one kind of glory while the moon and the stars have another kind. And the stars differ from each other in their beauty and brightness.
In the same way, our earthly bodies which die and decay are different from the bodies we shall have when we come back to life again, for they will never die. The bodies we have now embarrass us for they become sick and die; but they will be full of glory when we come back to life again. Yes, they are weak dying bodies now, but when we live again they will be full of strength. They are just human bodies at death, but when they come back to life they will be superhuman bodies. For just as there are natural, human bodies, there are also supernatural, spiritual bodies.
The Scriptures tell us that the first man Adam, was given a natural, human body but Christ is more than that, for he is a life-giving spirit.
First, then, we have these human bodies and later on God gives us spiritual heavenly bodies. Adam was made from the dust of the earth, but Christ came from heaven above. Every human being has a body just like Adam’s, made of dust, but all who become Christ’s will have the same kind of body as his- a body from heaven. Just as each of us now has a body like Adam’s, so we shall some day have a body like Christ’s.
I tell you this, my brothers: an earthly body made of flesh and blood cannot get into God’s kingdom. These perishable bodies of ours are not the right kind to live forever. But I am telling you this strange and wonderful secret: we shall not all die, but we shall all be given new bodies! It will happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown.