Why is a resurrection necessary if man has an immortal soul? If
we are save by the death of Christ, why did Jesus have to be resurrected?
by: Herbert W. Armstrong
Today we live in a time of world revolution. We begin to hear talk about the
END OF THE WORLD! Today we face a DUAL question! Not only regarding man, but now
also concerning CIVILIZATION. We need to find the answer to the question put by
the patriarch Job: "If man die, shall he live again?"
This should be a time of HOPE - because, even if THIS WORLD dies - and it
shall - there will follow a RESURRECTION of a new and better world - a word at
PEACE - a world of contentment, happiness, abundance, JOY!
Now, as never before, we need to realize that the Eternal GOD is working out
a purpose here below - and that His great PLAN involves a DUAL resurrection: the
resurrection of the individual, and also the resurrection of a dying WORLD! Very
few, indeed, have any conception at all of the NATURE of the resurrection!
Never a Time Like This Before
YOU live today in a time different - utterly different - from any past time
on earth! YOU are destined, as no past generation has been, to live in two
worlds! Yes, this world IS dying - that's the real meaning of world chaos today
- but there will be a RESURRECTION: - and, catch this! - the resurrected body is
not the SAME body that previously dies!
Why did God Almighty NEED to provide for any resurrection at all? What's the
PURPOSE of the resurrection? What does it MEAN?
Most people have somehow come to believe that Christ completed God's Plan of
redemption on the cross - by His death! But if salvation was made full and
complete by Jesus' DEATH, then why is there any need of - why do people
celebrate - the RESURRECTION from the dead?
You often hear people say, "Christ died to save sinners." Many
suppose that's a Bible quotation - but it isn't. Many firmly believe that
Christ's DEATH imparts to us ETERNAL LIFE, that it is the BLOOD of Christ - his
death that actually SAVES - that imparts everlasting LIFE! Many of you will be
surprised to learn that the Bible says NO SUCH THING! What a self-contradictory,
totally unscientific thing the Bible would be stating, if you could find that in
There is no more basic and firmly established law known to science than the
Law of Biogenesis - that only LIFE can beget life! DEATH has no power to impart
LIFE! Life cannot spring from dead matter. The living does not come from the
NOT-living! GOD ALMIGHTY created that Law!
WHY, then, was it necessary that Christ DIE for us - that He shed His blood?
Death Cannot Impart Life
The Scriptures reveal that ALL have sinned, and the PENALTY for sin is DEATH!
The PUNISHMENT is death - yes, death for all eternity - ETERNAL PUNISHMENT! The
BIBLE definition of SIN is the transgression of God's LAW - the immutable,
inexorable SPIRITUAL Law of LOVE summed up by the Ten Commandments. God
established that Law, actually set it in motion, to MAKE MEN HAPPY. It's THE WAY
to peace, to prosperity, joy! It's the perfect WAY OF LIFE. It's the way to
ENJOY life to the full! This world is filled with strife and war, fear and
worry, poverty and want, discontent and SUFFERING, only because men have
TRANSGRESSED that Holy, Spiritual LAW!
God's salvation does not impart merely eternal life! Salvation means FAR more
than that! Jesus said He came that we might have eternal life, yes - but He also
said something MORE - "I am come," He said, "that they might have
LIFE, and that they might have it more ABUNDANTLY!"
God help us to comprehend! Not merely continuous existence - but the full,
happy, interesting, ABUNDANT life! Yes - and that for ALL ETERNITY!
Just stop and think for a moment! For God to impart mere never-ending
EXISTENCE, which we should live in ever-increasing emptiness, boredom, misery
and suffering - why, that would be the most cruel punishment! GOD IS LOVE!
He wants YOU to learn the way to ENJOY life - FOREVER!
Why God Hides Himself
Your transgression of GOD'S WAY of life, has not only brought unhappiness and
suffering to you - it has cut you off from all contact with your Maker! You are
a mere mortal. The penalty hanging over you is DEATH - and the most certain
thing in life is that all shall DIE! You have no power to impart to yourself
eternal life. And you are cut off from God the Father, the GIVER of eternal
But God so loved this world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that if you
believe on HIM, you shall not, after all, PERISH, but have the GIFT of
everlasting LIFE! That can only come THROUGH CHRIST!
But HOW? Jesus Christ was CHANGED from the divine Word of God to mortal human
FLESH - for the purpose of DEATH. He, ONLY, of all humans, lived without sin. He
said, "I have kept my Father's Commandments." When He shed his
precious blood - when He GAVE His life - He was not paying the penalty of HIS
sins, for He never sinned. He was paying YOUR penalty FOR YOU! - in your stead!
- the penalty you incurred by disobedience. So now if and when you really REPENT
of your transgressions, and when you BELIEVE, not only IN Christ, but also His
GOSPEL, your penalty stands PAID IN FULL -you are RECONCILED to God - you have
ACCESS to God the Father! You are now JUSTIFIED. Your guilt is wiped CLEAN - up
to THAT moment! You are UNDER GRACE - that is, undeserved PARDON for past
transgressions. But that GRACE gives you no license to continue in sin! As the
Apostle Paul wrote: "What, then, shall we CONTINUE in sin - transgressing
God's LAW - that grace may abound? GOD FORBID!" Justification refers only
to a guilty PAST!
But now where do you stand? Are you now automatically already SAVED? You most
certainly are not! Be NOT DECEIVED! The DEATH of Christ does not impart ETERNAL
LIFE! You are finally SAVED by the death of Christ - you are merely JUSTIFIED
-your PAST GUILT removed - reconciled to GOD! You are merely PREPARED so that
you CAN be saved. You now have access to GOD from whom eternal life comes!
What the Death of Christ Means
The BLOOD of Christ does NOT finally SAVE you, and had Christ REMAINED dead,
you would have no salvation - NEVER could you have eternal life!
HERE'S the glorious TRUTH! Here's the point I want you to grasp: You are
finally SAVED - you receive eternal LIFE, by the RESURRECTION of Christ - from
the LIVING Christ - not a dead Savior!
Its in YOUR BIBLE. Turn to it - SEE IT WITH YOUR OWN EYES! Turn to Romans
5:8-10: "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us. Much the more then, being now justified by His
blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God by the DEATH of His Son, much more, being reconciled,
we shall he saved BY HIS LIFE!"
There it is! Do you see? Do you comprehend? We are forgiven, JUSTIFIED OF
PAST GUILT, reconciled to the Father, by the DEATH of Christ - but we shall be
SAVED, not by His death, by BY HIS LIFE! Yes BY HIS RESURRECTION!
In I Cor. 5:7-8 the Apostle Paul laid down the commandment for the CHURCH:
"Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us; therefore. let us KEEP THE
FEAST!" The original TRUE Church which Jesus built kept the PASSOVER, and
the Feast of Unleavened Bread - NOT Easter. The Passover was the MEMORIAL of the
DEATH of Christ, observed on its anniversary - picturing our JUSTIFICATION from
past sins - our being RECONCILED TO GOD. Therefore, as Paul said, let us PUT SIN
OUT OF OUR LIVES - for that's what the Festival of Unleavened Bread was given by
God to picture to HIS CHURCH! Also this Festival of GOD pictured the RISEN,
RESURRECTED CHRIST! And so, as CHRIST died for us, and ROSE again, the people of
God are instructed (Rom. 6:11) "Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be
dead indeed UNTO SIN - but ALIVE unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord" -
Yes, through Christ's LIFE.
Saved by His Resurrection
CHRIST'S resurrection makes possible OUR resurrection to immortal life in the
very divine FAMILY of God - He is only the first-born of many brethren! Your
gift of ETERNAL LIFE results NOT from the DEATH of Christ-but from HIS
Suppose Jesus Christ had remained dead in His tomb. Do you suppose that, in
that case, your faith in HIS BLOOD - His DEATH - could have SAVED you? If you
do, you'd be trusting in a FALSE HOPE! It's time we realize the TRUTH!
Notice again - read this in YOUR BIBLE: I Cor. 15:14-18: "IF Christ be
not risen, then is our preaching VAIN, and your faith is also vain. . . if
Christ be NOT RAISED, your faith is VAIN . . . then they also which are fallen
asleep (that is, DEAD) in Christ, are PERISHED!" - unless Christ ROSE from
Do you grasp the wonderful truth?
Christ is not a dead Saviour! He ROSE from the dead! - He is our LIVING
Saviour! But He was DEAD! He rose from DEATH - not from LIFE! It was the
EVER-LIVING FATHER who raised Him - who imparted eternal LIFE to Him! Jesus
Christ became mortal man for the very PURPOSE of death - to pay the PENALTY -
DEATH - for you and for me. He was mortal. He died. YOU are mortal. YOU shall
die. And there is NO immortal life - and no possibility of it, in mortal man.
GOD ALONE possesses inherent immortality! God is Life - Life inherent - Life
eternal! God alone has life to IMPART. WE can have it only as HIS GIFT!
No Immortal Souls
The Scriptures do NOT teach that the soul that sins shall go on living
forever - but "the soul that sinneth - IT SHALL DIE," (Ezekiel 18:4).
And ALL have sinned! You have sinned! Millions of people today have learned to
HATE other people. People learn to HATE, in time of war. Do THEY have eternal
life inherent - do THEY have an immortal soul - is ANY eternal life inherent in
them? LISTEN: "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that
no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (I John 3:15).
Do SAVED mothers up in heaven see the
writhing and hear the shrieks of their lost children down in HELL?
Thousands like you have been asking for the true explanation of the
"Rich Man and Lazarus." Write immediately for your FREE copy
of Mr. Armstrong's booklet "LAZARUS and the RICH MAN." Learn
what the Bible really says!
GOD'S WORD says plainly such a person does NOT have an immortal soul! To our
first parent, God said: "DUST thou art, and unto dust shalt THOU
return." He didn't say "your body that you live in" - He said
"Dust THOU art. YOUR Bible says "Man is MORTAL," but nowhere does
it say he is immortal.
Man is mortal flesh, subject to corruption - DEATH! All have sinned, and the
penalty is DEATH for all ETERNITY - eternal DEATH!
But in John 4:24 it is written "GOD is a SPIRIT, "And again,
"For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to
have life in himself" (John 5:26). Notice also I John 5:11-12: "And
this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in
his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God
hath not life."
God RAISED Him from the dead, to make a resurrection to ETERNAL LIFE possible
for YOU. Jesus said, "I am the Resurrection, and the LIFE."
Paul wrote, I Cor. 15:20: "But now is Christ RISEN from the dead, and
become the first fruits of them that slept." But His resurrection made
possible NOT ONLY your personal salvation and mine - but the resurrection of
this dying WORLD! For Christ was raised from the dead, to ascend to the throne
of God the Father in heaven - to be GLORIFIED - to RECEIVE for Himself the
KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD - and He promised that if He went, He would COME AGAIN -
coming this time as KING of kings, and LORD of lords, to RULE THE WORLD with the
supernatural power of God - to bring us the happy WORLD TOMORROW! Jesus' GOSPEL
was the GOOD NEWS of The Kingdom of God - the REIGN of God - WORLD RULE!
Why the Gospel of the Kingdom?
The CONDITIONS to entering that glorious and GLORIFIED Kingdom are these:
"REPENT" - repent of YOUR ways, YOUR thoughts, the ways of this world
- the ways that have seemed RIGHT to a man, but are contrary to God's perfect
and holy LAW; and "BELIEVE." Yes, believe the GOSPEL - believe on
CHRIST as personal Saviour. The inspired Peter pointed the way: "REPENT,
and BE BAPTIZED," he said, "and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy
Spirit." That's the WAY to salvation - the WAY into eternal inheritance in
the KINGDOM OF GOD.
At the RESURRECTION of the JUST - at Christ's coming it is proclaimed:
"The kingdoms - the governments - of this world are become the kingdoms of
our Lord and His CHRIST; and HE shall reign for ever and ever" (Rev.
If WE repent, believe, and are BEGOTTEN of God now, if we OVERCOME, and grow
in grace and knowledge, we shall sit WITH Christ on His throne - we shall be
given power over the nations to RULE them with a rod of iron, as kings and
priests under Christ the KING of kings.
And now one glimpse into that RESURRECTED world - the glorious, happy WORLD
TOMORROW - lying at PEACE, at last: "But in the last days it shall come to
pass that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top
of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow
unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the
mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us
of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people,
and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into
plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a
sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. (Micah 4:1-3).
GOD SPEED THAT HAPPY DAY! Let us pray, "THY Kingdom come."