Again, in any discussion of I Corinthians 15 many things must be denied by the preterist such as the context of physical death. As ALL full or hyper preterist must reject the literal resurrection of the body out of a grave happening at His coming. Now at this point I am not arguing for the physical bodily resurrection of a dead body out of a grave BUT in the fact I Corinthians 15 context is one talking about a “body” of flesh and physical death, NOT spiritual death.
The context begins then with Paul wanting to answer to questions and he premises them with the assurance That Christ resurrection from the dead IS a fact, that His body came out of a tomb and “walked again”.
“Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?”- Resurrection then IS the body coming out of the grave as Christ did!!
Now preterist do not question that Christ came forth from the grave BUT argue incessantly that the “resurrection of the dead” is either the souls leaving Hades to ascend with Christ into heaven or they adopt the metaphorical use of “resurrection of the dead” in a sense in that we are raised to new life in Christ in HIS resurrection.
Two things must be noted; resurrection is the coming back to life what once was dead. The Old man was crucified with Christ, so NOTHING is being brought back to life, we are born again; what’s dead of the Old man needs to stay dead and buried. The spiritual life that comes to us is never termed by Paul as “resurrection” but the “new birth”.
Our problem with preterism is that their metaphorical interpretation does not maintain consistently through the whole chapter and denies the strength of the “platonic” form of argument Paul is presenting; IF this is true THEN this is also true.
“if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.”
“if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.”
“ if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.”
“if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
18Then those also who have “physically “died” in Christ have perished.
How do we know we are talking about Physical death and not spiritual death? Paul uses the term “sleep” instead of the normal Greek word for death.
The phrase “IN Christ” demands that those who are asleep (dead) died as a Christian, they are not alive being “resurrected in Christ” BUT THEY ARE DEAD. Physically Dead people do not get “Born again”!!
Paul argues all the way through those who are “in Christ” are the ones raised and experience the “resurrection of the dead”. Now we have already established this resurrection happens at no other time then at His coming, while the new birth is experienced at our confession of faith. Everybody who is saved is not saved “only” at his coming they must experience the new birth and die physically BEFOR he comes to take part in the “resurrection of the dead”.
“The dead will be raised”. As opposed to or contrasted with “that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord,” as we who are alive “We shall not all “die”.
– “we who are alive, living life in Christ as a new creation”- not dead in our sin without Christ
The main strength of his argument lies in this little portion
“If the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.” To remain consistent Paul equates the raising we experienced is identical to what Christ experienced. Christ was never “born again”, raised to new life in Himself, he was never “spiritually dead” to begin with. So, if Christ dead body came back to life then the dead in Christ will experience the same type of resurrection. If you say the physical dead are not raised back to life, then Christ was never raised back to life. His body remains in the grave!!!
“We testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.”
What further bolsters our claim of “physical death”?
“What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37And what you sow is not the body that is to be,”
It is well understood the seed being sown is a metaphor for the body that goes into a grave. Physical death. The seed goes into the ground and dies, BUT new life springs up from that very same seed.
“so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then Christ at his coming those who belong to. –OR “at his coming those who belong to Christ, shall all be made alive.”
To be made alive at His coming is not the new birth because they already belong to Christ through the new birth.
“35But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?”
How are we ever raised in Christ in a body?
“God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39For not all flesh is the same”, – Body is again equated with “flesh by Paul” and it is the dead who are given the new body.
If each person is made alive in Christ at their conversion the “spiritual death” is conquered for them. People are still “born” in spiritual death, having no relationship with God, and having the fallen sin nature that was passed on by Adam. BY Adam sin came to all men, so by one-man life.
How can spiritual death be the “last enemy”? When it was defeated by Christ on the cross who reconciled us to himself as the first thing he accomplished on the cross, “the veil was torn in two”.
“26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
As we have established death then is physical death, the last enemy is physical death. In the new heaven and earth, he promises “death will be no more”
How is this accomplished?
Those who have physically died in Christ are raised immortal. They cannot die again as death has no power over them. Those who were changed at His coming were made immortal, “Death where is thy sting?” They are “Without death”. Death has been made impossible for those who are in Christ.
The Final judgment of the Great White throne, being the judgment of ALL who have lived, leaves us with the idea this is the last judgment there can be no other judgment to follow, therefore there is no one else to be born and die to face judgment. The book has a last page with the last name.
With the last person being born and the last person dying there is no further people to be born to face judgment. It all ends.
A concept that is lost in the minds of any preterist.