35 One of you may ask, ‘How does God raise dead people, to make them alive again? What kind of body will they have?’ 36 Do not think like a fool! When you plant a seed in the ground, it has to die first. Then it can become alive again and grow into a new plant. 37 You put just a seed into the ground. It might be wheat or it might be another kind of seed. You do not put into the ground the whole plant that the seed will become. 38 But God makes that seed become a plant. Each plant has its own special body that God has chosen for it.
39 Also, things that are alive do not have the same kind of body. People have one kind of body. Animals have a different kind of body. Birds and fish also have a different kind of body. 40 Also, there are things up in the sky that are different from the things here on the earth. They have different bodies. Also, the things in the sky are beautiful in a different way from the things on the earth. 41 The sun is beautiful in a special way. The moon is also beautiful in a special way, but it is different from the sun. The stars are beautiful too, and each star is beautiful in its own special way.
42 It is like that when God raises a dead person to a new life. We bury the dead person's body in the ground and it becomes spoiled. But when God raises it up, it will live for ever. 43 When we bury the body, it is not beautiful. But when God raises it up, it is very beautiful. When we bury the body, it is weak. But when God raises it, it is strong. 44 What we bury in the ground is a human body. But the body that God raises up is a spiritual body. There is a human body that belongs to this earth. So there also has to be a spiritual body that belongs to heaven.
45 It says in the Bible, ‘The first man, Adam, became a person who received life.’ But Christ is like the last Adam. He is a spirit who gives life to people.
46 The spiritual body does not come first. No, what is human comes first. Then, after that, what is spiritual comes. 47 God used soil from the ground to make the first man, Adam. But the second man came from heaven. 48 People who live on the earth have bodies like the first man. That is the man that God made from the soil of the earth. People in heaven have bodies like the man who came from heaven. 49 Now God has given us bodies that look like the first man. One day we will have bodies that look like the man who belongs in heaven.
50 I tell you this, my Christian friends. Our weak human bodies cannot go to heaven, to join God in his kingdom there. Our human bodies will die. They cannot share in something that will continue for ever.
51 Listen to me. I will explain a great secret to you. Not all of us will die, but God will change all of us. 52 It will happen in a short moment, when the last trumpet makes a sound. When that trumpet makes its sound, God will raise up the believers who have died. He will give them bodies that can never die. In that way, he will change all of us.
53 That has to happen. Our bodies that are becoming spoiled must change. They must change into bodies that never become spoiled. Our bodies that are dying must change into bodies that will never die. 54 God will give us new bodies like that. When that happens, what is written in the Bible will become true. It says:
‘God has won against death. He has destroyed it completely!’
55 ‘Death, you can no longer win!
Death, you no longer have any power to hurt us!’
56 Death only has power to hurt us because of our sins. And it is the authority of God's Law that gives power to sins. 57 But now we thank God! Because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we win against death and its power.
58 So you must continue to be strong in your spirits, my Christian friends that I love. Do not let anything move you away from your faith. Continue to work hard as you serve the Lord. You know that whatever you do for him will not be useless.