Resurrection — Christ’s and ours — is a cornerstone of the Christian religion. But how many people ponder what our resurrected selves shall be like? You would possibly suppose Scripture doesn’t say a lot. In actual fact, it tells us loads, and provides us strong causes to infer far more.
For example, Paul wrote, “[The body that] is sown is perishable; [it] is raised imperishable. It’s sown in dishonor; it’s raised in glory. . . . It’s sown a pure physique; it’s raised a non secular physique” (1 Corinthians 15:42–44). The time period “non secular physique” doesn’t imply an incorporeal physique manufactured from spirit — there isn’t a such factor. Physique means corporeal: flesh and bones. A non secular physique will nonetheless be a physique. However will probably be non secular, beneath the holy management of a redeemed and righteous spirit.
God made Adam from the earth to stay on it, not float on the air. He joined spirit and physique to make us utterly human. He didn’t design us to be disembodied spirits as Plato taught, but sadly, many Christians consider simply that. To be with Christ within the current heaven is healthier by far than dwelling on earth beneath the curse. However Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 15 that we’ll not be eternally full till our resurrection.
Was Jesus Solely a Ghost?
“Beloved, we’re God’s kids now, and what we shall be has not but appeared; however we all know that when he seems we will be like him” (1 John 3:2). Christ’s post-resurrection actions supply us a preview of what resurrected folks will do — together with getting ready and consuming meals, conversing, and touring. If Jesus had been a ghost, we would turn into ghosts. Extra importantly, if Jesus had solely been a ghost, redemption wouldn’t have been achieved.
The risen Jesus advised his disciples,
“See my palms and my toes, that it’s I personally. Contact me, and see. For a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones as you see that I’ve.” And when he had stated this, he confirmed them his palms and his toes. . . . [Then] he stated to them, “Have you ever something right here to eat?” They gave him a chunk of broiled fish, and he took it and ate earlier than them. (Luke 24:39–43)
Jesus didn’t simply say he wasn’t a ghost; he proved it. Likewise, he “will rework our lowly physique to be like his superb physique” (Philippians 3:21). No matter else a glorified physique is, it’s initially a resurrected physique.
“No matter else a glorified physique is, it’s initially a resurrected physique.”
In Acts 1:11, an angel defined, “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will are available the identical approach. . . .” The resurrected Jesus who lived amongst them forty days earlier than ascending is similar Jesus in soul and physique who will return to lift his folks’s our bodies from the grave. Why didn’t Jesus instantly ascend to heaven? Maybe partly to point out his design for resurrected folks to stay on a bodily earth.
You Will Nonetheless Be You
Bible-believing Christians usually ask me, “Will we turn into angels after we die?” Someplace they’ve gotten the concept no matter we could also be after demise, we gained’t actually be human. No surprise so few Christians sit up for heaven. People will not be drawn to the thought of turning into inhuman.
Scripture portrays resurrection as a matter of continuity from our current into our future lives. The Westminster Confession says, “All of the lifeless shall be raised up with the selfsame our bodies, and none different . . . united once more to their souls perpetually.” Selfsame and none different unequivocally imply we’ll nonetheless be us.
Once I grew to become a Christian in highschool, my mom noticed many modifications, however she nonetheless acknowledged me. She stated, “Good morning, Randy,” not “Who’re you?” My canine by no means growled at me — he knew precisely who I used to be regardless that I used to be a brand new particular person in Jesus. Likewise, this identical Randy will bear one other important change at demise, and but one other on the resurrection. However I’ll nonetheless be who I used to be and who I’m — only a much better model.
In My Flesh, With My Eyes
It’s arduous to think about a clearer declare to our bodily and psychological continuity within the afterlife than Job’s:
I do know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the long run he’ll stand on the earth.
And after my pores and skin has been destroyed,
but in my flesh I’ll see God;
I personally will see him
with my very own eyes — I, and never one other. (Job 19:25–27, NIV)
Peter stated, “Heaven should obtain [the risen Christ] till the time for restoring all of the issues about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets way back” (Acts 3:21). What may very well be a stronger assertion about continuity than God promising he’ll restore every little thing? Restoration is about bringing again the unique good, which requires eliminating the unhealthy.
Adam and Eve had been one hundred pc human in physique and spirit each earlier than sin, and after. We shall be people after sin’s destruction — much better people, however by no means non-humans. The basic distinction between our current and future selves shall be our deliverance from sin, demise, illness, and the curse (Romans 8:21, 23).
What Will Glorification Be Like?
The apostle John described the glorified Jesus as shining with an awesome energy and brightness (Revelation 1:12–16). However simply as Moses and Elijah had been glorified in a secondary sense within the transfiguration, so God’s folks will expertise by-product glorification from Jesus: “A lot of those that sleep within the mud of the earth will awake . . . Those that are smart will shine just like the brightness of the sky above; and people who flip many to righteousness, like the celebrities perpetually and ever” (Daniel 12:2–3).
Our glorification will contain a dramatic and marvelous transformation. What prepares us to take part in God’s glory in our resurrection our bodies? Our present sufferings (1 Peter 1:6–7; 2 Corinthians 4:17). We’re known as “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, supplied we undergo with him so that we can also be glorified with him” (Romans 8:17).
Joni Eareckson Tada says, “Someplace in my damaged, paralyzed physique is the seed of what I shall turn into. . . . if there are mirrors in heaven (and why not?), the picture I’ll see shall be unmistakably ‘Joni,’ though a a lot better, brighter Joni” (Heaven: Your Actual Dwelling, 55).
Jesus says of the brand new earth, “Behold, I’m making all issues new” (Revelation 21:5). This implies he’ll restore creation to its former pre-curse glory, and certain give it higher magnificence and surprise than the unique. We, and the brand new world, will turn into much better and in that sense far totally different. However we would be the identical folks, with out sin; and will probably be the identical world, with out evil and struggling. All shall be made superb.
Imagining Life After Resurrection
Although our imaginations will naturally fall in need of resurrection actuality, I consider we must always permit them to step by the doorways Scripture opens. Since we all know what our bodies are and we all know what the earth is, imagining new our bodies and a brand new earth with out sin, demise, and struggling isn’t in any respect not possible. That’s why Peter says, “We’re ready for brand spanking new heavens and a brand new earth during which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). For those who don’t think about it, you gained’t lengthy for it!
“Thanks for making me so splendidly complicated! Your workmanship is marvelous” (Psalm 139:14, NLT). How far more will we reward God for the wonders of our resurrection our bodies and minds — free from sin and illness and dementia? Our resurrected senses might perform at ranges we’ve by no means recognized. On the brand new earth, we’ll nonetheless be finite however not fallen, suggesting we’ll frequently expertise discovery. Will our eyes perform as telescopes and microscopes and see new colours? Will our ears acknowledge voices from miles away?
We’re commanded, “Glorify God in your physique” (1 Corinthians 6:20). What’s going to we do for eternity? Glorify God in our our bodies. Scripture tells us, “Whether or not you eat or drink, or no matter you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Ceaselessly, we’ll eat, drink, and do all else to the glory of God. We’ll worship Jesus not solely after we gaze upon him and sing, however as we work, relaxation, discover, research, be taught, and have a good time.
“God’s plan for everlasting heaven is a redeemed earth free from the curse, inhabited by lively, embodied folks.”
Revelation 22 exhibits us God’s plan for everlasting heaven is a redeemed earth free from the curse, inhabited by lively, embodied folks — splendidly excellent news to all who think about heaven to be uninteresting, boring, and unearthly. On the brand new earth, “his servants will serve him” (Revelation 22:3 NIV). We can have issues to do, locations to go, folks to see.
All We Had been Meant to Be
In heaven, civilization and dominion shall be sanctified and glorified: “The saints of the Most Excessive will obtain the dominion and possess the dominion perpetually, perpetually and ever” (Daniel 7:18). I and all God’s folks — along with my mother and father, expensive buddies, and my beloved spouse Nanci, who went to Jesus nearly precisely a yr in the past — will domesticate and develop the brand new earth, and marvel at its wonders.
We’ll absolutely write books, carry out music, create artwork, play, snicker, meet new buddies, uncover, invent, and journey on the brand new earth. How do I do know? We do these items now, not as a result of we’re sinners, however as a result of we’re human, made in God’s picture. Sin will stop; image-bearing won’t. Above all, we’ll be joined to Christ, in an ideal marriage that current marriages, of their most interesting moments, prefigure (see Ephesians 5:22–33).
Are you trying ahead to resurrection day?
Our future is to rule beneath the King on the brand new earth, to his glory. You and I’ll turn into all our Father intends us to be. That course of begins right here and now and can bear full fruit in his everlasting kingdom. Collectively we’ll creatively serve and worship him with purified hearts, minds, and our bodies, perpetually having fun with his huge and delightful creation and sharing in his boundless happiness. We’ll delight endlessly in our triune God, and extremely, he’ll enjoyment of us!