These past few mondays, I’ve been spending time with a group of brothers relearning the biblical gospel story through some resources from the dtnetwork.org. And with every coming week, I’m finding my mind continually getting blown. Several things I always thought to be true, indeed, weren’t as true as I thought.
When we die, we Christians will spend eternity in Heaven. False. It doesn’t end there.
Our hope as Christians is not to be able to live eternally in heaven. Heaven is but a waiting room for our souls as we count on Jesus’ second coming. It is then when He will bring upon resurrection of our physical bodies, restoration of Earth from sin and death, and Satan’s final destruction. We stay faithful in the hope to spend eternity with God on a restored Earth free of sin.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)
“So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15:44)
The amazing thing is, when we are resurrected, we don’t just go back to our old bodies. We receive a new glorified, spiritual body! In the above verse it says that our bodies were initially sown in “corruption” and “weakness,” but they’ll be raised in “incorruption.” Our new bodies will be imperishable, immortal, and indestructible.
(A brother says the first thing he’ll do is go sky diving. Sans parachute.)
When Jesus appeared to his disciples after the resurrection, he was there in body and spirit.
“Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” (Luke 24:39)
Even though our new bodies will be spiritual bodies, they will also still have actual flesh and bone to them, which means we will still be able to feel and touch things as we do now.
But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.” (Luke 24:41-43)
The resurrection is literal. This is the hope. Not to spend eternity in a spiritual heaven sitting on a cloud playing the harp, but to spend eternity with God on a renewed Earth.
One certain day, the Earth will be restored to its original state. I cannot imagine how breathtaking the sight will be. A world free of death, pain and suffering. A place once again teeming with all creatures on land and sea, all under the dominion of man.
If I’m still around when Jesus has restored the Earth, I call first dibs on a pet T-rex.