Thursday, October 14, 2010

October 14, 2010

"I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." I Corinthians 15:50-54
Many of the representations of Heaven are so lame! Heaven is often portrayed as disembodied spirits and angels floating in the clouds playing harps. That might be slightly better than hell, but excuse me for not getting real excited about that!
Paul is out to quickly dismiss that notion! He affirms to the believers in Corinth that they will, indeed, have bodies in Heaven. They will not be flesh and blood bodies but they will be new and improved and eternal! These bodies will be especially fitted for the perfect environment that is Heaven!
It may be a good time to clarify that when you die and go to Heaven you will NOT become an angel! God created them a long time ago and they were judged when Lucifer rebelled in the presence of God and he was casted out of Heaven along with 1/3 of the angels who conspired with him. So, the angels who remained faithful spend their time (actually eternity) between Heaven and earth serving God and ministering to you and me (the saints of God)!
You were created to be you and you will be you forever! From the moment you were conceived and God knit you together in the womb, He designed you to be a wonderful unique gift to His plan on earth and then His eternal Kingdom! He celebrates your uniqueness and will preserve it forever by giving you a special glorified body to replace the special earthly body He gave you! During your lifetime of living, loving and serving with Him He has been perfecting you through His Word and His Spirit so you will die a better you than you were when you were born. But following the Second Coming and the Great Resurrection, you will be united with a new and significantly improved body that you will enjoy eternally!
I guess the best previews we have of this eternal body is Jesus after He resurrected and appeared to the disciples over a period of 40 days. People recognized Him so He must have looked very similar to His earthly form. He still bore the scars of His suffering and they were able to touch Him and feel a person. Yet, He was able to appear and disappear in a locked room! How cool is that!?
The other preview I can think of was when the inner circle accompanied Jesus up on the mountain where He was transfigured and Moses and Elijah appeared there. Both of those great men were visible and recognizable. I am not exactly sure how they recognized them since they had never seen them before but I must assume that Jesus introduced them!
Imagine that! "Peter, this is Moses. Moses, I want you to meet Peter!" That's what I'm talking about !!!!!
Heaven is a perfect paradise that will be enjoyed by perfect people who have been redeemed and sancitified and glorified by the grace and power of Jesus Christ! It will be like Eden except eternal. If you want a good visual of Heaven, read about Eden in Genesis. That was the original paradise and Jesus, the Second Adam, came to restore paradise, so why would He change it? When you die in Christ you will go to a real place and eventually become a real person and have a real good time FOREVER - (as in, without end) - and EVER and EVER!
You can work all you want to improve your body. That is a good thing! But thanks to the power and grace of Jesus you WILL someone enjoy a perfect body!