By Pete Garcia
“And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” – 1 John 2:17
What if I told you that one day, you would forget what it was like to be human? You will forget what it was like to have aches, pains, pimples, ulcers, allergies, gray hair, hair loss, cancer, knee replacements, irritable bowel syndrome, hunger, thirst, and every other ailment known to man. You will forget what it was like to want to sin, that is, to feed the desires of the flesh. You will forget what it was like to hate and sorrow. You will forget what it was like to lust and envy for that which you do not have. As a born-again believer, you will one day become, the perfect version of yourself, the one God had always intended you to be.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” – Revelation 21:4
The former things are passed away…let that sink in for a moment. Although I cannot fully fathom this concept, I imagine, it is similar to trying to recall a specific hour of a specific day when you were two-months-old.
As hard as it is to imagine at present, the reality of it is, we will spend more time in our incorruptible bodies than we ever could in our corruptible ones. In fact, the bulk of our existence will be in the eternal state. At present, what is the longest a man could hope to live for? 100 years? 120 years? 969 years? (e.g., Methuselah) You might be asking, what the heck are you talking about with all this corruptible and incorruptible nonsense? Well, glad you asked, because the Apostle Paul has the answer.
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1st Corinthians 15:50-54
Among the numerous reasons for believing in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church, one of the more practical ones is that of our necessary physical transformation. Simply put, our bodies were not designed to live outside of this earth’s biosphere. Without augmentation, we could not even survive underwater for more than a few minutes. Few people can survive above 14,000 ft. elevation without an oxygen bottle. This is why, our bodies need an upgrade, primarily, because when Jesus comes to take us where He is (John 14:1-3), we must be changed physically in order to survive. More importantly, we must be made incorruptible in order to be able to exist in God’s presence
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” – 1st John 3:2-3
We know that in Jesus’s incarnation, He struggled with everything mortal humans struggle with (hunger, thirst, pain, anguish, sorrow, etc.). However, after Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, He was changed. Therefore, what was Jesus physically like after His resurrection, and what was He capable of doing?
– He could be felt and touched- (John 20:24-29)
– He could eat- (Luke 24:40-43; John 21:12-14)
– He could appear and disappear at will- (Luke 24:30-31, 36-38)
– He could alter or mask His appearance- (Mark 16:9, 12, 14; Luke 24:31; John 20:15)
– He was capable of multi-dimensional travel- (Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9; Rev. 12
– He could manipulate nature- (John 21:3-13)
Now, we know that when He appeared to John on the isle of Patmos, He showed Himself in His full glory. Then John fell over as dead (Rev. 1:17). His appearance in His full glory is far too much for the human (no matter how righteous) to take. So although we will be LIKE Christ, we will NOT be fully LIKE Him. We do not, nor will we ever, be as God in that sense of the understanding. We will never be gods or deified as God is, but we will share in a portion of His glory because we are part of Him as the body of Christ, who is covered with the blood of Christ, and indwelt with God the Holy Spirit. It is as close to being God as any being could possibly get, yet, the glory, power, and majesty of God are His, and His alone.
The late Jack Kelley taught a wonderful subject many years ago called The Incomparable Riches of His Grace, and lays out what he believed heaven would be like. I highly recommend this audio-teaching and I promise you will be greatly blessed if you listen to it. Although I cannot say with 100% certainty that he is correct, I like to believe he is, and furthermore, I think he keyed in on an important aspect about the eternal state I would like to reiterate. We simply cannot fathom how wonderful heaven will be. Our finite minds, given the naturalistic world we currently inhabit, cannot (even in imagination), comprehend how much God has in store for us. To quote a friend of mine’s young son
“Dad, I was thinking… if earth is this awesome and God made it in only six days think about how awesome heaven is since he’s been working on it for hundreds of thousands of years!”
A child’s wonder is something most adults have grown out of, or rather, had beaten out of them by the world. We will not be bored. Far from it. Whatever limitations heaven has at present, are simply limits of our own imagination. Although I cannot add to what Paul already so eloquently lays out here, I can add a thought that might accompany it. Look at your own life. If you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ, your life here and now is the worst experience you will EVER experience. EVER. Spend a little time today to meditate on the last line.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:4-7