A GLORIOUS GLORIFIED BODY - IN A TWINKLING OF AN EYE!
(By: Norm Rasmussen)
Dear Friend, I am assuming you have committed your life to Jesus Christ. If you haven't, what I'm about to share doesn't apply to you. It only applies to those who are in Christ Jesus. If you haven't accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, we pray this will spark a desire in your heart to do so. What He has prepared for those who belong to Him is so awesome and we don't want anyone to miss out! Please read on...
"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 immorality." (1 Cor. 15: 51-53)
But someone may ask, 'How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come up out of the ground with, when that trumpet blows?' Here are some answers God provides for us found in 1 Cor. 15, verses 38 & 42-44:
God is going to give us a new glorified body as is pleasing to Him. This old body of ours is sown in corruption, yet it is going to be raised in incorruption.
This old body that has aches and pains, (especially the older we get), is susceptible to every kind of sickness and disease known to mankind, and wants to disobey God whenever it pleases. The simple fact of the matter is, this old body of ours is sown in dishonor.
But there is incredibly GOOD NEWS! This old body of ours that is sown in dishonor is going to get an extreme makeover. God promises that He is going to convert it from sin-ugly into Christ-gorgeous. He is going to miraculously transform it from dishonor to honor. Better than that, He is going to transform it from weakness into glory and power.
And the ultimate reason why we'll be given a glorified body? To bring God joy and pleasure unlike the angels will be able to do. It's a huge mystery, yet if God giving us glorified bodies didn't somehow give Him greater joy and greater glory ... He wouldn't have promised them to us.
We've heard of people who have had visitations of heaven. We've heard of people who have had supernatural encounters with God and with angels, and even saints who have died and gone to heaven. Yet in nearly 30 years of being a Christian, I've yet to hear of one believable account where an angel has told one person on this planet all that angels are capable of doing. Bits and pieces are released. Hints of their supernatural abilities get mentioned. Yet in all the supernatural encounters God's people have been allowed by God to experience, it appears that God is keeping secret this incredible mystery of what our glorified bodies are going to be fully capable of doing after the resurrection of the just.
Will we have the same abilities that angels have? Will some of us actually have greater abilities than the angels? Greater power and glory eventually than many if not all the angels? Some believe 'Yes!' Some believe that we corruptible born again Christians are destined to become THE 'super-race of all super-races.' Meaning, elevated even higher in power and glory than the angels. I personally don't have that revelation from the Holy Spirit, but if that is what God has planned, His will be done.
Yet to which angel would you suppose God first asked, before creating that angel: 'How would you like to be created?' And in the 15th Chapter of 1 Corinthians, God clearly tells us the same. God alone determines beforehand what kind of body each of us are going to receive once that trumpet gets blown.
Going in a little different direction, let's say you die tomorrow. Your family (or authorized authorities) puts you in the ground where you'll turn to dust. Your spirit went to heaven moments after your heart quit beating. In heaven, reward is everywhere. Best of all, you get to enjoy the presence of God, experience His love that words couldn't possibly express. His love is so addicting, so fulfilling - that you can't possibly imagine anything being any better for all eternity. After all, what more could a person possibly want than to just soak up God's love forever and ever?
What if God were to whisper this in your ear while you're in His presence there? 'My child: How would you like to be able to experience my love and joy even more than you are capable of experiencing it right now?'
You look at the Creator, the God of all love, and you ask rather perplexed, 'How in all creation could I possibly experience Your love and joy any more than I'm experiencing it right now?'
And what if God says, 'If you had your glorified body, which you don't have yet, you would be able to.'
God says our glorified bodies will be raised in glory and in power. (See 1 Cor. 15: 43). With these glorified bodies, will we have power to enjoy God's love in greater and more fulfilling ways than what our spirit alone was capable of experiencing prior to that? Could it be that even God's love and joy cannot be fully and totally appreciated YET, regardless of how awesome it is and will be once we are in heaven, until God's new creation gets fully birthed?
What new creation would that be? You and I being given our glorified bodies. New heavens and a new earth.
Dear reader, if life has you bogged down; if life is stressing you out; if you are discouraged in your relationship with God, here's what helps me at times like that. I close my eyes and I ask my heavenly Father to let me take a little vacation in my mind. I ask my heavenly Father to help me visualize that moment in the future when I'll pop up out of the grave, and see a creation that radiates with an ability to not only appreciate God's love and joy in even greater ways than before, while I was in heaven in spirit form only, but to share my appreciation of that love with Him and others that will just thrill Jesus beyond even HIS wildest imagination.
See, it has been during those little vacations in my mind that I've caught small glimpses of what some of eternity is going to be all about. The Father, Holy Spirit, angels, and you and I are going to be for eternity coming up with new ways to keep 'blowing the joy socks off Jesus.' All of eternity in every being (that isn't in hell of course) -- they will have a consuming desire to keep coming up with new ways to 'blow the joy socks off Jesus.'
Will Jesus just soak it all up as an end-all? Not a chance! He'll refuse to let the focus be on Him. He will gather us all together and reveal to us how we can bless the Father and bless the Holy Spirit with no end to His creative ability. And the more He enables us to bless the Father and The Holy Spirit, the more creative ways we'll be given by the Father and The Holy Spirit to bless Jesus back. In the whole process, our joy will continue to increase, as will God's.
Without a glorified body, is it possible we simply wouldn't be able to contain all that joy otherwise? Without a glorified body, is it possible that we would have restraints in being able to tap into the fullest creativity of God to the fullest in being able to come up with endless ways of 'blowing the joy socks off Jesus?' The answer is "Yes!"
The total summation of purpose for all eternity will be to bless God, folks, and bless others. It will never grow old, dear saint. It will never grow boring, I can promise you. It will be an ever-growing means of creating endless and inexpressible joy that simply cannot be fully contained, let alone fully realized, until you and I are given our glorified body.
It was the apostle Paul who wrote the 15th Chapter of 1 Corinthians. It was this corruptible soul who was taken to the third heaven during his time on earth and heard some things that He was not allowed to talk about when he came back. Yet never let this escape your thoughts: It was this same apostle Paul the Holy Spirit used to write these words that bring to a close the chapter everything God wanted us born again Christians knowing regarding one day receiving our glorified bodies:
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Cor. 15:58)
Let these words inspired of the Holy Spirit keep you going, mighty man and woman of God. Don't give up the call God has on your life. Don't quit because of discouragement or frustration. Sure, be wise, be willing to modify if God wants, but don't quit serving God. Somehow, some way, God will reward you for your faithfulness to the call He has given you. You may not receive one 'thanks' down here. You may not realize a dollar from the ministry (time, energy, sacrifice, effort) you've sown into the lives of others to try to help advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ in the heart's of people.
Yet your reward is certain. Neither you nor I, none of us down here have a clue what our glorified bodies are going to look like - be like. (Unless of course God has give you a vision or supernatural revelation somehow of it, which He certainly can do If he so wills). We might have had glimpses, but they are most likely only that: glimpses.
Keep on keeping on, mighty soldier of Jesus Christ. Your labor in the Lord is not, nor will not be in vain. God came up with that, I didn't. I'm just repeating what He has promised you and I.
Be blessed by being a blessing to others. We have an inheritance that simply is mind boggling. We have a future that requires some heavenly suspenders to keep from 'blowing our joy socks off!'
Note: Randy Acorn has been given a call from God to give us greater understanding of heavenly things. Here is a writing of his that you might find greatly rewarding about Christians receiving their glorified bodies.
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Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)