God’s ability and your glorious body

Published 1:00 am Saturday, November 15, 2008

Maybe there has never been a city or a county with so many beauty contests as we have in Clanton and Chilton County. But did you know that there will not be any beauty contests or physical strength contests in heaven? No, we will all be beautiful and have a perfect, glorious body all because God is able and will make it happen.

Our key Bible passage is Philippians 3:20-21: “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await the Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” We believers are destined and guaranteed to have a glorious body after this life, like that of our resurrected and ascended Lord Jesus. We are earthly citizens of the United States now, but at death or the return of Christ we will give up that citizenship and go to our home country, for our eternal citizenship is in heaven. Let me guide you to a few Bible passages relating to the believer’s future glorious body.

Jesus gave up his glorious body in heaven to come to earth on his God sent mission. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). “She gave birth to her first born, a son, and laid him in a manger” (Luke 2:7). “He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8). One of my favorite solo songs is entitled “Down from His glory.” The Son of God was willing to give up his glorious heavenly body so that through his death and resurrection we might have eternal life which climaxes with a glorious body. Romans 8:29-30 tells us that God initiates our salvation, He calls us, He accepts us as if we had never sinned and will see to it that it climaxes with a glorified body in heaven.

We need to be reminded that “being saved” means to be rescued, set free or made whole. Being “saved” begins with forgiveness of sins, being accepted by Holy God the Father, and the Spirit of God coming to dwell in our present body. This makes possible the best life possible while living within whatever body we have at whatever age or in whatever circumstance. At least something of God’s glorious name should be on display in our present body at this present time. “Glorify God in your body and in your spirit which belong to God” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

On the Mount of Transfiguration, three Disciples, Peter, James and John, were permitted to get a glimpse of the glorified body of Jesus. Here are excerpts from that experience: “The appearance of the face of Jesus changed…his clothes were white and glistening…Moses and Elijah appeared in glory…they talked about His departure which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem…the Disciples saw His glory” (Luke 9:28-32). Peter could not forget that experience and later wrote, “We were eye witnesses of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16). John related what he saw to our future glorious body when he wrote, “But we know that when He appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

You may boast or rejoice over your present health, strength or attractiveness. But let me assure you that your body has the seeds of decay within. A former Miss Peach Queen has died with cancer. I tried to minister to a former Miss New Orleans in a psychiatric ward. The most positive thing that can be said about your present health, stamina or attractiveness is that it is only temporary (2 Corinthians 4:18). One experience of being 81 is to see all this truth dramatized in the bodies of others and in my own.

The simple Bible truth is that for those who know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, the future for their body will be a glorious one. Whether your body shall have met death or whether you are alive when our Lord Jesus returns, “we will all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51). “We shall bear the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:49). “When He appears we shall be like Him” (1 John 1:2).

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ the Bible says you absolutely have no hope. (Ephesians 2:12 “You are without God and without hope in the world). Without comment let me leave with you the words of 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10. “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power on the day He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marveled at among all who have believed. This includes you who have believed our testimony to you.”

Take God at his word. He is able and will give each true believer a glorious body.