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Monday, November 23, 2009

What He Did and What He'll Do

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. Revelation 21: 3, 4 (New American Standard Bible)

Did you ever notice how there is a Christian emphasis on the redemptive work Christ did on the cross and not much is said about what is in store for us in eternity? The account of our redemption is a marvelous story; one crowned by the glorious resurrection of Christ Jesus from death and the grave. However as beautiful as that story is it is only the beginning for us Saints. In doing a recent series for our church youth on the End Times I again had a chance to once again sift through the rest of the story; a story that touches on total redemption. Not only will our souls and bodies be redeemed but there will be redemption of the entire universe (Revelation 21:1). When Christ comes the second time with all honor, glory and power we Saints who return with Him will have already been translated into resurrection bodies, immortal and completely geared for living in an eternal environment. Our new and eternal bodies, instantly received when we are taken up in the harpazo, the translation of the believers to heaven, will be patterned after Christ’s own glorious resurrection body. Of that the Apostle John says we are the children of God and shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is (1st John 3:1, 2). And again the Apostle Paul says Jesus Christ will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body (Philippians 3:21). Our glorified bodies will be undying bodies of flesh easily recognized by one another and made to withstand the rigors of standing before the throne of God and even exploring the universe.

Unlike our bodies now, our glorified bodies will not be weak of frail. They will be imbued with great power and glory while remaining corporeal and substantial. They will never age, be sick or die. As our pattern Jesus gave us brief insights into what a resurrected body could do. There are many strange qualities which He demonstrated which are difficult to reconcile to a body like His. For instance He was able to vanish and reappear at will (Luke 24:31). He was not limited to space or time and could teleport Himself wherever He wished as He wished. This was demonstrated when He ascended to heaven (Acts 1). He could handle objects (Luke 24:30). He could eat food even though He no longer needed to (24:43).

And then He puts the icing on the cake as He throws in a high end residence for us. He told His disciples He was going to the Father to prepare a place for those who believe in Him, adding if He went away He would return again to receive us to Himself so that where He is we could be too (John 14:3). The City of God comes down from heaven; it is the city in which the Saints will have a seat forever. Within the city are the very Throne of God and the Lamb. A crystal clear river flows out of the Throne and down the main Blvd of this heavenly metropolis where the tree of life will bear 1 full crop of fruit every month. Its leaves will be for the well being of the nations. There will be no need for the light of the sun, moon or stars for the Lord will be its light and He will light the nations. There will be no Temple there as the Lord will be the Temple and kings will bring their glory into the city. It sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? It must as the Lord has to remind us twice these things are faithful and true (Revelation 21:5, 22:6). He will dry our tears, stop our pain and our crying and end death and all mourning. Our Heavenly Father has indeed given us redemption from our sins and because of that we are encouraged and ever grateful. He holds within His power great gifts which He will lavish upon us with fondest delight, even as a parent does for a child on Christmas morning. We have believed in God and in His Son (John 14:1). Because of that we can be excited and sure He has readied eternity for us and the best is yet to come.