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The Longing of the Believer in Christ



We live in a time of spiritual darkness where many are fearful of the future, but for the believer in Christ, we know that the darker things get, the closer we are to our Savior breaking through the darkness and distress to raise us to be with Him for eternity. Daniel the prophet wrote about the time ahead when he said that the dead will be raised:

 

1“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. 4But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge” (Daniel 12:1-4, Emphasis added).

 

At the first resurrection or rapture, God’s people are clothed with a resurrection body similar to Christ's resurrection body. There will be some continuity in that we will be recognizable, but we are talking about an imperishable body, i.e., a body raised with the glory of God shining from us. Paul writes that we will not all go through the experience of death, but all believers will be changed:

 

49And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. 50I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in 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. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality (1 Corinthians 15:49-53).


That which is on the inside, your godly character, will someday be revealed. It won't be the same as our old nature; Paul says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (v. 50). Our bodies will no longer be perishable but imperishable (v. 53). We won't all sleep i.e., not all Christians will be separated from their bodies. Some are transformed instantly without going through the death process. When Christ comes, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, or the time it takes to bat your eyes, we will be changed from having a perishable body to being clothed with an imperishable body (vv. 51-52). Paul speaks of this transformation in his letter to the church at Philippi:

 

20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, 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 (Philippians 3:20-21 Emphasis mine).

 

This Greek word translated to our English word transform (v. 21) is the word Metaschēmatizō. It is a construction of two Greek words. Meta means a change of place or condition, and schēma implies shape or outward form. i.e., to transform, change the outer form or appearance of something, refashion, reshape.[1]

 

An imperishable body means that we won't age or get sick. Our new bodies will be glorious all of the time. You will always have youthful strength and be radiantly beautiful with God's glory radiating from you. Oh, I hope you are with us when that event happens. This world system has nothing that I want to hold onto, and I hope it is the same with you. Keith Thomas

 

[1] Key Word Study Bible. AMG Publishers, Page 1651.

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