Friday, December 07, 2007

After Life (12) - Description of Eternal Life

The Bible tells us what this heavenly Kingdom will be like.

  1. The saints will be clothed with spiritual bodies (1 Cor 15:44).
    He who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit. Rom 8:11).
    It is hard to imagine what a spiritual body will be like, but all the limitations of our physical bodies will be gone. Our new bodies will be imperishable. They will not deteriorate, and will be impervious to pain and sickness. This will be a glorious existence. We shall bear the likeness of the Lord's glorious resurrection body (Phil 3:21). Our present bodies are not adapted for the state of things that will exist in the heavenly Kingdom so they will be changed.
    I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand (John 10:28).
    The expression "eternal life" is used 36 times in the New Testament This makes it a better expression for describing our future life the heaven.
  2. We will still be human. Our spiritual bodies will bear a resemblance to our physical bodies, in such a way that other people will be able to recognise us. We will be able to communicate with them.
  3. There will be glorious fellowship among the saints. We will be able to share with the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and all those who have been redeemed. At present our friendship is limited by time and by the number of people with whom we have contact. In heaven we will have infinite time to develop friendships with numerous people. There will be thousands of other people with similar tastes and interests and many more with different ones. The extension and the perfection of friendship will bring great blessing to everyone.
  4. There will be no marriage during the eternal life.
    Those who are considered worthy of taking part in this age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels (Luke 20:35,30).
    To many married couples this seems rather strange, but in heaven we will actually have deeper fellowship with all people, than we now have with our spouses. And though we are not married, we will actually have a deeper relationship with our spouses. However, this does suggest that family will not be an important institution in the future life. God will be the Father of all.
  5. God’s people will possess powers that are unknown at the present time. This will partly come from the intimate fellowship with God, but at the same time, our faculties will be expanded.
    So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; (1 Cor 15:42-43).
    Our powers of perception and reason will be vastly increased. This will lead to a constant increase in knowledge and understanding. The spiritual world will contain immense mysteries for the saints to study and explore. The vast increase in knowledge will be used for the glory of God in his Kingdom.
  6. Authority will be exercised on God's behalf by the saints in the heavenly Kingdom. The extent of the authority given will depend on the responsibility shown in this present life. In the parable of the ten minas, Jesus said that the most trustworthy servant would be given ten cities to rule, once the master returned (Luke 19:17). He had cared for only ten minas, yet he was given ten cities to rule as his reward. Those who have exercised their authority responsibly here on earth will exercise great authority in eternal life.
In all this we see the tremendous mercy of God. Salvation is a free gift from God. Those who are chosen to belong to the kingdom of heaven receive the privilege as a free gift. Even the good works they have done have been prepared beforehand by God. All the tremendous blessings described here are totally undeserved. Only a gracious God could give such a wonderful gift.

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