Not just the possibility, but the reality of human immortality was powerfully unveiled by Jesus Christ when He unlike anyone before Him, rose permanently from the dead! And because the Father has glorified Him and exalted Him to have all authority in Heaven and earth, He now controls death and the realm of the dead (Matthew 28:18; Revelation 1:18). As a result, those that put their faith in the Gospel about Him for salvation are promised to be raised to immortality and glory like Him (John 11:25-26, 17:5, 22). The promise realized will entail sweeping changes in the human experience to that time including male and female as they have been known physically in their mortal bodies.
This is the conclusion of a three part celebratory treatise briefly exploring the resurrection to immortal glory first accomplished by the Father in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and promised also to His followers at His return to earth!
Originally Published June 2013
"But someone will say, 'How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come,'" (1 Corinthians 15:35, NKJV)? These questions appear to reflect the mocking tone of those rejecting the possibility of resurrection at Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 15:12). Still, the apostle Paul's answers are genuine, revelatory and authoritative.
First, concerning the body of the resurrected, Paul rebukes the evident unbelief in God’s power and wisdom any person has that ask such questions by calling them “foolish.” He then draws upon the scientifically verifiable reality of a plant seed to illustrate how it first dies before what is contained in its core can spring forth alive. Also, the form of the seed is not the same as the living plant that grows out of it. The dead seed and living plant both have bodies given to them by God. Similarly, our present bodies die and are buried. Our resurrection bodies spring forth alive from them but are not the same as the bodies that died in God’s will (1 Corinthians 15:36-38, NKJV).
The great apostle reminds us that the outer forms of things are not the same all throughout creation. As purposely intended and designed by God the flesh of men, land animals, fish and birds differ from one another. There is also the God designed and breath taking difference between the celestial bodies in the night sky and the unique form of the earth. Among the celestial bodies of the universe star differs from star and our sun has a very different form than the moon. In context, from these readily observable realities Paul instructs that the resurrection body of a Christian designed by God is going to be vastly different from the body that died (1 Corinthians 15:39-42a).
Our mortal bodies die and are buried; the resurrection body is raised immortal. Our dead bodies are buried in sin's disgrace; the resurrection body is raised in the glory of God's redemption and sinless perfection. Our dead bodies are buried in the weakness of sin's consequences; the resurrection body is raised endued by God with power! We now have mortal natural bodies God made from dust. However, the resurrection body God has prepared us is an immortal spiritual body; that is, a body composed of indestructible spiritual substance while also possessing material properties as we saw earlier in the resurrected, immortal body of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:42b-44).
The differences in the natural and spiritual bodies God has made for man are tied respectively to Adam and Christ. The first man, Adam, was created by God "a living being" with a natural body from dust. All sinful mankind has come from his natural body and bears his image. Christ is the second and final Adam from Heaven! After His death, burial and resurrection in the cause of saving those who will believe in Him, He became a "life giving spirit" imparting eternal life to His followers. We are currently being transformed inwardly to bear His image. At the resurrection, our natural bodies will be transformed to conform to the masculine likeness of Christ's own glorious, immortal spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:45-49; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:1-3, NKJV)!
Now, the apostle Paul makes it overwhelmingly clear that what the Lord first led me to write in my book is accurate when he writes, "flesh and blood (the natural body) cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption," (1 Corinthians 15:50, NKJV, emphasis mine). Our natural bodies are not fit for what is planned for us as eternal sons. Hence, God reveals a previously unknown fact through Paul that not every Christian will taste death, but "we shall all be changed" in an instant at Christ’s return (1 Corinthians 15:51-53, NKJV). The dead are raised immortals first. Then living saints are transformed into immortals and all take flight (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)!
At this point, we that are receiving such knowledge by faith ought to join Paul in his celebratory victory shout of praise and be encouraged to remain "steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord" assured it is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:54-58, NKJV)! Not only are we to be joyfully laboring to proclaim this good news of salvation, resurrection and immortal glory through Jesus Christ, but "the hope of glory" ought to inform every part of our present, mortal lives; enabling our heavenly perspective on all things and Christ-like living now (Colossians 1:24-29, 3:1-11). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
Since God has purposely planned for His sons to inhabit eternity with Him to fulfill roles and purposes of His design, then this should be revealed in some measure in His Word as has been the case with His mortal plans. Truly, it is as Scripture teaches: faithful Christians on earth are now receiving a radical make over inwardly that will also thoroughly affect what bodies we have for eternity. This edited part one is the first of a three part previously published 2013 celebratory treatise briefly exploring the resurrection to immortal glory first accomplished by the Father in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and promised also to His followers at His return to earth!
Originally Published April 2013
Besides the creation of man by God, the permanent, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is among the greatest displays of divine power in history! Coming on the third day after His death on the cross, His spirit that had departed returned to His lifeless body and it lived a second time; no more ever able to die. While He had previously displayed the divine power to raise others from the dead, they eventually died again. Jesus Christ, however, is the first and only Person until now to die, be raised to immortality and glorified after ascending to Heaven (Daniel 7:13-14; Luke 24:26, 50-51). He wills that all of His followers have His experience (John 6:40, 17:22).
As the Lord led me to write in a June 2012 Commentary titled, Man As God Designed Him, it was the divine intent that human mortality be only temporary. The possibility of immortality through the “tree of life” was already in the Garden of Eden when Adam was brought to it by God (Genesis 2:8-9, NKJV). All he had to do was eat from it which was not forbidden until after he sinned (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:22-24)! Clearly, mortality was the divine intended stage one of human existence to allow for death as the consequence for foreknown sin (Revelation 13:8). Truly, contrary to the consequential pain and grief it has caused us from Adam, physical death is an act of divine mercy!
He who foreknew Adam's fall and planned for it, also forever dismissed the prospect of his living forever to father children of sin when "the LORD God sent him out of the Garden of Eden," (Genesis 3:23, NKJV). Thus, the original divine directive to man as male and female to “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth” remained in effect as a mission of mortality in a temporary age of mortality dominated by death (Genesis 1:28, 3:16-19, 5:1-5, 8:20-9:1, NKJV). So used to the temporary routine of mortal life and death is mankind that many--including professing Christians--live hopelessly as though this is the eternally inevitable norm (Ecclesiastes 1:2-15, 2:1-24; Isaiah 22:13b, 56:12).
However, God who knows the end from the beginning permitted this routine of mortal life and death as part of His important plans for man and his salvation, for the Creator of man created him seeking eternal sons upon which to confer the inheritance of His eternal riches. Sin and death interrupted but did not finally thwart His plans. Therefore, God has been working during this mortal age to bring forth sons in the number of His will through Christ (Genesis 22:15-18; Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 3:7-29; Ephesians 2:4-7; Hebrews 2:10-16; Revelation 21:7). Indeed, He is the "firstborn from the dead" (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:9-23; Revelation 1:4-8, NKJV).
The Lord's permanent, bodily resurrection from the dead was of monumental magnitude concerning immortality and opened a wide vista of consideration about it. While God did not reveal every detail about immortality and His future plans in His Word, there is enough information provided by the prophets, Christ and His apostles to keep us who believe joyfully thinking about it like dreamy eyed children lying in bed on Christmas Eve until the Lord returns. As with every other aspect of this eternal life we have in Christ, the redeemed sons of God are expected by Him to search out by the Holy Spirit the instruction in His Word related to our immortal future (1 Corinthians 2:9-12).
Authors down through the centuries and Hollywood more recently have either struggled to grasp or purposely took improper creative license with how Christ exited the tomb. The now false consensus that the stone was rolled away and he walked out in shining glory is popular, but not Scriptural. The New Testament accounts have folk arriving to find an empty tomb with angels in three of the four Gospels announcing the Lord's resurrection (Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:1-6; Luke 24:1-7; John 20:1-10). Why does this matter? It matters because the truth reveals that after His resurrection, the Lord stayed long enough to carefully fold a burial item, then in His immortal body, vanish from the sealed tomb as He did later seated amid disciples (Luke 24:30-31).
Clearly, the laws of physics, space or time did not limit the immortal body of the Lord as is powerfully seen too in His ascension into the spiritual dimension where Heaven is located above this present universe (Acts 1:9-11, 9:3-7; 2 Corinthians 12:1-4). Yet, in His immortal body, He could eat food and be touched (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:24-29). The resurrection of Jesus Christ into an immortal body matters because it is the eyewitness anchor of the Gospel that saves those that have believed and hope in His promise that we too shall be raised from the dead into immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:1-23, 29-34). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
While no one earns the salvation of God, surely our Christian sisters have a sweet deal with Him in that after continuing faith in Christ, immortal glory is theirs for simply submitting to His will to be helpers to their husbands as child bearers in all love, holiness and self-control (1 Timothy 2:15). If they do nothing else in a lifetime, they have well pleased God in carrying out this assignment alone. But alas, faithful men and women in gratitude to, love and zeal for the Lord always want to do all that is possible in service to Him within the boundaries of His order and gifting to please Him as Tabitha and Phoebe in the New Testament demonstrate (Acts 9:36-41; Romans 16:1-2)!
Tragically, many contemporary professing Christian females in the sinful defiance of worldly feminists, selfish ambition and lack of self-control are out of divine order and disqualify their works however great in human eyes that might otherwise please God through pursuing authority over their husbands along with other adult men in His house. They in unbelief and disobedience impetuously act before the time God has prepared for all of His eternal sons as immortals to reign with Christ over every created thing and therefore, receive their reward now while bringing judgment on themselves with the men who enable their sin (Genesis 3:1-13, 16-19, 4:3-7; Numbers 12, 15:30-31; Matthew 6:1-4; John 14:15; 1 Timothy 2:8-14; Hebrews 10:26-31; Revelation 2:18-29).
This is part two of a three part celebratory treatise briefly exploring the resurrection to immortal glory first accomplished by the Father in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and promised also to His followers at His return to earth! While there is some repetition, for additional supporting content I recommend the reader refer to my May 2014, “The Body Beautiful”, Pt. 1 and 2 along with the more recent May 1, 2016 “Natural Bodies By Divine Design” posts under the same category as this and all the blogs that follow on the topic of immortality.1
Originally Published May 2013
The promise of immortal glory through faith in Jesus Christ is to say the least, mind-boggling but not inconceivable. Truly, who could imagine that all of the wonder and complexity of the human body could come from simple dust? Yet, here we are; eternal creatures made on purpose for God's purposes from dust (Genesis 1:26, 2:7)!
In outfitting man for this present mortal age, God created him a natural body from the earth from which it was taken; by divine decree that same body returns to the dust upon death because of sin (Genesis 3:17-19). Nevertheless, the natural body of man is a marvel of divine design and creation. For example, made in His image and likeness, the God who speaks, hears and sees, gave man a mouth to speak, ears to hear and eyes to see (Exodus 4:11; Psalm 94:9). As surely as men have come to learn that “form follows function” as a principle of building and industrial design, so, the Creator of man designed his natural body to fulfill functions tied to His will and purposes.
Keeping with the earlier example, it was the express divine will that man speak, see and hear in order to interact with God, the creation and soon to come, others of his kind (Genesis 2:8-19, 3:6-13)! Of course, God's image and likeness as well as purposes for mortal man designed in the functions of his natural body are much more than those three abilities. In chapter two of my book, The Strong Man Of God, Back To Basics, the Lord leads me to re-state plainly from His Word that Adam as the first and only man stood before Him a total, perfect creature. If it had not been for the divine will that man be many, Adam would have stood alone before God as the only man forever!
This means that a female version of man was not an imperative for him to exist. However, since along with ruling the divine mandate was for man to procreate, God chose the method to be cooperative effort by man as male and female (Genesis 1:27-28). Not back to the dust, but from man's side did God take living bone to purposely construct his female version; a "helper comparable to him" for him, which greatly pleased Adam (Genesis 2:20-23, NKJV)! Very important to emphasize in this is the fact that the female version of man is man for she was taken out of him and bears his glory in accord with the will and purposes of God in this mortal age (1 Corinthians 11:7-9).
Moreover, since every facet of man's inner person is masculine in the image and likeness of God, so equally is woman's. Truly, Adam prefigured Christ who is God in the flesh (John 1:1-5, 14-18; Romans 5:14; 1 Peter 1:17-21)! God sanctified the relationship of the man and his wife as marriage. Within it, they in their equality of person but complementary division of roles and responsibilities are put back and work together as "one flesh;" one whole man to His glory (Genesis 2:24, NKJV)! God perfectly divided the makeup of the man with his wife as seen in their respective dispositions influenced by and shown in their bodies. Thus, their gender differences are a matter of divine chosen emphasis "fleshed out" in each by form, genetics and hormones (Psalm 139:14).
The mortal lives and relationship of the man and his wife in their natural bodies became temporary as has already been stated because of sin and death. Sin corrupted their original perfection introducing conflict, pain, perversions and divorce. Their bodies reach a peak of maturity in function then decay sets in until apart from disease and calamity, death arrives (Psalm 90:1-12). The Bible is clear that death eternally severs the marital relationship (Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39). Religious men tried to test the Lord using levirate marriage to discredit resurrection and Him if He endorsed it. The Lord first affirms marriage and procreation are for this mortal age only (Luke 20:27-35).
The Lord goes on to teach that the resurrected, immortal sons of God are "'equal to the angels,'" (Luke 20:36, NKJV). Being equal to the angels speaks not only to the reality that they do not die, but also to the function of their bodies (Psalm 104:4); by divine design they cannot procreate. For this reason, there are no angels that are female and none that will be human in the resurrection since femininity is a special construction of God tied to procreation. Our bodies will necessarily undergo change to fit their form to God's planned stage two functions ultimately in a new, eternal creation (2 Corinthians 5:14-17)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 The Strong Man Store has available a four message audio CD series, Christ’s Resurrection, Death’s End the Lord led me to proclaim as another resource on the topic
of the coming resurrection to immortality.
This blog post is an edited and expanded version of supplemental articles the Lord led me to write in the June 2012 and 2013 Strong Man Of God Monthly Newsletter that immediately followed “Man As God Designed Him” and “Raised To Immortal Glory, Pt. 3” when those Commentaries were respectively published in the same publication. Clearly, the glorious immortal destiny of the saints of God is infinitely greater than those that choose to reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the mercies of God, I cry out to the reader outside of Christ by any means including as a professing Christian impostor or spiritually dead religionist to repent now and turn to Him while you have the opportunity!
Scripture teaches every single human being that has ever lived and died will be raised from the dead by Jesus Christ: some to immortal glory; some to immortal condemnation (Daniel 12:2; John 5:25-29)! In accord with God’s will and purposes as the apostle Paul teaches, the resurrection of all deceased humanity to immortality will be in ordered sequence. Thus, Jesus Christ is the first glorified immortal followed by those that by faith belong to Him at His Second Coming (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). Paul is led by the Holy Spirit to narrowly discuss only the resurrection of the saints directly following Christ’s as the focus of His instruction on the topic to the church at Corinth.
However, the apostle John reveals that between the resurrection of Christ to immortal glory and that of the saints, there will be a select number of persons that are raised to immortality. The next immortals after Christ will be the “Antichrist” (1 John 2:18; Revelation 13:1-10, NKJV), God’s two witnesses (Revelation 11:3-12), the false prophet (Revelation 13:11-18) and as “firstfruits” to God and Christ before the full harvest of all the saints, 144,000 men who had been lifelong celibates in the Lord’s service and now form His new and unique innermost circle as I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics (Revelation 14:1-5, NKJV).
Three and one half years after the resurrection to immortality of the Antichrist, all of the Lord’s saints are raised to immortal glory (Revelation 14:14-16, 20:4-6). One thousand years after this, all of the wicked are resurrected to immortality to be judged on the Day of Judgment and immediately condemned to “Hell” or if you will, “the lake of fire” with “Death and Hades” (Matthew 18:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15, NKJV). The two evil human immortals, Antichrist and false prophet, will have actually preceded Satan and his fallen angelic hosts and the main body of wicked immortals as the first to be cast into the lake of fire (Daniel 7:11; Revelation 19:19-20, 20:7-10).
The clear evidence the Antichrist is truly slain and resurrects an immortal (Revelation 13:3) is his single handed take down of the Lord’s supernaturally empowered two witnesses. Until the Antichrist, no human force on earth is able to get near them as they carry out God’s campaign to protect Israel during their reinstated temple worship complete with animal sacrifices and plague assisted call for humanity to turn to God in repentance. “The beast” or Antichrist is described as he “that ascends out of the bottomless pit” (which is another name for Hades, the realm of the dead awaiting judgment) to kill the two witnesses, stop temple sacrifices and launch his God shortened 42 month reign of desolation (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15-22; Revelation 8:12-13, 11:1-7, NKJV).
Those obsessed with their worldly brand of gender equality are surely stymied and disappointed to know the beast and later the resurrected false prophet along with all of the pre-Second Coming immortals are men and retain a masculine form in their immortal spiritual bodies. Hence, the immortal Antichrist in appearance “greater than his fellows” and “fierce” of face is called the “man of sin” and “son of perdition” since his masculine form indicates this is what he is (Daniel 7:19-20, 8:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, NKJV). Consistent then with the immortal spiritual bodies of the saints, the spiritual bodies of the immortal wicked will retain the general frame and form of the natural, mortal human body. Wicked immortals will not marry, procreate or even desire sex either.
Besides transformation from natural to spiritual, the immortal bodies of the wicked as seen in the Antichrist share indestructibility in common with those of the saints. He is able to kill God’s two witnesses because they cannot kill him with their God granted power of fire that destroys mortal flesh. This is perfectly consistent with what our Lord Jesus teaches about Hell’s torment as He stresses that the worm of the wicked immortals there never dies in the fire that is never extinguished (Mark 9:42-48). Unlike God’s glorified immortal sons, wicked immortals in Hell will have the ability to shed tears and experience pain as they forever weep and grind their teeth in agony (Matthew 13:41-42, 47-50, 24:48-51, 25:41-46; Revelation 21:4).
Too, the immortal spiritual bodies of the wicked are stripped down from those of the saints. They have no glory. And while Scripture does not specify whether or not the Antichrist or false prophet are able to fly, appear or disappear, it does declare that Satan and all of his hosts will have been confined to earth at this time precluding any travel in the spiritual realm by anything evil beyond it (Revelation 12:7-12). Save what God grants these two evil immortals to temporarily do by the power of Satan (Revelation 13:11-15), they will not have any supernatural abilities--the glorified immortal saints by contrast, eternally operate in the power of the Holy Spirit! Indeed, all that these two evil immortals do is orchestrated, empowered and overseen by Satan (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
For this reason, the Antichrist will fully honor only the devil as a god above himself--therefore, understand, he will not advocate for any major religion or preside over any form of ecumenicalism as some teach (Daniel 8:24-25, 11:36-39; Revelation 13:4). Truly, as seen in the Antichrist, the wicked are not done at all with evil after death. Returning from his short stay in Hades very bitter knowing his eternal fate--as do all at death, his first major act is to kill men who are plainly God’s servants fully showing no repentance. Conversely, he is eternally hardened into his evil mindset in which God’s just end for him and all that reject Christ is “outer darkness” in Hell forever (Matthew 22:1-14, NKJV)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
As a follow up to the just concluded three part formerly published Commentary series, “Raised To Immortal Glory” and especially part three, the Lord has led me to repost this edited June 2013 blog that originally posted in the same month as the series. All are now in this same blog category, God’s Creatures. This repost seeks to extract more details from Scripture about the glorious, immortal spiritual bodies God is to provide His eternal sons after the likeness of Christ’s.
Originally Posted June 2, 2013
The bodies of the dead in Christ are raised up and those of the living remnant are transformed in less than the blink of an eye at His coming according to 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. The form and function of their bodies will be like Christ’s own glorious, immortal spiritual body which is equipped for God’s purposes through the endless ages of eternity (Philippians 3:20-21)! And while John in His epistle is clear we on this side of glory will not have a precise picture of what we as glorified immortals will look like until Christ is revealed, he too assures us that we will be like Him (1 John 3:2).
Based on the revelation of the glorified Christ John later saw (Revelation 1:10-17), there are some similarities between the natural body we now have and the glorified spiritual body in the masculine likeness of Christ we will receive at the resurrection. There will also be some tremendous qualitative differences with a few new (to us) features included! With all praises to our God, we do not have to guess or fill in the blanks with a lot of wacky speculation about the immortal spiritual bodies He has prepared for His eternal sons; what He wants known now is in His Word! My mission is to only briefly examine what God’s Word says about our future glorious, immortal spiritual bodies to inspire our further study, reflection, excitement and praise to God!
Scripture gives three sources of knowledge about the future immortal spiritual bodies of the eternal sons of God: our present natural bodies, Christ and the angels. From our natural bodies and Christ’s glorified likeness seen by John, we understand that along with a head featuring hair, a chest, arms, hands, legs and feet, the general frame and form characteristic of the natural human body are to be preserved as will ethnicity (Revelation 21:22-26) in our spiritual bodies. Also, we will retain the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching with all of the corresponding body parts to include teeth. Raised in His immortal spiritual body that had not yet been glorified, our Lord interacted with His disciples normally using the senses.
He used His and invited His disciples to use their senses and associated natural body parts in His company (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:24-29). In a third post-resurrection meeting with His disciples recorded in John 21:1-14, notice in verse 9 how smell would have played a role in the experience of everyone present including the Lord who cooked breakfast. Indeed, the prophets and the Lord speak of eating and drinking as a fixture in the Kingdom of God (Isaiah 25:6; Luke 22:14-18, 28-30). Of the fruit eaten will be that of the “tree of life,” (Revelation 2:7, NKJV). Now, consider how superior your sensory abilities and experiences will be in perfect spiritual bodies where every sense and body part functions perfectly!
It was our Lord that taught in the resurrection to immortal glory the sons of God will be “equal to the angels,” (Luke 20:34-36, NKJ). In likeness to the eternal existence of God’s spirit creatures, angels, the sons of God will never again marry, procreate or die. Unlike in their previous natural, mortal bodies, there will be no more hormones or bodily features that arouse sexual desire leading to proper sex or that which in sin leads to evil seduction, promiscuity or perversions (Hebrews 13:4). However, this will not be the end to pleasure. By divine design, in immortal spiritual bodies with form and functions fitted to a new, eternal creation, the righteous in Christ will experience new kinds of pleasure in the presence of our holy God forever (Psalm 16:11, 36:7-9; 2 Corinthians 5:16-17)!
As with the holy angels too, the new spiritual bodies of God’s sons will be indestructible as well as impervious to physical pain, sickness, disease and calamity (Revelation 21:4). Like our Lord and angels, the sons of God will be able to appear and disappear (Judges 13:1-14; Luke 24:28-31). We will also be able to fly without wings (Psalm 104:1-3; Isaiah 60:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) as well as travel back and forth between the spiritual and physical dimensions (Judges 13:15-21; Acts 1:9-11; Revelation 11:11-12). We will travel between two dimensions only until the day our God makes the two dimensions, one (2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1-3)!
The Lord Jesus instructs it is the divine intent that the Holy Spirit should be with the sons of God forever (John 14:16-17)! For faithful Christians, then, the same Holy Spirit who has been our Companion in this life will be with us when these natural bodies die and forever! At the moment of death, whatever have been limits to the Holy Spirit’s display of the eternal divine life and power in the inner man of our mortal experience (Ephesians 3:14-16; Hebrews 6:4-5) are removed. We will henceforth enjoy the overflowing outpour of His life into us up through our embodiment into immortal spiritual bodies and evermore (John 3:34, 6:63, 7:37-39, 10:10; Revelation 21:6, 22:1)!
We will also have direct access, be perfectly attuned to, enjoy and express the inexhaustible riches of God’s knowledge and wisdom. And as we had to be equipped by the Holy Spirit with enabling power in spiritual gifts on this side of glory to do God’s will, in the day of our immortal glory we will also be outfitted by Him with supernatural abilities to carry out the purposes, assignments and work of God for eternity (Ephesians 3:20-21)! Too, well beyond the limitations of the mortal body in sin, doubt and fear, we will routinely do things like walk on water as Peter did and as our Lord showed, exercise the power of God to move mountains in accord with His purposes (Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 11:20-24).
Finally, because of the indwelling presence of God in us, like our Lord the glory of God will shine out from our immortal spiritual bodies as His eternal sons and with even new names, we shall reign with Christ forever (Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 13:43; 2 Timothy 2:10-13; Revelation 2:17, 3:12-13, 21-22, 21:5, 22:3-5)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
It is four years later and I am now watching the Summer Olympic Games in Rio. To the praise of my Lord Jesus, the important truths He led me to share in the following edited 2012 blog during the London Games still apply. Truly, the motivation, discipline and actions of athletes in the Olympics and all sports competition well serve as excellent analogy for the Christian race and will do so until there is no such thing as athletic competition! How appropriate this repost is as a final, short wrap up word of encouragement to the faithful in all the Lord caused me to write about and who wait for immortal glory as God’s consummation to the great salvation He has worked for us in Christ Jesus.
Originally Posted September 2, 2012
Watching the London Summer Olympic Games, I was struck by the diligence the athletes showed first in training for four years and then in the exertion of competing in their areas of specialty. These men and women do all of this for medals that will fade. The same sort of thing now plays out on football fields on every level around our nation this fall as teams work together to win the prize of trophies, rings and bragging rights in a championship season. As Christians, we are taught in Scripture that we are running in a race that we too are to run to win (1 Corinthians 9:24).
As the Lord leads me to teach in The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, such a race requires the disciplined mind set of an athlete (1 Corinthians 9:25-27). It also must be run in accord with the rules (God’s, not man’s) lest we be disqualified in shame (2 Timothy 2:5). Finally, surrounded by a very great “cloud of witnesses” that has finished their own, our race is to be run with endurance since it is a marathon, not a sprint (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV). Truly, for this race is not about speed, but only faithfully finishing the race marked out for us. As we run, we look up ahead to our Lord Jesus the pacesetter who displayed the perfect motivation, discipline and faith as the key strategic action in His race; crossing the finish line to victory and immortal glory (Hebrews 12:2)!
Like the apostle Paul who saw the end of his race drawing near, we are only concerned to finish well knowing our works wrought in Christ will follow us and the prize of unfading crowns with immortal glory await (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Indeed, in the race of eternal life, physical death is not a disqualifying obstacle, but the finish line unless Christ returns first! And so, we run; experiencing all of the many kinds of challenges, hardships, afflictions, trials, setbacks, tears and longsuffering others endure to win only the temporary prizes of mortality. Many of them overcome by their challenges, hardships, afflictions, trials and setbacks and lacking endurance, drop out of the race.
However, we press on running our race looking for the Lord’s “well done” and after all adversity caused suffering endured in faith, perseverance and His strength, “the upward call of God in Christ Jesus;” the salvation and immortal glory even admiring holy angels desire to know more about (Matthew 25:21; Romans 8:18; Philippians 3:8-14, 4:13; 1 Peter 1:3-12, NKJV)! Therefore, let every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ our Lord run your race to win and collect the eternal prize to the glory of our God (Revelation 19:5-9).
(We apologize to any of our blog readers that looked for it as scheduled on May 25th. Technical problems that have now been resolved prevented yesterday's blog post. Have a safe Memorial Day.)
Strong Man Of God Resources
Get Your Copy Of The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics
Your purchase supports restoring men, families and communities through Strong Man Ministries!
Purchase It Now