By Steven J. Hogan
~ A Saturday Morning Post #13 ~
This past week a friend of mine died. But that was a good thing, because God took her soul from her frail body and this sinful world to heaven. Our biggest problem as humans is death. It is a problem in both a physical and spiritual sense, and it is a problem that every person must face. And Jesus Christ is the only answer, for when He was on earth He lived a perfect life, then He suffered and died on a cross to pay for people’s sins, and then He was raised from the dead.
A person is saved, is delivered from his sins and from death, when he repents of his sins, and believes that Jesus Christ actually died in his place, and paid the penalty, the debt for his sins. Spiritually speaking he has been crucified with Christ and raised from the dead, and therefore he is no longer spiritually dead but he is spiritually alive! He is forgiven of all his sins, given eternal life and will go to heaven after he dies! Ephesians 2:1-9
Once a person is saved he is transformed, and by the word of God and the power of the Spirit he is to live for Jesus Christ. I like how Philippians 3:10 sums up a person’s life on earth, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.” The believer is to know Jesus Christ and His resurrection power, and is to experience His love, joy and peace, and is to fulfill God’s plans while he is living on earth.
But what happens when this person dies? Because of Christ’s resurrection, his soul is immediately and supernaturally taken to heaven. By God, by Christ, by the Spirit, he has walked through that door called death, and is still alive, still experiencing the life of God. He is in heaven, freed from all sin, all pain, all sickness and all sorrow. And he is with God and Christ, millions of angels, and a great multitude of believers who have gone on before him. But his salvation is not complete. Yes, he is spiritually alive in heaven but he has not yet been physically glorified, he has not yet received his new physical body. He was justified on earth, lived as a Christian on earth, and then died, and is in heaven, but he has not yet been glorified.
When will this person be resurrected and glorified? Remember, it was about 2000 years ago that Jesus Christ, at His 1st coming, was raised from the dead and was physically glorified, was given a perfect, powerful, immortal and spiritual body. But understand that it is at Christ’s 2nd coming that this person will be resurrected and glorified. Therefore, it is still in the future. At the end of this present age Jesus Christ will return in the clouds above this earth, and it is at that time that this person and all believers who have already physically died will be resurrected and physically glorified. 1 Corinthians 15:20-23
What about believers who are still living on earth when Christ returns? They will not be resurrected because they did not die, but they will be raptured, will be quickly snatched from this earth, physically glorified, and immediately taken to be with Christ. This also takes place at Christ’s 2nd coming. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53. At Christ’s return, all believers already in heaven, and all believers still on earth, will be glorified, will be given a perfect, powerful, immortal and spiritual body. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. “We will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, … for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will all be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. We will “attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:11.
Have you repented of your sins and placed your faith in Jesus Christ, believing that He died to pay for your sins and then was raised again from the dead? If you have, then you have defeated death in every way, shape or form, and you will spiritually and physically live forever with God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and all the angels and saints. The central part of God’s eternal working in human history is Christ’s death and resurrection. This is what you must believe and should then be most excited about, that Jesus Christ died for you and was raised from the dead, resulting in your past justification, your present sanctification, and your future glorification.
“But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’… Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-57
P.S. I just published a new article about being in heaven with Jesus…