Article 14

By Steven J. Hogan

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Can you imagine being with Jesus Christ in a perfect place with perfect people and in a perfect body? This is our hope, and this hope will soon be a reality for each one of us. “For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay” (Hebrews 10:37). Yes, times will get tough with the coming birth pains and great tribulation, but God is sovereignly and wonderfully working in our lives and in this world to the very end of this present age. Then our Savior will come at that perfect hour on that perfect day, the Day of Christ, and all believers, those still on earth and those already in heaven, will be glorified. “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6

BEING WITH JESUS – “This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Eternal life is knowing God and Jesus Christ, having a personal relationship with them now and forever. Yes, your eternal life began that first day you were saved on earth, but then it will wonderfully continue in heaven. The shackles of sin being fully gone will enable your relationship and walk with God to be taken to new and heavenly heights. The grace, goodness, and glory of God will be revealed to you in amazing and profound ways. Jesus prayed, “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which you have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24

Can you imagine what it will be like the first time you are with Jesus? He will see you, and He will be overjoyed to see you. You will hear His kind and tender voice as He expresses His love for you in the warmest way. He will enthusiastically welcome you into heaven, and into His presence, and He will commend you, “Well done, good and faithful servant… enter into the joy of your Master.” Matthew 25:21

Can you imagine seeing Jesus? You will be so be amazed and so much in awe. You will be thrilled to see Him, His face and sweet smile for you. Filled with overwhelming joy, you will express your gratitude to Him for all that He has done for you. Your eyes will see the holes in His hands, side and feet, and immediately you will be reminded of His supreme sacrifice for you, that while you were a sinner, He suffered and died for you. You will be able to personally thank Him for the amazing miracle of taking you from earth to heaven, from an unholy place to a holy place, from a sin corrupted body to a new glorious body. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” 2 Corinthians 9:15

To think that you will actually see Jesus your Savior, your Lord, your husband and your best friend. You cannot imagine how good it will be to see Him for the first time, to be with Him and to hear His voice. You cannot realize how good it will be the first time you see His face, the first time you will be with Him, the first time He will talk to you and you will talk to Him. Job 19:25-27

Think about the continual love, joy and peace you will be experiencing together. It will be so good, so encouraging, so heart-warming, and you know that it will never end. The eternal life that began on earth will continue on in heaven and on earth. Eternal life is knowing the Lord Jesus, and you have known Him, but now in heaven you will know Him in a fuller, deeper and more intimate way. This glorious revealing of Jesus Christ and His glory will continue on forever. Indeed, there is nothing better than this. “My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.” Psalm 84:2

BEING IN A NEW BODY – In the future you will be perfect. There will be absolutely no more sorrow, tears or sadness, no more sickness, tiredness or weakness, no more sin, no more pride, selfishness, anger or fear. Your sin prone body is good enough for earth, but it is sure not good enough for heaven. Soon enough it will be gone, and you will forever be freed from the sinful flesh, and its effects on your mind and body. “… so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life… we prefer to be absent from the body and at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:4-8

This new body will be beyond superlatives, for all the bad and evil stuff associated with your old flesh will someday and soon be gone forever. Your earthly tent will be destroyed and then you will be clothed in your heavenly house. You can’t imagine how amazing, how good, how perfect this will be. Yes, you were justified, yes, you are being sanctified, but to be glorified, to be in a perfect, powerful, immortal and spiritual body is way beyond human comprehension. “We have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 2 Corinthians 5:1

Your new mind will be perfect in every way, not infinitely perfect like Christ, but still perfect, perfectly suited to learn, and to learn from the Lord, to understand His Word like you have never understood it before. You will be able to lovingly and clearly communicate to others, to have perfect conversations, to unitedly team with others in serving the Lord. With a perfect  heart and perfect memory, a mind that is super sharp, you will be able to spiritually and mentally do all that God wants you to do. You will rule and reign with the Lord, and you will completely carry out all His plans for your entire eternal existence. Indeed with a new mind in a new body you will be able to perfectly worship God, perfectly serve God, and perfectly experience the great glories of God and of Jesus Christ. Psalm 145:1-2

You will have a glorified mind, a glorified soul, a glorified personality and glorified emotions. On earth your mind and soul are daily dimmed, dampened and cramped by sin, but this will not be true in the future, for all vestiges of sin will be gone, and now the new creation, the new you will be perfectly and beautifully seen for that which God had eternally planned. Your whole being, your whole mind, soul and body will be just the way God wants it to be. You will love the Lord and be loved by Him, you will love people and be loved by them, and you will live for the Lord and glorify Him forever. Just think, you will be fully and wonderfully saved. And in your glorified state, you will be different than all others, for there will no others in the universe like you – there will be no twins, no clones, no robots in heaven, just a heaven full of beautifully unique and perfect saints, all loving the Lord and living for Him.

1 Corinthians 15:42-44. You will have a powerful body, and you will be so strong, with no weaknesses, no deficiencies. People on this earth go to the fitness center, and work out and exercise, and some of this is good. And people on this earth need to sleep. But in heaven you will never work out, never be weak or tired and never need to sleep. You will always be super strong, fully energized, always feeling good, and always able to do whatever God wants you to do. You will have places to go, people to see and things to do, an eternal life to live, and you will never lack the ability, the strength or the energy to do it all.

You will have an immortal body, a body designed and made to last forever. On earth you had at best a 70, 80 or maybe 90 year old body, but in heaven, it will be an eternal body, a body with a brand new schematic, for God will have created it to live forever and ever. It will be an indestructible body, infinitely better than Superman, Iron Man or Captain America, for you will be like Jesus Christ and the angels – you will be immortal and perfectly godly in every way. 1 John 3:2, Philippians 3:20-21, Luke 20:36

You will have a glorified body, not a dishonorable body, not a body that will bring dishonor to the Lord. It is a body that will only do what is good, right and true. Your glorified body will have the perfect height, weight, color and proportions. You will have a perfect face, perfect hair, perfect eyes, perfect hands and perfect feet. This body will be absolutely beautiful, with no blemishes or imperfections. Since your new body will be like that of the glorified Christ then you can communicate with Christ, love Him and enjoy fellowship with Him. In heaven we will all be the same kind of beings, with the same kind of bodies and the same kind of minds, and we will all be perfect and glorified. Yet in heaven, you will be wonderfully special, and distinct from all other believers and all other angels.

You will have a spiritual body. Yes, it will be a physical body, but also a spiritual body in that it is not a natural body, not a body that can sin or be tempted to sin. The old body, in its all fleshly humanness sins every day in thoughts, words and actions. Yes, by God’s grace, you are now enabled to do what is right and good, but that’s only some of the time. And that’s because you are not yet glorified, and because the world, the flesh and the devil hound and harass you every day, making it impossible for you to be perfect on earth, to be and do all that God wants.

In the future you will have this spiritual body, a body that is both spiritual and physical in nature. It will be a body that will be perfectly suited for the purposes that God has for you in worshiping and serving Him. It will be a body that will be able to think, say and do all that God wants. It will be a body always controlled by the Spirit, led by the Spirit and empowered by the Spirit, for then the Spirit will not be hindered in any way. You cannot imagine the blessing and glory this will be, to always be spiritually minded and godly. You are now God’s child, but after your life on this earth, you will be a perfect child for you will always be pleasing to your heavenly Father.

In the near future, you will have this powerful, immortal, glorified and spiritual body, a body that is perfectly made and suited to fully and forever carry out all the plans God has for you. You will be able to perfectly understand the goodness, grace and love of God, and able to perfectly learn more and more about the infinite glory of Jesus Christ. Perfect praise, love, obedience, holiness, serving, joy, peace, kindness, and communication will be your everyday life and experience.

BEING WITH BELIEVERS, WITH LOVED ONES AND FRIENDS – Imagine what the fellowship in heaven and on earth will be like. You will be with friends you knew and spent time with on earth, but then you will be with them forever in heaven. And no matter how good your relationships are on this earth, your heavenly and eternal friendships will be infinitely better. Think of worshiping the Lord with other believers, of singing to Him and praising Him. Think of being teamed up in serving the Lord, of being perfectly united in doing exactly what He wants you to do. Think of the great and perfect love you will have for one another, the pleasurable experiences, and the enjoyable things you will do together. Think of traveling around the world, visiting people and going to places you have never been before. Think of traveling to the distant expanses of the heavens, and enjoying and marveling at God’s beautiful star lit creation.

Think of how you will visit people you have never met before, saints who are spoken of in God’s Word – Adam and Eve, or Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, David, Elijah, Isaiah, Mary, Peter and Paul, and we could go on and on. How encouraging this will be – meeting them, talking with them, and having fellowship with them. You will converse with them about the Lord, and I am sure you will hear many wonderful stories of His working, of His greatness, power, patience, mercy, love, faithfulness and holiness during their time on earth.

Think of having fellowship with saints who lived during the church age – Irenaeus, Augustine, Huss, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Edwards, Whitfield, Spurgeon, Ryle, Elliot, Warfield, Jones, Graham and MacArthur. Think of all the people you read and heard about – now you will see them and be able to talk to them about their lives on earth, and how God led them and worked through their lives. Think of people you have never met before, children of God from all parts of the planet, from all of history, who loved and served the Lord. Many may have seemed like nobodies, but in God’s eyes, they are all somebodies, all special, all saints, all holy to Him, all loved by Him. In all this you will have all of eternity to be with them – there will be no rush, no deadlines, no hurry up and get to the next meeting – just plenty of time to be encouraged by the goodness, greatness and glory of God in the their lives. Psalm 136 – “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” 

Think of visiting believers who were spouses, parents, children, family members or fellow church members. This will no doubt be a big part of your life, for I believe that the believers you know well on earth will be ones you will know well in heaven. There will be a God planned, God ordained connection from your time on earth to your time in heaven, and your time on earth again. All this seems too good to be true, but it is true, for by God’s grace, you will be with all the other believers, continually worshiping God, continually enjoying wonderful fellowship, and continually experiencing the joy and love of the Lord. Psalm 16:11

THE BIG PICTURE – What about the timing of all this? You are now living in the end times, and it won’t be long before the return of Christ, the coming of Christ. You will soon leave this earth by death or by rapture, and then you will be with the Lord in heaven. And it is at Christ’s coming that you will be glorified, that you will receive your new and perfect body. And you will remain with the Lord Jesus in heaven for a short while, during which time there will be the great judgment of God on earth, the Day of the Lord, God’s wrath poured out upon all the unbelievers. Then there will be the salvation of a great remnant of Jews, and then the kingdom of Christ will begin and the next age will start. Revelation 11:15 says, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.” All glorified saints will come back to earth for the millennial kingdom and will then reign with Jesus Christ for 1000 years.

After that begins the eternal kingdom with the new heavens and the new earth. Heaven and earth will be joined together with no separation of God and man, but God and man will all be together at home in the heavenly city on earth. To think that God Himself will come down to be with us. Such love we cannot now imagine, we cannot now fathom. But it is true, and the time will come when God will be with us, and we will be with Him, and we will perfectly express His love to us, and we will perfectly express our love to Him, and this will go on forever and ever and ever. “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.” Revelation 21:3. Amen.