1 Corinthians 15:35-58 — What Do I Look Like In Heaven If I Die Before the Second Coming? To Be Honest, I Am There So I Don’t Care

Posted: August 11, 2015 in 46-1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 15:35-58 — This question of what happens to our bodies and souls after death is one has plagued believers over time. I think that we all agree that at the death of a believer in Jesus Christ our souls leave our bodies and are whisked away to heaven. What about our bodies that are left behind. From what we know of death now, our bodies decay very quickly leaving only our skeletons when over millenia eventually become dust. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. How then can Paul make this claim about resurrected bodies when Christ returns? It all seems very confusing and almost disconcerting. But it is this passage that gives us hope of the glorious future that awaits all believers. This is the message that we must carry to the world and not get caught up in matters that divide us. It is this glorious future that should unite us as believers.

Christ followers, in general, buy off on the whole “you go to heaven when you die” concept. They all accept that your spirit in some form of ourselves goes to heaven but we do not talk about the resurrection of all believers’ physical bodies from their graves at the end of time. We tend to theologize that when we go to heaven at our death we do have our earthly bodies. You often hear, and I have eulogized others, saying that in heaven their bodies are now perfect, the lame walking, the sickly healed, young and beautiful again. But is this truly theologically sound? If we are not carrying our physical bodies with us (and we will not see our earthly bodies again until the end of time), what do we look like in heaven in the meantime. Man, that one can blow your mind. We do not know exactly because Scripture is not totally explanatory on the subject because of the limitations of human knowledge and lack of vocabulary to describe it.

What then happens between our death now and the future Second Coming of Christ? We will go to heaven when we die if we have called on the name of Jesus Christ and asked Him to be our Savior and Lord. This I know. We are assured by Scripture that we will be intimately known and know intimately by God. I do know from Scripture that there will actually be no more suffering and no more sorrow and no more pain. I do know from Scripture that we will be released from the limitations of our human knowledge, human existence, and our sin tainted and decaying earthly bodies. Will I look like me in Heaven if I die before the Second Coming? This I do not know because Scripture is not clear. I think though that we are made uniquely by God. From Scripture we know that each one of us is made unique and are wonderfully made by God. The essence of who we are is unique, one of a kind of life force that will only exist in us. That we know. Thus, I think God does not erase that at our pre-Second Coming separation from our earthly bodies at our death. He went to all that trouble to make us unique. Thus, I believe with all my heart that He preserves our identity, our uniqueness, at our separation from our earthly bodies at our pre-Second Coming death. I think that uniqueness lives on and is recognizable to the ones that we love who are in heaven with us. But do I know exactly how that will look and feel in heaven. I have no idea. But I do know that I cannot wait to find out because I know that is where I am going at my death.

What then happens at the Second Coming? Paul says were are reunited with our earthly bodies. Our earthly bodies must be left behind until the Second Coming because our earthly bodies are descended from Adam and thus imperfect and tainted by sin. The earthly bodies we know now had to be left behind for that very reason. It is only at the second coming that we saints will be rejoined with our earthly grave-bound bodies as all things will be resolved and our earthly bodies redeemed. In heaven we are perfected, thus, at the Second Coming we will redeem our earthly bodies. Jesus is example, the first fruit of the resurrected. Paul says that Jesus is the first fruits of those who have died. According to gotquestions.com, We get a glimpse of what our resurrection bodies will be like when we recall Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances. He still had visible wounds, and His disciples could physically touch Him, yet He was able to travel effortlessly and appear and disappear at will. He could go through walls and doors yet could also eat and drink and sit and talk. Scripture informs us that our “lowly bodies” will be just “like His glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). Indeed, the physical limitations imposed by sin that hinder our ability to fully serve Him on earth will be forever gone, freeing us to praise and serve and glorify Him for eternity.

This is the Good News. Heaven is real. It is our place of destination when we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. This is the important stuff. We will be in heaven communing with God daily and living an existence of complete and total joy where there is no sickness, sorrow or pain. We access this immediately at our death. All the cares of this world, all the limitations of this world are gone. We will understand what heaven is like then. We will understand what our pre-Second Coming existences will be like. And in the end of time, when Jesus returns, we will be reunited with our earthly bodies and they will be perfected and built for eternity then. This is the important stuff. We should not get caught up in the color of the carpet at church, or who is serving in what capacity. We should be only united in spreading the message of the eternal home that we have in Christ for those who call on His name to be their Savior and Lord. This is the point of the entirety of 1 Corinthians and this should be our point today as the church. Heaven awaits those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. That’s the message we should focus on. That the message we must send. That is the message we must carry.


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