< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Myths and Truths About Heaven and Hell

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Myths and Truths About Heaven and Hell

Part 4

Paul makes several definite statements about our resurrected bodies:

1. In 1 Corinthians 15:44 he says it will be a spiritual body, but will be perfectly adapted to our heavenly environment.

2. It will be a real body: like that of the risen Lord, who challenged His disciples to “touch and see.”

3. It will be a recognizable body, having identity with the physical body that has been laid to rest. We will know each other.

4. From 1 Corinthians 15:42 – it will be an incorruptible body: deathless, not subject to decay.

5. From 1 Corinthians 15:43 – it will be a glorious body, not subject to the tyranny of sin and attacks of Satan.

6. It will be a powerful body, having thrown off the frailty of its mortality.

7. 1 Corinthians 15:49 says, “And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.” Our Lord’s resurrection body is the pattern for ours: He ate with the disciples (John 21:9), He passed through closed doors (John 20:19), He appeared and disappeared from sight. He said he had flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). In other words, there was a real connection and identity with His former body, minus some of the limitations of that body. It should be noted that the term spiritual body does not imply that it is ghostly, but rather that it will be subject to the human spirit, not our fleshly desires.

8. Everything that would enrich our lives will be available.

9. Reunions with loved ones and the formation of new relationships will make Heaven a wonderful place of fellowship.

Billy Graham writes, “Have you ever been in a strange place and had the joy of seeing a familiar face? No one who enters the Father’s house will feel lonely or strange, for our friends will be there. We may be very surprised by whom we meet. If you are a believer, you will see those friends and family who accepted Christ. Our family reunion will have all the people from the Bible you always wanted to know. The Old and New Testament saints will be there to greet you and answer some of those questions you always wanted to ask. We won’t have to rush or stand in line, for we will have all of eternity to enjoy.”

Jesus talks about His disciples being welcomed into Heaven by those who have been beneficiaries of their generosity on earth:

Matthew 8:11 "I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven."

If Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are recognizable won’t we be? The strongest argument for recognition of loved ones in Heaven is the appearance of Jesus Himself in His resurrected body.

Luke 24:39 "Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

10. There will be full satisfaction for every holy and wholesome longing and aspiration. Helen Keller will see and hear. The child who died of cancer will be healthy and strong, the man crippled from arthritis will stand straight and tall. People who are sick today or in prison long for relief from pain and suffering. They long for love. The home and the love that is waiting for them is Jesus Christ, Himself, and because of Him, Heaven will be at last and forever.

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