1 Corinthians 15:50-53 – 50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
Discussions of the future among Christians can be fascinating. Sometimes we find a group of Christians in a friendly debate over the millennium. Other times we find people breaking fellowship over differences in expectation of the order of future events. Sometimes there is sweetness. Sometimes there is mockery. .
Sadly, I believe that the ugliness of attitude that we see in some has made others unwilling to look to the future as much as Scripture does. That is a loss. To ignore the word of God’s promises for what is to come is to rob yourself of comforts that God intends you to have.
Consider the passage above. God makes beautiful, clear, soul-encouraging promises. A day is coming when all who are in Christ will be called to the sky to meet Jesus. Those who have died will come out of their graves. Those who are alive when Christ returns will rise to meet him in the air. Our bodies, dead or alive, will rise at the call of the final trumpet. And god, by his mighty power, will transform our bodies, regardless of present state, into flawless bodies that will last forever.
Please note, I’m not making some sort of particular eschatological argument here. I’m not making a pre-mill or post-mill argument. I’m not discussing tribulation. Nothing I have said embraces or makes fun of any book or movie series you love or love to ridicule. What I’m trying to say here is simple Scripture. A day is coming when all who know Jesus get eternal, never-wearing-out, never-failing, never-dying bodies. All who know Jesus will rise from the dead to be with the Savior and to find perfect and forever joy in his presence. We must not lose this hope. God intends we have it.
Last week, there was a shooting connected to a domestic dispute in my peaceful little neighborhood. My family heard the shots. We heard the sirens and the police helicopters. We heard the sounds of the dead woman’s sister’s grief and horror. We heard the officer using his bullhorn to call the criminal out of the house and surrender. And we were truly powerless to be of help in the situation.
As I write this, my wife is recovering from a surgery. A procedure had to be done to relieve some significant pain she was facing. Now she is dealing with the pain of recovery. As I write this, my mom is downstairs getting coffee. Mom has been recovering from a stroke that she experienced in 2020 and back pain that she has had since forever ago. As I write this, I write with an earbud in my ear as my computer reads aloud to me when I need to check the wording or spelling in a line. I cannot see the screen or anything on it. I have to function in life with eyes that simply do not work.
These things and a thousand others that you can add should remind us that we live in a world that cries out for the return of Jesus. We live in a world that desperately needs the gospel and the growth of God’s kingdom. We live in bodies that long to be transformed into what they one day will be.
I do not need to set an eschatological timeline to find hope in the word of God when the Lord promises us all new, resurrection bodies. This life, as it stands, is not to be my home. This life is a grand opportunity for us all to glorify Jesus, even as we face hardships. This life is also shaped to help us remember that we need, more than anything, to be in the presence of our Lord. This life is designed to help us see that we are not yet what we wish to be. We still fight against sin, against sickness, against threats, against the schemes of the devil. And, if we are willing to let Scripture teach us, we will press on with hope, looking forward to the reward to come in Christ.
Perhaps you do not like eschatology (end times) discussions. Perhaps you have been put off by the arguing and sniping from group to group. I get it. But do not let this stuff keep you from looking at the word, seeing the promise of the future, and rejoicing. Do not let it make you stop longing for your new, resurrection body. Do not let it keep you from praying, ?Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Do not let it keep you from praying, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.” Even if you cannot spell out a timeline or understand anybody’s millennial position, look to the promise of the return of Jesus with true hope.