Philippians 3:20-21; “But our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.” (any emphasis mine)
Next, 1 John 3:1-2; “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us, is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we are God’s children now [all who have accepted Jesus as Savior], and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.”
1 Corinthians 15:49-52; “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust [Adam], we shall bear the image of the Man of Heaven [Jesus]. I tell you this brothers/sisters, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye; at the last trumpet. For the Trumpet [of God] will sound, and the dead [in Christ] will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers/sisters, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope [died without Jesus]. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord; that we who are left alive [at the Rapture Call], who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a cry of command; with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the Trumpet of God. And the dead In Christ will rise first. Then, we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will always be with the Lord.”
Please note, this is prior to the start of the Tribulation/Wrath, and at least seven years before Jesus actually sets foot once again on this earth. When the Tribulation/Wrath starts, all believers up to then will be with Jesus, and taken before the Judgment Seat of Christ to gain or lose rewards (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10). This judgment is not for the purpose of sending anyone to the Lake of Fire, as that one takes place at the end of the Millennium for all those who will have been lost forever (Revelation 20:11-15).
For all believers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, the prospect of getting a perfect forever body with a new mindset that will be immune from any sin nature is a real hope that will soon be fulfilled. Considering my age (past 70) and seeing people who are physically and even mentally impaired, keeps us looking up for our redemption (Luke 21:28). We will never be totally “whole” while humans on this earth.
When God first made humans, we were supposed to be immortal and live forever. However, with the sin in the Garden of Eden, God fulfilled His promise of Genesis 2:17; “but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”
It’s true that they did not immediately die, but they began to know pain, and their quality of life changed drastically. They were no longer immortal but began an aging process that would actually lead to their physical bodies to cease to function (death). Their spirits would continue to exist, just as ours do today.
For those who went against God’s commandments from creation to pre-Calvary, and all who will have refused to accept Jesus from Calvary to the end of the Millennium, will be in a holding place that is not pleasant at all. This is a prelude to the suffering they will go through for all eternity. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is the perfect illustration of this. The rich man was suffering after his human body died, and Lazarus was in the “bosom of Abraham” or paradise (Luke 16: 19-31).
The final judgment of all the unsaved will take place right after Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire. He will join the final antichrist and false prophet, who will already have been there for a thousand years. Everyone there will receive what degree of eternal punishment they will be given, and be separated from the Lord forever. There is no pardon from this judgment. They will wish to completely cease to exist but will not do so.
All those who were and are faithful will not be at the Great White Throne. Our first judgment as stated is the Judgment Seat of Christ. The second judgment is for all the Tribulation/Wrath martyrs (Revelation 20:4). Finally, there will be the end of the Millennium judgment (Matthew 25:32-46). At this judgment, there will be the final separation of the saved from the lost. The lost go to the long line at the Great White Throne, and all the saved will go into eternal life. All judgments are final and forever.
[Todd’s note: Most Rapture Ready writers place the sheep and goats judgment at Christ’s Second Coming, but Dennis is entitled to his unique view.]
For all who will be with our Lord and Savior forever, we will have bodies that will be perfect and designed to last forever. Never again will we have “aging pains” or need any corrective surgeries. Never again will we say goodbye to loved ones who have died, as there will be no death in Heaven.
Jesus conquered death at Calvary. Also, He paid our sin debt in full and provided a means for forgiveness for all true believers as given in 1 John 1:8-10. In our new bodies, as I stated earlier, we will not be subject to temptations, and we will remain sinless. There will be no Satan or his demons to tempt anyone.
The new heavens and new earth will be wonderful. Revelation 21:4 describes this as, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore; for the former things have passed away.”
To have the promise that the Father has given, we must receive and accept Jesus as our Savior. Without Jesus, there is no Salvation. John 14:6; Acts 4:12; John 3:18; 1 John 5:12 and others all tell us that without Jesus we cannot be saved. Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:9-13 say that all who call on Him will be saved.
No special “ceremonies,” recitals, or any price can be applied. It’s a heart-thing – inviting Jesus to be in your heart forever. He would love a relationship with you but will force His will on no one. He will be coming back soon, as all the signs given in the Bible about the time of the end are here for the first time. If you have Him as your Savior, you’ll avoid the worst seven years this world has ever endured.
Every day, at least twice a day, I say to the Lord that it wouldn’t be too early to take us Home. One day soon, my wish and prayer will come to pass. Would love for you to be there too!
Maranatha – Come, Lord Jesus!