You Can Know You Have Eternal Life
722 – The Divine Mystery Revealed (29)

by Jim Mettenbrink

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     Undoubtedly the Jews were shocked when Jesus revealed the mystery of what happens after death — “
…the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28, 29).  In the last article we saw who is condemned and what happens to them.  But who is resurrected to life and what does that mean?

     Although I was reared in a faith which taught when faithful Christians die, they are spirit only and go directly to heaven, the Bible does not support that.  In fact it appears to have come from the ancient Greeks, who believed a person’s spirit returns to the supreme god (among many others) and man’s body returns to dirt and that is the end of him.  However, the childhood faith I was taught maintains our existence is eternal, which is revealed in the New Testament.  Jesus own resurrection in a tangible body is contrary to the notion a faithful Christian would only be a spirit in the after life (John 20:24-27; 1 John 1:1, 2).  What would this body be like?

     The apostle John implicitly stated it will not be this human flesh — “
…it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him…” (1 John 3:2).  The apostle Paul provided more detail — “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.”  And he wrote the change into the new body is part of the mystery — “… I tell you a mystery:  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).  The change will be instantaneous on judgment day.
     Paul wrote, “
It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:44).  Some might assert the spiritual body is a spirit, but note, spiritual describes the type of body — natural (mortal) vs spiritual (immortal).  The overall backdrop of 1 Corinthians 15 is a contrast of this world’s mortality versus the eternal spiritual world of immortality where those enjoying the “resurrection of life” will be living in the presence of God (1 Corinthians 15:53, 54).

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      © Jim Mettenbrink; used by permission. rev.170416
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