The Resurrected Life!
The after-life is right at the heart of nearly all religion and the majority of folk have some kind of belief in, or hope of, an after-life. There is only one thing in all of our lives we can be absolutely certain about and that is we are all going to die! This being the case it is hardly surprising that the possibility of life after death is a contemplation shared by many.
No matter what you might be told and no matter how elevated the bearer of claims to a knowledge of the afterlife might be, all we can possibly know about life after death is that which we are told by Christ, the Incarnate God, and His words on the matter can only be found in the Gospels.
Many, who either through ignorance; a misguided understanding; or a wilful intention to mislead; feed those who are sad; bereaved and needful of solace, various invented scenarios of the after life which bear little resemblance to the few reported Gospel descriptions. Let us first examine that which we find in the Gospels.
Matthew 22: 30 Sees Jesus telling His inquirers, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”
In Mark 12: 35. “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.”
In Luke20: 34-36 Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die any more, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection."
And that's it. All else embraces the promise of Eternal Life without any explanation of how that life will appear:
John 17:33 "Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life".
John 3:36 "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them".
1 Corinthians 15. sees the Apostle Paul giving his view about various raised bodies but his description adds nothing to the view expressed by Jesus.
In Romans 8: 17-19 Paul writes' “And if we are children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified with Him. I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the revelation of the sons of God.”
The resurrected Jesus is revealed in all four Gospels as they tell how Jesus appeared to the disciples, how He ate fish with them and how He suddenly appeared in their midst and revealed the nail marks in His hands and spear wound in His side.
From our reading in the Gospels and in Paul's letters we can be certain of very little regarding how we will appear in the afterlife but we can be assured as to how God will view us, so let us recap: We will neither marry nor will we be given in marriage. We will be as the angels in Heaven. Great glory will be revealed in us.
Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Sons of God.
Luke 6:35 "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be Sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men."
John 1:12-13 "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become Children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."
John 11:52 "and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad."
Therefore we must never let anyone deceive us. To accurately describe the very essence of resurrected bodies is totally and absolutely outside the remit of any mortal and this is why only the widest assertions about its nature has been given in scripture.
Those who offer up fabricated, unqualified opinions are at best mistaken whilst at worst they are downright dishonest and deliberately misleading, usually for personal gain. We must be content with the fact that we will inherit resurrected bodies that are far, far outside the most imaginative expectations of anyone now alive.
When we eventually become an everlasting child of God it means we will be like angels and to live in peace and joy with our Father in His Kingdom for all eternity.
That is as much as our limited, mortal and finite minds can even begin to understand, and for those who love God it is more than enough.
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