Summary: We see a lot of movies about ghosts, afterlife, spirits, vampires, underworld creatures. People have a need to fantasize about what happens after we die. Let us see what the bible tells us.
1 Corinthians 15:26 - The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Death is the last enemy for a number of reasons
1. It is the final thing we will all have to face when we get to the end of our lives
2. It's the last step of our journey on Earth
3. It's our graduation day for the Heavenly life
1. WE NEED TO DEFEAT DEATH TO GAIN A HEAVENLY BODY
We see a lot of movies about ghosts, afterlife, spirits, vampires, underworld creatures. People have a need to fantasize about what happens after we die. Let us see what the bible tells us. We start with a question.
1 Corinthians 15:35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?
So what kind of body do we receive after we die? How are the dead raised? We know that we will be showing up at God's tribunal and the question is important.
Let's see the answer as Paul explains this aspect of the afterlife to the Church of Corinth.
1 Corinthians 15: 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another
So number one: There are Heavenly bodies! We cannot take a earthly body to the heavenly realm.
1 Corinthians 15: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
Number two: We need to sow a heavenly body in order to harvest a spiritual body. When we defeat death we offer our earthly body and life to God and we will receive a new form of body that is still a mystery.
2. WHAT CAN WE DO WITH THE NEW BODY?
45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
Christ can surely do what angels can do and more. He is not limited to the laws of physics as we understand them. After the resurrection he appeared inside locked rooms (John 20:19 and 26), instantaneously moved from one place to another (Luke 24:31), and traveled through the heavens (Acts 1:9; Heb. 4:14).
1. Jesus can travel at warp speed to any geographical location
2. Jesus can go trough locked doors
3. Jesus can travel between heaven and Earth
Will we be able to do the same?
[Jesus Christ] who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
We will receive the same kind of "glorious body"! However it seams clear that we will be confined to heaven for a season until God's Kingdom is established on Earth.
3. HOW DO WE QUALIFY FOR A HEAVENLY BODY?
Imagine the joy of having a new and glorious body, alive with energy and youthful vigor. Imagine having that wonderful body and living in a world where people are loving, and where there is peace, safety, and abundant quantities of great food. The God who cannot lie promises this wonderful life to all believers, and it is available to anyone who will come to God through Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:4 - New Living Translation (©2007)
While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.
Biologically speaking, the change of a caterpillar into a butterfly is spoken of as a “metamorphosis.” The ugly, repulsive caterpillar is confined to a tomb which it spins for itself. While in the cocoon there is an apparently dead and formless substance. But after the warm sun of spring has beaten its golden rays upon that cocoon, there comes forth a beautiful butterfly. Though the butterfly is different in appearance from the caterpillar, we recognize the beautiful winged insect as being the same as the caterpillar. It is the same living creature, yet different. So also is the resurrection of the body. Now we have a vile body (or a body of humiliation). The Apostle James calls it a “low” body, “because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away” (James 1:10).