Summary: The Scripture declares that when the child of God departs this life, he will spend eternity in a "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
GLORIOUS THE PROMISE…WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM!
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. ” I John 3:1-3
The Scripture declares that when the child of God departs this life, he will spend eternity in a "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Let’s look at what we are now and what, one glorious day, we shall be.
I. OUR PRESENT HONOR:
John exclaimed, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” I John 3:1a. The Greek text adds the inference: “and we are!” This is significant! Not merely “called children of God” but we actually “are children of God.”
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12
Paul wrote in Romans 8:16-18, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
John warned us what to expect from the world in this life: “Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” I John 3:1b.
Jesus earlier had warned His disciples, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” (John 16:38) and, "These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.” John 16:1-3.
II. OUR FUTURE GLORY:
“…we shall be like Him.” What a glorious eternity awaits the child of God!
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:20-21
Paul further declares the glory that shall be ours when he wrote, “And as we have borne the image of the man of dust (Adam), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man (Jesus).” I Corinthians 15:49. Paul was saying that our spiritual body, throughout eternity, will be like (bear the image of) the Lord Jesus as He appeared to the disciples following His resurrection and before He ascended to His throne at the right hand of God the Father.
John, in Revelation 1:12-20, symbolically describes the ascended Christ in His eternal glory. We are not to assume that we will ever be granted that full measure of glory that is eternally His as the second Person of the Godhead. Rather, let us look at ways in which we shall be like Him. And, for that, we have to give attention to the description of our Lord given in the Gospels during those forty days from His resurrection to His ascension. Observe some wonderful facts about His resurrected body:
He had a real, visible, corporeal body: "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have." Luke 24:39
He ate food: “He said to them, ‘Have you any food here?’ So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.” Luke 24:41-43
“Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.’ Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and eat breakfast.’ Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, ‘Who are You?’--knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" John 21:9-15.