Our culture is obsessed with upgrading. No matter what people have, they feel a compulsive need to trade it for something newer.
Apple stores will no doubt be flooded with customers upgrading to the latest iPhone in September. Drivers trade their cars for newer models or upgrade how their cars look and sound. And homeowners never stop adding equity to their houses. You can’t even buy a meal without being asked if you want a larger size!
We wholeheartedly believe that bigger/newer/more is better. Even if something works, we obsessively feel the need to upgrade it.
This is what God does for us. During the final stage of salvation, He glorifies us. He upgrades our bodies so they are perfectly suited for eternal life with Him. He does this not to satisfy our materialistic desires, but out of necessity. We need new bodies to enjoy the fullness of our salvation.
The Need for a New Body
It’s no secret our bodies need to be upgraded. We grow tired, hungry, and thirsty. We get hurt and sick. And eventually, we die. We cannot escape the fact that “dust we are and to dust we will return” (Genesis 3:19). Our bodies can barely handle the demands of this life!
Paul compares our body to a tent that is wearing out: “If the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God…Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling…For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened” (2 Corinthians 5:1-4).
Our bodies don’t last forever. If this life proves too much for them, how can they function in heaven? How can they contain the full glory of our salvation? Paul makes it plain: “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:50).
For God to complete His work of salvation in us, we need to be upgraded.
The Nature of Our New Body
It is natural to wonder what our new bodies will be like. Will we look the same? Will we recognize each other? Will people be different ages? Will there still be different races? How physical will our new bodies be?
Paul dismisses such speculation: “God gives a seed a body as he has determined” (1 Corinthians 15:38). In other words, we have to wait and see. But we do know our new bodies will be just like Jesus’. John assures us, “When Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
When Jesus returns, He “will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). These bodies will be perfectly suited for life in heaven. And they will last for eternity. All the weaknesses and limitations we face in this life will be removed.
Paul shows how superior our new bodies will be: “The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).
The Final Upgrade
Our culture is fixated on upgrading. But this desire will never be fully satisfied because upgrades can be upgraded. No matter how good a product is, it can always be better.
Our need for something new will only be satisfied in heaven. When God upgrades us, we will be a perfect “product.” He won’t need to work out any bugs, fix any flaws, or release newer versions. Our bodies will be optimally designed for life with Him. They will embody the full glory of our salvation.
More importantly, our struggle against sin and its effects will be over. John says of heaven, “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). He states simply, “No longer will there be any curse” (22:3).
This is the point of salvation after all. This is why God initiated His saving plan – to redeem us from the curse. So the final stage of His plan is to give us new bodies that can never be corrupted. Once He upgrades us, we will never be tempted or tainted by sin again.
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