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With What Body Do “They” Come? - Comments (0)

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Author: John Malone
Date: 2nd August, 2005 @ 01:18:44 AM

This question is one of the scoffingly facetious ones cited at the {end of 1st Corinthians|1cor 15:35}, in the marvelous passage explaining the glorious future body of the resurrected/raptured believer.

The apostle explains – in the face of those arguing there is no resurrection – that there is a “natural” body, and there is a “spiritual” body. In fact, he is here pinpointing a distinction more subtle than common knowledge affords.

Stoic (asectic) influenced Greek thinking discussed the material world as distinct from and inferior to the spiritual world. Paul, on the other hand, brings more perfect knowledge to bear, and notes that there is a difference between the two natures of the Christian – the {Adamic (soulish)and the Christic (spiritual)|1cor 15:43-49} – and there is a corresponding difference between this body – the{ “body of this death”|Rom 7:24-25} – and the glorious one.

But my point in this article is not so much about the glorious spiritual bodies in reserve for the believer, but about those bodies that will be prepared for the lost. In short, many will get the exact sort of preserved bodies they hope for.

So, what about THEM?
Really, what we have today are different hopes at work among men: those whose hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ, and His resurrection power, and those who have placed their hope in the efforts of man.

Indeed, when it comes to the central issue of life and death, there can be no middle ground, for we either believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the power of God – and {declared to be the Son of God with that power|Rom 1:4} – or we cast about for a prolonging of this life by means that present themselves to us.

I submit this latter is far more common.

Even as I write this, I am aware of those who place their hopes on the technologies in the hands of men to “extend their lives,” and “keep them safe,” despite the clear teaching by the Lord Jesus Christ that {no one can accomplish|Mat 6:26-27} such a thing.

Nonetheless, they proceed apace, working “biotech,” “genetic engineering,” “cloning,” “stem cell research,” and other “hot topics” to find the fountain of youth that so many societies have dreamed about. Indeed, just as Nimrod attempted at Babel, they hope to create for themselves everlasting life in the bodies of this death.

Sadly, that is approximately what they will finally obtain.

In {Romans 9:21-23|Rom 9:21-23} we have a brief discussion that sheds great light. Here God is viewed as a potter forming clay, and we cannot but consider the origin of man, {formed from the ground.|Gen 2:7} This man, Adam, became a living soul when the breath of life was breathed by God into him.

But in Romans 9, we learn that God’s purpose is to show forth His Own power and glory, and that there are not only {vessels of honor|2Ti 2:20}, but vessels of wrath “fitted to destruction.”

It is this last phrase upon which I’d like to dwell for a few sentences.

The word “fitted” here connotes a “piecing together.”

“Destruction” has to do with the “perdition” reserved for {Judas|Jo 17:12}, and those who will follow him. We who have some understanding of God’s word know that to be the {second death, the lake of fire.|Rev 20:14-15}

In {2 Corinthians 4:7|2Cor 4:7} the apostle tells us we have this “treasure” in “earthen vessels.” What is pictured here is life of the believer today, with a new nature enclosed in an earthen vessel. Just like the papyri which were stored in earthen vessels called “ostracon,” that which was truly valuable was concealed by the vessel destined to be shattered to expose and render its valued contents.

The {metamorphosis (transformation)|Rom 12:2} of that new nature inside the believer blossoms out into a new glorified body.

But what of the contents inside the vessel of destruction?

It’s contents are useless, and no treaure! THAT vessel will simply be “pieced together” as something of less value than before its shattering. It (they) will be emptied into the burning trash that is the lake of fire.

A pieced together and preserved eternal body of this death.

Some hope.

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