We live in an age, where people believe whatever sounds nice. When it comes to dying, there are many ‘folk tales’ concerning the afterlife. Some think there is nothing after death. Like a piece of machinery, once our bodies are scrapped, there is nothing more. Not so common today, but still held by some is the idea of ‘Reincarnation’. In true Hindu doctrine, the deceased returns in the cycle of life as another type of creature. Most people don’t buy into this, though I did recently see a humorous TV Commercial where a ‘Parking Officer’ returned as a Bin Chicken (Ibis).
The common ‘Christian mangle’ is that good people go to Heaven to become ‘angels’.
That is simply wrong! When God wants angels, He creates Angels. When God formed us in our mother’s womb, he did so, because He wanted us as humans. So when we die, we remain human. And when we are raised from the dead, we are raised as humans.
In death, we cast off our mortal body. This body is corrupted by sin and can never be bought into the presence of a Holy God. Our body breaks down and returns to the elements from which we are made. Free from our body, our spirit goes to this present Heaven, where it waits for the Resurrection. In Heaven, we are alive as Spirits/souls and are aware. There we will worship God and fellowship with those who are redeemed.
At the Resurrection, a new body is raised from the elements. This body is unstained by sin and unaffected by the things that weary us and deceive us. We are risen as ourselves, clearly recognizable, far more alive than we have ever been and ready for all Eternity.
However, these bodies are not designed for this World. For this world is stained, damaged and polluted by sin. God has something better than a world, that is shaken with Earthquake and Volcanoes. Ravaged by cyclonic storms and shriveled with drought. Our new bodies are not intended for such a place. Our new bodies are intended for Eternity in a New Heaven and a New Earth.
God’s recreation of us begins with our spirits. We are ‘born again’ (John 3) when we receive Jesus Christ as Lord. Once we receive a new Spirit, we receive a new heart, that has no desire for sin. Rather the Laws of God are written in that heart. (Jer 36:26) Then at the Resurrection, we receive that new body, which is untainted by sin.
We will be young, fit and healthy. Living in a world, in which there are no droughts or floods, bush-fires or cyclones. It will be a world without bullying, cheating, lying, deception, malice or anger. A world without hunger and disease. A world without hunger or loss.
As we come to the close of Revelation, we reach the end of the Bible. This Bible we have begins with God making a beautiful world, undefiled and perfect. However, sin entered in and destroyed hope and perfection. It now ends with sin and the death it introduced being cast into a Lake of Fire so that we might remain in the presence of the Lord forever.
The Bible is completed with God making all things new.
And he that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Rev 21:5