Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Different Bodies for Different Purposes?

2 Corinthians 5:1-4 NKJV — For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
My Preacher Friend
This last week a man that I preached with on many occasions died.  He, like me, preached that death is not the end but the beginning.  For those who have been reconciled to God by believing in the Lord Jesus, death transports a person to paradise.  That is where the repentant thief beside the Lord went when he died.  Paul says that when a person dies, he is transported into the presence of the Lord. (See Philippians 1:23).  We know that a person is conscious after he or she dies, and they can speak and think.  Moses and Elijah could think and speak on the Mount of transfiguration and they had died many years before.  The rich man in Luke 16 who made the mistake of dying without properly preparing, could speak.  He could pray.  He pleaded with Father Abraham to raise Lazarus and send him to his brothers so that they would not end up in hell where he was.  But I have asked myself, what kind of a body does my friend who is now in heaven presently have?  Or is he disembodied (naked) until the resurrection?
The Lord
It appears to me that the Lord had one body that was provided for Him at birth.  But he also had a glorified body that apparently glowed with light at the Mount of transfiguration. Matthew 17:2 says “And He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.”  He also appeared as a blinding light to Paul on the Damascus Road and He had a body that could pass through closed doors after the resurrection when he appeared to his disciples in the upper room.  That body however, did not glow.  I personally believe he had different bodies at different times.  I believe that may be true of us as well.
Our Resurrected Body
1 Corinthians 15 makes it clear that we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed.  Apparently, at the rapture there will be a resurrection of the dead believers and they will put on a celestial body.  We call that the resurrected body.  I personally believe that the body will be clothed with light because John says,  “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 (1 John 3:2).”  We will have bodies like Adam and Eve had in the garden before the fall.  I believe that they knew they were naked because the light that had clothed them had been lost.  They had been made in the likeness of God who clothes Himself with light (Psalm 104:2).
But what about those who are now dead awaiting the resurrection?  Are they “naked” or disembodied?  The passage in 2 Corinthians 5 seems to imply that when this earthly tent is dissolved, we will have a new habitation.  I think we will have a new place to live and will not be found “naked” or unclothed.  But I do not believe that will be our final body.  If the Lord had different bodies at different times for different purposes, I think the same may be true for His Saints who have believed in Him.  I believe my preacher friend has been given a body that has fitted him for heaven.  I do not believe it is his resurrection body.  The unsaved are also given bodies that fit them for the torments of Sheol where the rich man who died without Christ went.  They also may be given new bodies when they are raised to stand before the Lord at the Great White Throne judgment.  Those bodies will be able to  withstand the torment of the Lake of Fire.  
What I know for Sure
There are certain topics where I reserve the right to change my mind without notice.  This is one of those topics.  One thing I know (actually it is two things). The unsaved who reject Christ are going to have bodies that are not burned up in the flames of hell (Sheol) and the Lake of Fire.  Those who are saved are going to leave their broken decrepit  bodies behind and are going to have bodies where they can enjoy the presence of the Lord and the beauties of heaven.  Eternal conscious punishment is real, we need to take it seriously.  Eternal bliss is also real and is available to all who come as guilty sinners to a forgiving Savior.
We may be grieving for our departed friend but he has got it made.
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of September 13, 2020

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