Friday, November 9, 2012

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

This body of flesh and blood will be “dissolved” one day, but the Bible teaches a new, glorified body will replace it.

Genesis 2:7 describes the three-fold division of a human: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground [physical body], and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [spirit]; and man became a living soul [soul].” Our visible, physical body houses our invisible soul and spirit. Originally, that physical body was to last forever. But, when sin entered the world, it became subject to death (when the soul and spirit leave the physical body). Hence, our physical body is a “tabernacle” (tent), a temporary abode that must be resurrected one day.

The oldest Bible book asserts, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms [maggots] destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God;” (Job 19:25,26). Yes, short of the Lord’s coming, this physical body will die and “sleep in the dust of the earth” (Daniel 12:2). Nevertheless, the Lord will awaken its remains, and return the spiritual body to it (the bodily resurrection of John 5:28,29).

When we stand before the caskets of Christian loved ones, and observe their lifeless bodies, we take comfort that they are not really there, for their soul and spirit are with God in the third heaven. Their “tabernacle” is empty, and for the Christian, “to be absent from the body, [is] to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). At the rapture, they will receive a new glorified body like unto Jesus Christ’s resurrected body, and then we Christians who are alive and remain will receive our glorified bodies (1 Corinthians 15:49-56; Philippians 3:20,21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Finally, all Christians will be caught up in the clouds to meet Christ in the air, to forever be with Him.

This body is not here to stay…. it is a “tabernacle.”