Thursday, April 6, 2017

Glory is Not Just a Destination

"I've got a home in glory land that outshines the sun."

I remember singing "Do Lord," and that stanza, the year I became a Christian. "Glory land" means heaven.

It’s true. Believers in Christ are headed to a place where God dwells, a place Jesus prepared for us, where we’ll be with the Lord and with all His redeemed children forever. It is truly “glory land.”

But we Christians are headed for glory in a different sense, too. The transforming, sanctifying grace of God is at work in us, and one day that work will be complete. We will be glorified. Not just residents of a glorious place, but we ourselves will be so changed into the image of Christ that we will be glorious.

In my last post (God’s Unseemly Behavior), I quoted Hebrews 2:10 - For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. Our Lord, by His suffering and death, is bringing us along with Him, both to the glorious place but also to the glorious personal transformation. 

It is an unmistakable fact of life that we are not getting better. Our bodies are wearing out. But our Lord has planned for this, and so we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).

Glory is not just a place, though that's part of it. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body​, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself (Philippians 3:20-21).

Christ became one of us, descended to the lowest place, the most vulnerable state, but when He conquered sin and death, He rose, still Man, and returned to glory. So now He brings all of His own along with Him to become like Him. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory ​(Colossians 3:4).

The longer we follow Christ the more we know we are His. But we still have trouble envisioning the glory He has planned for us. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him​, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure (1 John 3:2-3).

In His resurrection body, our Lord could be recognized and touched. He could walk and talk, eat and drink. But He could also move through walls and travel instantly from place to place. And we will be like Him! 

So now we keep our eyes on Him, preoccupying ourselves in the Scriptures with everything about Him, crying out to Him, whispering His name when we are tired or afraid or encouraged, praying at all times, longing for that Day. 

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).

You might also read Five Miracles God Works for All Christians, Part 5 of 5.