Understanding the Future

When we ask questions about matters that elude our full understanding, we tend to look for models or patterns that are similar to what we do understand. We seek for clues to a new and different paradigm. The shift from earthbound thinking to conceiving of heaven is a massive paradigm shift.

To speak of our mysterious future is to search for analogies that will give us a hint about what to expect. We cannot say what heaven is, but the Bible does give us hints as to what it is like. We try to imagine the unknown in the light of what is known. John tells us: “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 do not know for sure to whom the “He” and the “Him” refer. Do they refer to God the Father or to Christ? God the Father is the subject of the preceding verses, but what follows seems to indicate Christ.

The difficulty of the reference is mollified when we realize that to be Christ-like is to be God-like. The firstfruits image of Christ in His resurrection indicates that, ultimately, we shall be like Christ. As Christ rose with a glorified body, we too will enjoy glorified bodies at the final resurrection.

Passages for Further Study

1 John 3:2
Psalm 17:15
1 Corinthians 15:51

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