A devotional thought from Geoff Ashley for “Forever Restored”
Take a few moments to read 2 Corinthians 5:1-10.
Have you ever had a dream about finding yourself suddenly naked in public? You show up for school or work, and all of a sudden you realize you are completely nude. How you managed to neglect that fact on your morning commute is never quite clear. Regardless, such dreams are never a pleasant experience.
This innate feeling about nakedness is what Paul is getting at in 2 Corinthians 5. He speaks of our death as the destruction of our earthly home, that is, our body. Though in the very moment of death, the believer experiences the overwhelming privilege and pleasure of God’s presence, the restoration is not yet complete. During this period, Paul describes us as naked and waiting for another body, a better body, an imperishable and incorruptible body.
The resurrection was a central element of apostolic teaching, but it has slowly eroded in evangelical theology. Rather than a robust view of our physical restoration, the church has compromised this central doctrine and adopted a picture of eternity in which our immaterial souls float forever on fluffy clouds.
But this is not the biblical picture of our hope. Although those who die in Christ will experience a bodiless existence in the intermediate period between their death and the resurrection, this is not the final and full hope of the believer. Instead, we long for and eagerly desire the redemption of our bodies, our utter and complete physical restoration.
Pause and Reflect
• What has been your perception of the eternal state?
• Why do you think the resurrection is so important? Why might it be neglected in Christian teaching and preaching?