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The Gift Of Glorification Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
July 21, 2023 1:00 am

The Gift Of Glorification Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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July 21, 2023 1:00 am

What will we look like in eternity after our broken bodies are restored? Believers are promised a glorious, incorruptible body. In this message, Pastor Lutzer discusses three matters we should not minimize as we prepare for that day. One day, we will become like Jesus with a heavenly body like His.

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Ever wonder what you'll look like in eternity? Will others recognize you as you looked on earth? Believers are promised a glorious, incorruptible body. And today, we'll explore what it will be like when one day we will walk the streets of gold.

Stay with us. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, will believers enjoy eternity somewhere beyond space or time or on a new earth in the New Jerusalem?

Dave, you've actually raised two issues in your intro. One has to do with the continuity of the body. There will be continuity between the bodies that we have now and the body of our glorification. Now, when it comes to the New Jerusalem, it comes down from heaven to earth. And even though we may not know all the details, we will rejoice in the fact that we'll be in Christ's presence forever. Now, perhaps you've listened to some of these sermons, you've missed some, or you would like to be encouraged by listening to them again and again, sharing them with your friends. We are making them available to you in permanent form. This is the last day we are doing that. For a gift of any amount, these messages can be yours.

Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. 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. Imagine that, like onto his glorious body. So what I'd like to do now very quickly is to simply give you five characteristics of the body that shall someday be ours, the glorious body, which is in our future. First of all, I want to emphasize that it will be your body, your body.

Oh, you say, well, you know, that's very obvious. Well, to some people it isn't. There are those who believe, for example, that there's going to be a resurrection and this resurrection is really of the soul, for example.

No, it's your body. And of course, as I explain in every single Easter service, and will continue to do so if I preach at Easter time, is the fact that there is continuity between the body that you have today and the body that you're going to have in the future. The apostle Paul likens it onto a seed that is put in the ground, he says, and that seed begins to grow. And when that seed grows, when you have a tulip, for example, and you've planted the bulb, there is something in that tulip that was in the bulb that you planted. There is continuity, but also it's very different.

There'd be no way that you could simply look at a bulb and know in advance how it was going to turn out, unless by experience it has been observed over a period of time, because it is very different. In the very same way, it will be your body and it will be you. The principle of identity. When we see Adam and when we see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob someday in the heavenlies, and I assume that we indeed are, because we're going to be along with them, the Bible says, when we see them, Abraham will be Abraham, Isaac will be Isaac, Jacob will be Jacob, and you will be who you are by name, the very same person. With all your memories, with all your aptitudes, with all of your desires that have been refined and purified and made totally holy, you and I are going to be the very same people over there that we are here. Will we know each other?

Of course. You know, the Bible talks about the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses and Elijah show up, and there are some apostles that are there, Peter, James, and John, and they know one another. We will intuitively know each other. I don't believe that in heaven we'll need name tags. And thank God the time will come when we will finally be able to remember one another's names. That is really something I'm looking forward to. I'm saying, oh God, bring the future and bring it quickly.

It's wonderful. In the presence of one another, knowing each other from earth, of course you're going to know your mother, you're going to know your father, you're going to know your uncle. You're even going to know the one who wasn't as kind to you in his will as he should have been.

He'll be there too if he's a believer in Christ. And together we shall be, it'll be your body. Second, notice it's going to be a perfect body because it's like unto Jesus. It is now a glorified body. You'll never need a knee replacement. Some of you say, praise God from whom all blessings flow. I had one man who had both knees replaced and he said, never, never, never again. The next time he says I get some new knees, it's at the time of glorification. Absolutely. So there'll be no need for health care. That'll be very, very wonderful.

No disease, no limitations in terms of the physical limitations. You know, scientists, don't they say that we get a new set of cells every seven years, but have you ever noticed every time those cells come around and we get that new set, they're not quite as pretty as the previous set? Have you ever noticed that? Have you ever noticed how much more weary we can become? I'm not talking about myself, I'm talking about you as we get older. And our minds are sometimes not as quick as they used to be. And let me explain why once and for all. The reason that some of us, when we speak, the word that we want isn't there is not because there's anything wrong with our minds.

Our minds are so full of wisdom, it takes a little longer to find and retrieve the information that we need. That's really what it is. That's what a doctor told me, and I'm sticking with it. It's going to be a perfect body. And the reason it has to be perfect, by the way, I hope this is already clear, is because it's going to be in a perfect environment.

Just like our fallen body has to be on a cursed earth, so our glorified body is going to be in a glorified environment, seemingly heaven. So it's going to be a perfect body. It'll be a glorious body.

I read the text. It says in the book of Philippians, I just read it, he will transform our body like onto his glorious body. I don't know whether or not we'll be able to transform ourselves like Jesus did on the Mount of Transfiguration, but the simple fact is that we will, we will have a glorious body. Everybody have a glorious body?

No. Those who have been redeemed by Christ. May I quote the words of C.S.

Lewis. Every human being, he says, is in the process of becoming a noble being, noble beyond imagination or else, alas, a vile being beyond redemption. He says, remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature, which if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.

There are no ordinary people. It is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. Remember, everybody gets an eternal body. The redeemed and the unredeemed, but their environment is exceedingly different and difficult and, and those who are not redeemed, their body is eternal, but it is not a glorious body. So it's going to be a glorious body.

Let me say also it's a powerful body. When Jesus wanted to move from Galilee to Jerusalem, all that he had to do apparently was to think the thought I want to be in Jerusalem. This is after his resurrection because we're going to have a body like that and he was able to be there instantly. Now, this doesn't mean that we're going to be in a number of different places. Only God is omnipresent.

That is to say he is everywhere, but if we want to move from one place in the universe to another place in the universe, we can simply think the thought and we will be wherever we want to be effortlessly. No need, you know, to have to do exercises. One time when I went to Lake Michigan, I saw all of these people early in the morning running. One of the things I noticed about them, not one of them was smiling. I mean, not one was smiling and I'm not surprised. In heaven, powerful body. No sleep.

No need for it. And by the way, the streets in the New Jerusalem, they could be straight. They could also be vertical. They might be horizontal and vertical. We would be able to travel effortlessly no matter which direction they went.

Up, down, sideways because we're not limited by these spatial kinds of concepts. So imagine it's going to be an eternal body. Eternal.

It's what the Bible says. Imagine that. You know, we think to ourselves eternity and we say the word, but we don't think of what it is.

Sometimes I've illustrated it this way. Imagine a bird coming from another planet taking two grains of sand every 1 million years. This bird shows up, takes two grains of sand away. How long would it take before the whole earth would be moved? Unthinkable. Eternity is a very long time. And yet the Bible says that we shall reign with him forever and ever into the ages of the ages for all of eternity. That is the eventual goal and the position of God's redeemed.

Do you like his redemption that he provided for us as sinners? Now, what we need to do is to bring this down to reality. Don't ever minimize based on Romans chapter 8. Don't ever minimize the value of suffering. Suffering is valuable because we groan for glory. Suffering is a reminder of the fact that we want eternity to come. And the more suffering, the more we desire it. That's why all over the world where there is persecution, there's lots of talk about heaven.

In places like America where there is no persecution, where everybody seems to be doing well, we don't talk about heaven much because we don't look forward to it much. The Apostle Paul says that the suffering of this present world is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. And in 2 Corinthians chapter 2, he uses a different illustration. Chapter 3, he talks about the fact that it's like a scale. He says that the suffering of this present world works for us an eternal weight of glory. Some of us are old enough to remember seriously when they had scales that balance. That is to say, you know, you went into a store and they had a one pound weight, and on the other side, you know, you'd put a pound of peanuts or whatever it was, and when they balanced, you knew that you had a pound. The Apostle Paul is saying that all the suffering of the world can be placed on one side of the scale. The divorces, the sickness, the rejection that teenagers sometimes find in high school or elsewhere, all of that can be put over here on this side, the death of a child. Put all the suffering over here, and then the glory that shall be revealed in us is over here, and the scale goes plunk.

It's like putting a hair on one side and an elephant on the other. There is no comparison, the Apostle Paul says. And the reason that God brings so many trials into our life and so much suffering is so that we might look forward to glory. We groan, and we groan for glory. So don't minimize the value of suffering. God intends to use it in our life. It's part of what we read about earlier, that all things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. Second, don't ever minimize the grace of God. The fact that He took us from the life of sin and on our way to a Christless eternity, He redeemed us, He cleaned us up, He gave us the blessed Holy Spirit as a proof of our redemption. It is like receiving a ring, and then He says the marriage is coming. Never yet met a man who says actually all that I want, or a woman who would say all that I want from Him is His ring, that's all.

I don't want this to go any further in this relationship. No, you know, the purpose of the ring is to prepare for the wedding, and as a sign that the wedding is going to happen. And the purpose of the Holy Spirit, according to Romans 8, is a sign, it is a witness to the fact that we are going to belong to Jesus forever. And so what does He do? He exalts us. I know I've quoted this verse before, but it has to be quoted again, where Jesus said, He who overcomes to Him I shall grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I overcame and sat with my Father on His throne.

And the reason we can sit with Him on His throne is because we have a body like unto His. Never minimize the grace of God. And then never minimize the fact that we should look eagerly toward the return of Jesus. That's what the Apostle Paul says in the passage that we read from the book of Philippians, where he says that we await, and the Greek text indicates we eagerly await for the coming of Jesus Christ from heaven so that He will transform our earthly body like unto His glorious body. We eagerly await.

Could I ask you something? What do you eagerly await for? You say, well, I eagerly await for graduation. There's no doubt that we have some people listening to this who would answer that way. Somebody else says, I eagerly await for marriage.

Let me ask you something. How would your life change and mine if we really eagerly awaited the coming of Jesus Christ from heaven, being with Him forever, never having any sin ever come between us and Him again? Do you look forward to that? That is really proof of regeneration because when we are saved, when we become Christians, God by His Holy Spirit implants within us a desire to love Christ. We love Christ, but we continue to love Him, and we love Him even more. Gustav Dorr was a painter in Germany, and he painted a picture of Jesus, and somebody said, you must love Jesus to paint Him like that.

And he said, I do love Him, but if I loved Him more, I could paint Him better. The desire of every single Christian is to love Him more and to paint Him better. And someday He's going to return, and our bodies are going to be transformed like unto His glorious body, and that will be true forever. But of course, unless you receive Christ as Savior, this inheritance is not yours. That's why I titled this series The Inheritance of the Redeemed. The redeemed are those who have responded to Jesus Christ in faith, knowing that they cannot save themselves, but come to receive His mercy, His forgiveness, His righteousness as a free gift given to all those who believe, who acknowledge their need.

To as many as received Him, to those He gives the power to become the children of God, even to those who have believed on His name. I've said it many times, and I'll say it one more time. Life is short. Eternity is long. It's so important that we prepare for that day. And if you're a believer, it's as bad as it's ever going to get.

It's going to get a lot better, I can assure you of that. Praise God. Let's pray together, and then we're going to express our love for Jesus in song. Father, we thank you today for Jesus. Thank you for His unselfish redemption. Thank you that He remembered us in so many different ways. Thank you that He foreloved us, predestinated us, chose us. And already in His category, He has already glorified us, because you call those things that aren't as if they are. And for that, we thank you. Help us to worship Jesus well. As we express our love to Him, we ask in His name.

Amen. My friend, isn't it wonderful that God calls those things which are not as if they are? Everything ultimately is in His hands. And if you're a believer, you're in His hands as well. Isn't it wonderful to know that this life is as bad as things will ever get?

Those who know Christ as Savior, we, of course, are in for a glorious eternity. I trust that these messages have been of special benefit to you and encouragement. Perhaps you've missed some of them, you'd like to hear some of these messages again, or you'd like to share them with your friends. Well, this is the last day that we are making these messages available to you in permanent form.

For a gift of any amount, they can be yours, and I hope that you have a pen or pencil handy because I'm going to be giving you some info. Here's what you can do. Go to rtwoffer.com. That's rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Ask for the series of messages, The Inheritance of the Redeemed, Claiming the Spiritual Treasures that are Yours in Christ.

You can listen to them again and again. I believe that this resource will be of tremendous blessing to you. Go to rtwoffer.com.

Of course, rtwoffer is all one word, rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Ask for the sermon series, The Inheritance of the Redeemed, Claiming the Spiritual Treasures that are Yours in Christ. It's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. An anonymous listener has marriage trouble. She writes, My husband began texting with another woman. He said he found her exciting and very smart. I knew nothing about it for months until I saw that she texted him while I was with him. He said it didn't mean anything. What can I do now that trust has been broken?

Well, my dear sister, you have a challenge before you. This is so typical of a husband to be able to do what you mention he did. And yet at the same time, he minimizes it by saying, oh, he doesn't mean anything by it.

And you very probably know better. If he sees this woman as exciting and very smart, you know that a piece of his heart has been given to her. And what you must realize and what he must realize is that when we give up a piece of our heart as a marriage partner to someone else, this kind of pain, this kind of betrayal can almost be as serious as the actual act of adultery. You must help your husband to understand that there are consequences for this. Consequences in terms of your intimacy, consequences that you know are so serious that he needs to go for help so that he has accountability and a structure that is going to help him through this and to see the seriousness of what it is that he is doing.

You also need to emphasize to him that if he doesn't go for help, you will, because you are not going to take this lightly. That kind of emotional bonding has a great deal of impact within the marriage relationship. So I hope and pray that your marriage survives this.

I also hope that your husband is willing to address the seriousness of the issue and that the both of you can move beyond it. Some wise counsel, as always, from Dr. Erwin Lutzer. Thank you, Dr. Lutzer. If you'd like to hear your question answered, go to our website at rtwoffer.com and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer, or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. There's a city in what is now Turkey known as a haven for idolatry. Christians there welcomed Paul's writings to the church at Ephesus. We need to hear the teaching Paul gave to those Ephesian believers, words that tell us how to live heavenly lives in earthly bodies. Next time, don't miss a series we're calling Between Heaven and Earth. This is Dave McCallister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-21 03:21:19 / 2023-07-21 03:29:54 / 9

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