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Today's Little Lift

    by Jim Bullington

Not Yet Revealed (1 John 3.2)
Date Posted: June 22, 2021

I really couldn't figure out why anyone would want to know the value of X. That was my real complaint when my mother insisted that I take algebra. I'm glad she didn't give in simply because there were things I didn't (and couldn't) understand at the time. I have since come to understand why knowing the value of X can be so important. There are many things like this in life. There are times when we simply have to trust others who are older and wiser to advise us to do what is best. I know that no generation likes to hear this, but it has been true in every generation from the beginning of time. It is still true today!

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and 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). The missing piece of the puzzle which John mentioned had to do with what we will be, not who we will be. He knew who we will be (future) because He knew who we are (present). “Now we are children of God.” Whatever the answer to the what, John was satisfied that it would be good and worth the wait. He was willing to trust the counsel of someone who was older and wiser to guide him.

Paul also had something to say about what we will be to his fellow-believers in Philippi. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (Philippians 3.20-21). Although Paul may not have known all the details, he and others eagerly awaited the time when these details would be revealed. He did know the relative quality of the present body as compared to the future body. Presently it was lowly, but in the future it would be glorious.

We still don't know all the details. However, this lack of knowledge does not keep us from eagerly awaiting the realization of this hope. I am entirely confident that when the glorious body will have replaced the lowly body (at the second coming of Christ), there will be no demands for refunds or exchanges. Everyone will be more that pleased to exchange the lowly for the glorious, the vile for the perfect. Even as John said, “...it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him.” That will be enough!

Sometimes our sights are too low and sometimes they are too high. When it comes to the future existence, I think that our lack of knowledge and understanding leads us to set our sight too low. I remember a story my Dad told about a church meeting when he was a child. It seems that the venerable men of the small country congregation were engaged in a somewhat lengthy and spirited discussion of today's topic, i.e., what our bodies will be like after the resurrection. He recalled that one of the brothers stuck his leg up in the air, pulled up his pant leg and said, “I believe when I am resurrected, I'll have these same red hairs on my leg.” I admire the brother's graphic way of illustrating his point, but I deny his conclusion.

The Bible clearly reveals that the change that awaits us is a change for the better, a change in which corruption shall put on incorruption, the natural shall be exchanged for the spiritual, and mortality shall put on immortality (see 1 Corinthians 15 for a lengthy treatment of this matter). I may have hair, but it won't be like what I have now because it is disappearing more rapidly than I like. Our future bodies will be made manifest when all pain and sorrow will have been ended and “...death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15.54). It will be worth the wait!

Questions:

1. Why do you think the details of our future existence may have not been revealed?

2. Does the lack of detail about a surprise gift from someone who loves you increase or heighten your excitement and anticipation? How can that be likened to today's topic?

3. What object or thing can you put your hand on presently that is truly incorruptible? If you wanted to teach me about the meaning of incorruptible, how would you do it? What illustration would you use?

4. Discuss what it will mean for death to have been swallowed up in victory.

"'Winging It" from Stan Smith

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Biography Information:
Jim Bullington - A Christian writer whose insight into the scriptures is reflected in practical application lessons in every article. The reader will find that the Bible speaks directly to him/her through these articles. God is always exalted and His word is treated with the utmost respect in this column.
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