By Pr Herna Kong
There are at least two questions that every human being needs to ask himself or herself from time to time: what about death? What and where is my hope?
How do you view death? What is the Christian’s view of death? Do you hold a Christian’s view of death? What is your hope? What comes after this life?
At the end of the Apostles Creed, it proclaims: “I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.” This formula contains in brief, the fundamental elements of the Christian’s view of hope about the last things.
The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, speaks of the Christian’s hope regarding death—for all who died in Christ will be resurrected because Christ has been raised from the dead. This resurrection is physical bodily resurrection. God has made provisions for the salvation of every aspect of our being— “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23). The ultimate salvation for our bodies is called resurrection. That is why the creed proclaims: “I believe in the resurrection of the body.”
Jesus indeed talks about the reality of the physical bodily resurrection when he says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:44). “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice” (1 John 5:28).
Life on earth is not a one-way journey to the grave. When we die, we go on living in a different realm.
We can be assured of living in the realm of heaven in the future because of Jesus’ resurrection. As Paul says in his explanation of the resurrection: If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith (1 Cor. 15:14). If not for Christ’s resurrection, we will not have a place in heaven in the future but Christ has been raised from the dead, and our future in heaven is assured. His resurrection from the dead was a prelude to the resurrection of His people.
Our lowly body will be transformed so that we will be like His glorious body. We will have a body fit for the full life of God to indwell and express itself forever (see Phil. 3:21). Our bodies will be incorruptible. There will only be absolute, imperishable perfection; we will not experience pain, tears, sorrow, sickness, or death (Rev. 21:4). We will be with Him eternally and enjoy Him forever—this is the ultimate hope (see John 17:3). What a joyful reunion when we are joined with Christ and our loved ones in Christ who had gone to heaven before us!