We Need to Regain and Teach an Understanding of the Physical Nature of the Resurrection

If we don’t get the resurrection of the body right, we’ll get nothing else right concerning our eternal future.

Ironically, there are believers who would die rather than deny the resurrection, yet they actually don’t understand or believe what the doctrine of the resurrection means! Despite the centrality of the resurrection in Scripture and church history, many of them have never been clearly taught its meaning, so they imagine they’ll live forever in a disembodied state.

 

Many Bible-believing Christians today are crippled by their unbiblical view of the life to come. This is why I have written at length on the subject of Heaven, putting primary emphasis on the resurrection and eternal state centered on the New Earth.

Ironically, there are believers who would die rather than deny the resurrection, yet they actually don’t understand or believe what the doctrine of the resurrection means! Despite the centrality of the resurrection in Scripture and church history, many of them have never been clearly taught its meaning, so they imagine they’ll live forever in a disembodied state.

But this predominant viewpoint is self-contradictory. A nonphysical resurrection is like a sunless sunrise. There’s no such thing. Resurrection means we will have bodies! If we didn’t have bodies, we wouldn’t be resurrected.

Christ’s resurrection body demonstrated what our own will be like: “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39).

It’s no coincidence that the Apostle Paul’s detailed defense of the physical resurrection was written to the church at Corinth. Corinthian believers were immersed in the Greek philosophies of Platonism and dualism, which perceived a dichotomy between the spiritual and physical realms.

Platonists see a disembodied soul as the ideal. The Bible, meanwhile, sees this division as unnatural and undesirable. We are unified beings. That’s what makes bodily resurrection so vital. That’s also why Paul said that if there is no resurrection, “we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). The truth is, God intends for our bodies, once raised, to last as long as our souls.

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