Being Like Him


"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2)

Some evangelical theologians teach that physical death was a part of God's "good" creation, just like life itself, and that God's warning to Adam in the Garden was merely an allusion to "spiritual" death. If that teaching is so, then a whole host of biblical passages must be ignored or interpreted to mean something other than what is said.

The apostle Paul insisted that our "vile body" must be changed (Philippians 3:21), taught that the "flesh" had "no good thing" in it (Romans 7:18), called himself a "wretched man" (Romans 7:24), and concluded that the fleshly mind produced death and was at "enmity against God" (Romans 8:6-7). All this was based, of course, on the initial sin of Adam by which "death passed on all men" (Romans 5:12).

Thus, it is clearly evident (at least to the Bible's writers) that death is the "last enemy" (1 Corinthians 15:26) and must be destroyed. This is why "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 15:50), and it is absolutely necessary that we "shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:52-53).

We are predestinated to be "conformed to the image of his Son" (Romans 8:29). Our "corruptible" bodies must "be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Philippians 3:21). And death must be "swallowed up in victory" (1 Corinthians 15:54). He who has "life in himself" (John 5:26) must "make all things new" (Revelation 21:5), and a "new heaven and a new earth" where there "shall be no more death" (Revelation 21:1, 4). Even so, come, Lord Jesus. HMM III