Oct 12, 2014
Revelation 21:9-22:5 gives a more detailed description of the New Jerusalem, our eternal home. I want to emphasize again the physicality of our future. At the Rapture, whether we are resurrected from the dead or we are alive and translated, we will receive glorified, physical bodies. Our glorified bodies will be like the glorified body of Jesus which was very physical though it had qualities that differ from our present, mortal bodies (1 Cor. 15:42-49). Jesus invited Thomas to touch His scars (Jn. 20:24-29). Jesus ate food in the presence of His disciples (Luke 24:36-49). Jesus talked to His disciples and they heard Him by way of their physical ears. All this is to drive home the fact that just as Jesus' glorified body is a physical body so also our glorified bodies will be physical bodies. We need to get clear in our minds that our future will be a very physical experience in very physical places starting with the New Jerusalem in which we will take up residence at the Rapture.
To be clear, all Old Testament saints and Church Age saints who have died up to this moment in history are in the Third Heaven in Paradise, but they are in a disembodied state (Lk. 23:39-43; Eph. 4:8-9; 2 Cor. 5:1-10). They await the First Resurrection - the resurrection to life (Jn. 5:29). Jesus is the first stage of the First Resurrection. Church Age saints are the second stage and will be resurrected at the Rapture. Old Testament and Tribulation saints are the third and fourth stages and will be resurrected in the 75 day interval between the end of the Tribulation and the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. All of us will physically live together for eternity in the physical New Jerusalem of which John is given detailed revelation in Revelation 21 starting with verse 9.