Something a little different today – the first part of this blog will be about what the Bible tells us about the final step in walking like a Christian. The last part will be a survey you can print out and keep for yourself. You may find it helpful in the future.
The Final Step in Walking Like a Christian
What do you want most in life? Love? Fame? Fortune? Health? Children? Long life? How about Heaven? If you’re a Christian, you’re going to Heaven! The third and final step to walking like a Christian is glorification.
The concept of “glorification” comes from the Hebrew word kabed and the Greek word doxazo. First, the Hebrew:
“Hear the word of the LORD, You who tremble at His word:’ Your brethren who hated you, Who cast you out for My name’s sake, said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified, That we may see your joy.’ But they shall be ashamed.” Isaiah 66:5
The word kabed (kabod) means “heavy, weight.” The word was used in the Old Testament to signify anything that gave the weight of honor and respect to a person, place or nation. It carries the idea of being “worthy.”
Another Hebrew word translated “glorified” in some translations is ga’ah. It means “exalted, majestic, excellent.” Moses used the word in the Book of Exodus:
“Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying: ‘I will sing to the LORD, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!” Exodus 15:1
The Greek word doxazo comes from doxa, which means “to suppose” and carries the idea of a favorable opinion. Doxazo means “to glorify, praise, give honor.” It was understood as magnifying, extolling, praising, honoring, and glorifying someone. The crowds that watched Jesus heal people “glorified” God for what they saw.
“For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, ‘Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ And he arose and departed to his house. Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.” Matthew 9:5-8
“Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.” Matthew 15:30-31
“So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen up among us’; and, ‘God has visited His people.’ And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.” Luke 7:15-17
Even though the crowds “glorified” Jesus, He had not yet been “glorified” — “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:38-39) How could Jesus be glorified, but not be glorified?
The word can be used in different contexts for different purposes. People glorified God because of the Glory of Jesus. John’s Gospel presents Jesus Christ as having a special Glory from God that was unlike the glory of any other — “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Christ’s miracles were manifestations of His Glory — “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.” (John 2:11) After His Death and Resurrection, Jesus taught the disciples from the Old Testament about the Glory He would enter — “Then He said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:25-27) Jesus was “glorified” in the sense of the meaning in John 7:39 at His Resurrection from the grave. He finished the Work God the Father had sent Him to do. Jesus had paid the penalty for people’s sins and conquered death. One of the first things Jesus did with His disciples was to Breathe the Holy Spirit into them on the evening of the day He rose from the dead.
What Jesus did by dying on the Cross and rising from the dead opened the way for every Christian to be glorified. Paul wrote the Romans about the glory that is to come for every believer — “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30) That word, glorified (edoxasen), is in the active voice-indicative mood-aorist tense, which means Someone did this to us at a past time. We have already been glorified! God did it all for us — He foreknew us, predestined us, called us, justified us, and glorified us. We saw earlier this week what it means that God justified us (placed us in a right standing with God), but what does it mean that we have been glorified?
The foundation of our “glorification” is God’s opinion of us; He thinks highly of us. We have “weight” and “value” with Him. Why? Because of the value He places in His Son, Jesus. Look at the verses that follow immediately after our being justified and glorified. Look at what Paul says about our future with God.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39
That is glory! Nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ — including death. Our death is glorification, not separation.
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-57
I get goose bumps when I read that portion of Scripture. The hair on the back of my neck stands up. That is our future! That is our glorification! Paul wrote that where we are living and serving God now, Planet Earth, is not the end for us. We are waiting for Jesus to take us to Heaven — “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)
Heaven is our real home. Earth is where we were born physically and spiritually, but Earth is not our home. We have much work to do here –“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10) — but when that work is done Jesus will take us to Heaven to be with Him forever and ever.
“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
Those words are certainly a great comfort to Christians. It is our dream come true to be in the Presence of Jesus, our Savior and Lord. To be with Him – see Him, hear Him, touch Him, walk with Him – is deep in our spiritual DNA. Our joy will be complete when we hear the Trumpet and Shout and we rise up to be with Him forever.
The “You’re In Heaven!” Survey
This is the part of the blog that’s hands-on for you. Print it out, fill it out, and pull it out anytime you want to remember what your life will be like in Heaven, in your own words.
I want you think for a moment about what you will look like in Heaven. Close your eyes if you need to, but see yourself in Heaven.
What do you look like?
What color is your hair?
What color are your eyes?
How big is the smile on your face?
Are you young or old?
Are you tall or short?
What do your hands look like?
How does it feel to clap your hands in Heaven?
What does your voice sound like?
Do you like to sing in Heaven?
What songs are your favorites?
What are you wearing?
Do you wear the same clothes all the time or do you have different clothes?
Do you like them?
Do you wear shoes in Heaven?
Is your health better in Heaven than it was on Earth?
Do you feel any aches or pains?
Are you glad to be in Heaven?
Do you miss Earth?
What does the air of Heaven smell like?
What sounds do you hear around you?
Do you hear voices?
How about music?
Start walking through Heaven. What do you see?
Is it big or small?
What are the streets made of?
Do you see any buildings? What are they?
Do you see any parks? What can you do there?
Who do you see walking with you on the streets of Heaven?
Do you see anyone you know?
Are they friendly to you?
How about the people you don’t know?
Is it easy to talk to them?
Who are the first 10 people from the Bible you met in Heaven?
What did they say to you?
What did you say to them?
How many times have you talked with Jesus since you arrived in Heaven?
What did He say to you?
What did you say to Him?
What does Jesus look like in Heaven?
Do you enjoy living where Jesus lives?
What do angels look like?
What do their voices sound like?
How do they treat you and other believers?
Do you feel safe walking in Heaven?
What is there to eat and drink in Heaven?
How does it compare to what you had on Earth?
Where do you live in Heaven?
What kind of a house do you live in?
Who are your neighbors?
Are they nice people?
Have you talked with any of your family and friends from Earth who are also in Heaven?
Do they like living in Heaven?
Have you made any new friends since you’ve been in Heaven?
Who are they?
Do you enjoy being with your friends?
What do you and your friends like to do best in Heaven?
Are you having a good time?
Do you have work to do in Heaven?
What do you do?
Do you like your work?
What is the best thing you get to do in Heaven?
Do you wish more of your family and friends on Earth had made the decision to accept God’s gift to live with Him in Heaven?
What would you say to them if you could tell them what Heaven is like?
The reason I share this Personal Survey of Heaven with you is to help you look at Heaven as a real place. If you’re a Christian, Heaven is your eternal home. It is real now and will be real when you get there. I for one am excited about going to Heaven. It is real to me, very real. If you and I don’t get a chance to meet here on Earth, please look me up in Heaven. We’ll have a lot to talk about. And think about people in your life now who need to know that Heaven is a real place. They have some important decisions to make.
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”