You say it every week in the Nicene Creed, "I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come." But do you realize what a radical belief that is? First, unbelievers don't believe it. Most would say you just "end" when you die. There is nothing after death. Or some might think your spirit or soul just goes off to someplace nice. Even many Christians are confused about the resurrection of the dead. How many times have you heard about a deceased loved one, "Now, they are an angel," or about the body of the dead, "Well, they're not there anymore?"
Christianity doesn't teach that you become an angel when you die. Death is the separation of the soul from the body. The souls of believers are taken to heaven to be with the Lord, while the souls of the unbelievers are tragically consigned to hell. But this is not the end. On the last day, when Christ returns in glory, our bodies will be raised from the dead. They will be raised as imperishable, perfect bodies. Our souls and bodies will be reunited, and we will again be whole people. God's people will live with Him forever, soul and body, in the bliss of the new heavens and the new earth.
Our bodies are not fleshly prisons from which our souls wish to escape. God created us as soul and body. When a loved one dies and you see their lifeless body, that is still the same body that held your hand, kissed your cheek, and spoke to you. Yes, their soul is "not there" but that body is still their body. Death and time will take that body and turn it to dust, but on the last day God will again breathe life into that dust, re-forming that same body into a glorious and perfect body. As the Apostle's Creed puts it, "I believe ... in the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting." Thanks be to God that He will give us new glorified bodies on the day of Christ’s return!
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