"But now, as to whether there will be a resurrection of the dead-haven't you ever read about this in the Scriptures? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' So he is the God of the living, not the dead."
- Matthew 22:31-32
When I book a flight, I always try to avoid stopovers. The reason being is that you can get stuck in airports, especially in a place that has weather fronts that move in. All of a sudden, a little transfer to the next plane is changed, and you are there for hours-sometimes overnight. So I always try to get a direct flight.
When a Christian dies, it is a direct flight to heaven; there are no stopovers. The moment we take our last breath on Earth, we take our first breath in heaven. We go into the presence of God.
Remember that Jesus said to the thief on the cross, "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). When the apostle Paul spoke of departing and being with Christ, he didn't say, "I am going to depart and then go into soul sleep." Rather, he said, "I'm torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live" (Philippians 1:23–24).
So when we get to heaven, will we have the same bodies? The answer is not exactly. Our resurrection bodies will not be our earthly bodies merely resuscitated, but will be the likeness of the earthly body glorified. God will recover from the dust a body with a definite relationship to one's earthly body, but transformed to suit our new environment.
We are told in 1 Corinthians 15:53: "For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies." There is a bodily resurrection. The very essence of the word "resurrection" speaks of the body. So our bodies will be raised.
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