For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 5:1-5)
Working On A New Body
The health and fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar conglomerate that spans the globe with 186,000 fitness and health clubs with about fifty-five million members in the U. S. and globally about 150 million members. Pursuing the fountain of youth and desiring to live longer, healthier lives is the driving force in punishing the body to its limits in the hope of a sustained existence here on planet earth. While there are enormous benefits to keeping a healthy lifestyle, the reality of life must never be overlooked. No matter how careful eating habits become or hours spent in the gym to tone and perfect the body to its ultimate perfection, death is the ultimate end of all men. The person who refuses to care for their body and the individual that devotes a life time to the highest goals of health will find themselves in the same grave. God designed the human body to die and man will never be able to change that. When the Garden of Eden was created by God the Lord placed a tree of life in the midst of the garden to sustain the creation that was formed to die. Because of sin man was removed from the garden and from the tree of life. Death is the common lot of all men – healthy and unhealthy. There are many valuable attributes to keeping a healthy body but the most important body a person can have is the spiritual body of eternal life. Paul contrasts the struggle with the mortal flesh with the promise of immortality in a body that will not decay and die.
It is important to view the physical body as it really is and Paul describes it as an earthly house or a tent. There is nothing permanent about a tent. It is used for a while but a tent can easily be folded up or destroyed. The finest of tents will decay and fade away. There is no permanence to a tent as something that is convenient for a time but offers no lasting comfort. Looking at the human frame is viewing a body that is temporary at best and never permanent. Many have through the centuries tried to extend their lives with various medicines, health plans and science to defy the aging process. In recent studies some have suggested the aging process is simply a medical problem that science can solve. What they fail to see is the body is a tent and never designed as a permanent house for man to dwell in. Death is an appointment everyone will keep. For the Christian death is a welcome event where the tent is folded up and a new body is gained in glory. The promise of eternal life is found in a body created by God eternal in the heavens. Everything about the physical body is fraught with pain, sorrow, affliction and misery. No matter the levels of healthy diets, exercise and careful manipulation of the body, age will defy all attempts to turn the clock backwards. Viewing the body in its proper form will help the child of God see the promise of a new body formed by the Lord to those who look for a new habitation. There is a deep desire to shed this body of flesh for the remarkable body created by God in eternity. Life on earth is carried on with a body that is mortal. Eternal life is clothed with endless joy as there will be no pain, sorrow or tears in the new body. The habitation from heaven is without end. There will be no corruption of the body. Diet plans are not needed in heaven or health clubs. The earthly house is destroyed and the child of God gains a new body.
One of the remarkable aspects of this new body is the promise that comes with it. Paul declares that God has made this promise of a new body a guarantee by the Holy Spirit. The Lord has prepared a new body for His children and promised through the Spirit those who serve Him will find eternal joy in the habitation of newness of eternal life. There will be no more pain because God will take all pain away. The joy of knowing the earthly house will be destroyed is the knowledge that God will clothe His children in a new body that will never die. The Spirit is given as a guarantee that God’s word is true. Viewing death can be troubling for most but for the child of God it is a time of renewal and rejoicing. Whatever a person experiences in death is nothing compared to what happens after death. All those who have gone on before are no longer troubled with the pain and sorrow of dying. The saints of God have been clothed in a body that is eternal in the heavens. All those who are found in Christ will enjoy the change of bodies from the frail mortal body of flesh to the glorious body of eternal life. If the 150 million souls who spend hours upon hours in health clubs and gyms seeking to extend their mortal lives a few more hours would focus upon the realities of the spiritual body – what a change would come over the world. Diet and exercise profit a little but in the end death will remove all the efforts of man to stay young. God has offered His Son as a sacrifice to give man eternal life in a habitation or building not made with hands – eternal in the heavens. Which body will you choose?