What a scene will occur at the sounding of the Lord’s trumpet! The “dead in Christ” will emerge from their resting places all over the earth and soar into the sky; these saints’ resurrected bodies will reunite with their spirits, which will have been residing in heaven with Jesus. Close behind them will follow believers who haven’t yet departed this life–at that moment, they’ll miraculously be changed as they are “caught up . . . to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess. 4:16-17).
The description sounds extraordinary, but in fact, the plan is practical. We’re going to need a body with which to enjoy the new heaven and new earth that Jesus is preparing for His followers. However, earthly flesh and bones will not do. They age, break, and succumb to sin. So God promised to transform our humble structures into glorious bodies like the one Christ had after His resurrection. Common temptations and limitations will be gone. In addition, our physical substance will be altered so that we are not restricted by time and space. Remember, Jesus didn’t bother with doors (John 20:19)! Our new bodies will be suited for the environment where we are to dwell forever–an ageless eternity in which all of our needs are perfectly met.
Each believer will still be him- or herself. Friends and family long separated will recognize one another; our personalities will be unchanged, except that we’ll be absolutely sinless. At last, you and I will be the persons that God intends for us to be. And we’ll be housed in a body fashioned like that of Christ–perfect, sinless, and complete.