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May 9, 2007 / Daniel

More resurrection eschatology in hymns

One of my favorite hymns is Bill Gaither’s “Because He Lives.”  It’s a great song, but I have a minor quarrel with it.  Look at the last verse. 

And then one day, I’ll cross the river,

I’ll fight life’s final war with pain.

And then, as death gives way to victory,

I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.

Here’s my problem.  The whole song is about the resurrection of Christ and its implications on this world.  That’s an awesome message.  But when it comes time to talk about the resurrection of the believer, Bill drops the ball.  Instead he talks about going to heaven when you die.   A disembodied heaven is not the future hope of the NT.  The future hope is the resurrection of the believer. 

Here’s where the Jesus Seminar folks gain some ground.  They say that when the NT writers spoke about the resurrection of Christ, they meant that Jesus just went to heaven when He died. Now he’s just a disembodied spirit floating around on a cloud.  And so we can have hope that when we died, we get to go to heaven to be with Jesus. 

 But in actuality, the NT writers weren’t saying that Jesus went to heaven when He died.  That’s not what resurrection means.  Resurrection is “life after life after death.”  It’s new physical life in this world.  That’s our hope as Christians–new physical life on a renewed earth.  What do you think?


Leave a Comment
  1. Matthew C / May 10 2007 8:53 am

    No, renewed life on a physical earth is not for believers in this dispensation. That is for those who are saved after Christ’s return in His Millennial Kingdom.

    Heaven is a spiritual place, but it is also a physical place, having buildings and being inhabited by angels (who have bodies). The hope of the Christian is resurrection into a heavenly sphere of existence, like the angels and as our Lord is.

    Every Blessing in Christ


  2. fiester25 / May 10 2007 3:00 pm

    What passages in Scripture are you basing your view from?

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