Monday, December 04, 2006

Do the "Unsaved" Receive an "Unglorified" Body?

"Light and Truth" asked the following question in the Transmundane Lane at Phatmass:
Is there any scriptural reason to think that the unsaved will be resurrected with an unglorified body?
Yes. It is, in the least, implicit in Scripture, and from there we apply arguments from reason which solidify what we believe about this.

First, note that a literary device is often employed in Scripture in which, when two things are pitted against each other, what is relative to the first is usually the opposite of what is relative to the second. For examle, see Rom 2:

Rom 2:6-10
6 For he will render to every man according to his works:
7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;
8 but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.
9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,
10 but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.

The good and the wicked are pitted against each other. Thus, the wicked do not receive what is particular to the good. Also, notice verse six. If the Lord will render to every man according to his works, the man whose life was marked by works of inequity will surely not earn the glory of those who did good. The gift of a glorified body would not be in accord with the works of a sinner's life. See also 2 Cor 5:10.

Some more verses:

Dan 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

I think this verse hints at the type of body the unsaved will receive, since the rewards of "everlasting life" and "shame and everlasting contempt" are spoken of in the context of awaking from the dust of the earth. A glorified body will not add shame to a soul and so the wicked must inherit a different kind of body that adds this particular punishment.

We see another example in 1 Corinthians:

1 Cor 15:42-50
42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.
43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
44 It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.
45 Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46 But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual.
47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
48 As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven.
49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
50 I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Basically, what this passage means is that from the first man we have received a fallen nature, with which the body is usually identified. However, from the Second Adam this nature can be redeemed. Thus, what was perishable now becomes imperishable (vs. 42). What was weak is raised in power and becomes a "spiritual" body. (vs. 43-44). However, if we are found "of the dust" (or, of the things of the body) we will remain like the man of the dust (Adam, who lost the glorified body that was to be his). If we remain in the perishable we cannot inherit the imperishable (vs. 48 and 50).

All of this, I think, points to the type of body we will receive.

I hope that helps. For more on the resurrection of the body, see The General Resurrection and Hell, headings 6-8.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

4 comments:

steven said...

'Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.'

Having shared the nature of the first Adam . will we too share the nature of the second Adam and become life-giving spirits?

Are there any Gnostic texts which also teach that we should renounce the things of the dust, ie our bodies?

phatcatholic said...

Having shared the nature of the first Adam . will we too share the nature of the second Adam and become life-giving spirits?

No. The verse you are citing (1 Cor 15:45) is only saying that, while Adam had life given to him (he "became a living being"), the second Adam gives life to others. The Spirit breathed into Adam gave him life. The Spirit that is in Christ gives life to others.


Are there any Gnostic texts which also teach that we should renounce the things of the dust, ie our bodies?

I'm sure there are, but why does that matter? I never said we had to renounce our bodies. Gnostic texts don't carry much weight with me, especially in comparison to the Scriptures.

japhy said...

The damned may not have glorified bodies, but they will be raised intact, would they not? That is, they would be raised and "restored", but not glorified.

phatcatholic said...

Yes japhy, that is my understanding

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