“And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection“ (Heb. 11:32-35).
On the surface, according to this verse, a better resurrection is the difference between accepting deliverance, or choosing martyrdom and awaiting your glorified body at the resurrection of the just. But could there be a deeper meaning and a mystery embodied within a better resurrection?
Somehow it seems to me that beyond martyrdom, which is what Hebrews 11:35 speaks of, there is a close relation and connection between our physical bodies and our future resurrected bodies. I believe that a part of obtaining a better resurrection is in proportion to how we steward our bodies on the earth. For instance, concerning our sexuality, let us look closer at the identity between our physical and glorified bodies.
Notice the following verses:
“Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power“ (1 Cor. 6:13-14).
Paul is correcting the dangerous misconception among the Corinthians who believed, “as the stomach is designed for food, the genitals are created for sexual experience.” This mind-set is not only common among unregenerate human beings but also among Christians who justify or are entangled in sexual immorality. Paul shows how this analogy is false because your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and belongs to Christ. Here’s where many people err in their understanding of their sexuality.
The margin of my Bible says that eating food is a secondary and temporal arrangement, but sexuality reaches into the eternal and metaphysical depths of one’s being. An essential identity exists between the present physical body and the future glorified body (v 14). Sexual intercourse is more than a biological experience; it involves a communion of life. Since Jesus is one with the born-again believer’s spirit, it is unthinkable to involve Him with sexual immorality; thus the strong Scriptural admonition not to let the sin of fornication and all uncleanness “even be named among you” (Eph. 5:3; emphasis added).
Sexuality is a uniquely profound aspect of the personality involving one’s entire being. Sexual immorality has far-reaching effects, with great spiritual significance and social implications (v18). Such immorality is not only a sin against the body but against the Holy Spirit, who dwells in the body. It is just one of the ways we are to discern the Lord’s body, which when consistently neglected can bring weakness, sickness, and even premature death (1 Cor. 11:29-31).
Regardless of how satisfying and fulfilling sex is in its rightful place within the marriage, it is still a temporal arrangement and not a part of our eternal existence. And yet by it we procreate and give birth to eternal spirits. What a sacred responsibility! Sexual immorality messes with this sacredness and the power of procreation with someone to whom you are not in marital covenant with. The sexual drive is not sinful, but it is hurtful if not kept in its proper place. Scripture forbids sexual immorality in order to protect us.
I hope this helps someone to resist immoral temptations. If I would’ve known these things when I first got saved it would’ve strengthened me to overcome this sort of temptation. Instead, as a younger man I struggled with it for years.
THE QUALITY OF OUR SPIRITUALITY=A BETTER RESURRECTION
Other passages of Scripture also appear to suggest that a better resurrection refers to the quality of spirituality and the fitness of our souls that are dependent on the spiritual exercise we exert unto godliness in this life. This appears to be one of the reasons Paul made the comment to Timothy about physical exercise vs. spiritual exercise, which he calls godliness.
“For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Tim. 4:8).
Exercising ourselves unto godliness is profitable, not only in this present life, but in the age to come when we receive our new glorified bodies.
Hebrews 11 speaks of the consecration and suffering of some of the OT saints. Many in the West fail to understand that this is a big part of our faith. Trials and tribulations are considered a curse in our cozy Christian culture, but if we see it as a grace that gives us an opportunity to grow in the inner man in a way that will have eternal implications and consequences, we would count it a joy to suffer for righteousness sake. We could then experience a kind of spiritual growth that we otherwise could not have if the Lord didn’t allow us to go through it—a kind of growth we wouldn’t have been able to catch up with in the afterlife. It is only in this earthly life we have the opportunity to suffer for Christ’s Name so we should graciously embrace it by trusting the Lord and living godly through the process.
“Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Pt. 4:19).
Hebrews 11 teaches us that faith is operative in both the exploits we achieve for the Lord and in our sufferings. There were times when God delivered and rescued His people, and in a few instances the dead were even received to life again (v. 35a), but there were also times when they chose to suffer and die without accepting deliverance. We have one shot in this life to glorify God in our lives and with our bodies. As we do, we can be assured of sharing in His glory in the better resurrection.
“so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death” (Phil. 1:20).
“…if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:17-18).
“If we endure, we shall also reign with Him” (2 Tim. 2:12).