Peter, James, and John would have had no idea what was about to unfold before their eyes as they naively walked with Jesus up the mountain. Without warning or explanation, Jesus was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light (Matthew 17:2). Stunned most likely, time must have seemed to stand still for these men as they had no previous experience to compare this with. Human language must have failed them, after all, how could words explain this unwrapping of Jesus’ humanity to reveal His holy heavenly perfection. Then, watching Jesus’ redress Himself with human flesh, surely, must have left them hanging in awe of His majestic power and glory.
This brief account provides us with a simple, yet accurate framework by which to think about the believer’s promised glorification. Paul said, I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18). Paul further hints of this when he wrote, there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another (1 Corinthians 15:40).
It’s easy to get caught up with our present battles of Christian living while neglecting to look forward to our upcoming heavenly glorification. Even with a simple and focused understanding of our future glorification, believers are equipped with a hope that inspires both present perseverance and increased purity. Presently, even with our finite minds, we are able to grasp the concept of the glory of the Lord, and we realise that we are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). This present process of Holy Spirit generated sanctification develops increasing holiness while hinting at the spectacular perfection of glory waiting to envelop us in heaven.
Romans 8:30 tells us that those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified. In the infinite mind of God, He predetermined our heavenly destination before He even issued our invitation to receive salvation. And to seal the deal, as it were, He sovereignly predetermined our justification, preventing failure from being a possibility. Look at how many times the word “He”, referring to God, appears in Romans 8:30, six times in one short verse. Paul wants us to thoroughly understand that God alone ensures our glorification in heavenly perfection is as certain as God Himself.
Therefore, it is God alone who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy (Jude 1:25). Our hope is never to be wasted on uncertainty, fear, or doubts. No, God has removed the possibility of glorification being missed. Regardless of the method of transportation from earth to heaven, be it the rapture or physical death, we are to be waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Paul worded his expectation this way, for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Therefore, thinking of our present and shady improvements in personal holiness, and being elevated to Christ’s heavenly perfection, should lift our hearts in worship and a greater desire for obedience.