Perhaps you are old enough to recall the Ajax laundry detergent commercials on television. There was a knight in shining armor that would come on the scene and extend his lance causing the laundry at hand to become dazzling bright.
This is a great visual aid to understanding what is going to take place at a future event in Heaven described in 1Cor. 3: 12-15. At that time, the “over-coming (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26/Rev. 3:5, 12, 21/Rev.21: 7)” believers will, among other things, be clothed in uniforms of glory (Rev. 3: 5).
All born again believers are ‘over-comers’ in the sense that they have overcome the inherent hostility (Romans 8:7) of their own fallen nature, as well as the attempts of the devil and his Ephesians 6:12 forces of evil to impede the presentation of the Gospel that afforded them the opportunity to believe and be saved (John 3:18). However, the overcoming being referenced to in the Revelation verses speaks of the believers who address the issues taking place in the course of one’s post salvation spiritual life.
All born again believers will spend all of eternity in the presence of and in fellowship with God.
However, as only those who, “continue (John 8:31)” in His Word will learn that securing permanent residency in Heaven and qualifying to be clothed in a uniform of glory are two very different things. For believers who chose to either reject or to neglect the true post (after) salvation spiritual life, there will be no uniform of glory for them to wear over the resurrected body that all born again believers receive.
In the plan of God, there are several bodily forms that every soul that God creates has the potential of finding themselves indwelling during the course of their soul life that never ends. Each form is designed for greater endurance.
The first bodily form is a tent (1Cor. 5:1 NASB). This “tent” is our natural humanity in which our soul that indwells during our time here on Earth. The second bodily form is a “building (1Cor. 5:1NASB)” that provides housing for the departed soul of a born again believer in Heaven, awaiting the Rapture of the Church. (Samuel (1Sam. 28: 11, 12), Moses and Elijah (Matt, 17: 3) made earthly appearances in this type of interim body long after their first bodies had turned to dust). There is a resurrected body (mansion) awaiting the souls of all born again believers at the Rapture.
There is a body given to those who indwell in Hades (Luke 16:25) upon leaving this Earth and are headed for an eternity in lake of fire (Rev. 20: 13, 15).
Not all born again believers are going to be clothed in a uniform of glory. This is the, “…shame of your nakedness…”, being spoken of in (Rev. 3:18). The 1Cor. 3: 12-15 event is the only documented moment of disappointment in Heaven awaiting born again believers who chose NOT to advance in the post salvation spiritual life during their time here on Earth.
The “naked” believers remain saved (1Cor. 3:15), as the integrity of one’s salvation is never in jeopardy. However, such believers will spend all of eternity without a uniform of glory and without many of the accompanying privileges that they could have other wise received.
To the extent that an “overcoming” believer glorifies God during his/her post (after) salvation spiritual life, is the degree that the uniform of glory that he/she receives will literally shine in glory.
Paul used the example of the stars in the night sky. All of the stars are present, but differ in the level of light that emanate from each one of them (1Cor.15: 41, 42). So it will be with uniforms of glory that qualified believers will receive.
Every born again believer will enter and depart the 1Cor. 3: 12-15 judgment with the same resurrected body and assurance of salvation, but not all will receive a uniform of glory. Of those received, they will not all shine with the same level of light emanating from them.
The advancing disciple does not serve God in order to be rewarded, but God has chosen to greatly honor those in Heaven who choose to honor Him here on Earth in the midst of this increasingly spiritually adulterous world in which we live (Mark 8:38).
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