July 9, 2014
Proverbs 15:2-4 (NIV)
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
I have friends whose son recently underwent aggressive surgery for cancer of the tongue. The surgery seemed to go well and the prognosis looks good. But this young man – only in his 20’s – now has only a bit of tongue left in the back of his throat, and is understandably depressed as he deals with the reality of the loss of his ability to speak clearly. I am praying for him every day. And the main concern is not the loss of his tongue and the resultant adjustments to living out his life, but that he is not a Christian.
This led me to think about The Tongue In Eternity. For in eternity, this young man’s tongue will be restored – as will all malfunctioning or missing body parts. And this is not just for Christians! Yes, we believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have that hope of a perfect resurrected body – a physical body like Jesus’ post-resurrection body – perfectly adapted to eternal spiritual living. Paul summarized this truth in Philippians 3:21 when he wrote, “…the Lord Jesus Christ…will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (see also I Corinthians 15:35 through 54; I Thessalonians 4:16 and 17; I John 3:2).
But unbelievers also will experience resurrection and physical restoration! As it says in Daniel 12:2, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.” There are two resurrections and – according to Revelation 20:5 – they are separated by a thousand years.
Although the evidence in scripture is rather scant for what the eternal body of unbelievers will be like, it points to a restored physical body designed to last forever – even under the terrible conditions in hell!
I was looking for an appropriate scripture to capture the ideas of this blog, and I came across Proverbs 15:2 through 4 (NIV):
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool
gushes folly. The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the
wicked and the good. The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but
a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
In verse 2, the wise is the person who has committed his or her life to God – trusting in God’s provision through His Son to cleanse us from our sin and give us righteous standing before the Father. The fool is the one who has chosen not to do this, and is trusting in his or her own choices for this life and eternity. The tongue simply declares those choices we make! And – verse 3 – God sees and knows it all! The result of it – in verse 4 – is either healing for the wise or a crushed spirit for the fool – both now and forever!
What about The Tongue In Eternity? What will it be used for? In heaven it will be to give praise and glory to God! A beautiful picture of this is in Revelation 7:9 through 12:
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one
could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before
the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palm branches
in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to
our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” And all the angels stood
around the throne, and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on
their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing,
and glory, and wisdom, thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be
to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
By the way, if you want to follow a good example of how to praise the Lord, just repeat from your heart verse 12!
How will the resurrected tongue be used by those in hell? Forever they will be cursing God, screaming in pain, and begging as the rich man did in Luke 16:24 for just a drop of water to cool his tongue! (see also Matthew 8:12; Mark 9:43 through 48; Revelation 14:10 and 11).
Dear one, heaven is real! Hell is real! Eternity is forever! The use of The Tongue In Eternity is determined by what you do with it now! As it is written in Romans 10:9, “…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”