Glorification is the theological term used to describe the final removal of sin from the lives of Christians at the end of time. Dictionaries generally define glorification as a state of high or heightened honor. In biblical studies, however, glorification exists as one of three parts of the process of the Christian life that includes justification (being made right with God), sanctification (the ongoing process of being made holy), and glorification (the final removal of sin).
What is glorification according to the Bible?
When will this glorification take place? Scripture indicates glorification will take place at the time of the final trumpet. First Corinthians 15:52 teaches this will take place "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed."
When this takes place, we will experience perfect joy in God's presence. Jude 24-25 states, "Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen."
Philippians 3:20-21 talks about the changes that will take place when believers in Christ are glorified: "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself." Ultimately, the body of every Christian will become like Christ's body, fully glorified in eternity.
How will these glorified bodies work? Much is unstated directly in Scripture. However, some suggest that our glorified bodies will in some ways relate to the body a person has on earth. This is based on the descriptions of Jesus in his post-resurrection body. He was recognizable to His followers, even showing them the scars on His hands and side (John 20:27-28). Jesus also had the ability to eat, though it was not necessary for His survival. However, Jesus was recorded as having the ability to appear in a room despite the door being locked. When He walked with the two men on the road to Emmaus, He also was able to somehow conceal His identity.
In truth, much is unknown about the final glorified state of the Christian's body in eternity. However, it is clear Christians will be with the Lord forever, sin will be removed (Revelation 22:3), and the scene was powerful enough in John's vision that some of His final words were, "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20). Those who know the Lord will enjoy a perfect eternity with a glorified body perfectly designed by the God of creation.
What is justification according to the Bible?
What is sanctification?
What is the Christian doctrine of regeneration?
Is entire sanctification possible? Can Christians achieve sinless perfection in this life?
How important is spiritual growth in Christian life?
Truth about Salvation