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Your Questions, Our Answers

When I look at the story of the ten lepers whom Jesus healed in Luke 17:11–19, I wonder how nine of those lepers could have been so ungrateful and thoughtless since they had been delivered from so much. How could they not even think to come back?


Probably many of us have wondered the same thing. How often have we in our relief after an answer to prayer just kept going without acknowledging the wonder of what happened? We give ourselves so many reasons for failing to say thank you. In fact, we are living in a time when writing thank-you notes even for things like wedding gifts or generous financial, emotional, or physical help is the exception, not the rule.

A friend who has been in cancer treatment puts it this way, “While I’m thankful I finished my last treatment and that my doctor says I’m in re-mission, I find I want more instead of focusing on being thankful. I want to be back to normal; I want my hair and my eyelashes and my eyebrows back. I want my fingers and toes to no longer be numb. I want to be doing my responsibilities like I used to. I want to feel energetic. I want, I want.” She summarizes her thoughts about that story by asking two questions: “Do you think the lepers had been beaten down so long that once they experienced some normalcy, they rushed to enter real life quickly? Is it possible they were thankful in their hearts but forgot to practice it in the moment?” Of course we don’t know. What we do know is simple but profound: Gratitude is a discipline of the spirit that we must cultivate and practice.

Someone asked the question in our Bible study group about the kind of body the believer would have in heaven if she died right now. She expected to take her current physical body to heaven with her as Jesus did at His ascension. The teacher agreed. Is this correct?


We know from Scripture that Jesus Christ is the “first fruits” of those who have died (1 Cor. 15: 20, 23), so He is the example of what will happen to those who believe. Thomas touched the physical body of Christ after He was resurrected (John 20:27). Furthermore, Job said that “in my flesh I will see God” (Job 19:26).

The answer depends on what is meant by “current.” If your teacher means that we will have the same body, she is right. When our bodies are resurrected, there will be no discontinuity between our bodies and our resurrected selves. This comes as a profound comfort to those who have lost family and friends. We will know each other. Paul writes that “the dead will be raised imperishable” (1 Cor. 15:52). Our bodies are an integral part of our identity. If, however, by “current” your teacher means the body is resurrected in the state that it is on earth, she is wrong. How depressing it would be if our bodies were resurrected with all the marks of aging, sickness, weakness, or other flaws that come with being human. That’s what the word imperishable means, followed by the assertion that “we will be changed.” Imperishable means, first of all, “honorable, trustworthy, good, virtuous,” and in a second definition, “not subject to death or decay.” Paul is declaring that both the characters and the bodies of believers will be perfected.

Many have debated the reality of hell. Will God release those who do not believe in our Lord Jesus Christ? And what about those who practice humanitarianism? They aren’t mean people; they just don’t practice Christianity.


The biblical answer to your question as to whether God will “release those who do not believe in our Lord Jesus Christ” is yes, and that includes everyone who does not believe in the reality of personal sin and in the truth of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection to atone for sin before a holy God. The watering down of the doctrine of eternal punishment occurs not because of some newfound understanding of Scripture. Instead, it is the result of minimizing the doctrine to satisfy the current desire for a user-friendly theology, to accommodate people’s feelings, rather than insisting on an absolute standard. It also shows a diminished understanding of the holiness of God, a holiness that should inspire awe in us and fill us with caution. One of my theology teachers in seminary once said, “It matters to God what we do and what we believe.”

To illustrate, as a teacher, I have a standard I expect from my students because I care that they be well-educated and responsible individuals. It’s because I care that I judge their work as less than worthy if it is irresponsible or substandard. A student’s niceness or generosity is not the issue. The standard is.

The familiar verses in John 3:16–18 are plain: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

BY Dr. Rosalie de Rosset, Professor of English, Homiletics, and Literature

Dr. Rosalie de Rosset has been teaching at Moody Bible Institute in the Communications Department for over four decades.  She is occasionally featured on Moody Radio. She is a speaker and writer and lives on the northside of Chicago, a city she enjoys for its natural beauty and multi-faceted art offerings.

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