In I Samuel 28, the medium at En-dor brings Samuel up from the dead for Saul. Verse 12 says she cried out with a loud voice, and Saul asks her what she saw. She responds: “I see a divine being coming up out of the earth.” In Hebrew, “divine being” is literally “a god.” Was the woman exaggerating? I think not. We have evidence from scripture that God’s people will be endowed with great glory in heaven.
This present passage strongly hints at it, and in I Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul elaborates on it more. He writes “There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another” (:40). He says in :41-42, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory …”. The Bible tells us specifically that our heavenly bodies will indeed be very glorious.
In one of my very favorite messages from C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”, he writes:
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilites, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – These are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”
In his typical imaginative style, Lewis describes the glory with which the saints will one day be clothed in heaven: if we could see people now as they will one day be in heaven, we would be strongly tempted to worship them, so great will their glory be!
All of which should whet our appetites even more for heaven. Not only will WE be glorious there, but if God’s saints are endowed with such glory, what will be the glory of God HIMSELF, by which we will be captivated forever? And as Lewis wrote, how much more soberly should this truth cause us to deal with each person we meet here on earth, knowing that they will one day have a home either in such glory — or in the horrific, never-ending nightmare of hell.