God had a great purpose for creating you. He is reproducing Himself! What will life be like when you are born into God's Family?
The birth of a human baby is an exciting event. After long months of anticipation, we human parents experience a special exhilaration as our new son or daughter — sometimes more than one! — comes into the world. We enjoy seeing the new life that has come from us, and we look forward to watching our child grow and mature in the years to come. We want him or her to enjoy life and to have every possible opportunity for success. However, humanity almost totally overlooks an even greater birth process. That birth process was created by God, and will result in literal Children being born into His Family! Unbelievable? The world thinks so. Much of mankind believes that after death, the souls of human beings go flitting off into the universe somewhere to sit at Jesus' feet for eternity, or perhaps even to enter into another life as an animal or another person. Other people wonder if a Creator exists at all and, if He does, so what? Others totally deny the existence of a God and live materialistic lives. But the truth is plain. God plans to bring more Members into His Family, which today consists of God the Father and Jesus Christ. God states His purpose for mankind in Genesis 1:26: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." Compare this statement with the pattern established in verses 20 through 25. A startling truth emerges — just as members of the plant and animal kingdoms procreate after their own kinds, the God Family is reproducing itself after its own kind, through man! Fulfilling this awesome purpose requires more than the creation of a human being. Man is composed from the dust (elements) of the ground (Gen. 2:7). Becoming a Member of the God Family requires a resurrection to life as a spirit, like God (John 4:24). The Bible describes this resurrection to spirit life as a birth process. Nicodemus, a leader among the Jews during Christ's earthly ministry, found this difficult to understand (John 3:1-5). Likewise, many today cannot comprehend it. Yet Christ said, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again" (verse 7).
Born as spirit beings
God desires that we be given eternal life through Jesus Christ (verse 16). Christ is the "firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8:29); our birth will follow. We are to inherit the characteristics of the God Family, just as a baby inherits the characteristics of his parents through genetic transfer. God's Holy Spirit impregnates the spirit in man with the "spiritual genes" (God's character — Gal. 5:22-23) of our heavenly Father! This process begins when we are called by God (John 6:44) and are led to repentance and baptism. When God's true ministers lay hands upon us, God impregnates us with the seed of His Holy Spirit. From then on, we are fed the spiritual food we need by God's true Church, which holds the keys to salvation. Through a lifetime of growing in the character of God, we are made ready for literal spiritual birth into His Family. In order to become Gods, a transformation has to take place. This is why Jesus had to be resurrected from the grave. For our birth, we must be resurrected at Jesus' Second Coming (I Cor. 15:51-53). At that point we become Gods — Members of the God Family, serving under God the Father and Jesus Christ (I John 3:1-2)!
Mankind now limited
It is difficult for man to comprehend his potential — we need to put ourselves into perspective. Man is far superior to animals. We are not limited by instinct, which guides animals. We can think, reason, plan and build in ways animals cannot. Clearly, mankind exists on a much higher level. But for now man is, of necessity, limited in comparison to Members of the God Family. There are several ways the flesh limits us. Even a productive person finds that life is filled with sorrows (Eccl. 2:22-23). These sorrows ought to motivate us to want our inheritance in the God Family. Unfortunately, many do not have the vision to see beyond their sorrows to the glories of God's Kingdom. But this hope of a better life can help us endure the chemical existence we have as humans. Therefore, we need a picture of what it will be like when we enter the God Family. Envision yourself functioning in the expanse of eternity, ruling with other Gods in the Kingdom of God (Rev. 20:4). You'll be helping fulfill God's will and carrying out duties your mind is not yet able to contain (I Cor. 2:9). What will life be like when our human limitations are removed? How will we function in God's government? What incredible potentials lie before us? Let's consider some of our present limitations, and what it will be like when those restrictions are removed.
In the 20th century man has become more mobile. No longer are the oceans such difficult barriers to cross. A few men have even had the opportunity to explore space. Yet, most people must live their lives with only a limited amount of travel. Even those who do travel often find it tiresome and are relieved to return home. As Members of the God Family, we will find travel an easy, enjoyable experience. How fast can a spirit travel? Instantaneously, at the speed of thought? Perhaps. After Christ rose from the grave, He told Mary not to touch Him, since He had not yet ascended to His Father (John 20:17). But later the same day, Christ allowed His disciples to touch Him (Luke 24:39). We don't know how far the throne of God is from this earth. Yet Christ made the trip and returned on the same day! We will also have the amazing ability to manifest ourselves even through solid objects (Luke 24:36, John 20:19, 26). With this capacity to travel, we will not be limited to a small geographical area. We will eventually be able to travel to the far reaches of the universe, since we are to inherit all things (Rev. 21:7). And we will be able to quickly return to our place of departure. Thus the Family of God need not be separated by distance. We will be able to enjoy each other's company and the vastness of the universe at will.
Time imposes a lot of limitations on us. One human life span is very limited compared to eternity (Ps. 90:10). How often do you find yourself frustrated by a lack of time? There are so many things to do, but not enough hours in the day. Eternal life will end this problem. Time will be unlimited! God inhabits eternity and so will we (Isa. 57:15). Not only will there be plenty of time, but plenty of worthwhile and exciting things to do with our time. There will be rulership over cities during the first 1,000 years of Christ's rule (Luke 19:17). After that we will deal with those who were uncalled in this age, who will be given renewed physical life (Rev. 20:5). Afterward the new heavens and new earth will be established, giving us even greater responsibilities in the Family of God (Rev. 21-22). These jobs will be a source of great pleasure, since they will be stimulating and helpful to others. Eternity will be full of enjoyable activities. Surely God enjoys a host of fine things: the clothes He wears, the singing He enjoys and the marriage supper to be held for the resurrected saints (Rev. 1:13, 14:1-3, 19:7-9). The spiritual world can be understood by the things of this life (Rom. 1:20). Thus we can conclude that there are spiritual parallels for many of this life's activities.
The human body suffers from a lack of energy even when healthy. We are reminded of our limitations after a period of exertion. All of us need periods of rest, and many cannot function well even when rested because of sickness. How different spirit life will be! We will literally radiate energy as Jesus Christ does: "And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. "His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. "And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength" (Rev. 1:12-16). No longer will we complain of being too tired. How comforting this must be to those who are elderly or sick. How pleasurable it will be for a quadriplegic to inherit a spirit body!
Scientists tell us that humans never use more than 10 percent of their mental ability. This is certainly restrictive in a world of so much knowledge. But more damaging is the lack of godly character we sometimes exhibit even if truly called and converted. Many of us don't properly control and apply the abilities we do have. Intelligence is one thing, but the ability to act on something we understand is another. Spirit life will wipe away these problems. We will have more than just a portion of God's mind — we will have all of it! God's incredible memory enables Him to name each of the billions of stars (Ps. 147:4) and number every hair on our heads (Matt. 10:30). Imagine having that kind of mental capacity. But most importantly, we will exhibit the totality of God's character. Imagine yourself filled with wisdom, understanding, counsel, proper knowledge, love and judgment as was Jesus Christ (Isa. 11:1-4). Though we'll share godly attributes, we will maintain our individuality. But the curse of comparing ourselves with others to exalt the self will be removed. We'll learn to appreciate our individuality and that of others as well. To prepare, we should now hold others in higher esteem than ourselves (Phil. 2:3). How wonderful life will be when we have the mind of God — no more headaches, disastrous decisions or bad attitudes. We will have a well-functioning mind that will serve us and others for eternity.
Mankind's sins have ruined our surroundings. Polluted waters, poison-laden air, overcrowded and decaying cities, slums, loss of natural habitats, litter everywhere — you name it. People themselves contribute heavily to life's unpleasantness. They often flaunt sin before others (Isa. 3:9). We are affected — we become victims of rebellious people, dishonest salesmen, strife on the job and the lures of sin as portrayed in the media. Because of others, life can become a source of misery. Oppression from sinful men can be so bad that we cry out for deliverance as David did: "Deliver me from mine enemies, 0 my God: defend me from them that rise up against me. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men. For, 10, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, 0 Lord. They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold" (Ps. 59:1-4). We need not be overburdened by this world's evils — God promises us deliverance from them. Look ahead to the restitution of God's government at the return of Jesus Christ (Acts 3:20-21). Man's very nature will be changed in the Millennium, and our environment will be restored to purity and beauty. Under these conditions, today's miseries will disappear. The God Family will be free from the anguish caused by sin: "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men [then made literal God Beings], and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Rev. 21:3- 4).
God awaits our birth
We have seen but a glimpse of our future lives as Members of the God Family. Just as a baby experiences growth, we will go through a spiritual development process and grow up so we can enjoy fuller lives in the Family of God (Mal. 4:1-2). Life will be filled to the brim with happiness: "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Ps. 16:11). Like an anxiously expectant young father, God is anticipating our birth into His Family. He reveals Himself as a God of love who wants to share His joy with us (Matt. 25:21). He has not created us to be limited to this flesh. All people will have the opportunity to be saved and share His glory together (II Pet. 3:9). That includes you. God wants you in His glorious, majestic Family for eternity. What about right now? Are you preparing for your birth? Can God see in your life the changes required (Rev. 2:26, 3:21)? Are you eating the spiritual food the Church is giving you? If so, you are awaiting — and are assured of — the greatest birth ever, into the Family of God!