Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. I John 3:3
Little Sue was steadying the stepladder for Joy as she hung Bible mottoes on the wall at the Oak Street Bible Shop. All her mottoes were scripture verses. She did not care for vague, man made "inspirational" mottoes.
Sue handed up a plaque that read;
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: I John 3:1
"I hope nobody buys this one for awhile", said Joy as she alit from the ladder. She stepped back to look at the display of Bible verses as Sue gathered up the wrappings and put them back into the shipping box. "I love to think of the meaning of this verse".
Glen stepped into the front area from the little back room. For once he was not in his "prophecy corner". He had been looking at cards on the rack next to the Chick publications stand. He had a card in his hand of a subdued but romantic nature. Rumor had it that rugged old Glen was in love.
“Which one is that?”, he asked, in response to Joy's comment. She pointed to the last one she had hung, with the quotation from I John.
Gary, in his usual station behind the cash register, had been taking it all in. "Yes, it is a wonderful thought", he agreed. "But you know what really intrigues me? It is the following verse, that says "it doth not yet appear what we shall be".
Some people swore that Gary had the Bible memorized, at least the New Testament. But he had open Bibles before him on the counter and would use the index tabs to quickly find his place.
"Intrigues you how"? said Glen, at his side, still holding the card.
"Well, the first verse tells us what we are, the "should" means we are now called the sons of God. That's now. But John says it does not appear what we shall be."
"I think of it all the time" said Sue, still holding the empty box, "it's wonderful to be a Christian and look forward to our life to come, but can you even imagine what it's really going to be like some day?"
"What WE'RE going to be like" added Joy.
Glen placed his "love card", on the counter and began to speak. He admitted he didn't have a lot of the scripture memorized. "I started late" he once said. But his gift was analysis. Glen was like a patient mechanic figuring out how things worked, and how they could work even better. "There is a clue in the word "for" he said. We today would use the word "because" where the Bible uses "for".
The others were silent, it was a treat to hear this patient man teach. That is what he did almost every time he spoke. "I believe it is saying we are not like we will be, because we will see him as he is, glorified. Now you know how John reacted when he saw Jesus glorified..."
Gary read from his New Scofield, "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead" Rev. 1:17
"And this from the one disciple Jesus loved, the one closest to him", he continued.
"Good point" said Glen. "It is obvious things will be so different, so intense, I guess you could say, we couldn't handle it if we were just like we are now."
"To see him as he is now, we'll have to be like he is now", Joy summed it up.
"Absolutely true", agreed Glen.
"I wonder, will we have jobs"? asked Sue in a childlike voice. "I mean, if we have such wonderful new bodies and abilities, what will we do with them? Do you ever wonder about what we will do in eternity ?"
They were silent for a time as each person took in Sue's question.
"Did you ever see Stairway to Heaven?" asked Gary, the movie expert. "All the scenes on earth are in vivid color, but the ones in heaven are gray and dull. Unbelievers always picture heaven and its occupants as bland and colorless. But old C.S. Lewis says it has to be the other way around, heaven will be sharper and clearer, and we will be more alive and real than we have ever been."
"But what will we do"? insisted Sue.
"That is what we need to look into" replied Glen. "Our future jobs in the world to come would be a wonderful study".
Glen pushed his card across the counter. "I'll take this" he said. Gary looked at the scene on the cover as he rang it up. It pictured a man and a woman holding hands and walking on a path towards a light in the clouds.