That’s an easy question. I do! As long as that forever is spent in the presence of God.

I devoted a couple posts to breaking down some “favorite Bible verses” – giving a fresh, much needed look at what they might mean in context. Well, now it’s time for me to share some about my personal favorites.

Beginning with this one:

ROMANS 8:11
“And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you.”

Really, the entirety of Romans 8 is as epic as they come. Read the whole chapter in one setting and try not to get chills.

But this verse in particular stands out to me and has stuck with me over the last few years. There’s so much to this one sentence that it needs to be dissected a bit.

First of all, it was God’s Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. Think about that – Jesus didn’t raise himself, as I used to think. He didn’t just will himself alive after three days. If fact, it wasn’t even of his own power that he raised Lazarus or the daughter of Jairus. Philippians 2 tells us that Jesus emptied himself of all his divine privileges. He had no inherent advantage over us in his own humanity. Hebrews 2 makes it clear that had to be made like us in every way. And after showing us how to do humanity like God intended, he was vindicated by God, defeating death – the final enemy. It was God’s Spirit that stayed with Jesus throughout his life, and it was the Spirit that breathed the resurrection breath back into Jesus’ body.

Then Paul says that it is this same miracle-working, death-slaying, life-bringing Spirit that is living…in us! Not in the rocks and trees, not in the heavens, not just in the corporate body – but in me, in you. We can talk about being a Spirit-filled people, but I don’t think we grasp the implications of what that means. The fruit of the Spirit is easy and safe to talk about – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These virtues are supposed to be evidence of the Spirit living in us. That’s all well and good, but what about the fierce passion with which Jesus lived his life? What about the righteous anger that drove him to clear the temple? What about the condemning words shouted to the religious establishment? That was all done by the Spirit, too. Life in the Spirit is not supposed to be one of placid serenity or non-confrontation. The Spirit is not a spirit of fear but of power (2 Tim 1:7)!

Finally, if this is the Spirit that lives in you, then this death killer will also give life to our mortal bodies. In other words, we will get to experience the exact same resurrection as Jesus. Here’s why I think this is significant: bodily resurrection means that this life matters. It means that life will ultimately become what it was intended to be – heaven and earth intersecting. If the Spirit is in us, then that process has already begun. We are a part of the revolution that proclaims “On earth as it is in heaven!” This flies in the face of the traditional escapism portrayed in many well-intentioned sentiments and death-bed hymns. Our final hope is not to “fly away” to some “celestial shore,” but to be raised again to life, never again to die. Our goal is not to “get to heaven,” but to bring heaven here, to experience eternal life now, and to ultimately participate in the same physical, bodily resurrection as that of Christ Jesus.