“He is not here; for he is risen, as he said: come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matt. 28: 6.
Has Christ, and has his resurrection such a potent and comfortable influence into the resurrection of the saints? Then it is the duty, and will be the wisdom of the people of God, so to govern, dispose, and employ their bodies, as become men and women, that understand what glory is prepared form them at the resurrection of the just. Particularly,
First, Be not fondly tender of them, but employ and use them for God here. How many good duties are lost and spoiled by sinful indulgence to our bodies? Alas! we are generally more solicitous to live long, than to live usefully. How many saints have active, vigorous bodies, yet God has little service from them. If your bodies were animated by some other souls that love God more than van do, and burn with holy zeal to his service, more work would be done for God by your bodies in a day, than is now done in a month. To have an able, healthy body, and not use it for God, for fear of hurting it, is as if one should give you a strong and stately horse, upon condition you must not work or ride him. Wherein is the mercy of having a body, except it be employed for God? Will not its reward at the resurrection be sufficient for all the pains you nor put it to in his service?
Secondly, See that you preserve the due honor of your bodies. “Possess them in sanctification and honor,” 1 Thess. 4:4. O, let not these eyes be now defiled with sin, by which you shall see God. Those ears be inlets to vanity, which shall hear the Hallelujahs of the blessed. God hath designed honor for your bodies, O, make them not either the instruments or objects of sin. There are sins against the body, 1 Cor. 6:18. Preserve your bodies from those defilements, for they are the temple of God; “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy,” 1 Cor. 3:17.
Thirdly, Let not the contentment and accommodation of your bodies draw your soul into snares, and bring them under the power of temptations to sin. This is a very common case. O how many thousands of precious souls perish eternally for the satisfaction of a vile body for a moment? Their souls must, because their bodies cannot suffer. It is recorded to the immortal honor of these worthies, in Heb. 11:35.“That they accepted not deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.” They might have had a temporal resurrection from death to life, from reproach to honor, from poverty to riches, from pains to pleasure; but upon such terms they judged it not worth acceptance. They would not expose their souls to secure their bodies. They had the same natural affections that other men have. They were made of as tender flesh as we are, but such was the care they had of their souls, and the hope of a better resurrection, that they listened not to the complaints and whinings of their bodies. O, that we were all in the same resolutions with them. John Flavel