1 Corinthians 15:53
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Atotal change or re-making of our present earthly body is necessary before we enter heaven, whether by death and subsequent resurrection or by being taken up instantaneously during the Rapture of all the saints who are still alive at Christ’s second coming. A great change before we enter heaven is clearly taught in Scripture – “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).
We are told of a great contrast between what we are now and what we will be. Concerning the change, the apostle Paul says: “For this corruptible must put on incorruption”. Like putting on a new garment, the soul must be clothed with a new body. The Lord will furnish us with a body that will not corrupt, unlike our present earthly body which is corruptible.
In this verse and the next, the apostle used the same Greek word for “put on” four times. He wrote, “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (vv. 53-54).
This great change is necessary because “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (v. 50). Our present earthly bodies, which are liable to disease, pain and death, are composed of decaying particles. Hence they are not suitable for a life that is eternal in heaven. We must cease to be corruptible and mortal. Our bodies must become incorruptible and immortal, no less!
In death, our corruptible body is stripped off in order that we may be “clothed” with an incorruptible, immortal body on the day of resurrection at the coming of Christ. Death then is a mere “unclothing” of our present body. Soon, at Christ’s coming, our souls shall be “clothed” with a glorious, celestial, immortal body! The righteous who remain alive till the coming of Christ, shall be at once changed (as Enoch and Elijah were), with incorruption and immortality. The Lord “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:21).