When you die, if you have a personal relationship with Christ, your spiritual body goes to heaven. Paul tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord… 2 Cor. 5:8. So since Jesus informed His disciples that He goes to heaven to prepare a place for them, there has been myriads of believers who have died and gone on before. They are indeed with Christ, living the glorified life in heaven. Some have been there for thousands of years (earth time). Yet at the rapture their Earthly corrupted rotted bodies will be raised incorruptible… 1 Cor. 15:51-54. So the BIG question is: Why all of a sudden do they need an Earth suit that cannot rot? Unless, of course, they are coming to live on Earth with Christ for 1000 years. Paul tells us that the dead get incorruptible bodies, and that the raptured get immortal bodies. This is the same type of body that Adam and Eve had prior to the fall. The Scripture tells us that, “By one man’s sin death entered into the World…” Prior to that Adam and Eve had immortal bodies. By sinning they put on mortality. So that fact is that the raptured, and the dead in Christ are putting on Earth suits suitable for living on Earth during the millennium, not for returning to heaven as many suppose.
When Adam and Eve were first created they were given bodies that were immortal. Meaning that they would not die. With the single act of sin in the garden, they put on mortality and as a result death entered into creation. Death was foreign prior to the first sin. Often we hear that the raptured will get glorified heavenly bodies. That is not what the Scripture tells us. The context that Paul speaks about is the difference between the physical body and the spiritual body… see 1 Cor. 15:44. The physical body is what Paul addresses when Christ returns.
Paul tells us that the DEAD gets glorified incorruptible bodies. 1 Cor. 15:51-54 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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. 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. Look at the distinction that Paul makes… the DEAD get the glorified incorruptible bodies, while the raptured are merely changed. The raptured get bodies just like Adam and Eve did prior to the fall, where they put on mortality with the single act of sin. The significance of this in relation to the rapture is eye opening. Firstly, if the raptured don’t get glorified incorruptible bodies, then they cannot be heaven bound. Rather they meet Jesus in the air (1 Thess. 4) or clouds (Matt. 24:29-31). Translated from one place on Earth to another. At this point the raptured are forever with the Lord. Jesus is not headed back to heaven in a giant u-turn as some suppose, but on His way to the Mount of Olives… Zech 14:4,5 Paul tells the Bride how to get ready on Earth for when Jesus comes for her with all of His saints…1 Thess. 3:10-13. All of His saints refer to those who have died and risen first. They are the ones that have been dwelling the the places in heaven that Jesus stated in John 14:2,3, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Jesus is going to be dwelling on Earth for the next 1000 years. The tribulation saints who were martyred during the tribulation will be ruling and reigning with Him there…Rev. 20:4. Jesus and His saints will not be returning to those dwelling places in heaven spoken of in John for 1000 years. So you see, there is no need for the raptured to have glorified incorruptible bodies until then, because they are not heaven bound until the end of the millennium. The word for rapture “harpazo” is used twice in the Word. Once in 1 Thess. 4 and the other in Acts where Philip was translated from the sea where he baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch. Philip disappeared from one location and reappeared in another on Earth. That is the definition of a rapture. Often it is referred to as translated. At the “rapture” or our gathering together with Him (2 Thess. 2:1), we are relocated from one place on Earth to another. First the air/clouds, then to the Mount of Olives. Satan is bound for 1000 years. I do not know if sin is totally absent from the Earth at that time due to the selfishness of the flesh, but the tempter is not present until the end. It appears that sin is not totally absent from what Isaiah states… Is. 65:20 Obviously the choice to sin could “put on” mortality once again, if that were possible for the elect. However, reproduction and having children is very possible for the elect, who do not have glorified bodies, but rather immortal bodies like Adam and Eve at the beginnings of creation. Isaiah speaks of this form of immortality in Isaiah 65:20. In Summary: It is important to understand that without glorified bodies, residence in heaven doesn’t take place. Only the dead get glorified bodies. Without them the raptured remain on Earth with Christ for 1000 years. Methuselah lived 969 years with a mortal body. Longevity is the correct understanding of immortality that is spoken of by Paul.