There are verses (e.g. Philippians 3:20-21, 1 Corinthians 15:52) which indicate that our glorification will be instantaneous at the time the Lord returns. However, that glorification will be the culmination of a process rather than an isolated event. Here are three verses which present the process.
Hebrews 2:10 says, “For it was fitting for Him [God the Father], for whom are all things and through whom are all things, in leading many sons into glory, to make the Author [Jesus] of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Verse 11 continues, speaking of us as “those who are being sanctified.” God’s leading us and Jesus Christ’s sanctifying us are both aspects of our being brought into glory.
Ephesians 5:26-27a says, “That He [Christ] might sanctify her [the church], cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word, that He might present the church to Himself glorious.” The cleansing by the washing of the water in the word is for making the church glorious.
Second Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.” Our transformation proceeds “from glory to glory,” from one degree of glory to another. This indicates that the glory is developing in us before it is manifested at the Lord’s return.
“The Son of Man is to come in the glory of His Father “ (Matthew 16:27). The glory of God in Jesus Christ has not yet been manifested but the verses above show that we are in a time of preparation now. Eventually this glory will be a characteristic of New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9-11). Lord, grant us mercy to cooperate with You in Your sanctifying, washing, and transforming work within us. Come, Lord Jesus!
Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.