Demarest——What are the stages of glorification?

In summary, Demarest describes the Christian's hope of coming glory in these four stages:
  1. The "intermediate state" of the saints after death.  Angels escort bodiless believers to heaven (Luke 16:22). Though bodiless, believers will retain their personal identities (Matt 17:3) and will enjoy fellowship with other believers, being "at home with the Lord" (2 Cor 5:8).  Though this is not yet the complete state of glory, it is heaven.

  2. The resurrection of the saints' transformed bodies at Christ's Second Coming (Tit 2:13).  Our bodies will be redeemed (Rom 8:23, cf. v. 11).  This is the imperishable body (1 Cor 15:54).  Our present troubles are nothing compared to this coming state (2 Cor 4:16–18)!

  3. The vindication of the saints before the judgment seat of Christ, who will examine their works as evidence of faith, gratitude, and love (Rom 14:10–12; 1 Cor 3:12–15; 2 Cor 5:10).  He exposes the believers' hearts, and He will praise them accordingly (1 Cor 4:5; Matt 25:21).  This is not a judgment of condemnation, but of rewards.

  4. The entry of the embodied saints into [the final state of] heaven (cf. Rev 21:1–22:5).

The Cross and Salvation: The Doctrine of Salvation.  Foundations of Evangelical Theology.  
(Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1997), 469–472.

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