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Heaven Is Not A Nudist Colony

Some wag noted that preachers who formerly preached on women's clothing have been compelled to turn to other subjects because there just isn't enough material anymore! True or not, "bare" season rapidly approaches. As regards clothing, millions of Americans will "take it off, take it all off," or at least take too much of it off as temp's rise. Jails, schools, some commercial enterprises, and other organizations recognize the importance of a certain kind and amount of clothing and enforce a dress code. But many in society and, even worse, in the church, are so casual about a personal dress code that at times it seems as if clothing itself is now optional. Without a reference to the Bible, Mark Twain observed, "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society." The Bible's message on clothing may not get much ink these days, but it says some very direct, discriminating things about the way people dress.

    * Proverbs 4:10 teaches that a woman can dress like a prostitute: "And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart" (English Standard Version).
    * Ezekiel 16:35-37 Here God described Judah as a "harlot" (prostitute), and used graphic words to describe what He would do to judge their sins/idolatry: "surely, therefore, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved, and all those you hated; I will gather them from all around against you and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness."
    * Isaiah 47:2-3These verses record God's words through the prophet Isaiah as the Lord described
    the judgment that was coming on the nation of Babylon: "Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, Take off the skirt, Uncover the thigh, Pass through the rivers. Your nakedness shall be uncovered, Yes, your shame will be seen; I will take vengeance, And I will not arbitrate with a man." Be careful to note the Biblical language here connects "nakedness" and being "uncovered" with 'shame." Many in our world, and some in the church, have completed severed that connection.
    * 1 Timothy 2:9-10 "that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation."
    * See also Genesis 3:21; Exodus 28:2-3, 40-43; Matthew 22:11-12; Revelation 3:18, etc.

Second Corinthians 5:2-3 assures us Heaven is not a nudist colony — "For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked." I realize some of these passages are teaching the need for spiritual clothing, not physical. But the logic and arguments the writers use are drawn from the undeniable fact God views immodesty in dress as shameful and sinful, whether the nakedness is of the body or the soul. Christians should study out and pay attention to how often the Bible uses the shame of nakedness and insufficient covering as a metaphor to describe those outside His will. Heaven is not a nudist colony. No one there will be undressed for everyone there will be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Think about it.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ