Dr. Couch, does the Greek word "glory" (doxa) refer to heaven or simply the glory of the person of Christ, or of God, etc.?
ANSWER: Some try to claim that the word is never used of heaven but this is not so. They seem to do this in order to avoid the idea that the church goes "into glory, heaven" at the time of the rapture, thus making the church a heavenly people. Yet, there is no question that the church saints also will come back with Christ for the blessed period of the millennial reign on earth. We are given a certain amount of "co-reigning" and authority when He returns.
The word "glory" is sometimes used to describe certain characteristics of God and of Christ. For example, Christ will sit on the throne of His glory (Matt. 19:28), and He will come in the glory of His Father (Mark 8:38), and will finally "enter into His glory" (Luke 21:26). God the Father is assigned glory (John 11:40), Israel is seen in her glory (Rom. 9:4), and too, the church has its glory (1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 3:21). A woman is the glory of her husband (11:7), the celestial bodies have their glory (15:40), such as the sun (v. 41). The gospel is said to be glorious (2 Cor. 4:4).
But the word glory is still often used to describe heaven: "Christ in us is the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27), and we shall appear with Him IN glory (3:4). As well, we are to be received "up into glory" (1 Tim. 3:16), and "many sons are to be brought unto glory" (Heb. 2:10). Finally, Peter says we have "been called unto His eternal glory" (1 Pet. 5:10).
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch