Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Our Age In Heaven

Biblegems #150
Question: Will people in heaven be forever the same age in appearance as when they died?

The Bible does not answer this question specifically. There are, however, indications in Scripture that I believe give some strong clues.

The most complete description of our resurrected state in heaven is found in 1 Corinthians 15. There we learn the resurrection body will be imperishable (42). It is also a transformed body, spiritual in its very nature, yet still a recognizable body (44) that will be like Jesus’ resurrected body—having form and substance, not that of a ghost (49). In fact, Jesus presented Himself to His disciples in His resurrected body on several occasions, even appearing before them behind locked doors, and gave proof that the resurrection body has flesh and bones:
         Luke 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.    

When it comes to the appearance of age in heaven, Jesus again becomes our model. The apostle John writes:
         1John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Jesus’ resurrection appearances revealed the peak of physical maturity. The book of Revelation also shows Him to be a fully mature male, although shining and radiant in the splendor and glory of His heavenly environment. Even that, too, may be true of us, that we will wear a supernatural glow in our appearance:
         Phil. 2:15 …so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe

The indication seems to be that our appearance of age will be one of full male or female maturity depending, of course, on our gender here. Paul uses the example in First Corinthians of a seed that is buried in the ground coming to life again in a new form and a whole new level of glory:
1Cor. 15:37-40 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another.

The clues in the Bible strongly suggest that whether a person dies in childhood or in extreme old age, the resurrection body will be recognizably human, fully mature, reflecting our gender, beautifully radiant and absolutely imperishable.  No wonder the apostle Paul says in Romans:
         Rom. 8:19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

1 comment:

  1. Another interesting thought that is just that, a thought, is that if a baby dies they may be an infant in heaven allowing a believing mother and father to hold their little one that they had ached for on earth. Then the children will grow up with their parents. I'm not sure I totally agree with that, but it's an interesting thought that focuses on God's grace and compassion for those who are hurting. Just to be clear, I read this thought that was credited to James Vernon McGee, so it's not original with me. I'd be interested to hear what others think.