Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity

Bible Answers

Gene Frost, 1900 Jenny Lind, Fort Smith, Arkansas

QUESTION: What will we look like in heaven?

ANSWER: "Beloved, now we are sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (I John 3:2) There is nothing physical to which we can compare our appearance in heaven. The reason for this is that the physical entity of man will become spiritual: "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." (I Cor. 15:50) The "things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (II Cor. 4:18)

The spirit of man is now housed in a material body, its composition being material components: "of the ground." (Gen. 2:7) At death "shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Ecc. 12:7) This does not mean, however, that by reason of death man's spirit will be left without a body in the resurrection. "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with out house which is from heaven: if so be that that being clothed we shall not be found naked." (II Cor. 5:1-3)

Whence comes this body and what is it like? This question was raised in I Corinthians 15:35, "How are the dead raised up? and what body do they come?" The writer proceeds to show that there are different bodies of different composition's. Even so, "there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." (Verse 44) "And as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." Verse 49) From the material composition there must be a change to a spiritual, noncorporeal, composition. We "shall all be changed, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (Verses 51-52) And so it is that the body "is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body." (Verse 44)

And so it is that when man passes from this material realm (for the universe, all materiality, will be destroyed; II Pet. 3:10, Matt. 24:35, Heb. 1:10-12) late the spiritual, he must also undergo a change. The natural body must be transformed into a spiritual body. Christ will "change our vile body, that it may he fashioned like unto his glorious body- (Phil. 3:20-21), What this composition is we cannot know, the finite mind being incapable of comprehending the infinite and the material experience being incapable of encompassing the spiritual realm.

What of man's identity? True identity is in character and not physical appearance. What man is within, the soul of man, will not change. It is the "out ward man (that will) perish, yet the inward man is renewed (revitalized) day by day." (II COR. 4:16) From the material realm to the spiritual, man will move from a physical body into a spiritual body. The spirit (man himself) is the same; only the body undergoes a change. And this changed appearance we do not know now, except that it will be spiritual like unto Christ's glorious body.