The Last Resurrection
A question that every believer has contemplated is the question of what we will look like in heaven. Will we be able to recognize our loved ones? Will our resurrected bodies have the characteristics of age or of youth?
Many of these matters remain mysterious to us. The Bible only hints at these answers. We know that whatever our resurrected state will be like, it will far exceed our highest present expectations. The Bible says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Paul tells us that at present we “see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
The Bible clearly teaches a final resurrection of the bodies of the saints. The resurrection of Jesus is declared to be the firstfruits of those who will also participate in this resurrection.
There is continuity between the earthly body that dies and the resurrected body we will be given. Our present bodies are corruptible and will indeed decay or, in some instances be torn asunder or fragmented in death. However, just as Jesus returned from the grave with His body, albeit changed, so shall our present bodies be resurrected though changed. A body may change its state without thereby destroying its identity.
Every resurrected body will be complete both in quantity and quality. Nothing will be lacking though much will be gained. We will be recognizeable in our resurrected bodies. We do not yet know how this will be accomplished by God’s power, only that it will be so.
Our new bodies will be especially suited for eternal life in the kingdom of God. Our present bodies are not so adapted. Whatever changes are necessary will be made by the power of God. We know that our resurrected bodies will still be human and finite. We will not be deified. Our new bodies will be incorruptible—without decay, illness, pain, or death. There will be added power to our present bodies as they will be raised in honor, power, and glory. Our bodies will be fashioned to be like the glorified body of Jesus.
- Our future state in the bodily resurrection is shrouded in mystery.
- There will be a continuity between our present bodies and our resurrected bodies.
- We will be able to recognize each other in heaven.
- Our new bodies will be adapted and suited for life in heaven.