Heavenly Bodies

I’ve read many books about heaven by theologians and people claiming to have been there. I usually come away with more questions than insights. That’s because we don’t have adequate experience or language to describe the afterlife. Our best attempts are often a hodgepodge of personal opinion, flawed logic and misunderstood metaphors.

We have to use the known to understand and explain the unknown because it’s all we have to work with. However, when extrapolating about the future we should be cautious about specifics. Take the human body for example:

But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. … So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. 1 Corinthians 15:35-44

Our bodies will be connected to, but completely different from, our current bodies. They will be imperishable but still physical in the sense of occupying space and interacting with matter. How else could we do all the things briefly described as taking place in heaven: standing, seeing, praising, praying and even eating?

The feast with Abraham (Matthew 8:11) and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-10) have spiritual aspects, but also appear to be literal meals. Wine will be served (Matthew 26:29). The fare will be vegan unless animals are killed. There will be no Boca-burgers or other pseudo-meats since this is a form of deception :).

There will be eating and drinking in heaven but no gluttony or drunkenness. What other common activities will be refined and elevated there? Marriage will be passe (Matthew 22:30) but what about sex?

Can you defend the answer that just popped into your mind?

Tell you what I think in a future post.


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