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Question and Answer

Someone asked the question in our Bible study group about the kind of body the believer would have in heaven if she died right now. She expected to take her current physical body to heaven with her as Jesus did at His ascension. The teacher agreed. Is this correct?

We know from Scripture that Jesus Christ is the “first fruits” of those who have died (1 Cor. 15: 20, 23), so He is the example of what will happen to those who believe. Thomas touched the physical body of Christ after He was resurrected (John 20:27). Furthermore, Job said that “in my flesh I will see God” (Job 19:26).

The answer depends on what is meant by “current.” If your teacher means that we will have the same body, she is right. When our bodies are resurrected, there will be no discontinuity between our bodies and our resurrected selves. This comes as a profound comfort to those who have lost family and friends. We will know each other. Paul writes that “the dead will be raised imperishable” (1 Cor. 15:52). Our bodies are an integral part of our identity. If, however, by “current” your teacher means the body is resurrected in the state that it is on earth, she is wrong. How depressing it would be if our bodies were resurrected with all the marks of aging, sickness, weakness, or other flaws that come with being human. That’s what the word imperishable means, followed by the assertion that “we will be changed.” Imperishable means, first of all, “honorable, trustworthy, good, virtuous,” and in a second definition, “not subject to death or decay.” Paul is declaring that both the characters and the bodies of believers will be perfected.

BY Dr. Rosalie de Rosset, Professor of English, Homiletics, and Literature

Dr. Rosalie de Rosset has been teaching at Moody Bible Institute in the Communications Department for over four decades.  She is occasionally featured on Moody Radio. She is a speaker and writer and lives on the northside of Chicago, a city she enjoys for its natural beauty and multi-faceted art offerings.

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