In Heaven, Will We Be Disembodied Spirits Floating in the Clouds, or Will We Have Bodies?

Eventually all believers will have resurrection bodies (Job 19:25-27; Is. 26:19; Dan. 12:2-3; 1 Cor. 15:12-58; Phil. 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6). Jesus had a physical resurrection body which allowed him to walk, talk, and eat (John 21:1-14). We’re told his body is the prototype, and our bodies will be like his (1 Cor. 15:20, 48-49; Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2). After his resurrection, Jesus invited the disciples to touch him and said, “A ghost [disembodied spirit] does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have” (Luke 24:37-39). Jesus wasn’t immediately recognized a few times (John 20:15; Luke 24:15-16), suggesting some change in appearance. After being with him awhile, his disciples suddenly recognized him (John 20:16; Luke 24:31). This suggests that despite any outer appearance change, the inner identity of the person may shine through, especially to eyes enlightened by heaven.

HeavenWe will have real “spiritual” bodies with physical substance (1 Cor. 15:42-44). We will be capable of talking, walking, touching, and being touched (Luke 24; John 20-21). Christ’s resurrection body had an ability to appear suddenly, apparently coming through a locked door to the apostles (John 20:19), and “disappearing” from the sight of the two at Emmaus (Luke 24:31). If our resurrection bodies have the same properties as his, this suggests an ability to transcend the present laws of physics and/or to move and travel in some way we are now incapable of.

Christ ate food in his resurrection body, and he and we will eat and drink in heaven (Luke 14:15; 22:18). Yet there will be no hunger or thirst in heaven (Rev. 7:16). It would seem the resurrection body does not need what is now essential—food, drink, oxygen, covering, etc.—but that it is nonetheless fully capable of enjoying some or all of these things (and no doubt many more).

For more information on the subject of Heaven, see Randy Alcorns book Heaven.

Photo by Dominik Dancs on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries