As we look forward to a “new heaven and a new earth,” we look forward as well to a new creation body… one that can live without disease clinging to it… and death awaiting. Tears will not flow unless they are tears of joy.
Joni Eareckson Tada speaks with those tears flowing when she wrote:
Can you imagine the hope this gives someone spinal-cord injured like me? Or someone who is cerebral palsied, brain-injured, or who has MS? Imagine the hope this gives to someone who is manic depressive. No other religion, no other philosophy promises new bodies, hearts, and minds. Only in the Gospel of Christ do hurting people find such incredible hope.
And our bodies will be busy in Heaven! We are not purposelessly floating around looking for something to do. With resurrected strength, bodies, minds and abilities, we will literally reign and rule with the King! We will not be His messengers. He already has plenty of those… they’re called angels. No… we will rule alongside Him… making decisions… serving as priests and kings forever. Our crowns will not be decoration… they denote the authority given us by our Creator!
So many questions will remain unanswered until we get there:
- Will we be male and female there? Of course. God made us that way before sin came. Gender is not sinful. It will endure.
- How old will we be? Don’t know exactly… some theologians have spilled a lot of ink arguing the ideal age. Most agree about 30-33 for various reasons. But I think we will be… ageless.
- And our bodies? Untainted by sin, beautiful beyond anything we have ever seen! The most beautiful person you have ever encountered is tainted by sin’s blow.
- Will we wear clothes? Yes! Jesus did after the resurrection. Robes perhaps… some in Heaven are portrayed that way. But for some, Heaven requires an old pair of well-fitting jeans and a T-shirt to be really at home! (No Scripture on that however!!)
- Will marriage exist? The symbol of marriage becomes reality in Heaven. The purpose of marriage for procreation is no longer necessary. That does not mean a relationship between husband and wife on earth that continues into eternity does not or cannot exist. I believe it can… death doesn’t end it. Same… but different. The Bible implies an enduring relationship between husband and wife when they are called “heirs together” of life (1 Peter 3:1-8).
Again, much speculation could be added to expand this conversation but let’s end by saying many of these things are now seen “through a glass darkly.” But the days are coming when we will know as we are known. Until then we rest in faith… and hope.
FOR MEMORIZATION: But we look forward to a new heaven and a new earth…. 2 Peter 3:13
FOR REFLECTION: How does knowing more about Heaven change how you are living your life today?