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What Will Life be Like After the Resurrection?
“The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection." - Luke 20:34-36, ESV
What is heaven like? How can we know? What is life like for those who have died? What will life be like after Jesus returns and the day of resurrection happens? The truth is that the Bible doesn't tell us as much as we'd like to know about these kinds of questions. Why not? Well, the Bible isn't written to tell us everything we want to know about God and eternity. It tells us what we are to believe about God and what God requires of us. In other words, the Bible gives us everything we need to know to live a life of grace-empowered faith and obedience.
Some people have not been content with the relative lack of information from the Bible concerning heaven and the eternal state in the new heavens and the new earth. This is why books claiming to report people's visits to heaven tend to sell so well. Here's what the Bible does tell us:
1. When believers die, they are immediately ushered into the presence of God, even though their body remains dead here on earth. This is affirmed by Jesus, when He told the thief on the cross: "Today, you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43)." It was also affirmed by Paul, who taught "to the absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8)."
2. When Jesus returns, the dead will be raised, which means that bodies will be resurrected. The just (believers) will enter into everlasting life in body and soul with the Lord in the new heavens and the new earth. The unjust (unbelievers) will also receive resurrection bodies, but they will be sent away from the presence of the Lord to everlasting judgment. (see 1 Thess. 4:13-18, among others)
3. Jesus says we will neither marry nor be given in marriage at the resurrection, in the new heavens and in the new earth. We will have bodies, eternal spiritual bodies. Our bodies will never age, get sick, grow tired or in any way wear out. The best picture we have of this is Jesus after His resurrection. Jesus was able to eat food and be embraced, but He could also pass through walls and quickly travel from one place to another. Jesus remains in His resurrection body 2,000 years later and is not growing old.
4. Most importantly for the believer, after the resurrection, we will be completely free from sin. We will have no desire to sin and will instead be with the Lord forever. For the believer, the very definition of eternal paradise is that we will be with Jesus and completely free from sin forever!
The Bible may not tell us everything, but it tells us enough to make us hunger and thirst for that day. It tells us enough for us to cry out, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus!"
Prayer Based on Psalm 138:
I give You thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods - the powers of this fallen world - I sing your praise;
I bow down toward Your holy temple, in Your church, among Your people,
and give thanks to Your name for Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness,
for You have exalted above all things
Your name and Your word.
On the day I called, You answered me;
my strength of soul You increased.
One day, all the kings of the earth shall give You thanks, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of Your mouth,
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though You, O Lord, are on high, You regard the lowly,
but the haughty You know from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
You preserve my life;
You stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and Your right hand delivers me.
I know that You will fulfill You purpose for me;
Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of Your hands.
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