Summary: These are answers to questions someone asked Lee about heaven.
What the Bible Says About Heaven
Note: Someone asked Lee what the Bible tells us about life in heaven. He said he wished he knew more about the subject, but maybe this will help a little. He added that he knew the person would look up the verses so the person could judge for himself (or herself).--Vicki Snyder
1. When we die, part of us (our body) returns to the earth, just as the animals do. This is what Solomon spoke about several times. (See, for example, Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20.). This was part of the curse laid upon Adam, and upon all of creation, because of his sin. (Genesis 3:19; Romans 8:19-22.)
2. When the spirit leaves the body, the flesh has no life, no desires or pain, no feeling at all. So, in this respect, we can speak of the dead as though they are “asleep.” (See Daniel 12:2; 1 Corinthians 15:51.)
3. We also know that, when we (Christians) die, another part or aspect of us, our spirit, goes to be with Jesus immediately. (Luke 23:43; Acts 7:59; 1 Thessalonians 4:14.) In Philippians 1:21-23, Paul expresses his desire to die so that he could be with Jesus.
5. The spirit is the part of us that is really us. Even though my body is showing plenty of wear, my mind still thinks of me as maybe about twenty. I think this is because the most important part of us doesn’t wear out, although it may grow and improve. The wearing out of our physical brains affects the efficiency of our minds, but the mind itself doesn’t wear out.
This is just my opinion, but I believe our mind is part of our spirit, and that, after we die, our character will continue to progress in the direction we have trained it to go on earth. That is, we will either keep on growing in Christ after we die, or else we will continue to become nastier for all eternity.
6. When our spirit (and mind?) go to be with Jesus, we will have no body. Nevertheless, we will be able to enjoy His presence and the reward we have received, including rest (Revelation 14:13), seeing Jesus (Acts 7:59), praising God and talking to Him (Revelation 6:9-11).
There is also reason to think that we will be able to observe what’s going on here on earth, as the angels do. (Revelation 6:10; Hebrews 12;1; 1 Peter 1:12.) How exciting that will be! To think that we will be able to watch God’s plan being worked out like a master chess game! We will see God’s wisdom and providence at work in so many ways that we are blind to now, because of our ignorance. (1 Corinthians 13:12.) We will continue to learn more about Him and His ways forever, and thus we will just keep getting wiser.
What the Bible Says About Heaven/Lee Snyder/page 2
If this is true, it’s humbling to think that the great saints of the past and the angels, as well, are watching us to see God’s plan unfold among us. The great heroes of the past––Moses, Stephen, Alexander Campbell, Martin Luther, people we knew––are cheering for us to make it to the finish line!
7. But after we die, that is not the end of our bodies. There is at least one more great event on God’s calendar––the return of Jesus to this world. He will come to receive us and take us home, because he wants to be with us, and have us with Him (John 14:2, 3).
When He returns, a lot will happen at once. First, those of His children who have already died (which will be most of them) will be raised from the dead––not their spirits (which never died), but their bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:14-16). I presume Jesus will bring their spirits with Him and will reunite their spirits and bodies when they meet Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; Jude 14).
8. The saints who are still alive when He comes will not have to die, but their bodies will immediately be changed as they rise to meet Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). This spectacular and glorious event will be our final victory over death (1 Corinthians 15:54, 55).
9. All this was background to answer the question, “What kind of bodies will we have?”
First, we know they will not be flesh and blood, as we are used to, since flesh and blood wears out, gets sick, and ages (1 Corinthians 15:50). Jesus said we would be like angels in not having physical relations, and in not being able to die (Matthew 22:30; Luke 20:35, 36).