Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bodies now in Heaven and Hell?

Question Received:
Do we have a spirit or spiritual or resurrection bodies in Heaven. How can a spirit be thirsty like the rich man in Luke 16? Does a person in hell have a spiritual body? When do we get these resurrection bodies?

My Answer:
To answer the question we have to look at Scripture. In this passage below the poor man was immediately carried to Abraham's side,or bosom. This is the place of God, or what we refer to as Heaven. The rich man died and went to Hades. The question often asked is this passage a parable or a true story? This passage is in a chapter that has parables but this account is not stated a s a parable. The rich man was in anguish and did thirst. To my knowledge their is no description of what type of spiritual body one has after ascending into Heaven or Hades. So we have a man in agony in Hades. We have a a man at Abraham's side being comforted. Feelings are felt with sensations both good and bad as the passage tells us. The full description of the spiritual believer both saved and unsaved is a mystery and can only be speculated on. It is a mystery and we do not need to build a doctrine with so few biblical facts known. But here we do see a spirit being thirsting. We get an account of people going to Heaven with no description of any change. We know that Jesus said he was going to prepare a place for us [John 14:2,3] -so their will be a new Heaven and Earth [Revelation 21:1]. Our Resurrection bodies will come after the return of Christ for believers first [Rev. 20:5-6] and then for the lost [Rev. 20:13-15].

To summarize your questions from scripture-
1) When a Christian dies do believers get a temporary spiritual body or are they only spirit?
We do have a spiritual body as described briefly in this passage.
2) Does a person in Hell have a body? Can it be thirsty or in agony?
A spiritual body until Revelation 20:13-15 occurs. Yes they are thirsty and in agony..
3) Will we all, saved and unsaved, one day get new resurrection bodies?
Our resurrection bodies will be given in the return of Christ in Revelation in the future as described in Revelation 20.
Luke 16:19-31 (English Standard Version)

The Rich Man and Lazarus
19"There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried,23and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.' 25But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' 27And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' 29But Abraham said, 'They have) Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' 30And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets,) neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'"

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