Here’s the question this time around:
I’m confused, because on Easter our pastor said that not only will our souls go to be with God, but we’ll also be given new bodies in heaven. Is this in the Bible? Why would we need new bodies there? — C.D.
I had to look this up because it’s an odd concept. What heavenly reason would there to have a corporeal form there? After death, isn’t the soul supposedly all that’s left? Would these bodies have to eat or sleep or anything? How can anyone even state as a fact that we’d get a new one?
A quick Google netted me a list of bible verses somebody put together “proving” this is the case.
Although we do not know exactly what our new bodies will be like, we know that they will be like Jesus. 1 John 3:2-3
According to the list, those who believe this bunk can look forward to being incorruptible, glorified, spiritual, eternal and powerful. Is it fair to say these people want to die so they can become gods in their own image?
We should earnestly desire to be clothed in our heavenly bodies. 2 Co 5:1-5
We should be confident and walk by faith not by sight, knowing that while we are at home in this body, we are absent from the Lord. 2 Co 5:6-7
Therefore, we should make it our goal to please God. 2 Co 5:6-11
We should eagerly wait with perseverance for the redemption of our bodies, even though we cannot see them now. Ro 8:23-25
We should seek insight and desire to lead others to God so that they, too, can be partake in God’s righteousness. Dan 12:2-3
We should keep our focus on the better resurrection – even to the point of receiving torture. Heb 11:35
We should be ready to suffer for Christ. Ro 8:16-20
The last three are the most alarming and troubling. I think these people are working under a delusion and encouraging more people to buy into it with them will cause nothing but trouble.
Graham’s response to this letter is to remind people that Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan into being sinful and punished them with death. It’s worth pointing out, however, that Adam supposedly lived to the ripe old age of 930 (Genesis 5:5) so God must have really punished him with life. Since all we are supposed to want is death and resurrection by his side forever, making Adam wait so long for that “gift” was particularly cruel and very much in line with the vengeful behaviour of the Old Testament God in general. Assuming those early Hebrews actually thought that was the life that awaited them after death. Did they? I know they had the concept of Sheol, a world of the dead, but their early idea of heaven doesn’t look like it has anything to do with the way Christians later defined it as a reward for service.
According to Graham, we have to have bodies in heaven to better serve Jesus (Revelation 22:3). What, I ask you, would we have to serve Jesus, a cookie? A volleyball? What possible needs would he have? He walked (Lk 24:15-16) so he can get up off his ass and get his own damn cookie.
So much explaining winds up going into these stories of the afterlife, but what’s the motivation to having them in the first place, to impress? To reassure? To make people who’ve never had a good life feel more relieved that it’s finally over? What about all the people who already lived a life of servitude and learn more of that is their reward for it? Thanks for all the good work, now do more and be happy to do it? Living to serve sounds bad enough, but now you don’t even get a break when you’re dead.