Will Believers Have A Physical Or Spirit Body In Heaven?
After the resurrection, they will have glorified bodies.
After the resurrection, everyone will have a physical body again.
A human body is by nature physical, and will be so in heaven. We also have a spiritual soul. But we will be like Jesus after the resurrection. He was a physical human person, yet could walk through locked doors, and appear and disappear at will.
You start off with the spirit body-- and then after the End of Time? people have their glorified bodies, which is like a physical body, except it’s like Christ’s resurrected body— where things like walls and doors aren’t barriers, and food is possible but not necessary, etc.
“Let none of you say that this flesh is not judged and does not rise again. Just think: In what state were you saved, and in what state did you recover your [spiritual] sight, if not in the flesh? In the same manner, as you were called in the flesh, so you shall come in the flesh. If Christ, the Lord who saved us, though he was originally spirit, became flesh and in this state called us, so also shall we receive our reward in the flesh. Let us, therefore, love one another, so that we may all come into the kingdom of God” ( Second Clement 9:1–6 [A.D. 150]).
“Indeed, God calls even the body to resurrection and promises it everlasting life. When he promises to save the man, he thereby makes his promise to the flesh. What is man but a rational living being composed of soul and body? Is the soul by itself a man? No, it is but the soul of a man. Can the body be called a man? No, it can but be called the body of a man. If, then, neither of these is by itself a man, but that which is composed of the two together is called a man, and if God has called man to life and resurrection, he has called not a part, but the whole, which is the soul and the body” ( The Resurrection 8 [A.D. 153]).
“Therefore, the flesh shall rise again: certainly of every man, certainly the same flesh, and certainly in its entirety. Wherever it is, in the safekeeping with God through that most faithful agent between God and man, Jesus Christ, who shall reconcile both God to man and man to God, [and] the spirit to the flesh and the flesh to the spirit” ( The Resurrection of the Dead 63:1 [A.D. 210]).
There’s talk in the Bible of God creating a new heaven and a new earth after, or perhaps during the resurrection of the dead. So, it’s possible this new heaven will be a physical location, as well as a metaphysical one.
It’s also possible resurrected bodies will dwell only on the new earth, with Jesus living among the resurrected. It’s all guesswork, I guess - unless, of course the Church has an official teaching on the topic.
Yes, what will be the role of God in the new world?
Will He be physically with us? Or popping in and out on us as needed?
Will He be with us through heightened prayer (like a telephone conversation)?
Will our Guardian Angel remain with us as a companion?
We can’t get married in heaven but can we form martial bonds again on the new earth?
How will there be enough space for everyone who has ever been created?
What will be our purpose? Do we build a better world? Do we build cities? Will we have to work again? Will there be a currency?
Great questions! The Bible is unclear as to the answers, as it’s difficult to say whether passages that appear to answer these questions carry a symbolic or literal meaning. To see what I mean, you might read Revelation, which is the last book of the Bible.
One thing is certain: We shall not suffer as we do now.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
It is a new glorified spiritual body, but this is still a real body, as the Lord’s body is spiritually in the eucharist, but is still his true body and substance. The Author who finished St. Aquinas’ Summa wrote about the qualities of these bodies in sections 69-99 of the Supplementum Tertiæ Partis.
It is sown a natural body: it shall rise a spiritual body. If there be a natural body, there is also a spiritual, as it is written, The first man Adam was made into a living soul: the last Adam into a enlivening spirit. Yet that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural: afterward that which is spiritual. The first man of earth, earthly: the second man from heaven, heavenly. Such as is the earthly (Adam), such also are the earthly (us here on earth), and such as the heavenly (Christ), such also are the heavenly (the saints in heaven). Therefore as we have borne the image of the earthly, let us bear also the image of the heavenly. (1 Corinthians 15: 44-49)
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