Eternal Bodies

While we are on the subject, let me take a moment to mention something about our bodies. Although they will eventually die, our physical deaths will not be permanent. There is a day coming when God Himself will resurrect every dead human body. Jesus said,

Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds, to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment (John 5:28-29).

The apostle John wrote in the book of Revelation that the resurrection of the bodies of the unjust will occur at least one thousand years after the resurrection of the righteous:

And they [the saints who were martyred during the Tribulation Period] came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.[1] Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection…they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4b-6).

The Bible also informs us that at the time when Jesus returns to catch away the church, all of the dead bodies of the righteous will be resurrected and joined together with their spirits as they return from heaven with Jesus to Earth’s atmosphere:

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those [as spirits] who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout…and the dead in Christ [their bodies] will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thes. 4:14-17).

God formed the original man from the dust of the ground, and it will be no trouble for Him to take the elements of every person’s body and re-form them into new individual bodies from the same materials.[2]

[1] Because John says that this is “the first resurrection,” it leads us to believe there were no other mass resurrections prior to this. And because it takes place at the end of the world-wide tribulation when Jesus returns, it contradicts the idea of a pre-tribulation rapture, as we know there will be a mass resurrection when Jesus comes from heaven at the rapture of the church according to 1 Thes. 4:13-17.

[2] For further study on the subject of the resurrection, see Dan. 12:1-2; John 11:23-26; Acts 24:14-15; 1 Cor. 15:1-57 and Phil. 3:20-21.