There are numerous scriptures which mention life in the hereafter. None give really clear specifics concerning our position, our type of existence and things of this nature. However, if one is willing to accept those things that are written as truths where they are intended to be literal and accept those spoken in symbolism as representative of something to be compared with reality, we can learn much. Let us read a sample with literal meaning here:
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2 KJV)
Now you can see this does not clarify very much as to what we will look like or be like. Even John didn’t know. He has put together things which he did know and made the statement about it. But let us look at some other which may cast a little more light on this.
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24 KJV)
Now if we only knew, or could figure out, exactly what a spirit is, we could completely understand what we would be in eternity because John has already told us we would be like Him! So, we will be spirits. Just what does a spirit look like? Casper, the friendly ghost? No, not in the least. We have to understand there is not going to be any physical matter there. Casper is made of something which reflects light so he can be seen. Have you ever been present when a person dies? One atheist wrote that he had witnessed several deaths and he can assure everyone that nothing left those bodies. That is interesting, but it has no validity whatsoever. Did the breath leave the person? If so which way did he see it go? Did their eyesight leave? Did their senses depart? Of course they did and so indeed, did their souls.
We have an explanation as to just what is going to happen when Jesus returns in 2 Peter:
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10 KJV)
“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (2 Peter 3:12 KJV)
Now folks, scientists say that a “big bang” was the cause of this universe being here. I don’t buy that but I do believe a gigantic “big bang” is coming to eradicate the entire universe, including every molecule of matter. Peter mentions a great noise, and you can stake your bank account on that, when whatever it is causes ever single element in existence to be dissolved.
If you are alive at the moment this occurs, your physical death will be instantaneous. Your soul will be released from the body because the body will be no more. Paul explains this same occurrence that Peter and John have mentioned.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:51-57 KJV).
So, if there is no physical matter to see, no physical eyes to see with, how are we supposed to view others and recognize them? We cannot perceive this because we are so acclimated to physical matter. But the soul will have such perception which will be far clearer and in more depth than can be seen with eyes. The spirit, as God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost, are not hampered by space or physical materials, time or anything which so dominates our physical lives. We are subject to all things that are physical and natural. God has the capacity to be in the midst of every gathering of His children when they come together to worship Him. All the while he is knowledgeable of each sparrow that falls and each meteorite that zips through any portion of the universe.
This is not to say that we will possess the unlimited knowledge and intellect of God, but I do know there will be no deformities there, no weaknesses or sickness because the spirit possesses no physical matter which is so affected. We can also rest assured that we will know those who are there with us. King David spoke through inspiration when he said that his son could not return to him but he could go to his son. Then we have the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man could see and recognize Lazarus and he also even knew Abraham whom he had never seen. Even though a parable, the example reflects this understanding.
We are human and cannot fully understand life in the spirit. But by thoughtful deductions, it seems the preceding information would be difficult to disclaim. We do know that the mind is capable of mighty acts. It can cause one to have a heart attack. It can drive one to commit suicide. We have no conception of what it can do in making one immensely happy or totally tortured, under the proper conditions. God knows. It would behoove us all to strive with all of our being to reach heaven