Hugs in heaven?

The Question:

My grandma recently passed away and I was very close to her, she was like my mom. I look forward to going to heaven but I was told that since we are spirits and have no form I wouldn’t be able to hug her again. Is this true? I can’t imagine going to heaven and not being able to hug my family members or not really be able to see them.

- L. From Texas


The Answer
Part 1: Bodies in heaven

Bodies in heaven (Part 1)

I would be curious to ask the person who told you there are no hugs in heaven, what scriptural evidence they have for it. I cannot find any. Or, did they simply use a line of reasoning logical to themselves but without any grounding in God’s Word? What do we know for sure?

The truth is that man is created with a body (including a soul) and a spirit. Our body dies but our spirit does not and at death it passes into eternity either to heaven or to hell. However, the time will come when our physical body on earth will be resurrected and reunited with our spirit. The difference is that our body will be in a glorified state; the way Jesus’ was when he rose from the dead.

How do I conclude that? “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, (the Second Coming of Christ) we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” (1 John 3:2) Remember how Jesus appeared to his disciples oftentimes after his resurrection--always in his real physical body?

For instance, consider the Lord standing on the shore cooking fish while some of the apostles were in boats all night catching nothing. He called them in and said, “Come and have breakfast.” (John 21:12) This was not a ghost appearing before them; he joined them in eating bread and grilled fish. So does this mean we will have to wait until our bodies are resurrected to have any hugging in heaven? I doubt it.

Think too about Enoch (see Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (see 2 Kings 2:11); two men who got to skip death altogether and who reside in heaven now with their physical bodies. Also remember when Jesus was transfigured into his glorified body before his death with Peter, James and John in attendance (See Matthew 17). They conversed with Moses and Elijah; both had bodies though Moses had died and was buried on earth. Even angels often appear with physical bodies in the scriptures though they are spirit beings.

These examples should make us wary of coming to very many unsupported conclusions about how God operates heaven. There is much we don’t yet understand about the supernatural realm and the laws governing it. But since we will have bodies for all eternity there must be plenty that we will be doing with them. Hugging? For sure! Your grandma is waiting for you, outstretched arms.

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