Adapted from Creation Answer Book by Hank Hanegraaff 

Just as it is utterly impossible for a common caterpillar to imagine becoming a beautiful butterfly, it is impossible for saved humanity to fully comprehend what their bodies will be like in eternity. Of one thing we can be certain, neither our first parents nor we will receive brand-new bodies.

First, consider the biblical portrait of the resurrected Christ’s body. As there is a one-to-one correspondence between the body of Christ that died and the body of Christ that rose, so too our resurrection bodies will be numerically identical to the bodies we now possess. In other words, the redeemed—whether Adam, Eve, or anyone else—will not receive brand-new bodies but their original bodies totally transformed.

Furthermore, while orthodoxy does not dictate that every cell of our present bodies will be restored in eternity, it does require continuity between our earthly bodies and our heavenly bodies. To inform our thinking, the apostle Paul provided us with a seed analogy (1 Corinthians 15:35–38). As a seed is transformed into the body it will become, so too our mortal bodies will be transformed into the immortal bodies they will be. While the blueprints for our glorified bodies are in the bodies we now possess, the blueprints pale by comparison to the buildings they will be (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Finally, while Paul spoke of a “spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:44), he did not intend to communicate that we will be re-created as spirit beings. Rather, our bodies in eternity will be supernatural, Spirit-dominated, and sin-free—supernatural, not simply natural; Holy Spirit dominated, not dominated by hedonistic sensations; sin-free, not slaves to sin.

Although we continue to struggle against sinful proclivities in the present, we eagerly await a metamorphosis that will transform our natural bodies into bodies that are immortal, imperishable, and incorruptible.

Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await
a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the
power that enables him to bring everything under
his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that
they will be like his glorious body.

Philippians 3:20–21


For further study, see Hank Hanegraaff, Resurrection (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002).