What type of bodies will people have in hell?

A few verses in the Bible indicate that people in hell will have a body not dissimilar to what we have on earth with the ability to see, feel, thirst, and speak.

Jesus' account of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19–31 describes the rich man dead but in hell suffering "torment" and "anguish" because of the "flame." This man sees Abraham and Lazarus across an impassable chasm but is able to speak to them to ask for help. He also mentions having a "tongue." Lazarus, with Abraham and presumably in heaven, also has some sort of body since he is described with at least a finger (Luke 16:24). Additionally, Abraham speaks.

Some theologians point out that this story takes place before Jesus' resurrection and conclude that the rich man and others in hell exist in some sort of intermediate state with some sort of body and spirit.

In Luke 9:28–35 during the transfiguration, Moses and Elijah, long since dead, appear with Jesus and were recognized for who they were and as men, not some sort of spirits. "And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him" (verses 30–32). This is also before Jesus' resurrection.

One other Bible passage that indicates people have physical bodies in hell is found in Matthew 10:28. Jesus warns, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Now, one of the attributes of hell is that people undergo a continuous destruction rather than an eventual death (described in Revelation 20:14, 21:8, and others, as the second death).

Some people find it difficult to understand that eternal bodies will be continuously burned in hell. Wouldn't anything, including flesh, be consumed by such a fire? Theologians say that our resurrected bodies will be similar, but different, than the bodies we now have on earth. After all, our resurrected bodies will last for eternity while our earthly bodies age and decline.

A body that lasts forever, but is tormented and in anguish is hellish, indeed. Thankfully, God has mercifully and lovingly offered a way to avoid such an eternity and instead be reconciled with Him forever. "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life" (Romans 5:8–10). We need only accept God's offer of salvation through Jesus.


Related Truth:

Is hell real? Is hell really forever?

Does hell have levels, each with a different degree of punishment?

Is there literally fire and brimstone in hell?

In heaven, will we have physical bodies?

How can I be sure that when I die I will go to heaven?


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