how old will we be in heaven?

©2018 michael martin |

our age in heaven

This question has been asked by many people. Will kids be kids in heaven? Will elderly people be elderly? Or, is there one “ideal” age that everyone will be in heaven? The Bible does not give a specific answer to this question, so we can only speculate. Here are a few possibilities:

a. the age we were when we left earth?

Some have argued that we will enter heaven at the age we reached when we died here on earth. Some will be children, some will be middle-aged, and some will be elderly. There is no Scripture to either support or discount this idea.

b. 33 years old?

Others believe that we will all be about 33 years old, because that’s how old Jesus’ body on earth was when He was crucified. Here’s the Bible passage where that idea comes from:

1 john 3:2

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

The theory here is that Jesus’s earthly body reached the age of about 33 when He was crucified, rose back to life, and ascended into heaven. Since, Jesus’s body was 33 years old when He went back into heaven, they say, our bodies will also be 33 years old, because we will be like Jesus. 33 years old is also thought to be the optimal age for our bodies here on earth, and so, some people believe that we will all be about 33 years old in heaven.

It is important to point out that the Biblical argument for this is very thin at best. Could our heavenly bodies all look like they are 33 years old? Sure. But this would be foolish thing to assume from the scarce evidence we have.

c. our bodies made new

Here’s what we do know. In heaven, our bodies will all be made new! Take a look at some exciting Scripture passages that tell us this wonderful truth:

philippians 3:20-21

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 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.

And also...

2 corinthians 5:1-10

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

The way in which the Bible describes our new bodies is as a transformation of our current bodies. That is, our new bodies will be a resurrected, renewed, perfected version of our current bodies.

The same God who originally created Adam from the dust of the earth will effortlessly resurrect our earthly bodies, regardless how decayed or scattered their parts might be. It would seem, then, that our appearances will be recognizable as how we appeared on earth, although our bodies will be the ideal versions of themselves.


d. immortal bodies

Not only will our bodies be transformed, they will be immortal. Our current perishable bodies will be transformed, in glory, to immortal bodies, as these passages remind us:

1 corinthians 15:35-56

But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?

Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

So, our bodies will be made new, and since we know that we will have eternal life in heaven, we know that our bodies in heaven will not die.

john 11:25-26

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

revelation 21:1-5

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

e. no more decay

When speculating about “how old” we will be in heaven, we must remember one very important thing: Not only does the Bible tells us that our resurrected bodies will never die, it tells us that our bodies will not decay in heaven. Read this passage from Romans chapter eight:

romans 8:18-23

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.

Think of it! Our bodies will not be subject to decay or to death. They will not break down or become weaker or worn out. They will not get sick, they will not lose their strength, and they will not die.


f. no decay, no “aging”

Because of these truths that we see in Scripture, our ages will not be important. A 90 year-old body will be just as strong and vigorous as a nine year-old body. The things we associate with old age will be gone. Wrinkled skin, hair that turns grey or falls out, and eyes that become weak are all things that happen here on earth when the body begins to age and lose its strength. Nearly everything we associate with old age here on earth will be gone in heaven, because our bodies will not weaken or wear out.

In other words, nobody will be hobbling around in heaven, hunched over walkers with wrinkled skin and hearing aids. Those who are elderly when they go to heaven will have their old bodies made new.

g. children in heaven?

To be sure, many children who die young, perhaps due to miscarriage, the tragedy of abortion, or other very early childhood deaths, will be in heaven. God, in His mercy, allows for this because these children have had no opportunity to understand their need for a Savior and have therefore not had a chance to commit their lives to Christ. To demonstrate this truth, please see this passage:

2 samuel 12:21-23

His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”

22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.

In this passage, David has just lost his baby boy (a punishment from God for David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah her husband). David’s repentance was genuine, but the consequences of his sin took place nonetheless. But as David explains to his attendants why he has stopped fasting and praying now that the child has died, David gives a matter-of-fact reply. “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.

David knew that he would be reunited with his child in heaven, and this truthful statement was recorded, with God’s inspiration in the Bible.

Exactly at what age a child becomes old enough to be held responsible for his sin is a topic for another whole study in itself, but we can take comfort in knowing that the very young and the unborn will be in heaven.

Will children remain children in heaven? Again, we don’t know. But since young babies are unable to walk or do many things for themselves, it seems unlikely (in my opinion) that anyone’s resurrected and perfected bodies would be in such a helpless or vulnerable state. Yet, the possibility is there.

h. how about our “mental age?”

Since we don’t know for sure what the age of our bodies will be, what about the age of our minds? Here again, we can only speculate. My opinion (not Biblical fact) is that we will, regardless of our physical bodies in heaven, all feel like amazed children. Here’s one reason why I believe this:

matthew 18:1-5

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Let me be clear in saying that I do not claim this as a Biblical fact. But it is clear that Jesus valued the childlike wonder and trust of young children.

As far as our knowledge and maturity goes, in the scope of eternity, we will all be in the same boat concerning our knowledge of God because we’ll all have so much to learn! I believe that we will be in a constant state of childlike wonder and discovery, always amazed at new things that we learn about God and His creations. In this way, whatever age our bodies appear to be, I believe we will all have the wonder and excitement of children when we are in heaven.

i. heavenly “age” is irrelevant

Ultimately, it will not matter what age our minds or our bodies appear to be when we are in heaven. Our bodies will never weaken, decay, break down, or die. Our minds will be full of wonder, continuously learning and discovering new things with childlike wonder. Age will be irrelevant. The point is, we will be with God, and what a glorious life to look forward to!