Questions From Readers
● When in the future God resurrects persons on earth, will they be of about the same age and appearance as they were formerly?
The Scriptures do not specifically comment on this, but reason and certain Biblical indications suggest that they will.
Regarding the spiritual resurrection, the Bible uses the illustration of plant seeds and says: “God gives it a body just as it has pleased him.” Yes, he provides what is fitting and needed. (1 Cor. 15:35-44) We can expect the same of the earthly resurrection.
The Bible accounts of resurrections in the past give no indication that the humans raised were markedly changed in age or appearance. When a boy in Shunem died and was resurrected by Elisha, he came back with the age and appearance that he had at death. (2 Ki. 4:32-37) Consider also Jesus’ resurrection of Lazarus, who had been dead four days and whose body had begun to decay. Did Lazarus come to life drastically changed in appearance or with parts of his flesh decayed away? No. He looked about the same as before. Had he not, religious enemies would certainly have used that fact to discredit Jesus.—John 11:32-47.
Further, we know that Jehovah is a God of order, kindness and mercy. That weighs against thinking that he will bring someone back to life missing a limb or being horribly disfigured by the terminal stages of a fatal disease. (Jas. 1:17; Luke 11:13) This does not require, though, that the individual come back ‘in the prime of life.’ If someone died of heart failure at 75 years of age, why could not God raise him with a comparable body, but with a heart that would continue to pump? Then as the healing power of Jehovah’s provisions, including the merit of Jesus’ sacrifice, were applied, the person could progress toward perfection.—Rev. 22:1, 2, 17.
But it is not necessarily profitable or advisable to pursue questions about the state of resurrected ones. God could have included in the Bible detailed information about just what he will do. The fact that Jehovah did not do so indicates that he does not view it as vital information for us now. He did record in the Bible a number of accounts of resurrections being performed by his power. And he set out in the Scriptures assurances that there will be “a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15; John 5:28, 29) Then he left it up to us to develop faith in his Word and his promises. We can be certain that if we ourselves exercise faith and thus survive into the New Order, God will see to it that there will be no insurmountable problems regarding the resurrection. We will have the joy of receiving back, recognizing and helping those who are raised from the dead.