How long does God hold down the ‘rewind’ button?

June 25, 2007 | By | 11 Replies More

When the Bible talks about people being resurrected, to what point in their lives are they restored?  Is it to the moment just before they die?  The Bible seems to suggest this, at least with the resurrection of Jesus.  But, if that’s so, then what about people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or have a stroke years before they die?  Are they resurrected with massive brain damage?  If not, then how long does God hold down the ‘rewind’ button?  Does God take them back to a younger time in their lives when they did not have the disease, or does he somehow keep them at their old age, but erase the illness?  If the latter, then how does he resurrect them without making them into people who never existed?


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About the Author ()

Grumpypilgrim is a writer and management consultant living in Madison, WI. He has several scientific degrees, including a recent master’s degree from MIT. He has also held several professional career positions, none of which has been in a field in which he ever took a university course. Grumps is an avid cyclist and, for many years now, has traveled more annual miles by bicycle than by car…and he wishes more people (for the health of both themselves and our planet) would do the same. Grumps is an enthusiastic advocate of life-long learning, healthy living and political awareness. He is single, and provides a loving home for abused and abandoned bicycles. Grumpy’s email: grumpypilgrim(AT)@gmail(DOT).com [Erich’s note: Grumpy asked that his email be encrypted this way to deter spam. If you want to write to him, drop out the parentheticals in the above address].

Comments (11)

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    My understanding is that all the resurrected folk will have no wants or needs. They are always happy, and have no earthly desires besides proclaiming glory unto the Lord. No hunger or appetite or lust or envy. Nothing to work toward, nothing to accomplish. Nothing to say and no need to listen. They just live for the next hit of His Glory.

    Much like the long-term occupants of an opium den or crack house. Eternal bliss.

    Given this total psychological/spiritual makeover, does it matter what physical form they take?

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    I lost my wallet back in 1993. I'd like to go back to 1993 to see if I could find my wallet before proceeding on to heaven. Or is there a currency exchange up there?

    I wouldn't mind trying on a pair of wings. That sounds like a lot of fun.

    So what do they do when people who were good enough to get to heaven start screwing up in heaven? Is it three warnings and you're out? Or are you in for good once you're in? The Bible doesn't discuss this, that I can see. What if you're bored and you want to take a day trip to limbo? I know that they don't put those pagan babies there anymore, but maybe they've preserved the place as a big museum.

    Now I'm wondering . . .  in heaven do resurrected people discriminate against the former pagan babies who are now allowed into heaven? 

  3. Leonid S. Sukhorukov says:

    * If you don't believe in the resurrection of the dead, look at politicians seeking re-election. Leonid S. Sukhorukov (Book of aphorisms "All About Everything", UK, 2005)

  4. grumpypilgrim says:

    Dan writes: "My understanding is that all the resurrected folk will have no wants or needs…They just live for the next hit of His Glory."

    I discussed this observation in some detail in this post:

    Erich writes: "So what do they do when people who were good enough to get to heaven start screwing up in heaven?…The Bible doesn’t discuss this, that I can see."

    Actually, the Bible is very clear about this: Lucifer, a.k.a., Satan, was expelled from heaven for becoming an Evil Doer, so entry into heaven is clearly not permanent. One must remain a servile sycophant.

    My question about the status of the undead arises because of the wounds remaining on Jesus' body after he is resurrected. Apparently, he is resurrected without any repair to the damage his body sustained before he died on the cross. So, what happens to amputees who die without limbs, Alzheimer's victims who die without their sanity, brain-dead stroke patients who die without their minds, or horribly disfigured victims of fires, bombs, car accidents, etc.? Must all of these people spend eternity with their physical scars? Seems to me that it would be an anguishing reminder of a painful experience, but perhaps, as Dan say, the undead are happy anyway.

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    OK, Grumpy. You had to go remind me of Satan. Therefore, heaven is not a tenured position, eh? All of those preachers ought to warn the flock of this issue. You never get to stop trying. One false step and the trap door opens. Most important, once you make it to heaven, don't let a wandering though ripen into the "sin against the Holy Spirit."

    I suspect, thought that it's like the monkeys jumping on typewriters. Eventually you'll screw up and down you go. Therefore, heaven is provisional and temporary. And there's nothing to suggest that (for all its hype) that its a pleasant place to be. Not all it's cracked up to be in the churches. No bathtubs either.

  6. grumpypilgrim says:

    "Eventually you’ll screw up and down you go."

    Now there's a scary thought. Eternity is a long time — certainly long enough for even the most devout Believer to stray. Accordingly, heaven must eventually empty itself of all occupants except for the Boss.

    Erich, you have just proven that everyone winds up in hell, no matter what they do here on earth.

    Sorry, Jesus, but your promise of eternal life no longer flies.

  7. Dan Klarmann says:

    Satan was staff. The resurrected are prized pets. You'd easily fire a maid/gardener/chauffeur/bellboy for actions considered cute in a pet.

    If I believed in an eternal spirit, screwing up in heaven as some angels have supposedly done would not be a concern of mine.

  8. grumpypilgrim says:

    Good point, Dan. The undead are God's worshippers, whereas the angels are merely God's unwashed servants. OTOH, who are the angels? Weren't they once humans, too?

  9. Ben says:

    All you rabid atheists…


    * Richard Dawkins – Evolutionary Biologist/Author

    * Daniel Dennett – Philosopher

    * Sam Harris – Author

    * Christopher Hitchens – Author

    * Julia Sweeney – Actress/Writer/Monologist

    * Eugenie Scott – National Center for Science Education

    * Matthew Chapman – Author, Charles Darwin's great-great-grandson

    * Edward Tabash – Lawyer and Atheist/Secular Humanist

    * Pastor Deacon Fred – Landover Baptist Church

    * Shannon Cherry – owner of Cherry Communications

    * Lori Lipman Brown – freethought's first Washington lobbyist and Executive Director of the Secular Coalition of America

    * Rick Wingrove – The Assertive Atheist, Capitol Hill Representative for American Atheists

    * Mike Estes – Atheist Coalition of San Diego, civil rights expert

    * Dale McGowan – Author

    * August Brunsman – Secular Student Alliance

    * Neil Polzin – Secular Student Alliance

    * Janice Rael – Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia

    * Dave Silverman – American Atheists

  10. malek says:

    when we die how long does it take to be resurrected?

  11. Erich Vieth says:

    Malek: I'd say don't hold your breath. Perhaps Grumpypilgrim can add something of substance to my cynical (but heartfelt) view.

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