I'm wondering whether unbelievers will also get imperishable bodies at the Resurrection...?

John 5:28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

1 Co 15:42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is 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.

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1 Answer 1


There are two separate matters in this question - the two resurrections and the "heavenly bodies" or otherwise.

Two Resurrections

The Bible clearly discusses two resurrections of the dead -

  • Acts 24:15 - and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.
  • John 5:28, 29 - “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. [This is an allusion to Dan 12:2 below.]
  • Dan 12:2 - And many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, but others to shame and everlasting contempt.
  • Rev 20:4-6 - I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They a had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
  • Rev 1:7 - “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” [Dan 7:13] and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”

Let us put aside the matter of the timing of these events (which is very controverted) and agree that there are two resurrections - one of the righteous and the one of the wicked.


It is also clear that at least the righteous receive imperishable bodies and are live eternally -

  • 1 Cor 15:51-53 - Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in an instant, 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. For the perishable must be clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
  • 1 Thess 4:15-17 - By the word of the Lord, we declare to you that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.

Now the OP's question - what sort of bodies do the wicked dead receive? We are not directly told. However, it can be readily deduced from further passages such as:

  • Rev 20:7-9 - When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
  • 2 Thess 1:6-9 - After all, it is only right for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are oppressed and to us as well. This will take place when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in blazing fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction.

Thus, the bodies of the wicked at the resurrection are not "imperishable" or indestructible.

  • They're not indestructible because they will face destruction, but perhaps they are indestructible in the sense that that destruction will take eternity.
    – curiousdannii
    Apr 6, 2021 at 0:06
  • 1
    @curiousdannii - if destruction takes eternity, does that not mean that they have eternal life and so are indestructible? They will never be destroyed?
    – Dottard
    Apr 6, 2021 at 0:11
  • I think there was an early church father who said that the condemned will be eternally destroyed and eternally becoming less human. I like to think of it as asymptotic annihilation - forever being destroyed but never actually reaching complete annihilation.
    – curiousdannii
    Apr 6, 2021 at 0:24
  • "The Bible clearly discusses two resurrections of the dead -" Can you spell out a bit why you think this is clear? Apr 6, 2021 at 1:51
  • 1
    @AnthonyBurg - correct - whether they are at different times or at the same time is another question (there are arguments both ways). Further, the resurrection of the wicked is different from the righteous because the wicked do not get the heavenly bodies as 1 Cor 15 describes.
    – Dottard
    Apr 6, 2021 at 4:59

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