Can Flesh and blood enter into Heaven (what does 1 Corinthians 15:50 mean)?

Growing up, I used to think so much about Heaven and my appearance in Heaven, and so, in my third month in theology school, I delved into research about 1 Corinthians 15:50, where the scripture mentions that Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. My area of interest was if our earthly bodies could make Heaven since we see people like Elijah ascending to Heaven in their physical bodies. I consulted our theology Professor, local Bishops and pastors, and the Bible, and after weeks of extensive research, I was satisfied. Last month, I talked to some teenagers about the same topic, and they were as confused as I was years ago. One asked if Flesh and blood would share in God’s Kingdom and what the Bible taught about this. Given my expertise in this topic, I gave a detailed answer. So, can flesh and blood enter into Heaven?

According to 1 Corinthians 15:50, Flesh and blood will not go to Heaven. Flesh and blood are the physical body of the world. It means they are not fit to be in the Spiritual world, Heaven. Also, Flesh and blood are mortal, yet Heaven is a place for immortals.

Join me in this article as I write about the meaning of 1 Corinthians 15:50. I will also write why Flesh cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Read on to find out more.

What is the meaning of 1 Corinthians 15:50?

1 Corinthians 15:50 means that the current worldly body, made of Flesh and blood, will not make it to Heaven. Most scripture commentators say that Flesh and blood do not have the required capacity to possess heavenly glory in the Kingdom of God. If the mortal body were to step into Heaven, it would have crumbled into ashes because commentators suggest that the glory and holiness in the eternal realm of God are too much for a mortal body to handle. Therefore, when Christ comes again at the resurrection, people will be given bodies that are fit for existence in the spiritual world.

What is the context of 1 Corinthians 15:50?

what does 1 Corinthians 15:50 mean?
What is the context of 1 Corinthians 15:50? Image source: Pixabay

Some Corinthians did not believe that one day those who had died would be resurrected. They could not comprehend the idea that Christ’s followers would be transformed into new beings who would be immortal. Paul then explained the resurrection and what will happen in the end to them. From 1 Corinthians 15:35-49, Paul describes the different bodies believers will receive during the resurrection. The time when Christ comes back and all mortal bodies will be raised to immortal bodies. All bodies that were ugly at death will be raised to beautiful bodies full of life. Most importantly, he said that the bodies will be changed from physical to spiritual bodies. Then in verse 50, he gets the point home by saying Flesh and blood will not be in God’s Kingdom.

Why can’t flesh and blood inherit the kingdom of God?

Flesh and blood can’t inherit the Kingdom of God because they are corrupt and prone to evil. Flesh and blood are temporary hosts for the human spirit to live in this world. The temporary worldly body was meant to perish and cannot be immortal. This means that it cannot thrive in the immortal realm, which is the Kingdom of God.

Does it mean the resurrected believers will not inherit the kingdom of God?

That might not be the case because each resurrected believer will undergo judgment, and those who pass the judgment will go to Heaven in their already transformed body that is fit for heavenly habitation—spiritual body. Acts 24:15 says that the unbelievers and believers will be raised to life. Then everyone will be judged, and only those who believed in God might go to Heaven. Going to Heaven is equal to inheriting the Kingdom of God, which transformed believers will do.

Is 1 Corinthians 15:50 to be interpreted literally or symbolically?

Can Flesh and blood enter into Heaven?
Is 1 Corinthians 15:50 to be interpreted literally or symbolically? Image source: Pixabay

It could be interpreted in both ways. First, when it is written that Flesh and blood will not be God’s kingdom, it refers to our current bodies. These bodies cannot exist in the Spiritual form. Some commentators interpret the verse to mean that Flesh and blood will literally not go to Heaven because they have to be transformed to stay in the presence of eternal God. If you read a little further up to verse 21, you will realize that during Christ’s second coming, there might be human beings who will be alive. Meaning that they will have a physical body, unlike the dead, who will be raised. Both the dead and the living will undergo a transformation, but all will be alive. According to Walsh, what will matter is the form of the body because all who have ever died will be raised to life.

Also, it could be interpreted symbolically to complement the literal interpretation. A little into the history of the phrase “Flesh and blood” will inform you that it was a common phrase among the Jews to refer to the frail nature of humans. Natural, the Flesh makes a person weak and leads them into sin, consequently corrupting the nature of the physical body. In addition, the body is naturally mortal. Therefore, the Flesh and blood could mean humanity’s corrupt and sinful nature, which cannot exist in God’s Kingdom. This symbolic interpretation compliments the literal interpretation, considering that literal Flesh and blood are weak, and the symbolic Flesh and blood, which is sin and corrupted nature, is part of the literal body. Therefore, there will be a transformation of the body from physical to spiritual body. The Spiritual body will not be submissive to sin and corrupt nature—”flesh and blood.’ Therefore, the Spiritual body will be fit for heavenly habitation.

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