What is heaven like? This is a question that many people ask. It’s natural to wonder what will be the same in heaven and what will be different compared to life on Earth right now. Eating food is a regular part of this life, but will it be part of the next one?
The Bible teaches that the resurrected bodies that God will give believers will be able to eat and drink. There are also passages that, if taken literally, imply that eating and drinking will be part of life in heaven. Some Christians argue that people won’t eat or drink in heaven.
Why do many Bible scholars and theologians believe that people’s resurrected bodies in heaven will be capable of eating and drinking? Is the feast of heaven literal or figurative? What about passages that appear to indicate that people won’t eat in heaven? What will people eat and drink in heaven? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.
Also see Is There Sex In Heaven? to learn more.
Will people’s new bodies be capable of eating food?
Christians who believe that people will eat food in heaven observe that Jesus ate after he rose from the dead in his new, glorified body. Additionally, they argue that Paul clearly teaches that the resurrected bodies of believers will be like the resurrected body of Jesus.
Did Jesus eat food after he rose from the dead? At the end of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus appears to his disciples. The passage reveals that Jesus ate fish with them.
“See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. (Luke 24:39-43)
What will the resurrected bodies of people be like in heaven? While the Bible doesn’t give us all the details, like what age our bodies will be, it generally states that the resurrected bodies of people will be like the resurrected body of Jesus. Paul makes this point in the book of Philippians.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:20-21, ESV)
Also see How Soon After Death Do You Go To Heaven? to learn more.
Is the feast of heaven literal or figurative?
Those who argue that people will eat and drink in heaven believe that the passages that mention a feast should be interpreted literally. They don’t find evidence in the context of these verses to warrant a figurative understanding of the description.
|Isaiah 25:6||Isaiah||On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.|
|Luke 22:18||Jesus||For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.|
|Luke 22:29b-30||Jesus||My Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.|
|Matthew 8:11||Jesus||I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.|
|Luke 14:15||A man||When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”|
|Revelation 19:9||An angel||And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”|
What is an example of a scholar who believes these passages are figurative descriptions? Spiros Zodhiates (1922-2009), known for his work on The Hebrew-Greek KeyWord Study Bible, rejected a literal interpretation of these passages. “In Heaven,” he wrote, “we shall neither eat nor drink.” 
What is an example of a scholar who believes these passages are literal descriptions? Theologian Wayne Grudem, known in part for his book Systematic Theology, argues that readers should understand these passages literally. “There is no strong reason to say that these expressions are merely symbolic, without any literal reference.” 
Also see Did Solomon Go To Heaven? to learn more.
Are there passages that suggest people won’t eat in heaven?
Those who argue that people won’t eat or drink in heaven also have go-to passages to defend their position. They not only interpret the passage mentioned in the section above figuratively, but they cite other verses that appear to teach more directly about the topic.
- Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (ESV) One side points to this verse to defend the notion that people won’t eat or drink in heaven. The other side points out that the passage isn’t about heaven, but not causing others to stumble through eating and drinking certain foods in this life.
- 1 Corinthians 6:13, “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” (ESV) One side argues that this verse teaches that God will one day destroy food and the stomach. The other side argues that Paul is teaching that the desires of the old body will one day fade and be replaced with a new body and righteous desires.
What will people eat and drink in heaven?
Even for those who believe that people will eat and drink in heaven, this is a question of much debate. Some believe that people will only eat fruits and vegetables because no one ate meat until after the Flood (Gen. 9:3). Others believe that meat will be a part of people’s diet and cite verses like Isaiah 25:6 (see table above) to defend their view.
Will there be food and drink in heaven that people can abuse? If Isaiah 25:6 is interpreted literally, then there will be wine in heaven. Will people be able to abuse it? What about fruits and vegetables that, if eaten in large quantities, could cause health problems? What about things that can be extracted from fruits and vegetables like caffeine or various plant-based hallucinogens?
Life with God in heaven will be different than life on Earth right now. If people eat and drink in heaven, which the Bible teaches is without sin, then potential abuses and dangers that exist right won’t be possibilities.
Also see Do Aborted Babies Go To Heaven? to learn more.
Please see related articles below
 Spiros Zodhiates, Life after Death, 1977. p. 148
 Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theolology, 1994. p. 1161
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