Naturism in Heaven – A Naked Heaven?
Naked Heaven - Naturism may be the earthy example to a heavenly future; in fact, I believe that it is imminent. Consider the truth that God did not give Adam and Eve clothing until after He placed thorns and thistles in the ground. Note that at no time did God condemn Adam and Eve being naked; He gave them coats of skin, so the earth would not hurt their physical bodies while working the ground to get something to eat.
When God created man, he created him naked; this is because the body can perform its functions the best when we are naked. Symbolically, humans were without sin when God created them and they remained without sin until chapter 3 of Genesis. When God creates for us a new heaven and a new earth, there will be no more curse (Rev 22:3). God did not condemn Adam and Eve for being nude; they condemned themselves and this was the reason for the excuse that Adam gave God when asked where he was (Gen 3:11). If the reason that God gave us clothes was to deal with the curse, then when the curse is wiped away, we will no longer have a need for clothing.
Modesty and shame are the reasons why many people may believe that we will need clothes in heaven. People who believe this often point to the scripture 1 Timothy 2:9 as support for their belief. They interpret this scripture to mean that Paul says we should appear modest and by extension we cannot show all parts of our God-created bodies to the world. However, in all actuality by definition, to be modest is to be showy or boastful. Modesty has to do with behavior, actions and the intent behind those actions, not with clothing. In context this verse deals with places of worship, which Paul explicitly says in verse 8. “In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy” (1 Tim 2:8, NLTSE).
Some people may contend that both Aaron and others at that time had to wear certain garments so that their nakedness would be not visible. The problem with that approach is, in context, those scriptures are speaking about worship. Both examples used dealt with worship and I agree with Nathan that in this passage, Paul was focusing more on people overdressing not under-dressing because people in that time were more comfortable being naked. This may be due to the technology of that era since people did not have the ability to mass-produce clothing as we do today. To avoid damage to their clothes they took their clothes off when they worked just as Peter did (John 21:7) and the gardeners of that time (Matt 24:18). So we should understand that people wanted to experience nudity back then just as others want to experience nudity in certain circumstances today in certain European beaches and unofficial clothing optional beaches in the US.
Few people actually think about nudity in Heaven or on the New Earth. Since we will not have any shame in Heaven and if we are to return to Eden (as seen in many uses of the phrase) we can be assured that we will have the choice to go without clothing because we know that our bodies perform the best as God created them.
After reading a book called Heaven by Randy Alcorn, John is depicting people as wearing garments to which they were accustomed on earth, which leads me to believe that this is the way our after life will be. Now if we were accustomed to nudity on earth and being naked was not condemned during the fall, then we should be expected to be naked on the new Earth at least some of the time. The Bible states in several places that we will have redeemed bodies (2 Cor 5:3 and Rom 8:23); this means that we will have new bodies on the redeemed earth and will no longer have a need for clothing.
The initial purpose of clothing was to protect us from the thorn and thistle that God placed in the ground. After the Noah’s flood, the purpose of clothing, I believe, was extended to protect us from our environment, because we would have to deal with hazardous weather conditions. For an excellent resource on the impact of Noah’s flood and how it shaped our world read The Biblical Basis for Modern Science by Henry M. Morris. In conclusion, without the curses of Genesis 3 or weather conditions from which we will need to protect ourselves, there really will be no need for clothing; although we could wear them if we so desired.
I Timothy 2:8-9
II Corinthians 5:3