While nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults, including large majorities of Christians, say they believe in Heaven, famous actor and former Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says the idea that people will see each other again after death is only a "fantasy."
The 75-year-old, who recently debuted in a leading role in the family-friendly Netflix spy series "FUBAR," shared his thoughts on the afterlife during a conversation with fellow actor Danny DeVito, which was published in Interview.
Responding to a question from DeVito about whether or not he thinks humanity will endure, Schwarzenegger recalled a similar question he was asked during an interview with radio and television personality Howard Stern.
"It reminds me of Howard Stern's question to me: 'Tell me, governor, what happens to us when we die?' I said, 'Nothing. You're 6 feet under. Anyone that tells you something else is a f— liar,'" Schwarzenegger recalled.
When DeVito pushed back, stating that "you don't know," Schwarzenegger clarified that he was referring to people and their physical bodies, not their souls. He also made it clear that he is uncomfortable with death and would prefer not to die.
"I said, 'We don't know what happens with the soul and all this spiritual stuff that I'm not an expert in, but I know that the body as we see each other now, we will never see each other again like that," he said.
"Except in some fantasy. When people talk about, 'I will see them again in Heaven,' it sounds so good, but the reality is that we won't see each other again after we're gone," he added. "That's the sad part. I know people feel comfortable with death, but I don't."
Schwarzenegger said he's not looking forward to dying because he will miss "everything."
"To have fun and to go to the gym and to pump up, to ride my bike on the beach, to travel around, to see interesting things all over the world," he said.
While Schwarzenegger sees the idea of reuniting with loved ones in Heaven as a "fantasy," Got Questions Ministries cites biblical evidence stating that this will be a reality for believers in the afterlife.
"Our ability to recognize people in the afterlife is suggested in several passages of Scripture. At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses and Elijah made an appearance, and they were recognizable (Matthew 17:3–4). Though they had departed this world centuries prior, both Moses and Elijah remained distinct persons who had not lost their identity. In Luke 16:19–31, Abraham, Lazarus, and the rich man are all recognizable after death," the ministry states.
"The Bible declares that, when we arrive in Heaven, we will 'be like him [Jesus]; for we shall see him as he is' (1 John 3:2). Just as our earthly bodies were of the first man, Adam, so will our resurrection bodies be like Christ's glorious body (1 Corinthians 15:47; Philippians 3:21). 'And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality' (1 Corinthians 15:49, 53)," researchers add.
"Jesus was recognizable after His resurrection (John 20:16, 20; 21:12; 1 Corinthians 15:4–7), so it stands to reason that we also will be recognizable in our glorified bodies."