Bible Answer

Will I be able to hug Jesus when I see Him?

I finished your Revelation study, but I was concerned to learn that Jesus will be glorified and reside out of reach in the temple during the Kingdom. I was looking forward to hugging Him when I see Him. Will I not be able to do that in the Kingdom?

Pastor Armstrong’s teaching on life in the Kingdom is necessarily limited by what scripture itself provides. Therefore, we must caution against making too many assumptions one way or another about how we will experience the presence of the Lord. 

Regarding your comment that the Lord will be out of reach, we encourage you to think differently about the Lord and His presence in general. First, you are in His presence even now, as His Spirit lives within you though we understand you mean His physical presence. Nevertheless, the Spirit living in us has given us the fullness of Christ even now, and in the Kingdom we will have a full appreciation of God.

1Cor. 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 

So, we will gain a greater appreciation of Christ in the Kingdom, however we must be careful not to reduce the Lord, the Creator of the Universe, into little more than our best buddy or a cool guy we admire, etc.

As Hebrews explains:

Heb. 10:30 For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” 
Heb. 10:31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 

Our purpose in pointing out these truths is not to diminish your love and affection for Christ, for He is deserving of all honor and praise and glory. Rather, we want your admiration for Christ to be rooted in an appreciation of Who He is in all respects, including His awesome power and authority and majesty. Christ appeared in humble form once, but the time for a humble appearance has past:

Zech. 9:9   Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation, 
Humble, and mounted on a donkey, 
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 
Zech. 9:10   I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem; 
And the bow of war will be cut off. 
And He will speak peace to the nations;
And His dominion will be from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth. 

Notice in v.9, Zechariah described the first appearing of the Lord in a humble form. Then in v.10, Zechariah describes Christ’s Second Coming when He rules in the Kingdom. In His second appearing, He rules the earth, and as Lord over the earth, Jesus will be majestic and receiving of all honor He is due. If we bow before earthly kings and give them great deference and honor, will we not do even more for the Lord of Creation when He enters into His Kingdom?

While we understand your hope for a “personal” moment with the Lord, we encourage you to consider you have that intimacy with Christ even now by His Spirit, and you will know Him even more fully in the age to come. At the same time, we will honor Him as the King He is, and this is how it ought to be.