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God’s Word for You

Luke 20:34-36 the children of the resurrection

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Wednesday, February 13, 2019

34 Jesus said to them, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of receiving a part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 Indeed, they cannot die anymore, because they are like the angels and are the children of God, for they are the children of the resurrection.

Jesus answers the Sadducees by stating very simply that the conditions of life in heaven after the resurrection are not the same as the conditions here in the world. Where in the Bible was it ever stated that things would be the same in paradise? Our conception of heaven often carries us to the Garden of Eden, and certainly there are similarities between the Garden and our eternal Paradise. But there are differences, too. Adam and Eve were able to fall into sin in the Garden, but we will be unable to fall into sin in heaven, where there will be no more temptation of any kind. The curse fell on Adam and Eve in the Garden, but in Paradise, “no longer will there be any curse” (Revelation 22:3). After the fall into sin, God made sure that sinful mankind could not eat from the tree of life and then live in the fallen state forever (Genesis 3:22-24), but in heaven, the tree of life will grow on both banks of the river (Genesis 22:2) and even its leaves will be for the healing of the nations.

So in this different state, we will have our physical bodies, but we will no longer marry or be married. “Does that mean that I will no longer love my wife, pastor?” Of course you will still love your wife! Imagine a perfect love, a love that knows no selfishness, no jealousy, no impatience at all; “not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, that keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5). A love that trusts completely, is affectionate without any reservation or hesitation; it is a love that “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:7). So if being perfect also means no more need or cause to reproduce or to have any sexual relationship, then we know that we will be content with that. In fact, when other religions, such as the Muslims, say that men will have whole harems full of women for their sexual pleasure, what emotion does anyone have about that except disgust on one side or perhaps envy or jealousy on the other side? Who would want his beloved daughter to be used by a man in his harem for all eternity? Who within that harem would know peace, joy, or serenity of any kind? Would that man truly be content with his own harem, or would he not be tempted to lust after another man’s wives and concubines? That myth of a sinful heaven is full of temptations, lust, abuse, and the lies of the devil.

But think of a heaven in which there is no sexual intercourse, or lust or desire, and therefore where friendship, trust, intimacy, and affection can be shared with everyone without any jealousy or sin of any kind. Moses and Peter and their wives, separated in time by 1500 years but united in heaven by the resurrection, can meet by a fountain in heaven, and Peter can go for a walk with Moses’ wife and Moses can go for a walk with Peter’s wife, and no one will be tempted to have the wrong idea about what is happening. Without marriage or sex, there is no jealousy, no worry, no carnal temptation. Yet friendships that existed on earth can still continue in eternity. How could I be anything but delighted to continue my friendship and my companionship with my dear Kathryn in heaven, even though our marriage was for our life together on earth? But our companionship was also based on our faith in Christ, and our love for the Scriptures and for our Savior. These things, which are such an important part of our friendship here below will continue to be an important part of our friendship there above.

Furthermore, Jesus says, “they cannot die anymore.” Death is “swallowed up in victory” (Isaiah 25:8; 1 Corinthians 15:54). It’s easy to get caught up in the truth that we will no longer have marriage in heaven, and grieve over what we consider the loss of that joyful blessing of human life. But God doesn’t want us to grieve or worry about anything to do with heaven. We are his children. He wants us to be with him forever. We will be like the angels, and the angels do not lament their glorified condition. “Rejoice, therefore, you heavens and you who dwell in them!” (Revelation 12:12). The resurrection of the body is certain. We will be “the children of the resurrection,” and we will live with our Lord forever.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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