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Question:
Can you please clarify your position on marriage, sexual love and couples in heaven? It’s sounds in your other questions, you lean towards thinking they will exist in eternity which disagrees with a lot of good teachers out there.

Answer:

First, the questions that are being reference are apart of a series of questions I’ve been answering about Heaven. Here are the links:

First let me say that I didn’t intend to “lean” any direction except to lean away from the pat, quick and not well thought out usual answers that are instantly spit out based on church tradition and assumption.

The lingering questions that I needed more time to really study and ponder are the following. What I have previously written on them are clearly QUESTIONS and SPECULATION that I was personally wondering about myself as we opened up this series of public discussion on “heaven”.

  • The Bible clearly states there will be no marriage in heaven (Mark 12:25); is marriage as we define it, the same type of relationship Adam and Eve originally had?
  • Will there be sexual love, will we be sexual creatures still?
  • Will we have special “mates” or be “one flesh” with someone in heaven, presumably our earthly spouse if we had one?

These questions are not nearly as cut and dried as people like to present, which is why I didn’t jump at the answers. In a nutshell, after really studying the issue my answers are:

  • yes, marriage now is the same as the relationship between Adam and Eve
  • No, there won’t be physical sexual activity in heaven, but we will still have male and female sexuality that is perfectly fulfilled
  • No, we will not have one person who we are “coupled with” like marriage now, but our relationships from the past will not be forgotten, diminished or insignificant

Some folks teach that to love anyone but God, to have a relationship with anyone but God or to cultivate relationship with anyone but God while in heaven diminishes our love for Him. This is simply not Biblical.

Our relationships with others who bear God’s image GLORIFIES God, not insults Him. Our friends and family aren’t idols because we love them and cultivate that love… we are showing God’s love by our love for others. This is pointed out over and over in 1John. That fact won’t change in heaven.

So the idea that we won’t have relationships in heaven is patently false. The only speculation, is what type and how will they be manifested.

Now, starting with the correct idea that Heaven will be a New Earth and New Creation, where all the things (and more!) that God originally intended for Adam and Eve will be restored, we have a principle of continuity to consider, ie. what was true in Eden before the Fall of man, will be true in Heaven. However, there are obvious exceptions such as the presence of Satan and the potential to sin and turn against God.

It appears that marriage and sexual love as we know it is another exception. I can find no reason or Biblical basis to believe that the institution of marriage as God has defined it for us, is any different than what Adam and Eve experienced, though the Bible didn’t call it “marriage” specifically.

The primary reason for marriage is as a foreshadowing and signpost to our ultimate marriage: the Bride married to Christ. The need and purpose of marriage as we know it will be culminated and fulfilled with our eventual marriage to Christ. All Believers will be married to Christ, therefore marriage to each other will not be necessary anymore.

Further, there is no Biblical foundation, that sexual love is ever permitted for any arrangement other than marriage whether it was before the sin-curse or after sin will be removed. (even if its between two people and only two people; Biblically, “marriage” still has to be present, not just monogamy)

What’s more, we will be “married” to Christ, and obviously there will be no sexual, physical love relationship between Christ and His Bride. So it is safe to Biblically declare that there will be no sexual love in heaven, and logically no procreation.

Those are two questions I was still pondering as of a few days ago and not ready to declare a public opinion on until now. You may be tempted to say “DUH! you’re not very bright!” and think this was any easy conclusion (and maybe for you it was) but most people have concluded this without any serious thought, and without really thinking about the connection between the Garden of Eden and the New Heavens and New Earth.

Moving on… there is no indication, nor does it make sense, that our resurrected and glorified bodies will not have the same physical sexual traits we have now, ie sexual organs.

We know that God will make provision for every aspect of our existence, so whatever form or feeling our sexual nature manifests itself, God has something completely satisfying and unimaginably more wonderful than even what the most healthy and loving sexual relationship can deliver for us now.

I suspect it will be in the form of perfect relationships, perfect love, perfect fellowship and perfect holy intimacy spiritually and emotionally. In other words, just as we partly understand even now, that great sex is due to great relationship, and great emotional connection, I believe that the sexual aspects of our nature will be perfectly fulfilled in our relationships in heaven.

Finally, we will not have a spouse, or a be “coupled” with anyone in heaven like Adam and Eve were. This seems to be another exception to the continuity from Eden to Heaven but with a simple answer: we will each be coupled to Christ as we are the Bride, and He the Groom.

Given that, it is incorrect to teach “there will be NO marriage in heaven”. That is unBiblical. We will not be married to each other in heaven, but there will be marriage. One marriage. We will be collectively married to Christ and that is the reason Jesus said that we will not be “married and given in marriage” to each other in heaven.

One last comment and then I’m going to move on from this topic on my site… as demonstrated in other questions, we WILL know about our past lives, and past relationships once in Heaven. I will not be married to my wife in heaven, but I’ll still have a special relationship with her based on our life together now and my special love for her that will only be clearer and deeper when we are finally perfect and free from sin. Same for family and friends that I know now.

Our relationships now give us a taste of heaven to come. Heaven won’t be devoid of family, it will be ONE GREAT BIG FAMILY. Our relationships won’t diminish our love for God or distract us from Jesus no more than our love for each other NOW (which is commanded throughout Scripture) diminishes our love for the Lord.

We won’t instantly have the exact same knowledge, friendship and intimacy with every single inhabitant of Heaven the moment we arrive. We’ll know those folks we knew on earth, and we’ll have all eternity to get to know the rest. As finite beings (eternally existing, but finite in power, presence and knowledge), it is obvious that we will have ever-growing and ever-increasing levels of relationships throughout eternity. We’ll have a head start with those we already know and love like our wife and children.

We will have all eternity to create new relationships, to cultivate previous ones, and to grow and cherish our most special ones that we bring with us into eternity.

Relationships, family, love, perfection… Eden restored. I can’t wait… can you?

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