Luk 20:35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
I received the following very interesting question today from a reader here:
I hope you answer a big question of mine in your blog. I know I have read in the Bible that we are “like” angels in heaven and as such there is no marriage frown emoticon
Yet, all of creations screams male and female for eternity. Did God make Eve for Adam for eternity? I have a hard time thinking that people in love who have been married here on earth cannot continue in heaven… married. I was taught as a Mormon that families are for ever and that marriage is eternal. Yet, I see in the Bible this may not be the case and I am confused. Why love if we cannot be with the love of our life forever as one? sigh
Readers: Sit up and take notice. The following answer will be new to you, but you may be sure that what I present below is the teaching of Scripture, to the best of my understanding!
Your question has concerned my wife, too. We do know that we will be able to recognize our loved ones in heaven (Matthew 17:3; Luke 16:23). Therefore, we surely will know our wives or husbands.
The idea that we will not continue the relationship of marriage in heaven as we know it on earth may be based upon Luke 20:35. Most readers of Luke 20:35 understand it to mean that our marriage relationship does not continue in heaven. I wonder if Jesus rather meant that when we get to heaven, we will no longer continue to marry or have children, without denying the continuation of the relationships we have had on this earth in this life. Of course, the Sadducees raised this matter as an argument against the doctrine of a future life and a resurrection from the dead, for if a person had more than one wife or husband, which wife or husband would be the relationship continued in heaven?
I wonder if we might better understand Luke 20:35 in the light of Isaiah 54:1. In Isaiah 54:1, the barren woman is a reference to Israel, and the married woman is a reference to resurrected believers who are united with Christ. In that future time, Israel as a nation will continue forever here on earth, inhabited or peopled by ordinary physical people in the flesh who will continue to marry and be given in marriage, for Scripture clearly teaches that the generations of mankind will continue to live on this earth forever (Psalm 72:5, and its cross references, given below).
The evidence in Scripture is that our Lord Jesus Christ will reign on this earth forever, not just 1000 years, and He will be seated upon the throne of David for ever (Luke 1:32, 33), ruling over the whole earth (Zechariah 14:9), from Jerusalem (Isaiah 24:23).
All who are saved, who are believers in “this age,” will reign with Christ forever, and thus will be the inheritors of His eternal kingdom here on earth. The natural generations of people who continue on earth will be the subjects of the kingdom, the ones who are ruled over by the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Jews, the King of Israel, and Lord of the whole earth. These subjects of the kingdom in their natural, physical bodies will continue to marry and be given in marriage, and have children on into the future here on earth, producing the eternal generations to come. But those who are the inheritors of the kingdom in glorified resurrection bodies will no longer marry and be given in marriage or have children, such that the descendants of natural Israel itself will eventually outnumber we who have been resurrected who are on the earth with Christ reigning with Christ in His kingdom. This ties in to the promises given in the Abrahamic Covenant.
This is where many great teachers, theologians, authors of books, get things wrong.
We will not spend eternity in heaven. We return with Christ to be with Him, to be where He is, and that clearly is upon this earth, where He will reign forever (Revelation 5:10; Matthew 5:5). If we should die before the Rapture takes place, we go immediately to be with Christ in heaven, fully conscious of the fact (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23), until we return with Him to earth to receive our resurrected bodies. Those who are believers here on earth at the time that happens will be transformed into their glorified bodies without experiencing death (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52), and will join the resurrected believers to be with the Lord Jesus Christ ever after, not in heaven, for there is no Scripture evidence that I am aware of (after long and careful study, you may be sure) to suggest we return with Christ to heaven.
We meet Him in the air, and continue with Him as He completes His descent to earth, as mentioned in part in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17, 18; but also in Deuteronomy 33:2, and its cross references. Sometimes an event which took place as history (such as Deuteronomy 33:2) is shown to be a picture or type of what God intends to do in the future, and so serves as Bible prophecy too. This is what is established without question by the passages elsewhere in the Old Testament which make reference to Deuteronomy 33:2. The set of cross references at Deuteronomy 33:2, though not many in number, are to me among the most significant cross references to be found anywhere in the Bible, and very instructive about these things.
For those readers who do not have access to The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, let me share with you the more complete sets of cross references that I have compiled since I developed that now out-of-print volume for some of the verses I mentioned:
Psalm 72:5 They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
Psalm 72:5. They shall fear. Ex 14:31. 1 S 12:18. 1 K 3:28. as long. ver. Ps 72:7, 17. Ps 89:29, 36, 37. +Ge 8:22. Dt 11:21. +Ec 1:4. Is 9:7. 66:22, 23. **+Je 31:35, 36. Da 2:44. *Da 7:14, 27. +**Lk 1:32, 33. +*1 Cor 15:24, 25. Ep 3:21. **Re 11:15. throughout all. +*Ps 89:4, 29, 36, 37. 102:28. **+Ps 145:13. **+Ps 146:10. +*2 S 7:16. Is 34:17. 51:8. 59:21. 60:15. 65:23. 66:22. Je 33:22. Ezk 37:25. Mt 5:5. +**Lk 1:32, 33. generations. +Ge 9:12.
The point of the above set of references is to show the Bible declares natural generations of people will continue on earth for ever, contrary to what is usually taught.
Deuteronomy 33:2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.
Deuteronomy 33:2. The Lord came. Jb 33:23. +**Ps 68:7. SS 8:5. *Is 63:1-4. Da 4:13. 8:13. +**Hab 3:3. %Mt 24:26. +*Ac 1:11. Re 10:7n, point 5. from Sinai. Ex 16:1. 19:11, 18-20. *Le 26:46. Nu 10:12. Jg 5:4, 5. Ne 9:13. *Ps 68:7-10, 21, 23. 147:19. Is 11:11n, point 24. +*Je 31:2. Ezk 20:36n. Ho 6:5. +**Hab 3:3. Ga 4:25. rose up. 1 Cor 15:20. from Seir. Dt 11:29. Ge 32:3n. +Ge 36:20. Jsh 11:17. Jg 5:4, 5. he shined forth. Ps 50:2. 80:1. Is 58:10. 66:15. 2 Cor 4:6. from mount Paran. Dt 1:1. Ge 14:6. +Ge 21:21. Nu 13:3n. 1 K 11:18. +**Hab 3:3. 2 Th 1:9. came with. +*Zc 14:5. +*Mk 8:38. +*Jn 14:2, 3. Ac 20:32. +*Ro 8:19. +*1 Th 3:13. +*1 Th 4:16, 17n. +*2 Th 2:1. ten thousands. Ps 68:7, 17. Da 7:9, 10. Mt 16:27. Lk 9:26. Ac 7:53. Ga 3:19. 2 Th 1:7. He 2:2. 12:22. +*Jude 1:14. Re 5:11. 19:14. saints. Ex 19:6. Jb 5:1. Ps 50:5. +*Ps 89:5. +**Ps 149:5-9. +*Zc 14:5. Ep 3:18. +*1 Th 3:13. Re 11:18. a fiery law. Heb. a fire of law. Dt 5:22, 25. 1 K 8:53. Is 30:27. 66:15. Da 7:9, 10. +*Mt 3:11, 12. *2 Cor 3:7, 9. Ga 3:10, 19. He 2:2. 12:20, 29. +*2 P 3:7. for them. Is 33:22. Jn 15:14. Ac 7:53.
Note particularly, for the above references, the emphasis marking “+**” which I supplied for several of the cross references. Several of these are surely Bible prophecy, and just as surely, allude to Deuteronomy 33:2.
Isaiah 54:1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.
Isaiah 54:1. Sing. or, Shout in triumph (CB). FS96B3, +Ge 20:7. Is 12:6. 44:23. 49:13. 52:8, 9. Zp 3:14. O barren. Is 62:4. +*Ge 11:30. 21:6. 24:67. 1 S 1:8. 2 S 2:1, 5. SS 8:8. Je 3:20. Ezk 16:15, 20, 21, 36, etc. Ho 2:4. 4:6. 5:7. *Ho 9:14-17. 10:1. Lk 1:25. Ga 4:27. 1 Tim 5:5. He 11:11, 12. thou. lit. she. FS96D3, +Ge 49:4. break. F/L +Is 14:7. 42:10, 11. 44:23. 49:13. 52:9. 55:12, 13. Ps 67:3-5. 98:3-9. *Zp 3:14. *Zc 9:9. Re 7:9, 10. into singing. Is 12:6. 24:14. 49:13. Zp 3:14. +*Zc 2:10. travail. Is 66:7. Re 12:2. for more. Is 9:3. 27:6. 32:15. 49:17, 18-20. 60:22. +*Ge 22:16-18. 1 S 2:5. +*Ps 113:9. Ec 3:2. Song 3:4. Je 31:27, 28. 33:22. Ezk 36:10, 11, 37, 38. Ho 1:10. Zc 2:3-5. Mk 4:31. Lk 13:19. +*Ac 3:19. He 11:11, 12. 12:22, 23. Re 21:2. are the children. +*Ps 102:28. Ho 1:10. of the desolate. +Is 1:7. 49:21. *Is 62:4. than the children. Ps 22:31. 45:16. Ezk 16:61. +**Mt 7:14. **Lk 20:35, 36. Ro 8:23. married wife. *2 Cor 11:2. *Ep 5:27. *Re 19:7-9.
Luke 20:35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
Luke 20:35. accounted worthy. Lk 7:4. +**Lk 21:36. Zc 3:7. Mt 10:37. +Mt 22:8. Ac 5:41. 2 Th 1:5, 11. Re 3:4. to obtain. +*Da 12:2, 3. *Jn 5:29. Ac 24:15. +*Phil 3:11n. **He 6:12. *He 11:35. that. +Mt 12:32. +**Jn 6:54n. world. Gr. aion, +Mt 6:13. Lk 18:30. Is 64:5. +*Mk 10:30. the resurrection. lit. the resurrection that out of dead ones, or the resurrection, that one out of or from among dead ones (Peters, Theocratic Kingdom, vol. 2, p. 299). +*Lk 14:14. from. Gr. ek, a preposition which in this construction signifies out of, from, from among, and when used before a genitive signifies a whole from which a part is taken, as at Ac 3:23; 19:33; 1 Cor 5:13; He 5:1 (See Peters, Theocratic Kingdom, vol. 2, p. 298). +*Lk 14:14. Ac 4:2. 1 Cor 15:22, 23, 42-44. +*Phil 3:11n. 1 Th 4:16. 1 P 1:3. the dead. or, dead people: i.e. leaving them for a subsequent resurrection (CB). Lk 16:30, 31. Mk 12:25. Jn 20:9. Ac 10:41. Ro 6:13. 10:7, 9. 11:15. 1 Cor 15:12, 20. +Phil 3:11n. He 11:19. neither marry. ver. Lk 20:34. Lk 17:27. +*Is 54:1. +*Mt 22:29, 30. 24:38. +*Mk 12:24, 25.