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Do Christians Believe Marriage Is Eternal? (Y1.T2.D43)


Unsplash; "Gabby Orcutt"

 

While some religions believe marriage is eternal, Christianity does not.


This fact is certain because it's one of the rare topics Jesus answered specifically:


Those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. For they can’t die any more, for they are like the angels, and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. (Luke 20:35–36)


As you read these passages today, don’t miss these two important points:

  1. Jesus didn't say people who die will become angels. Instead, he used angels as a reference to indicate man becoming immortal in the afterlife.

  2. It's wrong to assume his use of "neither marry nor are given in marriage" exempts people who are already married.

This post will address the second bullet point by examining the context of Jesus' answer to the Sadducees.


This Jewish sect did not believe in the resurrection or an immortal afterlife for humans. They chose a Mosaic law about marriage to prove the idea of eternal life was imperfect. Just imagine if a woman properly married seven different brothers what kind of horrible jealousy and fighting would exist between the men in heaven.


Jesus responds by saying, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God" (Matthew 22:29).


Marriage is a gift God provides for us while on this earth. I call it a gift because the Bible is clear: marriage prevents us from fully focusing on God. First Corinthians 7:32–34 says it this way:


He who is unmarried is concerned for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but he who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife. . . . The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband.


Our kind God is okay if we balance our attention between him and a spouse. In the afterlife, we will see and know people we've loved on earth, but our focus won't be on them. And why would it be when God himself will be there


I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more. I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away." (Revelation 21:1–4)


No matter how much you love the person you are married to, that relationship cannot compare to having our physical and emotional needs met in fellowship with God.


Ultimately Christianity is all about focusing on God. And if we choose to marry someone here on earth, we look for someone who has the same beliefs, and we vow to love and honor them "until death do us part."


Our Premier Eternal Relationship

Matthew 22:23–24, Mark 12:18–19, Luke 20:27–28


5 If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead shall not be married outside to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her, and take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. 6 It shall be that the firstborn whom she bears shall succeed in the name of his brother who is dead, that his name not be blotted out of Israel.


7 If the man doesn’t want to take his brother’s wife, then his brother’s wife shall go up to the gate to the elders, and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to raise up to his brother a name in Israel. He will not perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.” 8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak to him. If he stands and says, “I don’t want to take her,” 9 then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, and loose his sandal from off his foot, and spit in his face. She shall answer and say, “So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.” 10 His name shall be called in Israel, “The house of him who had his sandal removed.” (Deuteronomy 25:5–10)

Matthew 22:25–28, Mark 12:20–23, Luke 20:29–33

Matthew 22:29, Mark 12:24

Matthew 22:30a, Mark 12:25a, Luke 20:34


35 But those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. (Luke 20:35)

Matthew 22:30b–32, Mark 12:25b–27a, Luke 20:36–38


27b You are therefore badly mistaken.” (Mark 12:27b)

Meditation Moment


Dear God,


Thank You for the loving human relationships You've given me here on Earth. Help me provide for my own, especially those in my household. I don't want to deny the faith and act worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8). Help me set my mind on the things that are above and not on the things that are on the earth (Colossians 3:2). I celebrate my eternal relationship with you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. Thank you for rejoicing over me in return (Isaiah 62:5).


Amen.


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