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Is There Sex or Marriage in Heaven?
With this topic, like so many other topics regarding Christian sexuality, you find many opinions which are anti-sexual or ascetic in nature. And, as expected, I found myself having a fun time trying to find any decent argumentation that was positive concerning the idea of sex or marriage in Heaven.
However, I did find one writer who indicated that those who believe there is no sex or marriage in heaven often point to only one passage in the New Testament (Matthew 22:30). In this passage, Jesus said:
Now, this intrigued me. As I have found other doctrines, in times past, that were based off one Bible verse. And I knew too well, how such theology can be shown incorrect (such as lust of the eyes comment of Jesus in Matthew 5:27-28). So, I was thinking to myself, could this not be yet another doctrine based on a misunderstood Bible verse?
Shortly after thinking this, I came upon an article here: Marriage in Heaven. And at first, I was thinking this article did not say anything new until I skimmed down to the section, "Neither Marry nor Are Given in Marriage" and read something kind of surprising. This guy says that Matthew partially quoted Jesus, while Luke quotes Jesus fully (which more completely explains what he was saying).
So, in Matthew we have a condensed version of what Jesus was saying. Lets compare the two:
And in Luke we see the longer version here:
Here is what many Christians are missing with their analysis of Matthew 22:30. Jesus is not saying no one is married in heaven, but rather no one will get married in Heaven. Further, Jesus is stressing that once you enter into Heaven, you no longer die. His focus is on the eternal nature of the afterlife. Therefore, a woman cannot have 7 husbands, because her husband could not die in Heaven (so, no one is marrying and no daughter is being given in marriage in Heaven). Quite simply, the state you were when you die is where you will be in the ressurrection. Further, Jesus is not declaring that your marriage is over when you die. Look closely at what he said. He said that you do not get married in heaven. Meaning, you do not get married or remarried in heaven. If you were married before, however, that does not mean you are not still married in heaven. And since your spouse no longer dies, you do not need to worry about losing your husband or wife, as you are like the angels (i.e. ~ living forever).
"Given in marriage" (Strongs 1547 - ek-gam-id'-zo) here is not referring to being in the state of marriage, but rather a father giving his daughter to a man. The Strong's definition is, "give away in marriage: a daughter". So, no one is getting married in heaven. However, if you were married before you died, this does not mean you are no longer married to your wife or husband.
Now some of you, might ask how this viewpoint can harmonize with this passage here:
If one dies, does that not free him or her from marriage, as the Apostle Paul appears to be saying here? But, maybe the question here is this: If one commits adultery or dies, does it cancel a marriage? Or is it when one divorces, that the marriage is ended? So, could not also spousal death be just an acceptable point from which one can confirm the ending of a marriage, so as to marry another?
The point is that this man or woman who died is not actually dead, if they are a Christian. Only those who are not believers inherit corruption, while believers immortality. If one is truly immortal, could not the marriage extend into the afterlife, if both are agreed to it? Even many of the early church fathers had such a line of thinking and that is why many would forbid remarriage after a Christian's spouse died. If a living widow does not want to remarry, could not their marriage continue, if their spouse was alive in the afterlife?
Of course, this seems to be more of a alternate perspective than an argument that defeats all arguments. Yet, we can see that most base their "No marriage in the afterlife" theology on one verse in the New Testament, which I have just shown could have been easily misinterpreted.
After all, not all Christians are in agreement on this. The Orthodox church believes marriage extends into the afterlife (300 million Christians). It seems often the Catholic and Protestant church are the main groups to disagree with the idea of marriage in the afterlife, particularly Westernized Christians.
So, I am not here proving that those who are married, remain married in the afterlife. Rather, I am here to show how one Bible verse should not be used to create a complete theological paradigm, as often, you can be misreading the passage. As I have demonstrated before, this can easily lead to error.
I wonder if this passage here says more than we imagined?
Would God put asunder what he has joined? If the two become one flesh, and we are given a new flesh in Heaven, could they also be one flesh in Heaven? If God created marriage and we are married to him, why would he put asunder what he has created?
Perhaps the theology behind no marriage in Heaven is not as biblical as you have thought.
Sex in the Afterlife
Now, this leads us to the topic of sex. Is there sex in the afterlife?
The first point here was to point out the single Bible passage used for stating there is no marriage or sex in the afterlife. As I have demonstrated above, Jesus could have been just saying that there is no marriages created in heaven (or remarriage), because no one dies. As Jesus stresses that we no longer die in the afterlife and are like the angels. Rereading the passage in Luke above, you can see Jesus was focusing on the fact we no longer die, which counters the idea of this woman having seven husbands. Further, as Paul points out above, at the death of her spouse, she is able to remarry. So, the only one who may be married to her in the afterlife, would be the last one, but it would be potentially optional, as Paul indicated death frees one from the law of marriage. Yet, if her last husband was a believer and she was a believer, could she not decide to remain married to him in the afterlife?
The second point is regarding sex. Most Christians believe that angels do not have sex. However, this is not what the Bible says. Consider this passage here:
Now, most Christians do not believe that the term "sons of God" here is referring to angels. However, this is not based on biblical study, but rather on what they actually want to believe.
This phrase is only used five times in the Old Testament. Here are all the passages in which this phrase, "God's sons" is used:
The above is the complete usage of this phrase within the Old Testament. Now, the reason it has to be angels is because: men were not present at the beginning of creation (as they were created):
Further, the New Testament also backs up this viewpoint that angels did indeed come down and have sex with women, creating offspring (impure):
And what is meant by "strange flesh"? It means "different flesh". Did not the men and women of Sodom want to rape angels? Were not angels in the house with Lot? So, this would be going against nature's design.
They were cast down to Tartus. If you seen this latest movie, "Immortals" you will see Mount Tartus with the Titans bound by the gods in chains. In this Bible passage above, the Apostle Peter makes use of the term "Tartaros (5020)" to tell those of the culture that in reality, the fallen angels were bound in like manner to the story of the Titans (relating to the culture). And if you understand who the Titans were, you realize they were offspring of the gods (a race of giants). This shows how even the Apostle Peter was hinting at the fall of angels using stories everyone was familiar with.
So, this argument that angels are only spiritual beings and cannot have sex (are unisex) is simply based off conjecture, not actual scriptural truths.
Some more obvious points: how could an angel kill thousands of an army, if he had no physicality?
This would maybe explain why the offspring of angels and humans were "men of renown":
So, if angels did indeed have sex with humans (which is likely one of the main meanings of against nature in Romans 1), we can see why they fell. Just as humans are not to have sex with animals, angels are not to have sex with humans.
Maybe this is why temple prostitution was seen as one of the worse evils, as it meshed sex with idolatry unto devils (fallen angels).
Yet, we cannot conclude that angels cannot have sex among themselves. If God created us with a sex drive and God created us in His image, we cannot conclude that angels would not also have a sex drive, or that they are not able to procreate.
So, the point of this article here is to dismantle many of the arguments used by those who claim there is no sex in heaven. The fact of the matter is that sex was created by God. Why is it only our sexual nature is lost when we goto heaven? Does that make any logical sense? We can eat, drink and be marry in heaven, yet sex is forbidden?
In actuality, what we are dealing with here is the influence of Gnosticism on Christianity. The age old heresy has found its way into Christian theology throughout the centuries. I discuss this in detail here and here.
I also discuss Heaven in detail here, showing the physicality of Heaven. One misconception is that in Heaven, you are a spirit with no body. The Bible says contrary. Further, it is made clear that a New Earth will be the domain of us in Eternity as well. Time will not cease and we will do things such as eating in Heaven.
My theory is if we continue with physical nature, but in perfect new bodies, doing things quite similar to what we did prior to the afterlife. Why would sex cease? The burden of argumentation is actually on the side of those who would argue that there is no sex in Heaven.