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 articles that were 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:
|"At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven." - Matthew 22:30 |
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:
|"For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." - Matthew 22:30 |
And in Luke we see the longer version here:
|"29 There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. 30 And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. 31 And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died. 32 Last of all the woman died also. 33 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife. 34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 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: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. 37 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. " - Luke 20:29-38 |
I also found yet another article, which sort of "hits the nail on the head" with this topic: Patheos - Is There Marriage in Heaven.
Jesus was stressing that once you enter into Heaven, you no longer die. You will notice that in his response. This is out of place, if he meant all types of marriages are ended in the Resurrection.
Here is what many Christians are missing with their analysis of Matthew 22:30. Jesus is saying that Mosaic Law type marriages are done away with at death. As God originally said in the Garden of Eden, "The two become one flesh" and with the understanding that "the wages of sin is death", we know no corrupt flesh lives past death. So, all Mosaic Law marriages are ended at death.
Yet, in the resurrection, we have a new type of marriage covenant (holy marriages with our new uncorruptable glorious physical bodies). Many believe you are just a spirit in heaven, but this actually contradicts scripture (we receive new glorious bodies as the Apostle Paul writes). With this new glorious body which never dies, "What God hath joined, let no man separate" becomes an eternal marriage to the one we love, for which we can love in perfection.
Jesus' focus is on the eternal nature of the afterlife. Therefore, a woman cannot have 7 husbands, because her husband could not die in Heaven. 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 referring to being in a contractual "Mosaic Law" type marriage. The Strong's definition is, "give away in marriage: a daughter".
|"Rom 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to [her] husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of [her] husband. 7:3 So then if, while [her] husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. " - Romans 7:1-4 |
If one dies, does that not free him or her from marriage, as the Apostle Paul appears to be saying here? Yes, as a contractual Mosaic Law type marriage. However, in Heaven, one could marry the one they love under new rules (no death, no divorce).
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 (pass from one type to a another which has no death as a part of the contract), 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?
|" 6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. " - Mark 10:6-9 |
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?
So, this clearlys shows that there is marriage in Heaven. To put it more clearly. Jesus was the "Second Adam" to restore the Garden of Eden, God's original plan for us. God "changeth not" and is "the same yesterday, today and forever".
Perhaps the theology behind no marriage in Heaven is not as biblical as you have thought. I believe that one is still close to their spouse, whom they love, just as they are close to God in Heaven.
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 Mosaic Law type marriages in heaven, 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, a new type of marriage in the afterlife, which does not have a contract of death on it. The woman could reunite to her spouse in Heaven in a final permenant marriage. So, if her last husband was a believer and she was a believer, she could decide to remain living with 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:
|"1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown. 5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. " - Genesis 6:1-4 |
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.
As the term "sons of God" always refers to angels in the Old Testament. The term's Hebrew definition can be found here: "el-o-heem'" and here: "bane". Or God's sons.
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:
|"And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons (1121) of God (430) saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 4 There were giants (5303) in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons (1121) of God (430) came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. " - Genesis 6:1-4 |
|"Now there was a day when the sons  of God  came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan  came also among them." - Job 1:6 |
|"Again there was a day when the sons  of God  came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan  came also among  them to present himself before the LORD ." - Job 2:1 |
|"When the morning  stars  sang together, and all the sons  of God  shouted for joy? " - Job 38:7 |
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):
|"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? 9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, 10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, 11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?" - Job 38:4-11 |
Further, the New Testament also backs up this viewpoint that angels did indeed come down and have sex with women, creating offspring (impure):
|"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. " - Jude 1:4 |
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.
|"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;" - 2 Peter 2:4 |
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?
|"And the LORD sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons cut him down with the sword." - 2 Chronicles 32:21 |
|"Then the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning--there were all the dead bodies!" - Isaiah 37:36 |
This would maybe explain why the offspring of angels and humans were "men of renown":
|"4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown. " - Genesis 6:4 |
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 or marriage 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?
The fact is, Jesus was the "Second Adam" to restore all things. How was it in the beginning? Adam and Eve, nude, married, in the Garden of Eden, with the command "Be fruitful and multiply". If anything, sex seems to be an integral part of God's original plan and to take it out seems to contradict who God is.
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.