OUR MARITAL STATUS IN HEAVEN
The sayings of Jesus that there was going to be a general resurrection of the dead and that in the last day all would hear his voice and come forth. was a hard saying for the Sadducees.. They acknowledged as Divine the books of Moses, but refused to see in them any proof of the resurrection or indeed of any life after death. They also denied the existence of the glorious beings called angels. The Sadducees raised the question of marital status in heaven. Does the marriage relationship continue in heaven? If the answer is yes, some have multiple marriages. and that could be a problem. . If man was married to more than one woman, which one would be his wife in heaven? . To the Sadducees the doctrine of the resurrection was contrary to common sense. With all the divorces and remarriages in the world, if people are raised from the dead there would all kinds of confusion in heaven. You would have a woman up there with seven husbands. Which one would she belong to?.
It would appear that the Sadducees and Pharisees were constantly debating the questions of the resurrection, life after death, and the existence of angels. The Sadducees had one great argument with which they frequently defeated the Pharisees, and they volunteered to use it on Jesus. They presented to Jesus their problem based Deuteronomy 25: 5-10. One law of God was that if one of the brothers in a family dies and had no son, his widow was not to marry a stranger outside the family. One of the brothers was to marry the widow and perform the duty of a husband's brother. He was to raise a son for his deceased brother. The first born son was to perpetuate his brother's name so that his name would not perish in the genealogy.
The Sadducees sought to show from this law of God the absurdity of the doctrine of the resurrection. They said to Jesus we know of a case where there were seven brothers in a family. One brother died with no children and a brother married the widow. The second brother died childless and third brother took her to wife, and he died childless. It turned out that all seven brothers were married to the same woman. Now this was the hard saying they put to Jesus, “Therefore, in the resurrection whose wife does she become? For all seven had her to wife.” The Pharisees could never give a satisfactory answer to this question. Probably the only reply they could make was that she would be the wife of her first husband. This was probably a fictitious case, but it was good argument for the Sadducees. It seemed like a great argument against a general resurrection from the dead.
Jesus first of all rebuked them by saying, “ You are mistaken. You do not know the scriptures or the power of God.”(Matt. 22:29). Jesus went on to say that marriage is only for the sons of this world. Marriage is a temporary expedient to preserve the human race and to enhance their happiness in the present state of existence, but in the world to come there will be no death and no marriage. In the future life there are no regulations of sex. Sex belongs to the earthly state and ceases when the fleshly state ceases. The institution of marriage is only for this life below. After the resurrection there will be no need for procreation, for there is no death. Where there is no death there is no need of marriage to procreate the race. Jesus does not say much about conditions in the heavenly life, but He does give us a glimpse in this passage.
In verse 35 Jesus said, “Those who are counted worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage, nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels. and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” That is an exciting picture of what life will be after the resurrection from the grave. We shall be equal to the angels; that's a glimpse of the after life. The saved of earth will be equal to the angels in that they do not die. Angels are immortal and have an eternal existence. . In the heavenly world, the existence, relations and state of the saved are equal to that of angelic beings.. Isn't it exciting for those of us in the sunset of life to know a new world will open to our eyes, and we will enter into a state of existence like that of the angels? What new sights await us? What a new world awaits us? What new living conditions await us? What new knowledge awaits us? We learn from this passage that for the sons and daughters of God death is not the end; it is the beginning of something good.
Finally, the Sadducees said there is no evidence in the Old Testament that there will be a resurrection of the dead or any life after death.. But Jesus said, “You neither know the scriptures nor the power of God.” Jesus said the words God spoke to Moses at the burning bush proves conclusively that there will a resurrection from the dead. The Old Testament does fully teach the doctrine of the resurrection. What did God say to Moses at the burning bush? Who would have thought to look to burning bush for evidence of the resurrection? Jesus said Moses proved there will a resurrection of the dead by calling Jehovah, “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob”(Exodus 6:3). The proof of the resurrection is in that statement if you can see it. The proof is in the statement, “God is not a God of the dead but of the living.” What this really says is, “God is not the God of dead beings but of living beings.”
The meaning of the Lord's argument is, “God would never have called Himself the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob if after their short lives they ceased to exist and was nothing but crumbling dust. These men had been dead hundreds of years, but God said they were still alive in teh first century. . God is saying I am not the God of dead people who don't even exist. I am not a God of the dead because these men are still alive in paradise; but as yet they have no bodies. Jesus showed that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were alive hundreds of years after their death. They were dead physically, but their souls, their personality and identity continued to exist. God said I am the God of living beings, not dead beings. Jesus proved here from the Old Testament there is a life after death from the example of these three forefathers of Israel. And if there is a life after death, it necessarily implies there is to be a resurrection to give saved people a new body. God is not going to leave existing souls without a body. Heaven is not a place that will be inhabited by bodiless souls. What another exciting thought! . When we leave this world, we live on, and God can say of each one of us, He is our God and He is the God of living. What wonderful knowledge Jesus brought to this world..