Candid Chatter

Just Say It

A Verse I Don’t Like October 27, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 5:07 am

29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven…”
Matthew 22:29-30 (NIT)

As a lot of you know, I have been reading a chronological version of the Bible since January 1st. I ran across this verse recently and it made me pause. Not married in heaven. Wow. In my finite human mind that statement breaks my heart. That means Rich and I cease to be married when one of us dies. Ok, that sounds silly. I know we cease to be married when we die. I guess what I mean is we won’t resume our relationship in heaven. So even though we are both going to heaven, we will not be married to each other there. So what does that mean regarding our children? Will they no longer be ours? I know they’re gifts from God. But won’t they still be ours too? Like here? Won’t we still love them like we do now? Won’t we still love each other? No sex either? Really?

There are many troubling verses in the Bible. Most of them, so far, have been in the Old Testament. Some verses are taken way out of context by certain groups of people in order to make them troubling. But when you read the Bible as the events happened it clears up a lot of confusion and, what naysayers would call, “contradiction”.

But I paused. Then I discussed it with my husband. Now I’m putting it up here since I have a large Christian readership. I am disappointed. I know it’s because I don’t understand why. I know someday it will all make perfect sense. But, for now, it bothers me.

What do you think?
What verses make you go “hmm”?
Have you ever read a verse that
made your heart sink?


7 Responses to “A Verse I Don’t Like”

  1. jimmy paravane Says:

    How about what a non-alien thinks? (grin). You REALLY have to take this one in context, imho, as always. Do you really think the power of God would make your eternal lives something less than they are here?

  2. Ivan Says:

    Dear Heidi

    Is it important that this was part of an answer Jesus was giving to a legalistic trick question from the Sadducees? They wanted to catch him out with a paradox; Jesus upped the ante by showing that the ritual law (i.e. the letter of the law, etc.) must give way to the real moral law. I think this is the general style of his responses to the Jews (“you teach as doctrine the commandments of men, etc.”).

    Perhaps “marriage” has two interpretations: one is the strictly legal or ritual — this will fall away; the more important one is the bringing together of two people by God — this will persist.

    The former seems to me to be social and pragmatic: male Jews could have as many wives as they wanted (Solomon had 700: 1 Kings 11:3), Christians generally are only allowed one. It’s a kind of restriction or protection, but in heaven such restrictions and protections are not necessary. That’s why that kind of marriage falls away. It’s not that you won’t love your spouse; it’s that you won’t be precluded from loving others too.

    Verses I don’t like in the New Testament tend to be written by Paul, especially his thoughts on women (short hair an abomination; shouldn’t talk at meetings, etc.).

    re sex: I know there’s sex in the OT (e.g., Song of songs); and the Quran is pretty clear about sex in heaven; but if there’s sex in the NT I missed it.

    This ended up a bit long! Please forgive me if I’m way off-beam, and especially if my language is inappropriate.


  3. Dave Carrol Says:

    you know… for some reason… death and it’s surroundings just don’t bug me. This included (although I can see how it could)…

    but I suppose I look and think logically that being in the presence of God is my first love and marriage… kids… stuff comes after. So it’s gonna be better than all of it.

    Rob Bell in Sex God spells it out in much better detail than me…. but he believes that an “Org***m” is like a very brief glimpse of what being in the “glory” must be like because it’s a moment where you can’t feel any pain, hurt, suffering etc… it’s just being lost in being “together”. It’s one of the reason’s its so powerful… but when you’re there and it’s the context in which you live? That will be pretty darn good

    Just my thoughts

  4. candidchatter Says:

    I believe heaven is going to rock it out. Don’t get me wrong. But that verse made me sad.

    I would love some more insight from you all. Esp you pastors or pastor’s wives out there in blogdom. If you feel uncomfortable “discussing” it here wide open just shoot me an e-mail.

    Ivan, Jimmy, Dave: Thank you so much for answering this for me.

    Off to nap. Haven’t been home since 8:00 this morning.


  5. Tony York Says:

    When I was a child, I would occasionally play with toy cars because I thought they were really, really cool. When I became a teenager and was able to drive a real car, all the toys that used to bring me joy, held no fascination because they couldn’t measure up. It doesn’t remove the fact that at one point I would have been pained if someone stole my toy. But then the context changed and I became older and different and that toy held no attraction any longer and was forgotten.

    We have been taught that the church is the bride of Christ. We have been given physical husbands and wives so that we may understand, to some degree, what that looks like. But one day, when the context has changed, we will know the fullness of what being the bride is and those previous relationships will be cast into that same light that my toy car was when I finally understood the real thing.

  6. candidchatter Says:

    Excellent analogy, Tony.


  7. Marti Says:

    Read what is there very carefully: “people will neither MARRY nor BE GIVEN in marriage.” This speaks to what people can do once in Heaven; it does not refer to states already received before Heaven.
    I think this makes sense when you realize that a soul is frozen upon death. That is how God can judge us: because our soul at the moment of death is either oriented towards God, or away from Him. Although I have heard that God does not send anyone to Hell; they jump. Because if we have rejected God, then when we die, we do not even desire Him. We are afraid of His marvelous light. We see the light, we see the dark–and we choose the dark because it is familiar.
    Anyway, I think that’s what this verse really means: you cannot change in Heaven. God is perfect, which means he does not change, for their is no greater goodness for him to attain and he cannot get worse. Thus, when we die and are united in God, we too can no longer change–for He has perfected us as He has drawn us into Himself.
    Does that mean that we will lose our individuality, lose our relationships with others? I cannot imagine so. Anytime we united ourselves more with God, we become MORE of ourselves, not less. And so however Heaven will be, I think there we will be more of ourselves and our relationships will be more pure and wonderful than they ever were on earth.

    (As for sex, since before the Fall, in Eden, we were soul and body, then there is great hope that we will be soul and body in Heaven too; likewise, there likely WAS sex before the Fall because we were sexually differentiated prior to the Fall. Thus, there just might be sex in Heaven–but it will be more pure and give greater glory to Our Creator)

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