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Life Issues

Questions from the Heart(4)

“Will I know you in heaven?”

For some people this is the ultimate ‘question from the heart’. The idea that we believers could end up in heaven but not know each other is unthinkable. Of course, on the other hand, such an idea may hold a measure of positive appeal for others – especially if they didn’t do well in their relationship skills here on earth.

(Now to push out onto thin ice!)

Christian husbands and wives, will they recognise and know each other in heaven? What will be the nature of their relationship, if any?

Some of Jesus’ teaching came about in oblique ways i.e. in directly answering one question, He shed light on another. Almost incidentally.  For example, I sometimes hear people say that Jesus never taught on the subject of homosexuality. But the context and content in which He taught on heterosexual marriage leaves no room for an alternate tyle.

Mark 12/18-27 records an incident in which the Sadducees posed a question to Jesus. But it was not a question from the heart. It was a question carefully crafted and calculated to trap Jesus theologically and thereby discredit the message and the messenger. Note the following…

  1. The Sadducees presented Jesus with a truncated version of the Old Testament Law in Deuteronomy 25/5-10.

  2. The context of the question involves dealings withexual intercourse, childbirth and family relationships

  3. For Jesus this is not an issue. When “For when the dead rise, they will neither marry or be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven”.  The strong impression I get from the Scriptures is that angels are a-sexual or non-sexual creatures. They belong to a separate order of God’s creation.

  4. Marriage, as we know it here and now – especially the physical/sexual aspect – will not be needed in heaven because there will be no need to populate this planet as Adam and Eve were directed to do (Genesis 1/28)

(The ice is getting thinner about now!)

In those last months of her life here on earth, my wife, Bev, would often be resting, eyes closed. I would sit alongside her bed stroking her hand and looking at her face. I tried to imagine life here without her. More often than not I pulled away and tried to dismiss such a prospect. It was too painful.

But then I would look forward to when we would be re-united on the other side of the death event.

The idea of our reunion raised other questions. What would our relationship with our children be like? And our son, Philip, who died at age 4 months, would he still be a 4 month old baby or would he now be an adult? What about those widows and widowers who remarried while still in their earthly life?

The more I reflected on these kind of questions, the more it seemed that much of what we have accepted we have done so because that is the way we want it to be, not because the Bible teaches it. We can only process our questions within the categories that we currently have. There are changes that have to take place so that we can understand and experience our new home in heaven.

 

 

Paul teaches thus

But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. Philippians 3:20-21 (NLT)

 

Obviously our weak mortal bodies will undergo a transformation that will see us having “glorious bodies” like the resurrection body of Jesus. That is a whole additional subject but for now it has implications for how we will know each other, relate to each other

Will Bev and I be re-united? I may be about to lose some friends because my answer to that question is, “I don’t know”. If there is a reunion of Mike and Bev, it will be very different from the 51 years we spent here together.

What I do know is that Bev will be there. I’ll be there! But how we will relate, that I don’t know.

Now I feel guilty. Have I rained on your parade? I can hear some of you saying, “Does it matter? Let us alone with our concepts and hopes. If we’ve got it wrong, the changes will be a nice surprise!”

Fair enough. What really is important is that you and I are there. What’s the point of having a correct theology about these things if we are not there to enter into the Kingdom? I think it was Dr. James Dobson who said to his children that he wanted one thing of them:  “BE THERE!!

 

What the Bible promises is far greater and glorious, far beyond anything we can imagine.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NLT)

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.

 

1 Corinthians 2/9(NLT)

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Revelation 21:1-6 (NLT)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life.

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