Both my parents have passed away. I miss them and would love to talk with them again. I will see them one day because each of them trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. I often wonder what they’re doing. And I often wonder what it will be like when I get there.
Do you ever wonder what our relationships will be like when we get to Heaven? Will we still have the same kind of relationships in Heaven? Will we still be mom & dad, son & daughter, husband & wife? Will we even know each other?
In Mark 12:18-27, Jesus had a conversation with some religious leaders (Sadducees) about this very subject. But their question was was not honest. They were trying to trick him. Here’s their conversation starter…
Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise. And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also. In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. (Mark 12:19-23)
This Jewish custom (Levirate marriage) from Deuteronomy 25:5-10 ensured that the family name continued and the property remained within the family. If a husband died, his brother would marry his widow. It may have had its flaws (for example, lack of personal feelings) but it was benevolent measured alongside customs of pagans (widow’s possessions plundered and left desolate; buried or burned alive with deceased husband; Hindu widows shunned by family and friends).
But it is interesting that the Sadducees asked the question. Sadducees were a religious group who did not believe in immorality, spirits or angels. They rejected the resurrection and afterlife. The Sadducees knew more about what they didn’t believe than what they did believe.
This hypothetical woman had 7 legitimate husbands throughout her lifetime. The question is who will be her husband in Heaven.
We sometimes have the same problem of the Sadducees. We assume that Heaven (if there is one) is a continuation of life on earth. Jesus said their error due to their misunderstanding of God’s Word and God’s Power (Mark 12:24). Almost all theological error can be traced to one or the other.
Jesus said, “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage” (Mark 12:25). When a person goes to Heaven, the old physical life no longer reigns. Jesus made it clear that marriage is an aspect of this life, but not the next. We can’t tell much about marriage in Heaven from what Jesus said here. But Heaven is not simply an extension of life as we now know it. Our current relationships are limited by time, sin, and death. We don’t know everything about our future in Heaven, but Jesus says it will be different. My relationship with my wife will not be worse in Heaven, it will only be better.
So, what can we say about our relationships in Heaven?
We will recognize each other and share memories of our lives together.
We know that Christ’s disciples recognized Him as He walked around in His glorified body (John 21:7). Moses and Elijah were recognizable during the transfiguration of Christ (Luke 9:29-33). In addition, Scripture gives us no indication that God will wipe away our memories, so it seems that will keep them. We are told that we will be like Jesus (1 John 3:2) and Jesus knew His disciples and remembered His life on earth (Mark 16:14). Why shouldn’t we?
We will pursue and develop new relationships.
It is inconceivable that we, as a part of the family of Christ, will not have the opportunity to get to know our brothers and sisters better. It seems we will be able to meet new people and develop new friendships. Won’t it be something to be able to spend time with Abraham or Moses or Elijah or Peter?
We will be as close to each other as we are now to our spouses.
The one-flesh relationship we currently enjoy in marriage is a signpost pointing to our relationship with Christ, who is our bridegroom. Once we reach our final destination, the signpost will no longer be necessary. The purpose of marriage is not to replace heaven, but to prepare us for it (Ephesians 5:31-32). Does this mean that we will not be as close to our husbands or wives as we have been in this world? Not at all! We will be closer knowing that God chose us for each other so that we might sample what life will be like with Him in Heaven.
Heaven will be so much better than our lives on earth. I hope you have made your reservation.