Summary: God’s Word describes some aspects of the life to come - what every Christian can look forward to.
It costs more now, to fill up your car with gas. Gasoline is more expensive now, than it was a year ago. But has that really slowed you down? Has that stopped you from going places and doing things? For many, if not most, the answer is no – you need to keep on moving, keep on driving. You need that fuel, and so you keep buying it, even if it’s more expensive than last year.
Your soul needs fuel too. If you’re a believer in Christ, then you have a soul that needs to be filled up on a regular basis. What is the fuel that God has provided for your soul? It’s the Word of God, the promises of God. And the good news is, that the cost of filling up your soul with the promises of God hasn’t changed in 2000 years – God’s Word is still free, and will always be free. And what you receive from God’s Word for your soul will take you much farther than a tank of gas.
One of the promises that Christians have been filling up on over the centuries is the promise of the new life that is to come. The Bible is very clear that for you as a Christian, there is a whole other life, a brand new life, that is waiting for you after you die. A person might say, “I don’t want to think about that right now. I’m too busy thinking about the life I have to live right now.”
But the thing is, once you understand what is in your future, it helps you better deal with your life right now. For example, if you know that you are going to receive a big bonus check from your work tomorrow, you’re not as concerned about that unexpected bill that you received today. If you’re flying to the Caribbean tomorrow, you’re not as irritated by the cold weather that we are having today. As a Christian, if you know that there’s a brand new, much more wonderful, and much more beautiful life waiting for you in the future, it helps you now as you go through the ups and downs of your life today.
But what will that new life be like? This morning, God is going to fill up your soul with his promises. Jesus is going to describe to you what you have to look forward to in your future. It is my prayer that as you ponder these things, you will find encouragement and comfort that you can use in your life today.
In our Gospel lesson for this morning, Jesus was answering questions. There was a group of people, during Jesus’ day, that didn’t believe in a life to come. Once you die, that’s it. They tried to trick Jesus with a question about marriage and how that relates to the resurrection. What I want to focus on is Jesus’ answer in verse 34, where Jesus says, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.” That’s what happens in this life, Jesus was saying. But look at what happens in your future life – “But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age, and in the resurrection from the dead, will neither marry nor be given in marriage.” Jesus tells us here that there will be no marriage in heaven. If you’re married now, you’ll be able to recognize your spouse in heaven. But you won’t be married in heaven.
Why not? Jesus gives us a little insight in the next verse: “They can no longer die, for they are like the angels.” In the life to come, there won’t be any death. One of the main purposes of marriage was to provide a way to populate the earth, because people keep dying. But you won’t die in the life to come. You’ll be like an angel that way. You’ll be an eternal creature that doesn’t age and doesn’t die. That’s one reason there won’t be any marriage in heaven. Another reason, according to Jesus, is that, in the life to come, you’ll have a perfect relationship with God: “They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.” You will be a child of God in the full sense of the word. Your relationship with God will be perfect – so fulfilling, so satisfying, so joyful – that the earthly relationship of marriage won’t be necessary. In a sense, God will be your spouse, God will be your companion – you’ll never feel a sense of loneliness, because you will be in the presence of God, and that will never end.
Have you ever been surprised by something, because it was better than you had imagined it to be? Maybe you go on a vacation, and the weather there is beautiful, and you say, “The weather here is more beautiful than I had ever imagined.” Or maybe you head out west, and visit the mountains, and as you hike up to the top, you look around at the view and smell the mountain air and say to yourself, “This is more beautiful than I had ever imagined.” You’ll say the same thing in the life to come. Being with God, being an eternal creature – this is better than I had ever imagined it would be.