Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 124 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Matthew 22 today and our focus is on marriage in Heaven and the most important command in the Bible.  We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in . Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

Eric Clapton famously (and accurately) sang a haunting song a few years ago about how there will be no tears in Heaven. He’s exactly right about that, though I don’t normally think we should get our theology from song lyrics. What about marriage – if you are married now, will you be married to your spouse in Heaven? It does not appear to be the case that marriage will be a thing in Heaven. In today’s passage, Jesus says this:

30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven. (Matthew 22:30) 

Now, this is a very short statement of Jesus, and I don’t believe He elaborates on it anywhere else, but it does seem that marriage will not be a thing in Heaven. Thus the famous marriage vow line, “’til death do us part,” is pretty accurate. Though love is eternal and unending, marriage is a temporary state on Earth. If marriage is a good thing, and it is, then why won’t there be marriage in Heaven? I have a theory, but first, let’s hear from Gotquestions.org on their answer to this question:

Most likely, there will be no marriage in heaven simply because there will be no need for it. When God established marriage, He did so to fill certain needs. First, He saw that Adam was in need of a companion. “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’” (Genesis 2:18). Eve was the solution to the problem of Adam’s loneliness, as well as his need for a “helper,” someone to come alongside him as his companion and go through life by his side. In heaven, however, there will be no loneliness, nor will there be any need for helpers. We will be surrounded by multitudes of believers and angels (Revelation 7:9), and all our needs will be met, including the need for companionship.

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/marriage-heaven.html

I think I agree with their reasoning, and would add this to it: I believe the closest human relationship one can have is marriage – in marital intimacy, the two become one flesh. In Heaven, however, it is my theory – and this is only speculation – that all of our relationships will be close – closer even than marriage. And those relationships won’t be close with just one person, but perhaps many people. 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of us living in an era of partial knowledge and seeing through a murky glass in our current condition, but looks forward to a day, upon the return of Jesus, when we will know fully and be fully known. Certainly the fullest meaning of that concerns our relationship with God, but I also think – again, speculation – that we will know each other better and deeper and be more fully known as well. There will be no loneliness in Heaven, nor any holding back of our true and authentic self. We will know each other and be fully known. Perhaps that, or some other reason I can’t even begin to fathom, will be why we don’t have marriage in Heaven. Let’s read our passage and then discuss the most important biblical command.

The greatest question ever asked by a human being was asked by a Pharisee – credit where credit is due. Here it is in today’s passage:

36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.38 This is the greatest and most important command.39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:36-38

The most important command is to wholeheartedly love God first and second, to love our neighbor as ourselves – our neighbor who is just like us, and our neighbor who is different from us. Our Republican neighbors and our Democrat neighbors, our Alabama neighbors and our  Auburn neighbors. Our Manchester City neighbors and our Manchester United neighbors. Our Shaheen neighbors and our Men in Blue neighbors. These commands are in their proper order. Loving our neighbor is important, but the greatest command is first and foremost to love God wholeheartedly. Here’s David Platt to help us go deeper on this greatest command:

So number one: Love the Lord. Love the Lord. This is the first command, and it’s the primary command from God to His people. Love the Lord. Verse five, “You shall (this is a command) … You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” So from the very beginning, see that God intends to relate to His people on the basis of love. This is the title of the devotional we’re using, that accompanies this Bible reading over these two years: “For the Love of God.” And one of my prayers for this journey that we’re walking through as a church is that God might instill in us—in you, in me—a deeper, higher, wider, truer love for God. More than you love your wife or your husband. More than you love your kids or your grandkids. More than you love your job, or your home, or your possessions, or your achievements, or your reputation, or your safety or your security. More than you love your own life, that you would love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might. Jesus said later in the New Testament, in one of those places that references Deuteronomy, “This is the first and greatest commandment: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.”

Do you love God? Wherever you’re sitting, do you love God? I mean, really. Not, do you love His gifts? Because God has given many, many gifts to us, many, many good things in each of our lives. But if we’re not careful, we all fall into the temptation of loving the gifts more than we love the giver. And God knew this was a temptation for these Israelites. Amidst His promises of these things He’s going to give to them—descendants, land—He knew they would be tempted to get focused on those things in such a way that they would forget Him.

David Platt, “Choose to Live,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2014), 4417.

Bible Memory verses for the month of May: Matthew 28:18-20 18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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