Feb 24, 2019 – Heaven and Real Life Relationships
Faulty sermon recording.
Rev. Charles Drew
Matthew 22:23-33, Ephesians 5:28-32 (ESV)
The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, 24 saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’ 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. 26 So too the second and third, down to the seventh. 27 After them all, the woman died. 28 In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.” 29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.
28 Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
Introduction: God is going to change reality—both physical and social—dramatically—at the resurrection of heaven and earth. Knowing this will have a huge impact on how we live now.
I) No marriage in heaven
Mt 22:30: For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
- Relational continuity and relational change
“like angels in heaven” (Mt. 22:30)
- What the new social order means for living now
1) For single people without current prospects
- It is not unspiritual to desire marriage.
- But marriage isn’t “home”
- Don’t let your desire to be married get in the way of loving the friends you actually have right now.
- “Man will not live until he loves [not, “until he marries”], giving himself away (vs. 24) to another on his own level” (Derek Kidner, Genesis).
2) For single people with prospects.
- Beware the “checklist”
3) First word for married people
- Love your actual spouse.
- When a girl marries, she exchanges the attention of all other men of her acquaintance for the inattention of just one (Helen Rowland, in Thomas, p. 153)
- Difficult things to be managed with a real person:
- Treasures to be mined with a real person.
- Abstractions do us no good
- Jesus never says, “I am committed to the ideal you.”
4) Second word for married people
- No excuse for withdrawing.
Marriage is good—but it isn’t God. It isn’t home.
II) New sort of marriage in heaven.
Ephesians 5:31-32 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
- God’s chosen picture: speaks of intimacy, commitment, delight, safety, and desire.
- God’s desire
The reason we are not to make an idol of human marriage is precisely the same reason we are not to make an idol of anything created
God’s holy jealousy—revealed on Good Friday
The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord
She is his new creation by water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride.
With his own blood he bought her and for her life he died.
Take away: Take the love offensive this week.
Prayer of Confession
Glorious Trinity, you are the community that has always been and always will be. You are the reason why love is so important. We confess that we do not love well. We tend to treat community as a convenience—if it works for us we will pursue it; if it does not we will abandon it. Our needs tend to trump the needs of others. We tend to hoard our gifts rather than to share them. We tend to covet the gifts of others rather than to be thankful for them. We tend to ignore those who can’t help us or who are not like us. We keep records of wrongs done to us, tending to be more forgiving towards ourselves than we are towards anyone else. Forgive us for being so unlike you, for learning so little from the God who assumed our flesh and suffered in order to make a way for us into his Family. By your Spirit fill us with your holy love. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.