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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood

 

Like the Angels

January 20, 2013

“At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” (Mark 12:23-25, NIV)

The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. Thus, their question to Jesus about “whose wife will she be?” was an intellectual tease they probably had lobbed many times at their opponents, the Pharisees, who did believe in the resurrection of the dead.

If I didn’t know Jesus’ answer, I ponder how I would have answered. Probably I would have said, “The one she loved.” Or, “None — after seven husbands she’s finally free to not have any of them imposed on her!”

I would have muddled through with an answer — but not Jesus. Since He came from “the other side,” He is qualified to answer! And He nails the issue with a question: “Are you not in error?”

The Sadducees committed the same error liberal theologians do today. Both then and now people may know the Scriptures intellectually. There are experts in what we know as source criticism, form criticism and textual criticism — the tools modern scholars use to dissect the Bible. But that does not mean one knows the Scriptures at the level of trust and obedience. We must never sit in judgment on the Bible or be critics of the Scripture. Rather, let it judge our lives.

In not truly knowing the Scriptures, the Sadducees did not know God’s power. The two are intertwined. Those who know best the Scriptures also know best the power of God. Why? Because He is the same yesterday, today and forever!

If anyone should know what life in heaven is like, it is Jesus. He came from there. In His earthly ministry He didn’t expound a great deal on what life in heaven is like. He did tell us there are many rooms (John 14), and that He wants us to be with Him in the home He is preparing.

In this dialogue with the Sadducees, He gives us a glimpse at the quality of life within that eternal home, and He says there will be no marriage in heaven. Is that really good news?

At first glance, it may be disappointing. Isn’t the greater part of life on earth taken up with marriage and family? On the other hand, there are many married persons who may be secretly relieved there is no marriage in heaven, since the marriage they had on earth was so full of trouble, sorrow and discord.

If you go back to Genesis and the creation of Adam and Eve, one of the main functions of marriage was bearing children. In not having marriage in heaven, we know that there will be no children born there. When the human race is done on earth, it’s finished with propagating itself. Earth marks the terminus for the reproduction of human life.

For those with happy and fulfilling marriages, it may be inconceivable that living as an angel could be an improvement on human life. We’ll just have to leave that in the Lord’s hands. He will never disappoint us; thus we can trust Him that always the next phase will be better — better than all we can ask or imagine!.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, I trust You in this life and in the life to come. I do believe in Your Word and in Your power.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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