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The end of gender: Is it possible that there will be no Male or Female in Heaven

angel

I am going to suggest something that for some could be mind blowing. I want to start off by saying this is speculation, but not empty speculation. I would say I have a small argument based off of some deductions from scripture. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was wrong, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if I was right.

So here’s my thought: There will no longer be man and woman in heaven; at least in the traditional sense.

So the first question anyone will ask is how did you get to this point? That’s a very good question. In one of my more popular posts:

Marriage after Death: Can we be married forever?

I discuss the issue of marriage in heaven, which is closely related to this issue, and in another post

Will there be Candy Apples in Heaven? which is one of my favorites, I discuss  the issue of food in heaven. What they both have in common is they look at what our new bodies will be like.

So this is how I got to the point of assuming that there will be no males and females in heaven.

Lets start out with our primary verse from 1 Corinthians 15:

39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh[c] of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.

40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.”[d] The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord[e] from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear[f] the image of the heavenly Man.

Last I want to go to one of my foundational passages from my last post “Will there be marriage in heaven, found in Matthew 22.

29Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.30At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

So what these passages both suggest is that the nature of our bodies will change, and that we have to look at our bodies differently. Our new bodies will be not like the first Adam, that was created initially male, and then later created female. It will be like that of the heavenly Man.

Now in the passage in Matthew 22 states something very strong. It states that one of the reasons that there will be no marriage is because we will be like the angels in heaven.

So here’s a question, Do angels have a gender?

When you look at scripture I can’t point to any scripture reference where the angel is a female.There is a passage in the fifth chapter of Zechariah that mentions two woman with wings, but those are probably not angels, but representative of other agencies.  Despite the lack of scripture references there is no definitive statement that angels cannot come in a female form. Angels are shape shifters. They have no set look. When they do appear they are often described as men, and at times with a glow, but how they appear on earth may not always be their true form. Often in scripture angels appear from no where and then vanish. The laws of physics don’t seem to apply to them.  Scripture points to the fact that they can appear in the form of humans, but don’t have human bodies. Hebrews states that they often appear as strangers.  So the big point behind this is that angels when they appear in Scripture just take on the form of a human, they do not have permanent physical  human bodies or reproductive organs. They do not have a set form or set gender.

Our first point then is that if angels have the ability to alternate human forms then that means they could come in theory come in either male or female forms depending on what suited them. Again their bodies are adaptable for the purposes of delivering a message.

So if Christ states we will be like the angels, I think he is referring to the fact that we will either have no gender, or that we will not have the same human elements that would cause us to want to get married.

I will not touch the Nephillim argument, but even if one chooses to use that, it seems to indicate the point that angels were not familiar with sex prior to coming down, and that the angels who did come down and had intercourse, had intercourse with women.

So again that leads us to conclude that either angels are prohibited to have sex, or that they have no sexual organs.

However lets move on. We have much bigger fish to swallow.

So the big issue that we have to examine is this question?

What is the primary reason for God making man male and female?

The answer is reproduction.

When God made the earth scripture stated that he started with a seed, Adam, and from Adam he would create Eve, for the purpose of reproduction. What is the primary organ that determines if one is male or female? Our reproductive organs.

So if there is no longer a need for reproduction, why would our new bodies have sexual organs?

So here’s a question. What was the goal of the mandate to reproduce? In Genesis 1:28 scripture says the following:

28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it

God’s mandate for man was to fill the earth. It wasn’t simply to populate the earth, but for the population of heaven.  Now once the earth is full, or heaven is full, there no longer remains a need to reproduce. So here’s a question. What is the difference between the population at the beginning of earth and the new earth. The first earth had one man. The new earth will be full of humans. There is no need to reproduce. One of the reasons is that there is no death, and if there is no death and we live eternally, the new earth would have to expand exponentially because of all the population growth.

In the parable of the wedding banquet in Luke 14 we find the master telling his servants to invite as many people into the celebration until every seat is full. There will be no empty seats in heaven. God knows the capacity. There will be no new births in heaven. That stage will be over. All the creation of new humans and death of humans will end at the last trumpet.

So again I ask you, If we are getting new bodies, why would God give us reproductive organs if we will not reproduce? So if God does not give us reproductive organs, and we no longer have penis or vagina, then will we be male and female?

Now aside from the sexual organs, will we still have some appearance as a male or female? Who knows. Maybe, maybe not. It is possible to have the appearance of a woman, and not have a women’s sexual organs. Of particular interest is that the angels except for rare occasions seem to wear  clothing. This is of note because there is no evidence that would help us decide if an angel’s figure was that of a female or male. Even when I use the term male, I use it in the sense that when angels appear they come in the male form, but we are not sure of their true form.   There is much that we don’t know because we don’t know what are the hidden elements of our bodies that change, will be replaced or even be done away with. We don’t know what elements of masculinity or femininity will remain or be done away with, or be changed. For instance I’d like to think that there are no bathrooms in heaven.  I don’t think there will be a male, a female and an other bathroom. In fact I hope we don’t even need bathrooms. There are passages that suggest there will be feasting, however I’d like to think that our bodies will not need to create waste, but that every thing we eat would be recycled, or that our eating would be for enjoyment, and not necessarily for fuel. On the other hand if God chooses that we still create waste, then that’s what God wants. I’d have to admit that as a man some of my more peaceful times have been on that porcelain stool, but in Heaven I’m sure that the peace of being with God would eliminate any need for that.

Now here’s an idea I have been floating around, because I know it could kind of bum some of us out that we will potentially be different. Here’s the biggest take away. Our truest identity, or that which makes us, ourselves, is our soul, our memories, and our thoughts. Our bodies obviously make us who we are, but are bodies are going to change, and thank God. My knees are already getting creaky, and my body is not as spry as it used to be, and I’m still under 40 years old. I don’t mind getting an upgrade.

However back to my idea that I’ve been floating around. I think in heaven our bodies will be made for God. There will be a warming pleasure, like being under a warm blanket,or being next to a cool breeze that will create such great joy while we are in the presence of God. Our current bodies cannot withstand his presence. He has to tone it down when he speaks with us. Think of this concept, the earth’s sun has infinitely less glory that that of God. There is a light that is stronger, that is greater, that is more powerful, more warming, more loving, more calming, more brilliant  than anything we have understood or could imagine. We will be made to handle and embrace and contain the glory of God. We will be one with him. It is no longer about male and female. It is about human beings and their God. Our sexual organs are a part of our humanity that we most likely will lose, but that we will in no way miss. Trust me. There will be such great joy, such singing, such music such celebration as never before. The rush that you get when you see a beautiful woman, or man and that desire to be with them, will be replaced with a desire to be with our God. That’s why its called the great marriage feast.

Now again, I could be wrong, but the idea is that God is really efficient and intentional in what he does makes me think that my sexual organs would be a waste of space. We will be eunuchs indeed.  God would not design something that was without use.  I am fascinated when I start to think about the wisdom of God, and the potential that lies ahead of us. We need to understand that though there will be many things that are similar, there are other things that will be different.

So to sum up this conversation, our bodies are a big part of our identity, but one that will change significantly. I’d like to say that we need to shift our conversation and be ready to relinquish our current view of things. I want to close with a scripture that kind of helps put these things into perspective, whether my argument is right or wrong.

29 I mean, brethren, the appointed time has grown very short; from now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 3and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the form of this world is passing away.

32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; 33 but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl[f] is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

36 If any one thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed,[g] if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed,[h] he will do well. 38 So that he who marries his betrothed[i] does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

Our world, our conceptions our ideals, our way of life and  our bodies are passing away. Our focus and our devotion in heaven will be on the Lord. The male and female dynamic will fade away. Thats why it says that he who refrains from marriage will do better, because they have the proper focus, it is on God. I think Paul may have understood this concept which adds an extra meaning to this passage here:

26for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slaveg nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Its something to chew on an meditate on. Feel free to comment. I think it makes for a good discussion.

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Marriage after Death: Can we be married forever?

Can we be married forever?  This is a good question, a funny one, because in the west low estimates show that about 40% of marriages end in divorce, and the average length of those marriages is seven years. So the remaining 60% or so of couples must remain married right? The bigger question, sometimes the more romantic question is if marriages remain after death. I mean when you are in love, you can sweep your lady off her feet by telling her, “Baby if we ain’t married in heaven, I don’t want to be there. That’s how much I love you. “Of course you will end up with one hell of a marriage, Cue the drum roll, ” sh dun, dun”.

Is marriage possible in the after life? If so will our wedding  rings be upgraded along with our bodies, to where 1 carrot diamonds are automatically upgraded to 100 carots. I mean if the streets of heaven are paved with gold, at least the wedding band has to be platinum, I mean when the streets are better quality than the wedding ring, you’ve fallen on hard times. I mean c’mon.

Well so what about people that go to hell? I assume if there were marriages after death and the wife was the good one who cooked for faithfully served her husband, loved him with all her heart, only to die of a heart attack after he cheated on her and left her. She then  goes to heaven, while her husband burns his cheating butt in hell. In heaven is she free to remarry  the tall dark and handsome man of her dreams? Because after all what better place to find the man of your dreams than in heaven. So her new husband that she now finds in heaven, if she can have one must literally be to die for. I apologize for all the bad jokes, but we can see that there could be a couple of complications when we think about marrying in the afterlife, or pretty much heaven, because in hell you have no options; you are stuck with the husband or wife from hell. Imagine being nagged, everyday …..forever! That’s enough to make any man get saved. Okay that was the last bad joke.

So what does the Bible say about marriage in the afterlife? I have two scriptures to show you. The first is from God himself, he is responding to a religious sect called the Saducees who don’t believe in an after life. In fact one the reasons that they refused to believe in an afterlife is because they found it hard to figure out how things like marriages would work in heaven. So they propose this riddle to Jesus and ask him about a woman who’s been married seven times, and all of her husbands have died. The question is whose wife will she be in heaven? This is what Jesus says,

Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.(Luke 20:34-36)

So from the mouth of Jesus, there are no marriages being performed in heaven. I can see some people say, well that means there are no new marriages, but what about old marriages, people who were already married? One,  I would say that the phrase equal to the angels, rules that out.  How so? The Bible says those who are resurrected will receive glorified bodies. If these bodies are similar to those of angels then those bodies appear to be without gender; they have the ability to manipulate forms here on earth but they do not appear to made for the function of procreation at least in heaven.  Though there are passages that some scholars think hint to angels being intimate with humans ,there are no accounts of angels being intimate with each other. What are you telling me that there’s no sex in heaven? Yeah buddy there’s a strong possibility that there is none. But I am getting off track. Let’s focus again on the topic of marriages. So if there are no new marriages in heaven what happens to the old ones?

It is here that I have to interview my brother Paul. Paul is making a case how we are now dead to the law, so that we can be alive and married to Christ and he uses the metaphor of a marriage.

-3 You shouldn’t have any trouble understanding this, friends, for you know all the ins and outs of the law—how it works and how its power touches only the living. For instance, a wife is legally tied to her husband while he lives, but if he dies, she’s free. If she lives with another man while her husband is living, she’s obviously an adulteress. But if he dies, she is quite free to marry another man in good conscience, with no one’s disapproval.

The key concept to understand this passage is that the law only applies to those who are alive. You cannot charge a dead man with jaywalking, or stealing. He is dead. So how does that apply to marriages. First it is the law that legitimizes your marriage. This is why you can’t just cohabitate and say we are married in our hearts. No it is the law, the certificate that authorizes and validates your marriage. It makes it authentic. Without the law there is now marriage.  So when one person dies, the law that binds the marriage is no longer in effect. So this is why Paul says a woman whose husband dies, is able to remarry without any concern of worry of committing adultery. Why? Because her marriage has been made void by the death of her husband. This implies that death is the end of our marriage; that marriages do not make it to heaven.They are not legal, not valid. I’ll use a contemporary example. One of the reasons that same-sex marriage advocates must eventually press for a national amendment is because states that legalize marriage in one state, can find that their marriage license is not recognized in another state. In the same way, our marriages don’t appear to be recognized in heaven.

Scripture does speak of one wedding however, and one marriage in scripture and it is the marriage of Christ with his bride.

my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. ( Romans 7:4)

For your Maker is your husband,
      The LORD of hosts is His name;
      And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
      He is called the God of the whole earth.
       6 For the LORD has called you
      Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,
      Like a youthful wife when you were refused,”
      Says your God.
       7 “ For a mere moment I have forsaken you,
      But with great mercies I will gather you.
       8 With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
      But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”
      Says the LORD, your Redeemer.(Isaiah 54:5-8)

and of course the famous

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27)

I love this. Were you reading these scriptures? God chose to marry us; a broken down harlot. A rejected and beat down woman, whom the world spit out, and mocked,God sees, he loves, cleans up and marries. You see the reason that the movie Pretty Woman, The Wedding Singer, and any other love story appeals to women is because innately God put a desire for love.  People get excited over the royal wedding, that cannot hold a flame to the epic wedding of the King of Kings.

Don’t you see that the glories of this life; in its feasts, its weddings; its love; its emotions are just precursors, types shadows of that which is to come. The real thing is so much more; they can’t touch the real thing.  So don’t sacrifice the real thing for the shadow. If your single and wanting to get married be patient, don’t sell out to any punk, or skank. I know that is hard language but someone needs to hear it; you are far more valuable than a late night stand. Here’s the kicker, and I know some people don’t want to hear it but I’ll say it anyway, even if you never get married in this life, what is coming is so much better. Do not lose faith. I repeat do not give up on God.

So what are the major implications of all of this. I want to highlight two things. As mentioned in a prior post, The priesthood in Marriage, our marriages here are a foreshadowing of the event that is to come when we are joined together with Christ our God forever. This is why God hates divorce, because it misrepresents and distorts the truth that is implicit in marriage.

The last thing has to do with the nature of heaven, of the kingdom, of the afterlife. You see there are many who will trip out on not being married in heaven, or possible not having sex in heaven, but the focus of heaven, of the kingdom of God, of the afterlife is Christ. The main reward or pleasure in heaven is God. We get to see him! We get to touch him! Talk to him and experience him in a way that man has never done before! This is why some people wont go heaven, and don’t want to go to heaven; because they do not want God. I want him, I miss him, and am longing to see him, just as a bride is longing to see her groom. You see every bride wears a veil. Today we wear a veil, but one day it will be taken away and we will see God as he is. Oh what a beautiful day that will be! What a party we will have, for all those who long for his coming! If you do not long to see Christ, you might not be his, and I will pray for you, but to all those who do let us echo the last words of the holy book.

Maranatha, Lord Come. The Spirit and the Bride say Come. Come soon Lord Jesus, Come soon!

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