The Last Day of Your Marriage

The Last Day of Your Marriage

Genesis 23:2 – And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.

 A news station in Nashville recently reported the story of a local couple whose story sounds like it’s one out of a romantic comedy. Charley Ray and Martha Jean Harris met at 12 years old, married at 19, were married 65 years, and died at the age of 84 just minutes apart while holding hands in adjacent hospital beds.

Both Christians, they were involved in their church as Charley taught Sunday school and sang in the choir while Martha was involved in the women’s ministry. Recently, she was sick and hospitalized and, shortly thereafter, he too suddenly became sick and was hospitalized.

Speaking of Heaven, their son was reported as saying, “You know this is just conjecture of course, but it’s nice to think about that they held hands going through the gates.” Their joint funeral was in the same church they were married in. While not every married couple gets to be buried together, every married couple who knows Jesus does have something in common with Charley and Martha, as well as Abraham and Sarah – they get to rise together.

For those of you who are married and love the Lord, there will most likely come a day that one will have to bury the other one. The last day of your marriage will be the toughest for the one left behind. But the great news is that you both will be going to the same Heaven and will stand face-to-face with the same Jesus.

A couple of years ago, I did a sermon series answering some of the top questions about Heaven the question of whether or not we’ll be married in Heaven was one of them. Here are a few thoughts I gave at the time on arguments for and against being married in Heaven:

3Arguments for Being Married in Heaven

  1. Despite Adam being a perfect person in a perfect place with perfect relationship with God, it was “not good” for him to be “alone”. Since our status in the Kingdom of Heaven will be like Adam, it won’t be good for us to be alone and unmarried either.
  2. God made marriage to reflect the Trinity so that a husband and wife, though more than one person, would become “one”. As God’s image bearers, we need to be in loving, unified relationship to best reflect the relational three Persons who are together One God.
  3. In Heaven, things pick up where the fall of Genesis 3 fell off. Marriage is not part of our sinful world but part of God’s perfect design plan for humanity.

2 Arguments Against Being Married in Heaven

  1. Perhaps in Heaven our relationship with God and all our relationships with one another will be perfect and deep enough to meet all our relational needs fully thereby leaving no need for one unique relationship like marriage. Furthermore, the friendship with our spouse can continue into eternity, perhaps in some even deeper way than marriage that is hard for us to conceive of in our broken world.
  2. The strongest argument against marriage came from some religious folks who hated the idea of resurrected eternal physical life in the Kingdom of Heaven who came to stump Jesus with a trick question in Matthew 22:23–33: Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.” But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘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.” And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.

Whether or not we will still be married when we get to Heaven, the good news is that, if you love and have a relationship with Jesus, you get to spend eternity with Him and that’s what we can put our hope in. Until then, I pray that your marriage or future marriage will be rooted in Jesus until the last day when one or both of you meet Him face-to-face.

 Which marriages have you seen that may or may not have started well, but they ended well on the last day, as an encouragement and example?

To help you study the book of Genesis with us, check out the second of three free e-book study guides here.

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Mark Driscoll
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