All of this talk about the spiritual side of sex leads us to the question that most of us Christians have contemplated at least once in their lives, if we’re honest: Will there be sex in heaven?
Before I offer my personal opinion on the matter based on the research I’ve done, I’d like to tell you about a radio interview I did several years ago that, in all honesty, ticked me off royally. I’m not sure if the pastor who was interviewing me was simply playing “devil’s advocate” (if so, he wasn’t a very good actor), or if he really had this mentality, but he posed an infuriating question. He challenged, “By telling married couples to engage freely in sex, aren’t you encouraging them to operate out of their ‘sinful, animal’ nature?”
Hello?! I thought. Are you serious? How could someone with theological training draw such an off-base conclusion?
I reminded him of the order of events in Genesis, and how God created sex within marriage before the fall of man ever occurred. So how in the world can it be sinful? It’s only sinful in our minds because we’ve let Satan steal the notion of sexuality being a huge part of God’s perfect creation. And because it is a part of God’s perfect creation, why in the world would we assume that there won’t be sex in heaven? It’s as if we assume that God is going to somehow wake up and realize, “Oh, I shouldn’t have told them to do all that nasty stuff back in the Garden of Eden, so we won’t be allowing that in heaven!”
Sorry, but I can’t buy that.
Matthew 22:30 is probably another reason why we assume there won’t be sex in Heaven. It reads, “When people rise from the dead, they will not marry, nor will they be given to someone to marry. They will be like the angels in heaven” (NCV). In other words, there won’t be any reason for marriage in Heaven. Why? Because earthly marriage is intended to be a reflection of God’s commitment to His bride, the Church. Once we are in heaven, there’s no need for a mere reflection. We’ll have the Real Thing. We’ll all be in the presence of our Heavenly Bridegroom, so our attentions and affections will no longer have to be directed toward an earthly surrogate.
But will there be sex in heaven? I believe the answer is both yes and no.
Let’s press the pause button and consider the question, “What is sex?” It’s not just intercourse—it’s also gender. When you complete a job application and the form asks you to indicate your “sex,” how do you respond? By indicating “male” or “female,” of course. Will we be male and female in heaven? Why wouldn’t we be? We will not be neutered at heaven’s gates. Matthew 22:30 tells us that we will be as “angels,” not as “geldings” or “eunuchs.” God’s purpose in delivering us from a fallen world into a perfect world is to unmake the messes that we have made, and that Satan has made, not to unmake the perfection that He has made.
Excerpted from The Passion Principles: Celebrating Sexual Freedom in Marriage by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Published by W Publishing Group, and imprint of Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.