Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Matthew 22:23-32 NIV
Heaven is a popular topic these days. In fact, a movie called Heaven is for Real is set to open this weekend, based on a true story of a young boy who died, clinically, before being revived and later told his parents about things and people he saw in Heaven. The book has been a comfort to many who want the reassurance that they will see their loved ones again.
Curiosity about Heaven is not restricted to our day and age. During Jesus' time on earth, there were two groups of Jewish religious leaders who had their own opinions about Heaven and whether or not there would be a resurrection at the end of the age. The passage above recounts how the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection, tried to catch Jesus in this theological debate. They laid out a hypothetical question, asking if a man died and his wife remarried, and this happened over and over again, whose wife she would she be in the resurrection. Since they believe there was a resurrection, any answer he gave would suit their purposes in drawing him into a fruitless argument.
The Scriptures, though, say that Jesus' answer stopped them cold. He side-stepped the debate part of the question and then addressed their main concern, telling them pointblank that God was the God of the living. Resurrection? Absolutely. Don't even question it.
Thank God for that reassurance.
I have said good-bye to too many people I love. Three of my children, born to Heaven directly from my womb. Professors from my seminary days. Relatives who I miss. Young people who had years left to live and to give.
But Jesus' words give me hope - there will be a resurrection! Those who belong to God are not lost. Though dead to this world, they are gloriously alive with Him. And because by God's grace I belong to Him as well, I will see them again. He is not the God of the dead, but of the living!
Heaven is for real - and you don't need to see the movie to know it.
Do you have the assurance that you will be with God in Heaven someday? These two links can tell you more.