Question: When we reach heaven, will we join our spouse there, or is it “’till death do us part”? If we do join our spouse for eternity in heaven, what of the people who remarried after being widowed?
Answer: Jesus dealt with this question in a sense when he challenged the Sadducees about their denial of the resurrection. Actually, they began the discussion (Matthew 22:23-33) by relating a scenario of a woman who had seven husbands, all brothers, who had died after each had married her and not produced a male offspring. The Law of Moses commanded that the dead man’s brother marry his widow if no male offspring were produced in order to carry on the name of the original father and secure the land inheritance. Their question for Jesus was, “Whose wife will she be” at the resurrection (assuming the resurrection is a reality, which we Sadducees deny)? They thought they had Jesus stumped or else defending a ridiculous doctrine.
Jesus answered that they were in error for not seeing the resurrection in the Scriptures and for miscalculating the power of God. And he made this statement, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (v.30). Apparently the angels do not procreate like the human race does, therefore they do not have the formal arrangement of marriage. And we will be like them at the resurrection in that we will no longer need the formal arrangement of marriage to protect our relationships and offspring.
The Bible does say that death ends the marriage bond (Romans 7:2) thus freeing the surviving spouse to remarry. Does this mean we won’t have a special relationship with our earthly spouse or spouses at the resurrection (that is, in heaven or in the kingdom)? I don’t think it means that. How could I not have a special relationship with someone I spent much of my life with and learned to love perhaps more deeply than anyone else on earth? Just as I expect to have a special relationship in the kingdom with my parents, children and other family members, I expect to have a special relationship with my wife. I will undoubtedly develop many more relationships in the kingdom than I did before and will have a new capacity for developing intimate friendships because of the absence of sin in my life. The kingdom will be a place for an unlimited number of relationships to grow and thrive, especially our relationship with Jesus.