Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Are There Children In Heaven?

Biblegems #101
Question: Are there children in heaven?

The Bible does not have a lot to say on this subject, but neither is it left a blank.

Children In Heaven Now
Jesus said…
Matt. 19:14 Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
This passage tells us that heaven, right now, is full of little children because, as He says, heaven belongs to them! This would include aborted infants and all who die too young to be morally accountable for sin.

When King David lost his son, even though that child was born from an illicit relationship with Bathsheba, he knew with certainty he would see his child in heaven:
2 Sam. 12:23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, [i.e., in heaven] but he will not return to me.

Children in the Millennium
Scripture contains several references to children during the Millennial Reign of Christ, but these two from Isaiah tell the story pretty well:
Is. 11:6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
Is. 11:8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra
Children In Heaven Forever
For there to be children in heaven throughout eternity one of three things would have to take place: 1) Either, those entering heaven now as children would never mature—which seems very unlikely—or 2) God would create children whenever He wished, continually adding to the glorified human population in heaven without the participation of human parents—for which there is no Scriptural teaching, or 3) that glorified human parents would be able to conceive children.

While I personally think that parenting children in heaven is very unlikely, the fact remains that human beings in heaven remain human beings. Glorified, yes; without gender, no. Even the interpretation of the reference below that is so often used to teach that there will be no sexuality in heaven is entirely fallacious:
         Matt. 22:30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

The point of Jesus’ teaching is that the act of two people getting married is an earth-bound practice that is eternally binding. There will not be marriage ceremonies in heaven, even as the angels have no marriage ceremonies. Unfortunately, many have understood Jesus to mean that angels are genderless and, therefore, people in heaven will be genderless as well. However, the passage clearly says nothing about gender. Jesus was reminding the Sadducees that the marriage covenant on earth is binding.

This “forever union” is pictured beautifully in Ephesians 5:21-32, where Paul compares the union of a husband and wife with the union of Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:31).

So, the possibility of a couple conceiving a baby in heaven is at least hypothetically possible. HOWEVER, where the Scripture does not teach, we should not presume to go. Some surprises are better left until we see Him face to face!

1 comment:

  1. I believe there is marriage in heaven. I'm still reading and meditating on His words, but now I don't hesitate to hope for marriage in heaven with God. There is a lot that can be said to support the state of marriage with another person in heaven (like the purpose of gender). The stance against it only relies on Jesus' words as in Matthew 22:30, and is more a misstatement than a misunderstanding. I don't know why Christians jump the gun and dogmatically assume this, when it is even something some theologists have been uncertain about. There are questions that arise when accepting the proposal of heavenly marriage, however, as you said, if we don't learn what it is here, even better the surprise there.