There will be no marriages in heaven but there will be a wedding, a wedding between the Church and her Holy Husband and Maker. Marriage is a metaphor for new creation, for perfect union between God and man: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:1-2). But what about now? Why the difficulty in knowing God now?
Knowing and following Christ can be like marriage. On that blessed wedding day, when the beautiful bride makes her way down the isle in a vision of white, marital conflict seems miles away. And yet despite the genuine joy of marital union, the glorious wedding day is followed by occasional conflict, suffering, and sin shared by husband and wife. Conflict, suffering and sin that is, strangely enough, between two lovers. When we initially embrace Jesus Christ as our Husband, we carry wedding day expectations into our relationship. We know genuine joy and peace like never before because we have been reconciled to God, and yet, in the months and years that follow we discover that the relationship isn’t as perfect as we thought, that God is sometimes distant, that we doubt his goodness, that we are prone to cheat on him, to misunderstand him, to have conflict…with God.
Revelation 21:2 tells us that, in Jesus, there will be a day when our relationship will be perfect in every way, a day when wedding day expectations will be met and exceeded because we have arrived at that newness that was so richly symbolized in white, because the preparing and adorning work of the Spirit has been completed to present us pure and spotless, without even a hint of imperfection or sin. Our union with God will be so complete that desire for lesser lovers will not only languish but extinguish. Our capacity to delight in God’s perfect love for us will be unhindered, free to such an extent that second-guessing his affection and infidelity will be not only unthinkable but impossible. This is the vision, the promised future of all who hope in Jesus. Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus come.