So, in heaven and when we say heaven, I want to make that distinction, I think what she’s asking is the final hope of a believer which is not in heaven, but it is in the new heavens and the new earth.
Jesus says in the renewal of all things, at the resurrection, there will be no marriage (Matthew 22:30). So, does that mean we will have friendships?
The short answer is yes, we will.
The fact that it says there will be no marriage there doesn’t mean I won’t know my wife. It’s not like reincarnation where the resurrection is like “Men in Black”. Do you know Men in Black? It’s not going to be like that. We will know each other. So, I will know my wife. It’s just that the kind of things husbands and wife used to do will not be done again. They will relate but they won’t be sexually intimate. Why? Because there will be no giving birth to children. People will not become pregnant in that way because the picture that marriages reflect will now be fulfilled. People come together to be fruitful and multiply, now God will have established his fruitfulness, you will now have people after the order of Christ. So that would have happened but when these people are together, what will they be doing?
If you read Isaiah 65: 17-25, it paints a picture. And it’s really pointing to the final state of God’s redemption plan.
So, it says “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth…”
Go and see what it says. It really talks about a lot of normal things, normal things that have now being made in the way God wants it.
“22…my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands.”
God will bless the works of their hands. In other words, there will be work and if you read Revelation chapter 21 and part of 22, which is a further expansion and elaboration of Isaiah 65, you will see that God blesses the works of people’s hands, but it also gives you this funny thing that you’ll be like, “what’s happening?”
My children like animals a lot and they like exotic pets. They want a honey badger. What’s that! They want hedgehogs, porcupines, and all of these kinds of things. One of them, the five-year-old, Timi, he says he likes lions, he wants to see a lion. And I tell him, if I take you near a lion, you won’t stay there. You won’t stay. If a snake comes in, you won’t stay.
But then Isaiah 11 says a child will put his hand near a viper and it won’t hurt. In the new heavens and the new earth, just like Adam was with all the animals in the garden, he’s saying none will hurt in my holy mountain.
“The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’snest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,.. “
So, if there’s already a restored relationship between human beings and animals, what you’ll find is that you have a restored relationship between human beings. In other words, it’s not just we will be friends in the new heavens and the new earth, all those things that used to drive us apart will actually not be there. You see, our friendships will have reached their apex because now there is no sin, now there is no selfishness, now there is no termination by death. And so, I actually think we will have the best of friendships in the new heavens and the new earth.
Femi Osunnuyi is lead pastor of City Church, a gospel-centred urban church in the city of Lagos. Because of his passion for church planting and leadership development he also serves on the Lead Team of Acts29 and the Advisory Team of City to City Africa. He is happily married to Tosin and is father to Tofunmi and Timilehin.