ReMARKable: A Question of Heaven

ReMARKable: A Question of Heaven

March 14, 2021
Pastor Scooter Noland

Mark 12:18-27

And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.”
Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”
Most of us know someone that has passed, and it seems that the longer we are alive the sweeter heaven becomes. CS Lewis writes: "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."

How true those words ring. Jesus said himself in John 8:51 "Truly, truly I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."


  • Fun Fact: 
    • The Bible has a lot to say about Heaven. The word “Heaven” appears over 600 times in the Bible. The words “hell” or “Hades” appear only 22 times.
  • Sad Fact: 
    • In 2015 72% of Americans say they believe in Heaven, defined as a place where people who lived good lives are eternally rewarded.
  • Who are the Saducees? 
    • This passage is the only reference to the Sadducees in Mark's Gospel. They were the Jewish aristocratic party whose members came largely from the priesthood and the upper classes. They looked down on everyone el, but were less popular than the Pharise. Many of the Saducees served on the Sanhedrin – Jewish Supreme court. Most were wealthy and they cooperated with Rome and the authorities. 
    • The second thing to take away from them is that they denied the resurrection, so they were Sad-u-see. Denied future judgment, man-made oral traditions (613 laws),  and the existence of angels and spirit however, they accepted the Pentateuch. 
    • Mark wanted us to know one major thing. They didn’t believe in the resurrection, nor did they believe in life after death

Embrace the weirdness

So, if your an ancient Israeli woman, make sure you have checked out your husband's brother because let's just put it our for the record that my wife would have never married me (sarcasm).

Embrace the grace

Without this widow protecting law, Jesus' lineage wouldn't be the same. Ruth married Boaz because of this levirate duty. The levirate duty was a vehicle of grace for our salvation.

The Sadducees took a left turn in Albuquerque 

The Sadducees make up a story about seven brothers who successively fulfilled the duty of levirate marriage to their first brother’s wife but all seven died childless. Then the woman died also. They asked Jesus, At the resurrection whose wife will she be? Clearly they were ridiculing belief in the resurrection. Can you hear the snickering??? The Sadducees took this obscure law and extrapolated it to a worst-case scenario: seven brothers marrying the same woman—and each of them dying. It reminds me of the real-life serial murderer named Nannie Doss who was arrested in 1954 in Tulsa, Oklahoma for killing her fourth husband. Investigators discovered she had poisoned three of them, and shot one. When asked by she shot him, Nannie said, “Because he wouldn’t eat the soup.” But Jesus gave a serious answer to a silly question.
They weren't interested in the truth
They only asked because they oppose Jesus
They're ridiculing Him
They want to destroy Him

Best part is...

He knows...

The Sadducees thought that they were smart, but Jesus soon revealed their ignorance of two things: the power of God and the truth of Scripture. They did not know the Scriptures—their true meaning, not merely their contents; and they did not know the power of God—His power to overcome death and give life. So Jesus, appealed to the Book of Moses, the Pentateuch, and spoke of the burning bush (Ex. 3:1–6). They claimed to accept the authority of Moses, but they failed to notice that Moses taught the continuation of life after death. In this passage God identified Himself to Moses, stating, I am the God of Abraham … Isaac, and … Jacob (Ex. 3:6). God implied that the patriarchs were still alive and that He had a continuing relationship with them as their covenant-keeping God, even though they had died long before. This demonstrates, Jesus concluded, that He is not the God of the dead, in the Sadducean understanding of death as extinction, but of the living. It demonstrates their corrupt theology because of rejection of the scriptures. They knew some of the scriptures., but just enough to be dangerous. It is like that old saying "I know enough to break it."

We would say of them today, they are just lost. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV) 14 ..The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Natural man cannot understand the powers of God, but the word of God comes alive when you are saved. They, the Sadducees,  weren’t just wrong about the scriptures, they were wrong about the power of God. Death IS NOT the one thing that God’s power cannot prevail against. For example, take Jairus’ daughter Mark 5 (Jairus implores Jesus to come/woman with issue/news comes that she is dead) Talitha Cumi – little girl arise • Lazarus – John 11 John 11:25 (ESV)

 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,

 Jesus is our hope in the resurrection. Because He’s alive, we will be made alive as well!

Ephesians 1:19–20 (ESV)
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places

Jesus tells them they are wrong and why they are wrong. They were exceedingly ignorant concerning:
The Scriptures
The Power of God
Heavenly Revelations

There are some things regarding heaven that we need to understand 
  1. There is a resurrection 25 For when they rise from the dead 
    1. This is a certainty from God’s word. Not just here, but all throughout Scripture
  2. Relationships in heaven will be different in Heaven. 
    1. Jesus teaches resurrection life will be different than earthly life. In resurrection-life, people will neither marry (contract a marriage) nor be given in marriage (have a marriage arranged by parents). If there is no need for marriage in heaven, then that means that family structure will be different!. Family will not be disappointingly less but infinitely more. 
    2. Will we know each other? Genesis 25:7–8 (ESV) 7 These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life, 175 years. 8 Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. Take notice of that last part in verse 8: gathered to his people (Abraham) So, relationships and family may be different but we will know each other because we’ll all be SO OVERWHELMED by the presence of Jesus that earthly relationships will seem insignificant in comparison to Him. Friends, when you see Jesus face to face, your deepest yearning for acceptance and intimacy will be fulfilled. 

      In 1923 Nettie Dudley Washington wrote a song largely ignored for about sixty years. But the Gaither vocal band rediscovered it and recorded it in 1993. Now the words are familiar. “As I entered the gates of that city, My loved ones all knew me well; They took me down the streets of Heaven; Such scenes were too many to tell; I saw Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Talked with Mark and Timothy. But I said, “I want to see Jesus, ‘Cause He’s the One who died for me.” Then I bowed on my knees and cried, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” I clapped my hands and sang, “Glory, Glory, Glory.” I sang, “Glory to the Son of God.” You’ll know and enjoy many relationships in Heaven with family members and friends, but all those relationships will be overshadowed by your relationship with Jesus. 

    3. Do we become angels? No, people don’t BECOME angels. They neither marry nor are given in marriage, but ARE LIKE angels in heaven. So, how will we be LIKE the angels? Angels don’t die. It is that simple. There is never a reference in the Bible to an angel birth or an angel funeral. There are no baby angels, senior citizen angels, no married angels, and like the angels in heaven, we will be immortal beings in God’s presence. Like the angels in heaven, we will be concerned with only serving and worshipping God. If you are a parent who experienced the death of an infant, you need to know God has something in store for that child that is much more wonderful than becoming an angel. We know little children go directly to Heaven because in 2 Samuel 12:23, an infant son of King David dies. David makes a profound statement about his child being in Heaven. He said, “He cannot return to me; but I can go to him.” If you’ve had a newborn, or even a pre-born child die, you can hang onto the hope that if you know Jesus as your Savior, you can go to be where they are when you die, or when Jesus returns.
    4. What about our bodies? What will we look like? Paul answers that question. 
      1. 1 Corinthians 15:42 (ESV) • 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 
      2. 1 Corinthians 15:49 (ESV) • 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. 
      3. 1 Corinthians 15:51–52 (ESV) • 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
    5. On this earth we bore the image of the man of dust. In heaven we will bear the image of Jesus. New bodies. Hallelujah! Joni Eareckson Tada. In 1967 she was an active 17-year-old teenager. Diving accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down. She has gone on to become one of the most active Christian authors, speakers, and singers in the United States and around the world. Looking forward to her new body, she writes: “I, with shriveled, bent fingers, atrophied muscles, gnarled knees, and no feeling from the shoulders down, will one day have a new body, light, bright, and clothed in righteousness—powerful and dazzling. Can you imagine the hope this gives someone who has a spinal cord injury like me? No other religion, no other philosophy promises new bodies, hearts, and minds. Only in the gospel of Christ do hurting people find such incredible hope.” (Heaven: Your Real Home, p. 53)

How do we live it out?

We can find the answer to every question in God’s Word. 
To Jesus, the answer to every question was in the Scriptures and not in man’s own thinking
We need to seriously consider the implications about heaven 

"Two things will surprise us when we arrive in heaven: who is there and who is not." 
- John Hannah.

Are you prepared? Not everyone who comes to Jesus goes with Jesus. (Saducees)

Are you living with heaven in mind or for earthly things?

We should praise God for being the God of the living.

27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living.

None who belong to God will ever know death

Posted in , ,
Posted in , ,

No Comments