By Hank Hanegraaff
What do you see in your mind’s eye when the word sex is mentioned? Fifty Shades of Grey? A James Bond movie? Cosmopolitan or Vanity Fair? Or does your mind immediately flash from sex to Scripture? Trust me, when it comes to sex, societal norms can hardly hold a candle to Scripture. If you think that’s an overstatement, just read a few pages of Solomon’s Song of Songs. Tragically, what the Creator purposed to be pristine and pure, the creation has prostituted and perverted. But that is not where the story ends! God does not arbitrarily remove things; He redeems them. So will there be sex in the resurrection? Yes and no. It all depends on what you mean by sex.
First, by nature or essence we are sexual beings. Sex is not just something you do; sex is what you are! The foremost reason we can say with certainty that sex will exist in the resurrection is that sex is not merely a word that describes an erotic experience. Sex is what we are by essence: in the beginning God created us male and female (Genesis 1:27). And that is how it always will be.
Furthermore, we can safely surmise that there will be sexuality in heaven because heaven will personify enjoyment. Men and women will enjoy one another not in a merely physical sense but in a metaphysical sense. This reality is virtually impossible for a crass materialist to grasp. The materialist views sexual pleasure as a function of fitting body parts together. Christians, however, see humanity as a psychosomatic unity of both body and soul. In heaven, the pleasure that the male and female sex will experience in one another will be infinitely magnified, because in eternity our earthly conception of sex will have been eclipsed. In place of selfishness, we will take pleasure in selflessness.
Finally, we can safely assume that there will be sex in eternity because God created sex in Eden before humanity’s fall into a life of constant sin terminated by death. Thus, in Eden Restored we can rest assured that God will not remove our sexual nature; rather, He will redeem it. In the new heaven and new earth, sex will no longer be for the purpose of procreation. Nor will it involve sexual intercourse, for “at the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). In heaven we will experience a kind of spiritual intercourse that eludes our understanding on earth. In paradise, romance subverted will become romance sublime. It will be agape-driven rather than animal-driven. For in Eden Restored, we will fly full and free, unfettered by the stain of selfishness and sin.
So will there be sex in the resurrection? Again, yes and no. Yes, there will be sexuality in heaven in that we will be in heaven, and we by our very nature are sexual beings. And no, there is no warrant for believing that sex in terms of the physical act will be in heaven.
Adapted from Resurrection
God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Genesis 1:27 NKJV
For further study, see Hank Hanegraaff, Resurrection (Nashville: Word Publishing), chapter 17. See also Peter J. Kreeft, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Heaven, But Never Dreamed of Asking (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1990); and Benjamin Cabe, On Gender and the Soul: An Exploration of Sex/Gender and Its Relation to the Soul According to the Church Fathers (Bozeman, MT: Fish and Vine Publishing, 2021).
**Note the preceding text is adapted from a new Revised and Updated version of The Complete Bible Answer Book that is forthcoming. When available we will update this page with corresponding information. Until then you can still purchase or receive for your partnering gift the current version by clicking here for purchase or here for partnering gift. ***