Scripture states that marriages on Earth will come to an end in eternity — that is good news and even Christians who never marry should rejoice about this, says author and theologian John Piper.
In an essay on published on Desiring God on Monday, the Reformed theologian said God's purposes for His children are altogether better than the best Earth can offer. Not only will health take the place of sickness and joy replace sorrow, but "unimaginable, unending, ever-increasing ecstasies [will] replace the best of our most intense pleasures in this world."
In the coming age, God improves both the worst and best realities of this earthly life, Piper said, explaining that this is in keeping with the Apostle Paul's words in Philippians 3:7 when he said, "Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ." When one gains Christ, then, everything is better and will be better forever.
Likewise, Paul told the church in Corinth, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, God has prepared for those who love him," Piper noted, referencing 1 Corinthians 2:9.
"If an infinite, all-wise, all-powerful Being loves us, and tells us that He has planned experiences for us in the age to come that exceed our ability to imagine, then we may conclude that these experiences will be inconceivably better than our best pleasures in this world for the simple reason that we can indeed imagine these."
What God has planned "will be even better than the best we can imagine," he reiterated.
Psalm 16:11 speaks of this, Piper added, which declares that in God's presence there is "fullness of joy." And the Hebrew for "fullness of joy" is literally "satiation of joys," a "joy beyond which there is no more joy to be had." Psalm 36:8 also speaks of the pleasures of God, the feasting on the abundance of God's house. And in Ephesians, the riches of God's grace are described as "immeasurable," he noted.
Sexual pleasure is but a precursor of what is to come, he said, and even those who never experience it in marriage are guarateed eternal ecstasies.
He added that while procreation is not the only purpose of marriage, it is precisely because of that specific purpose that marriage will no longer be needed, Piper explained. And God did not make marriage to last for eternity because its disappearance makes clear what has always been true — "that non-married people are the full beneficiaries of the greatest eternal joys."
"Marriage ends because all its pleasures are preludes and pointers to something so much better that the human heart cannot imagine," Piper concluded.
For those who never married, he advises: "The more you feel like you would miss it, the more you should rejoice that it will be replaced. With every taste or every dream, remember: this is only foretaste — only prelude."