Q: Will our desires change once we are raptured? What about marriage?
A: I heard a comparison given once between the earth and heaven. The person explained that being in our new bodies could be compared to the difference between being in the womb and in the world. In the womb, the child is comfortable and would never think of escaping it. But once he or she is born (that is, once he or she is born plus a few years) he or she would have no desire to ever return to the womb. He or she would think that utterly foolish. “That was just the beginning,” the child would say. But what I have now is life. I think eternity will be like that. Once we move into the realm of eternity, with our glorified bodies, we will have no desire to return to the former state.
Since, prior to the rapture, we do not see now what’s really in store, we can only imagine. However, we do get a glimpse from the apostle Paul’s writings, in which he states,
“THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
(1 Corinthians 2:9b … which is actually a quote from the OT)
Here’s another equally valid take, I think. While we are in this earthly body, we have earthly desires (I am not saying they are wrong, but they are earthly). The bodies we have really are made of earth. All the elements that are found in our bodies are found in the earth. Zinc, iron, chromium, etc. That all comes from the earth. Now just as we have earthly desires (that may not be wrong) because we are in an earthly body, yet when we are clothed in our heavenly body (which certainly cannot be made of earth, because it cannot decay), then we will have heavenly desires. Our desires will totally change. So I think it’s clear that the desires of earthly man are not the same as the desires of heavenly man. They cannot be, precisely because Jesus said that there was no marriage in heaven. Surely God would not give these earthly desires to become married to someone living in a heavenly body for all eternity! (How cruel that would be!)
The end conclusion of the matter is that something far greater awaits us all in the realm of eternity. We will never be sad, never be disappointed, and the Lord will wipe away every tear from our eyes (the book of Revelation, chapter 1, states this pretty clearly).
A person’s desire to get married and have children, etc, is not wrong. It’s natural. But in the supernatural realm, it will be fulfilled in a different way than it is while living in earthly bodies.
What we see on the earth right now, is a shadow of the things to come. So if you have a desire to get married and have children, for example, that is merely a shadow of something much greater.
When Jesus returns, He will establish His millennial (1000- year) reign (that’s just for starters then there will be new heaven and a new earth for all eternity). Jesus Christ will be needing people to entrust great responsibilities to.
I am speaking as a man now, who likes to “do” things. But who is going to go through all of the pornographic videos and make sure that it is dumped in the fire? Someone needs to head that up. Jesus will assign someone to do that. There’s a huge cleanup job ahead. (It will take at least three years, in my opinion — and that is just an opinion).
The Lord is going to need people to head up cities, counties, regions, provinces, states, countries. He will need ambassadors travelling to and from Jerusalem. There will be lots of rebuilding going on, lots of need for cooks, carpenters, sewers, dancers and singers and musicians (especially) and the list goes on an on.
This is some food for thought. There will be lots to do. But if, I suppose, temporarily, a believer is not satisfied with doing, they can just “be” for a while and worship the Lord in all His majesty (then they will be quite motivated to “do”). It will be glorious, they will not be disappointed, and there will be no desire to have children or be married in an earthly sense, for God will use that person in tremendous ways to bless the people of the world. They shall be fulfilled.
In short, earthly desires like the desire to get married and have children will change. Whatever desires a person has now, I believe that in the heavenly realm there is an equivalent to it, but only better. So instead of longing to be married, a person will likely have a profound and deep longing to serve Christ. Instead of longing to have children, a person will probably have a profound and deep longing to server the people of Christ (perhaps God will entrust children to the care of people, rather than them having their own offspring — it may not seem as rewarding, but, again, God will transform all earthly desires and there will be no desire to have children according to the flesh once we are living in our heavenly bodies).
In short, I believe God will still honor a person’s desires, but He will allow them to be fulfilled in a different, more glorious, and even more fulfilling manner. I don’t think a person has to, in a sense, give up those desires; they will merely be expressed in different ways.
This is my understanding of the matter, at any rate.