Warning to my readers with young children: this letter contains explicit language.
I received the following question:
I have a question:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and put the two first humans in a garden. After surveying his creation and declaring it good repeatedly, the first fact that displeased God was that Adam was alone. God’s mandates in the Garden of Eden (Eden means pleasure, by the way) were not “remain celibate,” “eat only tasteless grains,” and “submit.”
The God of Genesis is more an Epicurean than a Stoic. He does not design bodies without pleasure sensors, but instead squeezes onto the human tongue 10,000 taste buds. He does not make reproduction an onerous or bland affair, but loads human genitals with thousands of erotogenic nerve endings. In his extravagant kindness, he engineered eating and intercourse to give us pleasure and then commanded his first two humans to engage in both. It’s no wonder the first two chapters of Genesis declare creation “good” seven times over. The second chapter of the Bible concludes with two humans, in a garden of Pleasure, totally naked, who are commanded to have sex, eat fruit, and rule the world.
Not only does God’s design of the body shout to us that he engineered us to experience pleasure, but the Law he gave Israel on Sinai likewise indicates his penchant for enjoyment.
But, according to the Hebrew prophets, one day the God of heaven will set up a kingdom on this world, restoring it back to its original glory. Instead of shucking off the body like a husk so the soul can ascend, the biblical teaching about humanity’s destiny is rather fleshy. God designed humans to live on earth in the beginning, and he will resurrect his people on the last day, healing them of all their ailments and imparting to them immortality. The picture is a beautiful one, with people living in peace, confidently planting and harvesting without fear of intruders. Rather than rampant economic injustice, one will wear out the work of his own hands. This grand age is to begin with a banquet at which the resurrected saints will enjoy fine wine and rich meat, celebrating the victory of God. Although this terrestrial hope coursed through the veins of Jews for centuries, it had reached a fever pitch by the time of Jesus of Nazareth. In fact, he based his entire ministry on the proclamation and enactment of the coming of God’s kingdom.
There are many connections between the Sublime Song of Songs and the first three chapters of Genesis. In the Garden of Eden, the Bible remembers a paradisaical world. It was a world of love, a world of shalom, a world of mutuality, a world lacking shame. The Fall, Genesis 3, reveals that this world of beauty has been vandalized, even raped. The world in which Israel actually lived, that you and I live in, is a post Genesis 3 world. A world full of sub par relationships on every level. The “symphony of love” begun in Eden becomes the “cacophony of abuse” in the Fallen world. But I submit to you that the Song of Songs pictures the redemption of that symphony of love … the Song is God’s call for a return to Eden in the most holy relationship known to humanity – that between a husband and a wife. In the sexual relationship the Song loudly and proudly proclaims Paradise Regained. Even in the Fallen world we can experience Eden in our relationships – that is the vision of the Sublime Song. As we will see the Song does not see the couple as the “first couple” from Genesis. The Song is deeply aware that we live in a Fallen world but it shows the the woman and the man rediscovering Edenic values in even the most intimate area of their relationship. They relish one another.
In the Song of Songs, though we live in the Fallen world, we have returned to the Garden of Eden. Though in a sinful world Lovers, even after the Fall, can still bask in the beauty of Paradise. The vision of the Song of Songs for our marriage relationship is nothing short of breathtaking.
I believe that when we get to the New Earth we will live life the way God intended when He first created the earth and all it contains, with Jesus as King and Eve completing Adam. He gave us the command to rule the earth, multiply and fill it. Scripture seems to support that we will do all that on the New Earth. Surely He did not create us with the desires we have—food, drink, knowledge, wisdom, love, work, accomplishment, adventure, sex, children—just for this short stay on the cursed earth, but for all eternity. I look forward to having and fulfilling all my God-given desires without sin for all eternity.
If Christian hope envisions the fulfillment of all things, then the redemption of our bodies, then genitalia and maybe sexual life are not somehow exempt.
Is possible that in the new creation, men and women will enjoy each another in a physical sense?
Personally, do you think that is possible that we will have penile-vagina intercourse after resurrection?
I wonder what you thought about it.
While I would greatly appreciate a response from you, I completely understand how busy
Thank you for writing, and your interest.
You are correct that I would expect everything that God made in this world to be redeemed to its original intention in the life to come, not done away with. To briefly answer your question, I do believe that marriage with all its implications, including sexual intercourse, will be present in the life to come. I have written an article on this issue on my website, here:
Read what I have to say, and then let me know what you think.