The "Age to Come" and the Eternal State
The gospels are full of parables and instruction about the "end of the world" or "age" and the world or age "to come." Futurists mistake this "end" as referring uniformly to the end of the physical cosmos, and the world "to come" as heaven. Preterists often go to the opposite extreme and interpret the "end" exclusively in reference to the end of the Mosaic age, and the age or world "to come" in reference to the Christian age. Both of these extremes are wrong. In this article, we examine texts referring to the "end" and the age and world "to come" and conclude that the definition must be guided by the context.
End of the Age - "This Generation shall Pass Away"
After his Great Denunciation upon
"See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not
be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown
down" (Matt. 24:2).
The disciples then asked him about
fulfillment of this prediction.
In the account reported by Mark and Luke, the disciples
asked only two things: 1) When these things would be and 2) what
signs would precede their fulfillment.
However, Matthew's account adds two things more: 1) The
coming of Christ and 2) end of the "world."
Mark 13:3, 4
To read the accounts that follow the
disciples' questions, there is no suggestion anything more than
the destruction of
"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
The fact that the things described would be fulfilled in the disciples' generation shows that the Olivet Discourse is really just an expansion upon the Great Denunciation recorded in Matt. 23, which also expressly limited its dire predictions to that generation. The only reasonable conclusion that follows is that the "end" described was not of the natural world or physical cosmos, but an "age," an "era," or an "epoch" of which Jerusalem's destruction was a part and sign: A world order was passing away and would be replaced by another, not the world itself. This is uniformly borne witness to by newer translations, which substitute "age" for "world" in Matt. 24:3:
"What shall be the sign of
thy coming and the end of the age?"
With this premise in mind, Preterists
largely interpret the word rendered "world" or "age" as the
Mosaic age. Not all
Preterists agree that the age should be defined by the Mosaic
law and covenant. This writer sees the term in reference to the
larger world order and epoch that had endured from the time of
man's fall, particularly as this was marked by Gentile dominion
and the oppression of God's people. It was the peculiar office
of the Messiah to deliver the saints from sin
and their enemies amongst the world's civil powers.
Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, thus said:
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and
redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for
us in the house of David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy
prophets, which have been since the world began: that we should
be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate
us…that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might
serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before
him, all the days of our life."
"Saved from the hand of our enemies."
Clearly, deliverance of God's little flock from their
oppressors among the world's civil powers was the expectation of
every Jew. Unfortunately, many misinterpreted this to mean that
the Messiah would be political figure, exercising dominion from
an earthly throne. This was not to be: Jesus rules from the
right hand of the Majesty in heaven; his kingdom is not of this
End of the Age - Kingdom Coming in Power - Wrath upon the Nations
Christ's salvation from sin was fulfilled
at the cross; putting his enemies beneath his feet occurred in
the coming of his kingdom "in power" within the generation of
those then living (Matt. , 28; II Tim. 4:1), and it was
this that would mark
the end of the age.
am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of
power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Mk. 14:62
This is also the point of John the
Baptist's warning that the ax was already laid to the root of
the trees and that Christ would thoroughly cleanse his floor:
now already the axe is laid unto the root of the trees:
therefore, every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is
hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with
water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier
than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize
you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose far is in his
hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his
wheat into the garner; but we will burn up the chaff with
As suggested by John's statement that
Christ would "gather the wheat into the garner," simultaneous
with this harvest of wrath, there was also a harvest of God's
people into the eternal kingdom (spiritual realm).
There are different views how this harvest or gathering
was accomplished; some suppose an actual "rapture" or
"translation" occurred. Against this view is the fact that many
of the disciples outlived the end of the age, particularly the
apostle John, so that the notion of the mass translation of
saints lacks historical support.
Others spiritualize this gathering, imagining there was
some sort of a figurative translation out of the "body of Moses"
or "grave of Judaism" into the resurrected body of Christ. This
view is contradicted by the fact that the Gentiles were never in
the so-called "body of Moses" or "grave of Judaism" but were
plainly included in the harvest or gathering (II Thess. 2:1).
It is also contradicted by the fact that, by this view
the translation out of the "grave of Judaism" equals
justification from sin, but justification occurred at the cross,
not AD 70, and the epistles make abundantly clear that
resurrection from the guilt of sin occurs at conversion (Eph.
2:1-6; Rom. 6:3-6). This writer has thus settled upon the view
that the harvest of the righteous at the end of the age refers
to the gathering of the saints into the eternal kingdom by
martyrdom. Let's look at a couple parables to see if this is not
End of the Age - Harvest of the Wicked by Death - Harvest of the
Righteous by Martyrdom
The parable of the "tares" provides a good
example of Christ's end of age/world instruction. This parable
tells the story of a man whose enemy sowed tares (a weed similar
in appearance to wheat) in his field.
When the workers discovered the tares growing among the
wheat, they asked the owner if he wanted them to go and gather
them up. The owner
answered, no, that both should grow together until the harvest,
then they would be sorted: The wheat would be gathered into the
garner, but the tares would be gathered up and burned (Matt. -30).
Jesus explained this parable, saying, field was the
world; the good seed or wheat were the children of the kingdom;
but the tares the children of the devil; the harvest was the end
of the age; the reapers were angels.
therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall
it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth
is angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things
that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them
into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of
teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the
kingdom of their Father, Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."
This parable, commonly misapplied by futurists to the end of physical cosmos, actually spoke to events Jesus' own generation would witness. The term translated "world" in verse 40, in the Greek, is "aion." This is the root of our word "eon", and signifies a period time, rather than place, an era in history rather than the earth itself. This should be compared with the word "world" in v. 38, which is the Greek term "kosmos," which signifies the physical earth. The "age" extant when Jesus spoke was the pre-Messianic age. The field where the seed was sown is the kingdom or world (cosmos), showing Jesus' dominion over all earth. Wheat requires only a short time to germinate, put on heads, and become dry enough to harvest. The rapidity with which the harvest would follow the sowing of the word by Christ and the apostles is shown the parable in Mark 4:26-29:
The Thessalonians thought the time of
"gathering" was at hand, but Paul told them that the time was
not ripe: that the "man of sin" (Nero Caesar) had not yet
appeared on the world scene (II Thess. 2:1-12).
However, by the time James wrote, the world scene had
changed, and the harvest was close at hand:
patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.
Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the
earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early
and latter rain. Be
ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the
Lord draweth nigh."
Finally, Rev. 14 depicts the harvest at the
end of the age. Two groups are portrayed: the wheat is harvested
by Christ and his angels in martyrdom under the beast (Neronean
persecution), but the wicked are trodden the winepress of wrath
"outside the city" (
Harvest of Righteous - Rev. 14:9-16
Harvest of Wicked - Rev. 14:17-20
"Grapes of Wrath"
9And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
13And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
14And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
15And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
16And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
19And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
20And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
These are first century events, fulfilled
by AD 70. The persecution under the Nero and the Jews lasted
from AD 64-68, represented by the harvest of the "wheat."
The Jews' war with
No Marriage in the "Age" to Come?
Having established that the pre-Messianic
age and its attendant world passed away in the earth-shaking
judgments and events of the first century, we can now look at
the phrases "this world" (or "age") as distinct from the "world
(or "age") to come." An error that Preterists sometimes fall into
is the assumption that
every occurrence of "this world/age" refers to the
pre-Messianic age, and that the "world/age to come"
always refers to the
Christian age that replaced it. However, this is clearly wrong
and can produce some ridiculous and astonishing results.
For example, in Luke 20:3436, in response to the
Sadducee's question whose wife the woman who had seven brothers
as husband would be in the resurrection, Jesus said:
"The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection of the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection."
Does this passage refer to the Christian
age? A surprising
number of Preterists say, Yes. A question recently posted on
preterists still believe in marriage? If they do, why, since we
are in the eternal kingdom, NOW, where we are neither married or
given in marriage, but are like the angels? So, why bother to
involve yourselves in trivial earthly matters as marriage?"
This is not the first time I have
encountered Preterists struggling with the concept of the
eternal state or kingdom and fulfilled eschatology.
Don Preston is on record interpreting the "age" in
question in reference to the Christian age:
Jesus addressed the heart of the issue, the nature of the
kingdom. He said that in the age to come-- the age of the
resurrection-- that Torah and
statement that those in the world to come would neither marry
nor be given in marriage is not, as it would appear on the
surface, a denial of marriage or physical life in the Christian
age. Rather, it has the meaning of Paul’s statement that the
The error underlying all of these is the
assumption that "this age" refers to the pre-Messianic age (or
"Mosaic" age by the King/Preston/Bell/Fenely view), and "that
age" to the present Christian age on earth.
However, the dichotomy is not between the age extant when
Jesus spoke versus that which was yet to come. The dichotomy is
between this life
versus the next life;
this world versus
heaven above. This is
clearly seen by the reference to the resurrection.
The resurrection under discussion is the
eschatological resurrection from Hades. The Sadducees were not
quizzing Jesus about some spiritualized "resurrection" equal to
justification from sin.
They were questioning him about the
actual resurrection of
those that had died
physically and gone to Hades.
The Pharisees' concept of the resurrection was of
physical bodies to earthly life, raising the prospect of
Hence, the question "whose wife will she be?"
Jesus' responded showing that in the resurrection from
Hades, men do not return to earthly life, but have spiritual
bodies like heavenly angels and, therefore, do not marry.
Hence, the resurrection is not out of the "pre-Messianic
age" into the Messianic age, but from Hades to heaven above.
Thus, the translation of the Authorized (King James)
Version is correct in rendering "aion" "world."
Strong's agrees, and says that "world" is a correct
rendering as determined by the context:
(#165) Aiwn "an age; by exens. perpetuity (also past); by impl. the world; spec. (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future)."
Another example were "aion" is correctly
translated "world" is Matt. 13:22, where the seed of the word is
choked by the deceitfulness of riches and the
"care of this world (Gk. aion)." Is the word choked only by the care
of the pre-Messianic age? Is that Jesus' meaning? Of course it
is not. Clearly,
"aion" in this context can only mean
this life and
A parallel verse is Tit. 2:12:
"Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we
should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present
Were the saints to live righteously only in
the pre-Messianic age and not the duration of their whole
sojourn beneath the sun?
Their whole sojourn, of course!
In Mark 10:28-31, Peter asked Jesus what their reward
would be, saying, "we have left all, and followed thee."
"Verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or
brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or
children, or lands, for my sake and the gospel's, but he shall
receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren,
and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with
persecutions; and in the world (aion) to come eternal life. But
many that are first shall be last; and the last first."
Is it Jesus' intention to say that those
who sacrifice "in this time" (the pre-Messianic age) will
receive everlasting life in the Christian age that was to come?
Of course it is not. His purpose is to say that those who
sacrifice during earthly
life, will be recompensed in the
life to come in the
resurrection of the just
in heaven above. Clearly, these passages show that the term
"aion" sometimes means "world" as distinguished from heaven and
the life to come.
Survey of Passages Containing "aion"
Here follows a table of passages containing
the word "aion." We
have sorted the passages by whether the term is best understood
as pointing to the "pre-Messianic age" versus the Christian age,
or this "world" versus the "next world (heaven)."
Admittedly, some passages are debatable and can be argued
- "As therefore the tares are gathered an burned in the
fire; so shall it be in the end of this world."
verse points to the end of age then passing; not the
cosmos or world of men.
- "So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels
shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the
the preceding verse, this passage describes the time of
wrath that would mark the end of the pre-Messianic age
when the existing course of the world was irrevocably
Matt. 24:3 - "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be and what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?"
course of the world that had obtained from the time of
mankind's fall passed in the world-events that witnessed
the fall of
Matt. 28:20 - "Teaching them to observe all thing
whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you
always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
This verse can be debated both ways. Given the context and the fact Jesus is speaking to the apostles, the better view probably is that his is affirming he will be with them and carry them through the tribulation and persecutions that attended the end of the pre-Messianic age.
- "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man,
it shall be forgiven him: but whosover speaketh against
the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in
this world, neither in the world to come." (Cf. Mk.
3:28-30; Lk. 12:10)
The terror of this verse supposes "world to come" points to the eternal doom in the resurrection of damnation. Hence, we judge that "aion" is correctly translated "world" in this verse and points to the next life.
Matt. - "He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful." (Cf. Mk. 4:19)
We have already discussed this verse, above. The "care of this world" points to the cares of this life, not the pre-Messianic age.
pre-Messianic or Christian Age
"aion" as this
World or the next World
comment at Matt. 13:22
- "But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time,
houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and
children and lands, with persecutions; and in the world
to come eternal life."
contrast here is between the sacrifices made during our
earthly sojourn and the recompense we will receive in
the resurrection of the just in heaven above.
prophetic gift has been with men from the very beginning
of the creation, and not just from the time of Moses.
Jude 14 says that even Enoch, who lived before the
flood, prophesied of Christ. There is simply no basis to
limit aion here to any period less than the beginning of creation.
16:8 - "And the lord commended the unjust steward,
because he had done wisely: for the children of this
world are in their generation wiser than the children of
contrast here is between "children of light" and
"children of the world," the latter of which does not
seem properly limited to children of the pre-Messianic
age, and therefore must be taken in the general sense of
natural, unregenerate men of this world.
- "Who shall receive manifold more in this present time
and in the world to come life everlasting."
comment at Mk. 10:30
35 - "The children of this world marry, and are given in
marriage: but they which shall be accounted worthy to
obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead,
neither marry, nor are given in marriage."
passage involves a discussion of those that are raised
from physical death, and goes on to explain that the
children of the resurrection are equal to angels. This
clearly signifies that the "world to come" is not the
Christian age, but heaven itself. For it is then, and
not before, that we enter the eternal state and are
clothed upon with immortality.
cannot reasonably be maintained that the speaker has
less in view that the whole period from the beginning of
here is properly rendered "world."
"Since the world began" can have no other meaning that
"from the beginning of creation." Aion is therefore
properly rendered "world" in this context.
- "Known to God are all his works from the beginning of
God know all his works from the beginning of creation,
or only some lesser period beginning with Moses?
From the beginning of creation, of course.
here is susceptible of meaning "this era or time" in
which the speaker lived, his intention is not merely to
condemn the manners of his own age, but the world as
disconnected from Christ without regard to the time in
which men live.
Hence, "world" gives the proper sense and
meaning, where "age" would not.
- "…according to the revelation of the mystery, which
has been kept secret since the world began."
comments at Jn. 9:32 and Acts 3:21.
Unless the end is 2000 years long and growing longer each day, we must understand "aion" in relation, not to the cosmos, but the pre-Messianic world-course or age that was then passing away as Christ took up his rule from the right hand of God.
"Aion" occurs three times in this passage. In each case
world gives the better sense, for the things Paul
describes belong to the world and not to any particular
Cor. 2:6-8 - "Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that
are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of
the princes of this world, that come to naught: But we
speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden
wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our
glory, which none of the princes of this world knew: for
had they known it, they would not have crucified the
Lord of glory."
Specific reference to the rulers who crucified Christ
tempts us to interpret "aion" in reference to the
pre-Messianic age. However, the hidden wisdom (the
gospel), which God ordained before the "aion," has the
meaning of "before creation." Hence the prevailing
thought is the absence of
wisdom in the natural man of this world, which is
alienated from God and at enmity with him, and therefore
did not recognize Christ, but slew him; qualities that
belong to the world in general and not to any particular
- "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you
seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool,
that he may be wise."
again the prevailing thought is worldly wisdom versus
spiritual wisdom, not the wisdom of any particular age.
- "Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will
eat no flesh while the world standeth, let I mane my
brother to offend."
Would Paul begin eating meat after the pre-Messianic age
passed, or is the meaning that he would not eat while
the world exists?
The latter to be sure.
"god of this world" is not a supernatural demonic being,
but the spirit of those that are carnally minded, who
follow the things of the flesh and are at enmity with
the things of the Spirit and of God. This spirit (the
"spirit of the power of the air" - Eph. 2:2) is the
prevailing mindset of unregenerate men and, hence, keeps
all men who seek not God under its thrall. Since this
spirit exists in every age and generation, it will not
do to translate "aion" "age," for it is the spirit of
the world, and not any particular age.
Gal. 1:4 - "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father."
This one can be argued both ways. Most Preterists would
argue that the "Mosiac" age is here in view, and would
point to the context of the letter, which argues against
keeping the law, as evidence supporting this
But where the phrase "this present world" occurs
elsewhere, the context clearly shows that this world is
in view, and not merely a particular age (II Tim. ;
Jesus died to open the way to heaven for us and
deliver us from the bondage of sin and death that rules
this world (Rom. ,
literal Greek here is "throughout all generations of the
age of the ages."
The Christian age is the age of the ages; the age
to which all others were tending and which will last so
long as earth endures.
contrast appears to be between the powers and
authorities of this world over against the next world,
and not merely Christ's exalted status in the
pre-Messianic and Christian ages on earth.
2:7 - "That in the ages to come he might shew the
exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us
through Christ Jesus."
This verse seems to speak in anticipation of the resurrection, and the ages to come in heaven where we will live as sons of the living God.
"Beginning of the world"
can only mean beginning of creation, not the Mosaic age.
"Beginning of the world" can only mean beginning of creation, not the Mosaic age.
- "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present
world, and is departed unto Thessalonica, Crescens to
Here "present world" looks to earthly life, not the pre-Messianic age.
promise of man's salvation was purposed in the mind of
God before the creation.
- "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and world
lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly,
in this present world."
literal Greek here is "now once in the consummation of
The meaning is not the end or terminus of the ages, but
their fulfillment and completion in Christ.
Christ appeared at the very apex of history to
consummate God's salvific purpose by death upon the
second appearing (v. 28) would be to put his enemies
beneath his feet and thus bring salvation to his
persecuted flock (see comments under Heb. 6:5).
11:3 - "By faith we understand that the worlds were
framed by the word of God, so that things which are
seen, were not made of things which do appear."
"Worlds" here is probably best interpreted "ages" and points to the various ages of God's redemptive purpose, which were framed (ordained) by the word and decree of God, the fullness of their purpose being Christ.
Unlike Heb. 11:3 where "worlds" is better understood as
redemptive "ages," "worlds" here seems to point to the
creation, which God accomplished in Christ through the
Spirit before he was clothed upon with flesh (Jn. 1:3;
Eph. 3:9; Gen. 1:1).
6:4, 5 - "For it is impossible for those who were once
enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and
were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted
the good word of God, and the powers of the world to
come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto
repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of
God afresh, and put him to an open shame."
"Powers of the world to come" seems to look to powers
possessed by angels, which were foretasted by those who
were "partakers of the Holy Ghost." Most Preterists (and
Christians in general) are agreed that the
belonged only to the era of the prophets and the closing
days of the pre-Messianic age, and have today ceased.
Hence, the powers of the age to come cannot have
in view the Christian age, since the gifts of the Holy
Ghost do not belong to the present time.
Another passage worth considering, but which uses a
different word, is Heb. 2:5: "For he has not put in
subjection the world to come, whereof we speak." The
word here is "oikumene," which means the "inhabitable
earth" or "world."
The idea behind this verse is that the government
of the world has not been committed to angels, but to
Christ, under whose feet God has placed all things. The
writer says in verse 8, "But now we see not yet all
things put under him," signifying the fact that the
kingdom had not yet come in power, crushing Jesus'
enemies among the Jews and Romans.
But his imminent return in judgment and wrath to
deliver his persecuted people is the promise of the
"For yet it is a very little while and he that is coming
will come, and will not tarry" (Heb. ).
Thus, although the "oikumene to come" is co-terminus
with the Messianic age in which Jesus rules the nations
with a rod of iron, and in some ways thus belongs to the
other column, "oikumene" looks to the
thing under Christ's subjection, rather the age or time when it
accrued, and must therefore be translated "world" and
Summary & Conclusion
The "end of the age" announced in the
gospels refers to the "pre-Messianic age."
The world-events that marked its conclusion, and the
beginning of the reign of Christ from the right hand of God,
included the destruction of
 Don Preston at http://www.eschatology.org/all-articles-articles-211/37-responding-to-the-critics/895-objection-to-preterism-they-neither-marry-or-are-given-in-marriage
 "Paul plainly demonstrated that as sons of God in Christ, "...there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus," (Gal.3:27-28). Hence, there is absolutely no possible manner in view of this spiritual "oneness" to get a "twain" of anything to become one flesh as demanded by physical marriages." From an article posted at: http://www.preteristarchive.com/Hyper/0000_bell_dead-raise.html
 "There is neither male nor female, for they are all one in Christ. This corresponds perfectly with Christ's statement that there is no marriage in the kingdom of heaven. We are all one in Christ and there is neither male nor female. His kingdom has nothing to do with this world, for His kingdom is not of this world. Therefore, the fact that there is still marriage in this physical life does not negate the fact that there is not marriage in the kingdom anymore than the fact that there are males and females in this physical life does not negate the fact that there are not males or females in the kingdom."
Ward Fenely at http://www.eschatology.com/whymarriage.html
 Max King, Spirit of Prophecy (Warren, OH 1971), pp. 237, 238.
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