February 2021 Bible Questions & Answers

  1. Was Satan given the chance to repent?
  2. God says in Genesis 3:22, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil…”  Does this suggest that God is evil?
  3. Did the rebellion of the angels occur before the creation of the earth?
  4. Matthew 22:30 says that there aren’t any marital bonds in heaven.  However, we will be known.  Will there be romantic affection for our loved ones?

 

 

Was Satan given the chance to repent?

The Bible doesn’t say.  On the one hand, offering him the chance to repent would be in keeping with God’s nature since he offers mankind continual opportunities to repent (2 Pet. 3:9; Acts 17:30).  If God is both capable of mercy and punishment towards mankind (Rom. 2:4-11), then perhaps he would be the same towards supernatural beings like Satan.  On the other hand, supernatural beings such as angels (if indeed Satan is angelic in nature) are of a higher order than mankind (Heb. 2:6-7); there are many differences between angels and mankind (Heb. 1:14; Lk. 20:36; Matt. 24:36; 28:2).  God’s characteristics in the Bible are described in his dealings with mankind.  Other than punishing angels who sinned and receiving the praise of the rest of the hosts of heaven, we are unaware of the nature of his dealings with celestial beings. 

Therefore, there is not enough biblical information available to give a more certain answer.  This would thus be categorized among “the secret things which belong to God” (Deut. 29:29).

God says in Genesis 3:22, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil…”  Does this suggest that God is evil?

Not necessarily, because there is a difference between knowing about evil and being evil.  Being omniscient (Ps. 147:5; Heb. 4:13), God certainly would know about evil.  However, that does not inherently make him evil.  It is true that it was only due to sin that resulted in Adam and Eve knowing about evil, in that they disobeyed God by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and thus came to know about evil.  Yet at the same time, sin – evil – is specifically defined as breaking the laws of God (1 John 3:4).  God is inherently good (Ps. 31:19-20; 34:8; Mk. 10:18), as is his will (Rom. 12:2).  Evil only exists due to breaking God’s laws which are inherently good. 

Did the rebellion of the angels occur before the creation of the earth?

From the biblical data available, it seems that it occurred after the creation of the earth.  Christ created everything (John 1:1-3), including angels (Col. 1:16).  While it is possible that they had been created before Genesis 1:1, they had definitely been created by Day 4 when the stars were created, because God says that they had “shouted for joy” when “the morning stars sang together” (Job 38:7).  A study of Peter’s summary of the rebellious of the Old Testament indicates that his list in 2 Peter 2 is chronological (2 Pet. 2:1-9).  With that in mind, it’s noteworthy that the fall of angels is listed before the events of the global flood (vs. 4-5).  If Satan had been included among their number (a possibility but not a certainty based on the biblical information available to us), then the rebellion of the angels had to have occurred before the events of Genesis 3.

The principle of Deuteronomy 29:29 must again be kept in mind.  “The secret things belong to God…”  In the end, we do not have enough data from the divine revelation of Scripture to give a more concrete answer.

Matthew 22:30 says that there aren’t any marital bonds in heaven.  However, we will be known.  Will there be romantic affection for our loved ones?

In answering this question, the principle of Deuteronomy 29:29 must once again be kept in mind.  “The secret things belong to God.”  In spite of the several biblical indicators described below, there is still much which possibly is not revealed to us in Scripture concerning these matters.  Let us remember that as we study the Bible for the answer to this question.

Jesus spoke of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob being in heaven in a way that implied that they would be recognized (Matt. 8:11).  In like manner, Abraham, the rich man, and the beggar Lazarus were all able to recognize each other in the afterlife (Luke 16:19-31).  Thus, it is a reasonable conclusion that we will recognize each other, including our former spouses and other family members, in heaven.

The New Testament was originally written in Greek.  In the Greek language, there are several words which are translated “love” in English.  One of them, eros, refers to sexual, passionate love and isn’t used in the New Testament per se, although the concept of romantic, sexual passion is referred to as one of the reasons to get married (1 Cor. 7:1-2, 8-9).  One should also consider that sexual, romantic passion is rooted in physical biology.  Since “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the imperishable inherit the perishable” (1 Cor. 15:50), one can conclude that the physical urges we have in our mortal bodies will not carry over into heaven.  This may be one reason why marriage doesn’t exist in heaven (Matt. 22:30).

On the other hand, there are other types of “love” in the Greek language.  Storge refers to affection, specifically the kind shared among families.  While the word itself is technically not found in the New Testament, its opposite form – astorgos, “heartless” (Rom. 1:31; 2 Tim. 3:3) – is used in a condemnatory way.  Thus, one can conclude that familial affection is prized by God in our relationships here on earth.  Since we will recognize each other in heaven, there is no reason to conclude that God would not wish that same familial affection to continue for eternity, even if the marital bonds which on earth formed the basis of families no longer exist. 

Additionally, a compound form of storgephilostorgos  — is used in Romans 12:10 (“brotherly affection”).  Philostorgos is the combining of storge and another Greek term commonly translated “love” in English, philia.  Philia deals primarily with affection for friends, a platonic kind of love.  It is this kind of love which Jesus commanded all his disciples to have in John 13:35.  Paul likewise commended it (1 Thess. 4:9), as did the Hebrew author (Heb. 13:1), Peter (1 Pet. 1:22; 3:8; 2 Pet. 1:7), and James (James 4:4).  As indicated in Romans 12:10, philia can be a type of love one has for family.  Being commended by God here on earth, there is no indication that this affectionate, brotherly kind of love would not exist in heaven also.

The final Greek word for “love” in the New Testament is the one most well known: agape, an active kind of love demonstrated through the unselfish, self-sacrificial love Jesus has for us and which we are to have for each other (1 John 3:16).  It is the kind of love God has for us all (John 3:16).  That kind of love will surely continue to exist in heaven and will be undoubtedly be seen among us all for each other, including our earthly loved ones in our family.

One Comment

  1. Edwin Walker says:

    I think you have a transposition of terms in the quote of 1 Corinthians 15:50. 1 Corinthians 15:50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

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