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Being Single in Godʼs Plan Luke 20:207-4 Its been an interesting week.

Last Sunday at BOCC I was talking about sex and homosexuality. This Sunday I was to talk about not being married. And in the middle of the week the media picked up the story of Cecil Chao and his lesbian daughter, Gigi. Mr Chao has offered $62 million to any man who could lead her away from her lesbian lover and marry her. We donʼt often see pressure from parents to marry in such strong ways, but it is a big issue. Well, enough of Mr Chao and Gigi, today I am going to talk about being single not married. The way this is often done is to say, ʻlook at Jesus. He was single. If it was OK for him it must be OK for anyone else. So its fine to be singleʼ. Another way to do it is to say that single people have been really important to the church. The church grew from a few people in the year 33 to 20 million in the year 350, to most of Europe by 1200. Most of this was done by single people who took the word of Jesus to all parts of Europe. And in the recent past some great Christians have been single, John Chapman and John Stott. And many of my best Christian friends are single. But I donʼt think those ways of talking make many people happy. Because, no one asks why someone is married. No one ever asks me, ʻMark, why are you married?ʼ But my guess is if you are single, and stay single, sooner or later people are going to ask ʻwhy are you single?ʼ. It may be your parents, it may be your friends. It may even be someone at church. Various answers are given, ʻIʼm single because I haven't found the right person. Iʼm single because I want to put all my effort into serving God. Iʼm single because I canʼt find someone I can trust.ʼ Thatʼs why I was single until I was 30. It is the same around the world. Parents want their children to marry. And married people want their single friends to marry. I know this is a big pressure in China, but its big everywhere.

Jesus gives this teaching just before he is killed. Under Jewish law she was supposed to marry the brother of her dead husband. Jesus will judge us. Jesus says none of them. So being married is 2 . there is no sex either. Nor will there be new weddings in this new world. We will get new bodies that live forever.So the question that we need to ask is. And if there is no marriage. So where does singleness fit into Godʼs plans for our lives? Our passage today is an odd one. is singleness. That is the perfect life we are all heading towards. where does being single fit into Godʼs plan? To start with. in the life after death. He is being tested by a group called the Sadducees. But none of us will be married to each other. most of us will be single when we die. They were the ruling Jewish priests who didnʼt like Jesus or his teaching. Even if every one of married. and remake the heavens and the earth. we will live with him and his Father God forever. The message is very clear. Ok. and if we have believed in Jesus in our lives. So they tried to test Jesus. in the new heavens and earth. And they did not believe in resurrection. Some of us will be single all our lives. We Christians believe that sometime in the future Jesus will return. If this was a real story you would wonder what this woman was doing. That would be against all the teaching that sex is only good to God when it is in marriage. And this happened seven times. There is a woman who had a husband who died. My point is that the goal we are working towards. When asked which of the seven brothers she will be married to in the resurrection. The Bible doesnʼt actually say this. thatʼs pretty obvious. So all of us have a big period of being single at the beginning of our life and perhaps many years of being single at the end of our life. but has some important truths. half of us would be single when we die. Was she killing them? But its just a story to test Jesus. but its hard to believe that God is going to change the rules on sex so we can have sex with anyone we like. we are all born single. But also. Its a pretty weird story. There is no marriage in the remade heaven and earth. They did not believe that there would be life after death.

But beyond that' I don't know. the bridegroom. I don't know what that means when I see Kah Lin in the new world. I know I will be overjoyed to see her there. We are all heading towards this wonderful day when there will be no distinctions based on family or race or language. I can say this because at various times we have had people from outside our family come and live with us. Married people shouldnʼt hold so closely to their immediate families that they let single people be lonely. or rich. The picture the Bible paints of being single has nothing to do with being lonely. by family or genetics. and enjoy her as part of Godʼs recreation. or where we were born or who we know. As individuals. This is because the picture that we see in the Bible is all believers being married to Jesus. families and as a church we need to work against this obsession with married couples. 3 . But in another sense we will all be married. and will be united in love with Jesus. We will all enjoy this ultimate marriage with Jesus. It will be a society not shaped. or twisted.only a temporary step for some people before we all end up single. Single people can push married people out of our obsession with family life. and the fears and uncertainties of this world. People who are single now have some experience of this new kind of society. or cool. happiness. being united with him in a life long relationship of joy. I will still be able to love her. Single people today can show us that love and care and intimacy can go beyond family boundaries and being married. So being single must be pretty good in the eyes of God. Revelation. In the remade heaven and earth this will not matter. love and intimacy. Thatʼs good for us and good for them. Because it does seem that people who are good looking. We will all gather around the throne of our king in the most perfect relationship. I will be really happy for her to not suffer the pain she has carried from her youth. We see this in the book of Ephesians and also the last book in the bible. We are all social beings and we need close friends. get more opportunities to marry than others. Here the church of all believers is called the bride.

Two people graciously offer to marry each other. You should marry someone you can love and who willingly offers themselves in love to you. It is something we should all desire. Sometimes the pressure that is put on single people can be cruel. No. I am saying two things. Better to not do marriage than to do it badly. but if you want to marry. Marriage is not so much about choice as consent. Do we feel sad with them when they are sad? I think we should. I did not wake up one day and say. and you probably heard enough of that from me last week. BUt many single people want to have children. We can do that by making life less lonely for single people. Also. He says being single is fine as long are you are not tempted to have sex outside of marriage. Second. Which brings me back to the subject of sex. It is not ok to marry anyone just for the sake of being married. often grieve for the family they cannot have. ʻohʼ he or she has not married because they are too chooseyʼ. We join them in feeling sad. not based so closely on couples. as if there is something wrong with someone who does not marry. And often they do not marry because they have a very high view of marriage. I didn't marry because I chose to. We have this weird idea that comes from our society that sex is the only way we can understand closeness and intimacy. ʻI choose to marry klʼ and then everything just happened. marry. and donʼt because they are not married. or that being married is better than being single. married people who want to have children. First. In 1 Corinthians Paul says if you are single. single people can show married people how to break out of their marriages and be the loving brothers and sisters God has made us to be by welcoming us into his family. So we should support people in being single. and if we don't have it we are incomplete. and also by not pushing people towards marriage. Sometimes you hear people say. Single people can model this new community. The language of choice is unfair for single people because usually they have not chosen to be single. I have spoken in the last three weeks about marriage being part of Godʼs plan for his creation. But nowhere does he say we must marry. we should be more understanding of being single. But marriage isn't about choice.The church also needs to work against this idea that everyone would be better off if they were married. like he is. I offered myself to kl and she offer herself to me. and canʼt. stay single. So what does sex bring? If all 4 .

you poor thing. being married. He gave blind people sight. Health Family Friends Work Wealth Marriage 5 . I have been saying over these four weeks that God made marriage. It is for our good and his glory. In a sense. care and intimacy. But you will only be married for 20. intimacy. close. But never did he say. and brought dead people back to life. He made disabled people walk. our hope and joy are with God That is a marriage we can all enjoy forever. please marry. 40. and a long stable relationship where we can bring up children. For the picture of the end is Jesus Christ as the bridegroom and the church. And we do need to keep our eyes on where we are heading. because we will be with Jesus. And thatʼs because there is nothing wrong with being single. I had better find someone for you to marryʼ. life long relationships without having sex. ʻOh. If you want to marry. as Adam did with Eve. closeness. God the Son will bring his chosen people into the family of God We may think this sounds a bit weird. After all. 60 years. Let me explain. and find someone who shares your views on marriage. half of marriages end in divorce. And that is what eternal life looks like. It's a place where we don't have to hide. Our loyalty is to God. Its a place where we donʼt need a special human helper. draw chart. but it is clear that lots of people who have sex do not get all these things.goes well it brings pleasure. Still on the shelf. that is all believers. It's a place of love. In our lives there are somethings that are common to us all. He cured sickness. I donʼt know if you have noticed. That is what we are looking forward to with Jesus. Our experiences of this differ. but step back. our destiny is with God. It is part of his plan. but Jesus never cured someone of being single. It is also it clear that you can have loving.

So letʼs all follow Jesus.Sex Some good some bad But the way I see heaven and earth remade is all topping the chart. 6 . Not is the sense of each of us having a separate wedding with him. and satisfying relationship with him. letting him shape every part of our lives. We can be single badly and we can be married badly. lasting. and buying a house and going to bed with him each night. But I said it looks like no sex and marriage in the end. whether we are single or married. Neither marriage nor singleness makes us our true selves. That takes over all the things in our life where wealth and marriage and sex currently fit in. Conclusion The point is we don't need to marry to be complete humans. our true being. in following Jesus. only much better. Because the image we have in the Bible is all believers being married to Jesus Christ. and love each other as he teaches us to do. We find our true humanity. but is the sense we have the most wonderfully intimate.