In 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-1 , at that time in the history of Israel, their rulers were trying to force the Jews to give up their Judaism and, instead, practice the religion of the rulers under the pain of severe torture and death. For the seven brothers and their mother, their life was their Jewish religion and God. Taking away their earthly life and inflicting horrifying torture were “as nothing.” Their strength was their faith in their God who would raise them “up to live again forever.”
In Luke 20:27-38, the Sadducees, who did not believe in an afterlife, tried to confront Jesus with a problematic hypothetical situation that they felt proved that there was no afterlife. Jesus explained to the Sadducees that life in heaven is not the same as life on earth. There is no need for the institution of marriage in heaven. My own thought is that we would all deeply love one another spiritually like the angels when we are in heaven. There would be no need for a marital love through physical intimacy. Secondly, entry into heaven comes, not through biological reproduction, but through growing spiritually by cooperating with the Holy Spirit to become saints. (1 John 3:2-3) “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.”.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5, Paul speaks of the encouragement we receive in our hearts and the strengthening we receive to be people of “good deed and word.” All this is to make us capable of fending off the devil and his “perverse and wicked people”. Daily we are on our way to our eternal home in heaven but on the way we may be tested by fire.
Life is a struggle in which we will always be victorious as long as we walk with the Lord in the battle. (Romans 8:31b-32, 37)“If God is for us, who can be against us? He did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, will he not also give us everything else along with him? No, in all these things, we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.”