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I'm looking for a Biblical answer to this question: will there be any new people in heaven? An equivalent question: are the people created in this life (on Earth) the only people who will ever exist?

I'm aware that Jesus said:

When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

But that is all that I can find, except a clue in Revelation 21:5: “I am making everything new!”

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2 Answers 2

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First off, eschatology (the study of last things) is rarely subject to a definitive answer, because there is simply a wide range of opinion on how to interpret these things. The best that I can do is repeat theories I have seen before. The answer below presumes a pre-milennial dispensationalist reading, meaning that the timeline is what Tim LaHaye popularized in the Left Behind series / the dispensationalist view promulgated by Charles Ryrie / Darby / Chafee / etc. I'm going to restrict myself to the biblical references, however, so bear in mind this isn't the answer, but rather an answer.

Revelation 20

In Revelation 20, the devil is cast into a pit for 1000 years. At the end of that time, he and cohorts are released to see whom they can deceive - and the speculation is that those who were born during this milennium will compose a portion of that deceived cohort. The idea that there would be new people who could be believed presupposes then, that new people are someone born in the milennium. This isn't heaven, but being a different "dispensation," it is nonetheless suggestive that reproduction continues.

The theory would then be extended to suggest that if in this age there are new people, then there would be nothing to suggest that heaven would be different.

Genesis 1:22 / Genesis 9:7

In the beginning of creation, the first injuction was that man should continue God's creative work by "be[ing] fruitful and multiply[ing]". After the Flood - the end of the first "dispensation" and the beginning of the second, this injunction is repeated. Clearly in the remaining periods ("dispensations") the injunction continues, so the proof of "procreation stops in heaven" would be on the one making the claim.

Isaiah 65:20

Speaking of the end times,

Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

and continuing into verse 24

They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD

This seems to suggest that these blessed people who's children live a very, very long time will be having children. One could question if this is heaven, but again, some people will apply it that way.

Here the implication is that (a) there are infants and even (b) death.

1 Corinthians 13:11-12

What we can say with a little more assurance (and here I'm leaving dispensationalism behind) is that in heaven, "We shall know fully, even as I am fully known." In other words, the closeness reserved for earthly marriage (which as you pointed out doesn't exist in heaven) is the level of intimacy we all will have in heaven*. As a present progressive, there seems to be an implication that we will be continually knowing and growing, which to me would imply new people to be known by. And, in the absence of sin, we would be able to know people much more fully than now

*(One could ask, does that mean you can have sex with anyone you want in heaven, and since there is no shame in it, you could at least make a case. I'm not suggesting anything, just pointing out how speculative eschatology gets!).

So, is this a definitive "Yes?" No. It is a speculative theology hopefully just extending existing theology. In the end, my only guess is that all of heaven is "exceedingly, abundantly, more than we could ever ask or imagine." (Eph 3:20.) That's theology I can support!

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But the people during the millennial reign could just be those that survived the tribulation and had their longevity restored to them from ancient times, not the saints with their glorified bodies. –  Ullallulloo Dec 22 '11 at 17:33
    
There are two things wrong with using Rev. 20 to support this idea. 1) The righteous have been resurrected and given glorified bodies at the beginning of the 1000 years. They no longer die. Further, they have been 'caught up' with Christ in the new Jerusalem; they aren't on Earth. 2) The wicked are resurrected without glorified bodies at the end of the 1000 years. Then the new Jerusalem descends upon the Earth. That leaves a lot of people to deceive and no reproduction is required. If any reproduction occurred it was not on Earth. –  fredsbend the Grinch Apr 2 '13 at 22:34
    
@fredsbend different eschatological frameworks differ on who is alive during the millennium. Personally, I don't know what I stand I "take," I just wanted to throw out some of the things I've heard. Personally, I subscribe to the adiaphorous theory of Revelation- aka, I don't know how and I don't really care that much. I'm concerned that I'm heading up, but I think Gods got a great plan on how he wants to do it anyway ;) –  Affable Geek Apr 2 '13 at 23:21
    
What about the whole possibility of running out of room on the New Earth if people reproduce for eternity? –  Zenon Nov 29 at 22:36

Well if we look at scripture we have a few implications upon this

When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

Matthew 23:30

Now according to Genesis the angels were capable of not only having sex but also impregnating the woman whom brought forth offspring.

Then the people began to multiply on the earth, and daughters were born to them. The sons of God saw the beautiful women and took any they wanted as their wives.

Genesis 6:1-2

In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times.

Genesis 6:4

So here we see a few points (1) that the angels could have sex with human woman (2) that the angels had sperm of some sort to impregnate the woman. (3) they could reproduce bringing forth giant valiant men. So if we will be like the angels does this implicate that we also will be capable of sex and reproduction? Especially being that we shall be pure and given all joy from God.

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protected by Affable Geek Jan 15 '13 at 2:00

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