QUESTION: In the book of Mark (12:25) Christ said when we rise from the dead we are like angels in heaven. I am confused with this verse. Could you please help?
Answer: This is one of those questions that can be cleared up by taking the statement of our Lord and considering the context in which He gave it. Here's the whole story:
Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. "Teacher," they said, "Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?"Jesus replied, "Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. Mark 12:18-25 (NIV84)
The Religious Leaders during Jesus' ministry were always trying to catch Him and trip Him up with cleverly crafted questions. We're told that this question was posed by the group known as the Sadducees who, we're told, "...say there is no resurrection..." and yet, did you notice, their question concerned the resurrection? What's that all about?
Obviously these men were trying to discredit Jesus with an outlandish story of a woman who was married to seven different brothers and bore no children by any of them. Their final question was, "At the resurrection whose wife will she be?"
Okay, for starters these men didn't even believe in a resurrection, but since others were listening Jesus chose to answer.
The first confusion that Jesus cleared up was concerning the idea of marriage in heaven. He simply informed them that "When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage." In other words, there is no marriaage in heaven. Which is why Jesus added, "they will be like the angels in heaven."
How will people be like the angels in heaven? In the sense that angels don't marry. In that respect, people who are resurrected will be like the angels. It doesn't mean they will be angels. They will only be like them in that angels don't marry. Marriage is for humans and for this life on earth. Once we die, we are no longer married and will not be given in marriage in heaven.
It is pure fiction to believe that when people die they become angels. The Bible says nothing of the sort, and this idea actually blurs the lines of distiction between humans and angels. Humans are created in the image of God--a designation never asigned to angels, which are created by God to minister to those who are inheriting salvation. (Hebrews 1:14)