Cover 2019-03-24

Ron Writes

What Will Heaven Look Like?

For whatever reason, some Christians portray heaven as a place for disembodied spirits to gather for an eternity of boredom. John Eldredge writes “Nearly every Christian I have spoken with has some idea that eternity is an unending church service…. We have settled on an image of the never-ending sing-along in the sky, one great hymn after another, forever and ever, amen. And our hearts sink. Forever and ever? That’s it? That’s the good news? And then we sigh and feel guilty that we are not more spiritual. We lose heart, and we turn once more to the present to find what life can be” (The Journey of Desire). We must do a better job in describing heaven!

First and foremost, we will be with God (Rev. 21:3). God is not boring! Where do we think our ability to experience pleasure comes from? God gave us the ability to experience joy, love and emotions. God made taste buds, adrenaline, nerve endings, eyes, ears, mouths, and a sex drive. God gave us our imaginations, thoughts and reason. Do we think we came up with fun? The imaginative creative mind of God that gave us all the beauties of this life, will be used for those He loves.

Boredom comes from a lack of direction and interest. It’s loneliness and emptiness. In heaven we will have a purpose. We will serve (Rev. 22:3). Servants are busy people. They have places to go and people to see. We will reign (Rev. 22:5). Not mundane tasks, but positions of authority will be given to us. We will be consumed by the joy of purpose.

Often, the final destination for the redeemed is referred to as “a new heaven and a new earth.” Is the new earth going to be similar to the present earth? Maybe not, but if it isn’t, then why call it a new earth. There appears to be some continuation between the present earth and the new earth where we will dwell. What won’t continue are all the things that make earth an unlovely place. There will be no more “curse” (Rev. 22:3). No death, no pain and no crying. All the things we hate about earthly life will be gone. However, what about all those things we love and crave about this life? Paul sums it up when he says “so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7). You think you’ve experienced God’s grace and kindness in this life, it will be surpassing this in the life to come.

The idea of heaven can be complex and there’s a lot we don’t know about it. What we do know about heaven should instill within our hearts an untold joy and hope.