Heaven will not be boring

Opening:

A cleric found himself wondering whether there were any golf courses in Heaven. He even began to ask the question in his prayers. One day, in answer to his prayers, he received a direct answer from on high. 

“Yes,” said the Heavenly messenger, “There are many excellent golf courses in Heaven. The greens are always in first class condition, the weather is always perfect and you always get to play with the very nicest people.”

“Oh, thank you,” said the cleric, “That really is marvellous news.”

“Yes, isn’t it?” replied the messenger, “And we’ve got you down for a foursome next Saturday.”[1]

A few weeks ago I was running with Mercedes and we had an interesting conversation. Actually, we are having many philosophical conversations as we run. So, a few weeks ago she asked me if we will have to go to the bathroom in Heaven. I don’t have a good answer to that, though I understand the question. One of the major stressors of a five-year-old is to make sure she makes it to the bathroom in time. I remember being a child and thinking about how in Heaven I hope that we can have peanut-butter pie. I remember thinking that we could eat as much as we want without getting sick. Some of those thoughts have worn off as I’ve aged. Why don’t we think like children about Heaven anymore? Why can’t we use our imagination?

A common misconception about eternity surfaced in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager. A member of the undying “Q continuum” longs for an end to his existence. Why? Because, he complains, everything that could be said and done has already been said and done, and now there’s only repetition and utter boredom. He says, “For us, the disease is immortality.” Finally he’s allowed to end his existence.[2]

Can Christians have fun? Why not?

I thought about this while reading the Little House in the Big Woods book to Mercedes:

Little House in the Big Wood Sundays chapter:

On Sundays Mary and Laura must not run or shout or be noisy in their play. Mary could not sew on her nine-patch quilt, and Laura could not knit on the tiny mittens she was making for Baby Carrie. They might look quietly at their paper dolls, but they must not make anything new for them. They were not allowed to sew on doll clothes, not even with pins.

They must sit quietly and listen while Ma read Bible stories to them, or stories about lions and tigers and white bears from Pa’s big green book, The Wonders of the Animal World. They might look at pictures, and they might hold their rag dolls nicely and talk to them. But there was nothing else they could do.

Laura liked best to look at the pictures in the big Bible, with its paper covers. Best of all was the picture of Adam naming the animals.

One Sunday after supper she could not bear it any longer. She began to play with Jack, and in a few minutes she was running and shouting. Pa told her to sit in her chair and be quiet, but when Laura sat down she began to cry and kick the chair with her heels.

“I hate Sunday!” she said.

Pa put down his book. “Laura,” he said sternly, “come here.”

Her feet dragged as she went, because she knew she deserved a spanking. But when she reached Pa, he looked at her sorrowfully for a moment, and then took her on his knee and cuddled her against him. He held out his other arm to Mary, and said:

“I’m going to tell you a story about when Grandpa was a boy.”[3] He then tells a story about his father being punished for fun on Sundays.

I don’t want to insult the past, I know they had reasons for what they did, but sometimes in our best efforts to be reverent we ruin fun. The problem with that is we make Christians look boring. It follows that we make Heaven seem boring.

Is Heaven to be boring?

Theme: Heaven will not be boring, Heaven will be fun. Heaven will have all the blessings of this life without the hardships, pain and suffering.

WHAT WILL WE DO?

We will worship the triune God.

We will rule and administrate.

We will have different positions of authority.

We may rebuild cities.

We may build homes.

Some will compose and write music.

Some will play musical instruments.

We will serve.

Some will farm.

Some will cultivate orchards.[4]

  1. It seems that Heaven is a reflection of earth, or should I say earth is a reflection of how Heaven was to be.
    1. Things God created that have been distorted by sin will be made right and perfect.
    2. We live in a fallen world, but I believe the Bible shows that Heaven will be as God intended the Garden of Eden to be before sin entered the world.
    3. We can read Revelation 21 and 22 and see the comparisons with the Garden of Eden. In the eternal Heaven, in Revelation 22 it seems that that Heaven is a reflection of the first Garden of Eden. We will see a Tree of Life again in verse 2 as there was a tree of life in the first Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9). We see a river in the eternal Heaven in Revelation 22:1. We see two rivers in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2:10 and 13. It does seem that the eternal New Jerusalem Heaven is going to be like the Garden of Eden was meant to be, only much better.
    4. We have purpose now and we will have purpose for all eternity.
    5. Just think for a moment about your best moments on earth. Think about your most exciting times. Think about how you felt when you first found out you were going to be a dad or a mom. Think about how you felt when were first engaged or newly married. Think about the joy, comfort and excitement on a vacation. Just think about how excited you were to get a new job or do a certain job. Just think for a moment about how much you love a certain hobby. Now imagine that joy, those feelings, that excitement going for all eternity. Imagine for all eternity doing what you love to do, but without being tired, without sickness or pain. I wouldn’t limit eternity though. You may get bored fishing for all eternity, but why would you do the same thing? What if you fished for a while and then played golf and then accomplished a task? It does seem that we will have purpose.
    6. Look with me at Luke 19:11-17: While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ 14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ 15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. 16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’ 17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
    7. This is a parable of Heaven and it seems that Jesus is saying that when we are faithful we will be blessed.
    8. It seems that He is saying when we are faithful we will be blessed by helping to run the universe. We can help Jesus run the universe.
    9. There are other passages: Randy Alcorn writes: Isaiah 65: 21 suggests that we’ll build houses and live in them on the New Earth. If so, we’ll no doubt decorate them beautifully. Buildings on the scale of the New Jerusalem reflect extensive cultural advancement. Human builders will learn from God’s design, just as Leonardo da Vinci learned by studying the form and flight of birds while working on his flying machine. What will clear-thinking human beings— unhindered by sin and the barriers that separate us— be able to design and build? What would Galileo, da Vinci, Edison, or Einstein achieve if they could live even a thousand years unhindered by the Curse? What will we achieve when we have resurrected bodies with resurrected minds, working together forever?[5]
    10. He continues: Some researchers suggest that we now use only 10 percent of our brainpower. Adam and Eve could likely use 100 percent of theirs— and their brainpower was probably far greater than ours… On the New Earth, God’s gifts to us will never be lost to age, death, pettiness, insecurity, or laziness.[6]
    11. It is quite likely people will continue to compose music, write stories, discover things.
    12. Suppose people continue to explore, but now they can explore all of these new oceans. Suppose people can explore outers pace and go even further than ever before.
    13. A major point to be made is that we will have resurrected-perfect bodies. In 1 Corinthians 15, the great chapter on the resurrection, Paul writes about our resurrected bodies. I don’t know if we will be able to, but Jesus was able to walk through walls (John 20:19), Jesus was not limited by gravity (Acts 1:9). That could be because Jesus is God, but who is to say that our resurrected bodies will not have more capabilities than we have now.
    14. Randy Alcorn writes: A disembodied existence would be boring, but the reality of our bodily resurrection puts boredom to death. Imagine the animals that zoologists will research and play with or the flowers that botanists will study. Gifted astronomers and explorers may go from star system to star system, galaxy to galaxy, studying the wonders of God’s creation. If we think life on the New Earth will be boring, we just aren’t getting it. Take a closer look at God and his Word, and all thoughts that we’ll be bored in his presence will vanish.[7]
    15. We will have fun. God created fun, we didn’t create fun. When we were children, we played— with each other and with dogs and cats and frogs. We enjoyed hiding, climbing trees, sledding, and throwing snowballs and baseballs. We played nonstop, never having to go earn a living. We played just because it was fun. Is God pleased by that? Yes, because he created and values a childlike spirit (Mark 10: 14-15).[8]
  2. Let’s apply this.
    1. Look with me at Revelation 14:13: Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lordfrom now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
    2. Did you notice that? Their deeds will follow them. What we do on earth will follow us so it is best that we store up treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-20).
    3. Hebrews 6:10 tells us that God will not forget the good things we do.
    4. We can look forward to Heaven. Heaven will be greater than anything we can imagine.
    5. We can share the Gospel knowing that we are inviting others to paradise.
    6. We can also know that if we have extra suffering here and now we won’t have that for eternity.
    7. Some us would love to do certain things, but can’t because of health. You can do all that and more in Heaven. If you can’t go fishing anymore, you can in Heaven. If you can’t run anymore, you will be able to in Heaven. If you can’t play golf anymore, you can in Heaven. If you can’t read anymore or travel or hear in Heaven these things will be restored. In Heaven you will be able to be active without pain. In Heaven you will be able to have energy which you cannot imagine now.
    8. I am amazed by Mercedes energy. She can move so fast! I am amazed at my young age how sore I can feel in the morning. I cannot imagine life without having to think about energy levels, but in Heaven this will be fixed.
    9. However, our experience in Heaven is determined by our faithfulness to Christ now.
    10. Remember we are saved by grace, but we will have rewards for faithfully serving Jesus.
    11. So, just like how in this life the mistakes we make now catch up to us later, it is true for all eternity. Serve Jesus faithfully now and you will have more opportunities to serve Him forever.

 

Close:

Two Christians have lived very good, and also very healthy lives. They die, and go to heaven. 

As they are walking along, marveling at the paradise around them, one turns to the other and says “Wow. I never knew heaven was going to be as good as this!”

“Yeah”, says the other. “And just think, if we hadn’t eaten all that oat bran we could have got here ten years sooner.”[9]

I love C. S. Lewis’s profound perspective in his book Mere Christianity, when he writes,

The Christian says, “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.”[10]

We are created for another eternity. We are created for Heaven and it will not be boring.

Heaven will not be boring; Heaven will be fun. Heaven will have all the blessings of this life without the hardships, pain and suffering.

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

[1] http://jokes.christiansunite.com/Heaven/Golf_in_Heaven.shtml

[2] Alcorn, Randy (2011-12-08). Heaven (Alcorn, Randy) (Kindle Locations 7599-7602). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

[3] http://www.gutenberg.ca/ebooks/wilder-woods/wilder-woods-01-h.html

[4] Enns, Paul P. (2011-03-01). Heaven Revealed: What Is It Like? What Will We Do?… And 11 Other Things You’ve Wondered About (p. 153). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

[5] Alcorn, Randy (2011-12-08). Heaven (Alcorn, Randy) (Kindle Locations 7599-7602). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

[6] Alcorn, Randy (2011-12-08). Heaven (Alcorn, Randy) (Kindle Locations 7599-7602). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

[7] Alcorn, Randy (2011-12-08). Heaven (Alcorn, Randy) (Kindle Locations 7599-7602). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

[8] Alcorn, Randy (2011-12-08). Heaven (Alcorn, Randy) (Kindle Locations 7880-7883). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

[9] http://jokes.christiansunite.com/Heaven/The_Healthy_Christians.shtml

[10] Ingram, Chip; Witt, Lance (2016-02-23). The Real Heaven: What the Bible Actually Says (Kindle Locations 1380-1388). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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