Today we talk about learning so let’s start with fun:
What is a math teacher’s favorite sum?
Teachers who take class attendance are absent-minded.
*Teacher: ‘Craig, you know you can’t sleep in my class.’
Craig: ‘I know. But maybe if you were just a little quieter, I could.’
*Stressing the importance of a good vocabulary, the teacher told her young charges, “Use a word ten times, and it shall be yours for life.” From somewhere in the back of the room, came a small male voice chanting, “Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda.”
*Pupil: I don’t think I deserved zero on this test!
Teacher: I agree, but that’s the lowest mark I could give you!
*What do you call a teacher without students?
Broke…oh wait, that’s a regular teacher
*Teacher: You copied from Fred’s exam paper didn’t you ?
Pupil: How did you know ?
Teacher: Fred’s paper says “I don’t know” and you have put “Me, neither”!
*The little boy wasn’t getting good marks in school. One day he made the teacher quite surprised. He tapped her on the shoulder and said …”I don’t want to scare you, but my daddy says if I don’t get better grades, somebody is going to get a spanking.”
Physics Teacher: “Isaac Newton was sitting under a tree when an apple fell on his head and he discovered gravity. Isn’t that wonderful?”
Student: “Yes sir, if he had been sitting in class looking at books like us, he wouldn’t have discovered anything.”
How long are we supposed to learn?
We learn all of our lives, but do we learn in Heaven or do we know everything?
Let’s read: 1 Cor. 13:8-13:
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
My Theme: Be encouraged we will continue learning in Heaven because we will continue having new things to learn. Also, our learning will not impair our ability to love.
- We will not be omniscient.
- As we talk about this idea we must understand that in Heaven we do not become God.
- Only God is omniscient. Omniscient means to know everything.
- So, let’s take an excursus into the idea of love and 1 Cor. 13. In 1 Cor. 13:8 we read about knowledge being done away with. What this means is that the spiritual gift of knowledge or “Word of knowledge” will be done away with. Why do we need the spiritual gift when we are with Jesus in reality? Also, we must understand that the Corinthians elevated certain spiritual gifts above others. They liked the showy gifts. They liked tongues as it was a showy gift, they must have liked knowledge as it was a showy gift. I believe we still struggle with this today. I like the showy gifts as well. But Paul is saying they go away in Heaven, at least in the sense as being spiritual gifts.
- We can’t take this passage to mean that in Heaven we know everything. What we can say is that still in Heaven love remains.
- Love is most important. Love carries on for all eternity. The spiritual gifts do not need to continue in Heaven, but love will always continue.
- Paul is NOT talking about natural human love. He is talking about a love that only God can give. This is love that a human being can only express when he or she has been touched by God’s grace and enabled by God’s Spirit.
- Love in this special way will continue in Heaven.
- I like what the Life Application Study Bible says:
- When Paul wrote of knowing “everything completely, just as God now knows me completely,” he was referring to when we must see Christ face to face. God gives believers spiritual gifts for their lives on earth in order to build up, serve, and strengthen fellow Christians. The spiritual gifts are for the church. In eternity, we will be made perfect and complete and will be in the very presence of God. We will no longer need the spiritual gifts, so they will come to an end. Then, we will have a full understanding and appreciation for one another as unique expressions of God’s infinite creativity. We will use our differences as a reason to praise God! Based on that perspective, let us treat each other with the same love and unity that we will one day share.
- Of course this may make us think about what the spiritual gift of knowledge is. I like what one wrote: The spiritual gift of knowledge is also known as the “word of knowledge” or “utterance of knowledge.” The Greek word for this gift is Gnosis and it simply means knowledge and understanding. The Scriptural emphasis in 1 Corinthians 12:8is on the ability to speak this knowledge to others in a given situation. In the opening passages of 1 Corinthians, Paul spoke of knowledge and recognized that the highest form of knowledge among men is the Gospel of Jesus Christ (i.e. the testimony about Christ, cf. 1 Corinthians 1:4-7). What we can conclude then is the gift of knowledge is an understanding of the things in this world and in our lives that is founded in the Gospel and rooted in the Scriptures. This gift is closely related to the gift of wisdom which is alluded to by Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.
- The Holy Spirit gives this spiritual gift to some believers to bring about understanding and to inform the church or individual believers. The person with this gift is usually well-versed in the Scriptures and often has much committed to memory. They can retain the truth and communicate it effectively at the appropriate times. The gift of knowledge allows a believer to relate the Scriptures, and particularly the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to all aspects of life in this world. They can see how it connects to every situation and circumstance and how the reality and truth of the Gospel is to inform every decision a Christian makes.
- There is more we could say about this, but let’s talk about Heaven.
- So, in Heaven we will still learn. We simply will NOT need a spiritual gift. Additionally, as we look at verse 12 Paul writes about Heaven like a mirror. Corinth was known for their Corinthian bronze mirrors but even the best mirrors were not a good reflection. Then Paul says we will know fully.
- Randy Alcorn gets into great detail writing: The apostle Paul wrote: “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13: 12, emphasis added). The italicized words are based on two different Greek words: ginosko and epiginosko. The prefix epi intensifies the word to mean “to really know” or “to know extensively.” However, when the word is used of humans, it never means absolute knowledge.
- I have to agree. We can look at other scriptures which talk of learning in Heaven.
- We will still learn
- Learning is not from sin. Sin and our fallen world may make it difficult to learn. Maybe our minds will work faster in Heaven, but there will likely still be a learning process.
- 1 Peter 1:12 shows Angels don’t know everything and they long to know more.
- Ephesians 2:6-7 indicates that God will show us more knowledge in Heaven: And God raised us up with Christand seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
- Think of how much we will have to learn being in the New Jerusalem with the new Garden of Eden and dwelling with God.
- Think of how much we can have to learn being with the prophets of the Old Testament.
- Think of how much we will have to learn being with your great great-great-grandfather and grandmother.
- Think of how much we can learn about each other when we do not have sin in the way impairing our thinking.
- Without learning it could be quite boring for us as we were created to have purpose and learning and purpose go together.
- Imagine studying history next to a historian or the people themselves. I love Revolutionary War history, imagine studying while talking to George Washington, or John Adams, or Patrick Henry. Imagine studying physics with Einstein or Isaac Newton. Imagine studying music with Bach.
- Or maybe you love to hunt or fish or play sports, I know there will be new techniques to learn.
- Maybe you love old cars or machines, I know there would be more to study.
- The Scriptures talk about books in Heaven as well as scrolls and so it seems that they will remain.
- I do come back to the beginning Most of all love always remains. We can learn without needing a spiritual gift. We can learn and love at the same time.
Be encouraged we will continue learning in Heaven because we will continue having new things to learn. Also, our learning will not impair our ability to love.
Martin Luther said, “If God had all the answers in his right hand, and the struggle to reach those answers in his left, I would choose God’s left hand.” Why? Because it’s not only truth we want, it’s also the pleasure of learning the truth.
We continue painting a picture of Heaven. Next week we complete the picture.
Do you know Christ?
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)
 Tyndale House Publishers (2011-08-01). Life Application Study Bible NLT (LASB: Full Size) (Kindle Locations 154921-154926). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
 Alcorn, Randy (2011-12-08). Heaven (Alcorn, Randy) (Kindle Locations 5951-5955). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.