Will Heaven Be Boring? (Isaiah 65:17-23)

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 years I was running with Mercedes, and we had an interesting conversation. Actually, we have had many philosophical conversations as we run. So, a few years 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. She was five at the time, she is now eleven, and 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?

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. Heaven will be with Jesus.

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.[3]

  1. It seems that the New Heavens and New Earth will be a reflection of how earth was to be before the fall.
    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 reflects 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.
    6. 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 you 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.
    7. Look with me at Isaiah 65:17–25 (ESV)

New Heavens and a New Earth

17   “For behold, I create new heavens

and a new earth,

     and the former things shall not be remembered

or come into mind.

18   But be glad and rejoice forever

in that which I create;

     for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,

and her people to be a gladness.

19   I will rejoice in Jerusalem

and be glad in my people;

     no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping

and the cry of distress.

20   No more shall there be in it

an infant who lives but a few days,

or an old man who does not fill out his days,

     for the young man shall die a hundred years old,

and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.

21   They shall build houses and inhabit them;

they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

22   They shall not build and another inhabit;

they shall not plant and another eat;

     for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,

and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

23   They shall not labor in vain

or bear children for calamity,

     for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord,

and their descendants with them.

24   Before they call I will answer;

while they are yet speaking I will hear.

25   The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;

the lion shall eat straw like the ox,

and dust shall be the serpent’s food.

     They shall not hurt or destroy

in all my holy mountain,”

says the Lord.

  1. Isa 65:17: God is going to create a new heavens and a new earth.
  2. Former things shall not be remembered or come to mind… This is likely just an expression. This does not mean we will not have any memory. We will talk about that on another Sunday.
  3. Verse 18 references Jerusalem.
  4. Verse 19 talks about God rejoicing in Jerusalem and God being glad with His people. There will not be any more weeping. Verse 20 is interesting. On one hand it is saying there will be infants, but people will live very long. An infant will not only live a few days. Even the person who dies at 100 will be thought accursed… Why is there death? This is because this passage seems to be blending the Millennial Reign with the eternal New Heavens and new earth. This is called a merism which is blending the New Heavens and Millennial Reign together. This is a figure of speech taking two extremes like I searched night and day.
  5. So, we can conclude that Isaiah is writing about both. The Millennial reign and the New Heavens and New Earth. They are both a renovated state.
  6. Isa 65:21-22 references houses and inhabiting, as well as vineyards and eating of the fruit.
  7. Isa 65:23 references labor and bearing of children.
  8. Mixing Isaiah 65 with Revelation 22 shows the details of a city and a garden alongside the details of a vineyard.
  9. Isaiah is called the fifth gospel. Isaiah prophesied about the future of Israel and he prophesied destruction, but then in Isaiah 42; Isaiah 49; Isaiah 50; Isaiah 52:13-53:12 we have the four servant songs. These are all about the Messiah. We see the suffering Jesus would go through. Then Isaiah chapters 56-66 are prophesies about the future times until the end. Isaiah 65 even anticipates the spread of the Gospel in Acts. Then, this passage. This passage looks to Heaven.
  10. Why? Because of the Suffering Servant. This is still all about Jesus.
  11. When we talk about Heaven, this is all about Jesus.
  12. 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?[4]
  13. It is quite likely people will continue to compose music, write stories, discover things.
  14. Suppose people continue to explore, but now they can explore all these new oceans. Suppose people can explore outer space and go even further than ever before.
  15. 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.
  16. The Bible does NOT give any indication of a disembodied boring state. No, on the contrary, the Bible shows an embodied existence in a real place of activity.
  17. We will also be with all of the believers who have gone on before us, and they will NOT be boring.
  18. Hebrews 12:22–24 (ESV) 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
  19. David Jeremiah writes quoting Jonathon Edwards: As the famous American theologian Jonathan Edwards wrote, “No inhabitants of that blessed world will ever be grieved with the thought that they are slighted by those that they love. Or that their love is not fully and fondly returned …. There shall be no such things as flattery or insincerity in Heaven, but there, perfect sincerity will reign through all in all. Everyone will be just what he seems to be and will really have all the love he seems to have. It will not be as it is in this earth where comparatively few things are what they seem to be and where professions are often made lightly and without meaning. But there, every expression expression of love shall come from the bottom of the heart, and all that is professed shall be really and truly felt.”[5]
  20. The greatest reason heaven will NOT be boring is because we will be with Jesus. Revelation 21:3. Jesus is NOT boring.
  • Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
  • 11  You make known to me the path of life;
  • in your presence there is fullness of joy;
  • at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
  1. Let’s apply this.
    1. Look with me at Revelation 14:13: And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds 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 of 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 the energy of children. They 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.
    12. This whole message, this whole series is contingent on us knowing Christ.
    13. We must know Him. God came to earth and took on flesh. He lived the life we could not live and died the death we could not die. He did this for His glory, and He did this to welcome us into Heaven. These passages are all about Jesus.
    14. We talk about what we do in heaven, but what is most important is that we are with Jesus.
    15. Are we living with Jesus now?

Close:

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.”[6]

We are created for 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. Heaven will be with Jesus.

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] 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.

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

[5] Jeremiah, David. Revealing the Mysteries of Heaven (pp. 70-71). Turning Point. Kindle Edition.

[6] 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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