Do we long for Heaven? Do we have a biblical view of where we, as Christians, will live for eternity?
Isaac Asimov said “I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I don’t have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.”
An evangelical pastor once said “Whenever I think about heaven, it makes me depressed. I’d rather cease to exist when I die. I can’t stand the thought of endless boring tedium. To me, heaven doesn’t sound much better than hell. I’d rather be annihilated than spend eternity like that.”
We can dismiss away Isaac Asimov’s comments because he is not a believer, but why would an evangelical pastor say such things about heaven?
I think it comes from ignorance of what the bible teaches about the intermediate heaven, the new earth, and the new heaven. Some of us have been wrongly taught that when we get to heaven, we won’t remember this life or the people we knew. We’ve been told that heaven will be brand new, and there will be no connection between this life and the next.
The devil wants us to think of heaven as a place where we will not have a physical body, will be floating around on fluffy clouds, and playing a harp all day long. Essentially making heaven sound pretty boring.
God’s word paints a much different picture of heaven; one that very few preachers are teaching, and very few Christians understand.
I’m reading Randy Alcorn’s book called Heaven. It is a great resource to understand the truth of scripture concerning where we will go after we die, the new earth, the new heaven, what will be there and what we will do there. I highly recommend this book to everyone, so that you will know and understand what is revelled in God’s word.
Here are just some of the things discussed in that book:
No longer will there be any curse. God’s servants will serve him. And they will reign for ever and ever. Rev 22:3-5.
We will be learning and growing with God in heaven. We will not automatically know everything.
We will rule the new earth. That was God’s original plan, but God will fulfill that plan.
Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. Isaiah 65:17
In keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 2 Peter 3:13
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Rev 21:1
No believer who understands what scripture says about eternal life will ever see it as dull, boring or dreadful. Instead we should look forward to it. We will finally be face-to-face with our creator, spending an eternity getting to know more about Him and His creation.
Over my next several blogs, I will dive deeper into what Heaven. I will discuss:
- What is Heaven?
- Where is Heaven?
- How will Heaven be the same as Earth?
- How will Heaven be different from Earth?
- Will there be time in Heaven?
- Will we remember this life in Heaven?
- Will we have a physical body, or will we just be a spirit?
- Will animals be there?
We need to make sure that we have a proper biblical view of where we will spend eternity, so that we can teach our children. We should look forward to going to Heaven, and not dreading it; clinging onto this world. I’m convinced that when a Christian dies, they just need to spend a few seconds in Heaven, and they will never want to return to our present Earth.
So look for my future blogs to answer these questions.