Heaven a Boring Place?|
Q. I don't enjoy church and I can't stand the thought of just singing hymns or playing harps for an eternity in heaven, either. I don't mean to be rude. But, I'd rather just rest in peace - unconscious.
You don't have to worry about being forced to sing hymns or play harps for an eternity in heaven. That is a fallacy taught almost everywhere in the Christian churches of today.
Probably the closest thing in the Bible to this picture is chapter four and five of Revelation. There we find a multitude in heaven praising the Lamb of God "in a mighty chorus" (Rev. 5:12).
No One is Forced into Worship
We assure you. You don't have to praise or worship God at all if you choose. If you prefer, you don't even have to be with Him ever. Many have chosen that path and will be shocked when they someday face their creator in human form. Even believers may be shocked.
Our creator's Hebrew name is Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus). At some point men will find themselves resurrected, in the flesh, facing judgment before Yeshua like old cloned-cats! It will be too late then:
…too late for believers who wish desperately they had done more for Christ on earth.
…too late for unbelievers who wish desperately they had considered salvation through Christ more carefully.
But, when believers meet Yeshua face-to-face they will be so overjoyed that they will want to praise God. No one will be forced to worship God - they will want to! Heaven will be anything but a boring place!
Real City - Real Earth - Real Heaven
Our jobs and duties in Heaven are one of the most misunderstood and forgotten teachings of all time. We have this misunderstanding due to Gnostic and Platonic influences in the church - the idea that matter is bad and spirit is good.
So we really need to aggressively reintroduce church doctrines about a real Heaven in the real city of New Jerusalem on a real earth in a real universe.
The Bible says it this way: "But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth…" (2 Pet. 3:13). "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…And I saw the …new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven…" (Rev. 21:1-2, ESV).
We are Training for Reigning
As it stands now we are currently in intense training for reigning. Yeshua made it clear that faithful stewards will be rulers over lands, cities, and nations in his Kingdom of Heaven on the earth and probably throughout the universe. Here is a typical verse:
"Well done, good servant, because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities" (Luke 19:17, NKJV).
Yeshua spoke repeatedly about our ruling over cities in several of his parables. Furthermore, Paul continues the theme by saying,
"Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? …Do you not know that we are to judge angels?" (1 Corinthians 6: 2-3, ESV).
Both uses of the word "judge" in these verses actually means to "govern." It should read something like: "Do you not know that the saints will govern the world?…Do you not know that we are to govern angels?" (MacArthur Study Bible).
In other words, Christians in heaven will govern the angels and the world. Heaven will not be a boring place!
We will Reign with the King
In 2 Timothy 2:12, Paul says, "if we endure, we will also reign with him."
"To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations" (Rev. 2:26, NIV).
…"and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth" (Rev. 5:10, ESV).
Randy Alcorn clarifies that "God is grooming us for leadership. He's watching to see how we demonstrate our faithfulness. He does that through his apprenticeship program, one that prepares us for Heaven. Christ is not simply preparing a place for us. He is preparing us for that place" (2004, 215).
Alcorn reminds his readers that "Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end" (Isaiah 9:7, ESV). "There are two ways in which a government can increase: 1) by expanding into previously ungoverned territories, or 2) by creating new territories."
New Occupied Planets?
Listen carefully to Alcorn: "It may be that Christ's government will always increase because he will continually create new worlds to govern (and, perhaps, new creatures to inhabit those new worlds)" (2004, 224).
Is it possible we will be ruling over new, occupied planets?
If that is too strange to think about, Colossians 1:16 also tells us, "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities…"
Skipping over to Ephesians 3:10, we learn "that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places."
Joseph Dillow adds that "there are intimations in Scripture that the future reign of the servant kings will embrace the universe as well" (2006, 561):
"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars,…What is man that You are mindful of him?…You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands…" (Ps. 8:3-6).
…that "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and those on earth" (Phil. 2:10, NKJV).
Star Trek Missionaries?
Does this mean that we are or will be celestial or heavenly missionaries of sorts, teaching reconciliation to God to all of those beings sprinkled throughout the universe? Star Trek missionaries?
We don't know for sure although it does seems likely or possible. But, it is clear that we will have plenty of jobs to perform in Heaven. No idle harp players!
When Jesus proclaimed, "Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven" (Matthew 5:12), He promised that we will be granted authority and rulership duties in heaven. Our lives will be filled with meaning and purpose.
Maranatha (Come quickly, Lord).
Just beam me up, Lord! (1 Thess. 4:17)
Alcorn, Randy. 2004. Heaven. Wheaton, ILL: Tydale.
Dillow, Joseph. 2006 ed. The reign of the servant kings. Hayesville, NC: Schoettle.
Lutzer, Erwin W. 1998. Your eternal reward. Chicago: Moody.
MacArthur Study Bible, New American Standard Version. 2006. Nashville, TN: Nelson.