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Questions about Heaven

I just finished a series on a healthy church and I thought it would be an appropriate time to bring out a letter I received a month or two ago that was filled with some rapid fire questions about heaven. These questions are fairly brief to answer so I was hoping to crank them all out in one column. Enjoy!

Question: I’ve never seen photos, movies, etc of our Lord smiling, let alone in an all out laugh, nor of the apostles. Is heaven all “sainty” and religious?

Answer: You have never seen any movies of Jesus smiling because he was never in a movie (ba dum tsh)! Seriously though, Jesus made jokes in the gospels. Remember that time when James and John were very excited and they asked Jesus if he wanted them to call down lightning and eliminate some naysayers? Jesus simply told them, “no thanks” and then renamed them the Sons of Thunder.

The same thing is true for Paul and others. Arguing against a group of false teachers in the book of Galatians who taught that you needed to be circumcised to go to heaven, Paul says that he wishes they would take their own advice and cut off the whole thing (Galatians 5:12). That doesn’t sound very sainty to me. It actually sounds pretty hilarious.

Question: I’m all for religion, but I’m sure when you’re done preaching, you have some downtime. What things, if any, do we bring to heaven from earth.

Answer: Well, technically, the only two things that are eternal are the Word of God and people, in terms of things we bring to heaven from earth. That being said, heaven is going to be a lot like earth, just without sin.

The Bible says that God is going to make a new heaven and a new earth and we are going to live on that new earth. What it will be like is hard to guess, but I think it will be a lot like a perfect earth now - complete with gardens, waterfalls, forests, etc. Think about how beautiful the world is now, and then try to imagine how amazing it will be when it is perfect and undefiled!

Question: If our parents died at a young age and we live to a very old age, how will we recognize each other?

Answer: Facebook? Honestly, I have no idea, but I am assuming eventually we will figure it out.

Question: Do we have clothes? Do we eat? Do we drink?

Answer: Jesus says that we definitely will eat and drink, because we are going to eat and drink with him at the greatest party ever thrown called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9). In the same passage it says we will be clothed in fine linen.

Question: Do we walk, float, fly? What do we DO?

Answer: Again, I think we will do similar stuff to what we do now just in beautiful proximity to our Creator. We will enjoy God, enjoy people, enjoy God’s creation, garden without weeds, go hiking without rolling your ankle.

The new heavens and the new earth are going to be awesome. It won’t be like we picture in the cartoons where we sit on clouds with harps. It is going to be an undefiled, perfect creation where everything works the way it is supposed to from apples to people.

The best part of what comes next, however, isn’t going to be the creation, but the Creator. We will finally be able to see God face to face for as he truly is - unveiled. We will be able to walk with him in the cool of the day, like they did in the Garden of Eden. We will be able to enjoy his presence and enjoy his goodness. Since the giver of the gift is always greater than the gift itself, we can have confidence that the new heaven and the new earth will not disappoint.

If you want to dig deeper into this topic, I suggest you consider reading Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven. Steer clear of the gimmicky books about people who visited heaven and then came back to tell a tale. Instead, read the Scriptures and a book like Alcorn’s. In his book, he isn’t concerned with giving you his thoughts or rumors about heaven. Instead, he wants to show you what the Bible teaches about the concept. It’s a thick book, but a fantastic read.