Some of the devil’s dirtiest deeds regard his doctrinal distortion of Heaven. He’s made it sound like a place no one would want to go. After all, who wants to sport flightless wings, sit on a cloud, strum a harp, suffer amnesia (one devilish distortion is we won’t remember anyone), and sing endless choruses? Of course, apologists rarely confront this satanic smear campaign because whether one thinks heaven will be tedious or not won’t determine whether one will be saved.
But don’t think this doesn’t have serious implications!
An undergrad one day fought back tears as she confessed to me that she was afraid that she didn’t want to go to heaven.
And she’s not alone. I’ve learned that many Christians fear they won’t like heaven. That also messes up our evangelism if the lost hear it as “repent of your sins and you can be bored forever!”
Make no mistake: this is the devil’s doing.
Thankfully, for the last 30 years I have made the glory that awaits us in eternity the focus of my teaching.
I intend to blog more about the lies the devil tells us regarding heaven, but to start, let me share with you an overview of why I look forward to eternal life.
Why I Look Forward to Eternal Life
I look forward to being with all of you, to getting to know all of you, to sharing endeavors with you and the other saints I’ve gotten to know over the years, and with all the other beings, whether human or not, that I will ever meet.
I look forward to living without guilt (can you imagine?), without tears (not even tears of joy because tears of joy spring from relief of hardship and there won’t be any hardships from which to be relieved), with no death, no mourning, no pain.
I look forward to banquets where we will enjoy the equivalent of premium wines and prime meats and doing this with all of you (He talks about banquets a lot, you know, and in His right hand are pleasures forevermore).1
I look forward to inheriting a new heaven and a new earth.2 You ask what will be in them? Simple, they will be full of purple and yellow pansies; thornless roses of every color and fragrance, water lilies, orchids, mossy trees, and water falls; canyons and mountains full of redwoods and rivers; springs and meadows, beaches and breakers; friendly lions, tigers, and bears; toucans, and tropical fish; eagles and iridescent hummingbirds; trees full of peaches, pears, and plums; every kind of grape and berry vine.
But you ask, where does the Bible say those things will be in the new Heaven and Earth? And, of course, you’re right. The Bible doesn’t say those things will be in the new Heavens or Earth, but the Creator of those things will be there. The Creator of stars and moons and planets and the Milky Way Galaxy and of yellow, orange, pink, and purple sunsets will be there. The Creator of not just worlds, but quasars, black holes, star clusters, and galaxies—with no two alike. For Goodness’ sake, He makes no two snowflakes alike. We’ll be there! Perhaps some of the things I mentioned won’t be there but, if not, we should expect better things in their place—not lesser things. In Revelation John does tell us that six winged seraphs which have four heads with eyes all over them will be there,3 and that a crystal river flows from the throne and that river is surrounded by the Tree of Life that bears twelve crops of fruit and even its leaves heal the nations.4
I have tasted a lot of fruits. I wonder what Life tastes like?
I look forward to inheriting these things with you and I look forward to reigning with Jesus5 and accomplishing things that won’t rust or decay and will never be undone.
And we know that there is One whose voice was “like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.”6 We are told there is a throne in heaven and the One sitting on the throne was “like jasper and clear as crystal and carnelian.” There was “a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald,”7 and His temple was “decorated with every precious stone” including the deep purplish-blue sapphire, purple amethyst, bluish-green beryl, gold-yellow topaz, green emerald, orange-red jacinth, and pale blue chalcedony.8
He will be there.
I look forward to getting to know that One, The One, the Holy One, and to being with Him and enjoying Him commune with you and me.
And I look forward to doing all of this forever.
Revelation 22:4-5: They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Amen and Amen.