Summary: What will heaven be like?
DISCERNING COMMON QUESTIONS AND OBJECTIONS ABOUT HEAVEN
In the past two messages I preached on this passage, I addressed two specific issues in regard to our promise of Heaven.
1. When we die, we are conscious and are with the Lord; but this is not our eternal state.
2. When Christ returns, we will receive a resurrected body, and our eternal condition will be a physical condition.
Now, today before I go further into our study of Hebrews 11, I wanted to devote one more week to the issue of Heaven and eternity --- I want to seek to give answers to some of the most commonly answered questions.
Disclaimer: I have never been to heaven, because I am still alive. Thus, when I speak on this subject I am going to try my absolute best to stick simply to what the Bible says.
And since the Bible does not give us an exhaustive view of eternity and Heaven, not all of our questions will be answered.
It is hard to imagine what Heaven will be like; should we even try?
QUOTE: Elder David Fairchild, “We cannot desire that which we cannot imagine...when we say we cannot imagine what heaven will be like, we completely disregard all that God has revealed to us about our eternal home.” What Fairchild is saying is that not only CAN we imagine what heaven will be like, we SHOULD imagine it, because we cannot desire that which we cannot imagine. The Bible is so clear about what heaven will be like in so many ways, we need really imagine very little - just trust the Scriptures to be true - to be have our desires enhanced for this heavenly city.
READ: Revelation 21:1-27; 22:1-5
Now, so many have tried to make these words to be allegorical or interpretive.
But, just imagine if they are what they say they are-an expression of truth about what we are to expect in our eternal home. Is that so hard?
Sometimes contemplating Heaven can seem overwhelming to some, and to some it is a fool’s errand.
Famed physicist Stephen Hawking made recent comments about the existence of heaven saying, “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers,” Hawking said of the human brain to the Guardian newspaper Monday. “That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”
Our heart should break for one who utters such words.
For the believer, seeking after the reality of Heaven is one our earthly rewards.
We get to imagine about, hope about, and pray for the Kingdom of Heaven to come.
We are even commanded to do so...
Colossians 3:1 “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
QUOTE: A.W. Pink “To "seek" after Heaven must be the chief aim and supreme task which the Christian sets before him: laying aside all that would hinder, and using every means which God has appointed. The world must be held loosely, the affections be set upon things above, and the heart constantly exercised about treading the Narrow Way, which alone leads thither.”
How can I be happy in heaven, if it comes to pass that I am there, but my most precious loved one is not there?
Some believe in a loss of memory. Isaiah 65:17 ESV “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.”
Yet, it is not likely that this passage is referring to us losing memory of ourselves, or our identities because to do so would be to remove an essential part of who we are, making eternal life somewhat without significance.
It raises the question: If this life is forgotten, what significance has it had?
Furthermore, Scripture indicates that the souls in Revelation 5 remembered their martyrdom, that Moses and Elijah on the mount of transfiguration were recognizable as individuals, and that we will eat with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Certainly this would go against the idea that we forget our identities in the new earth. Others contend that it is not that memory will be lost, but that complete sanctification will be gained.
I think this is a much more biblical explanation.
If anything, the Bible seems to indicate that we will know and understand more, not less.
1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
Consider this: Will God forget the unredeemed? No, God cannot forget.
Yet, will He be saddened for all eternity at their demise?
No, because He understands that His holy requirements demanded their just punishment.
It is certain that when we are fully sanctified that we too will be able to understand that their punishment is just, and it will not steal from our eternal joy.