Summary: An examination of some of the myths about heaven and the reality of way heaven will be.
For many people, all they know about heaven they’ve learned from movies. How do movies portray heaven? Everything’s white; puffy clouds everywhere; it looks like you’re living inside a carton of cotton balls; apparently the only activity is strumming on harps.
This nightmare scenario of heaven sounds like a bad Saturday night in a small town: "What do you want to do?" "I dunno, what do you want to do?" [etc.]
That impression naturally leads to the question: Will heaven be boring?
First of all, we need to get a key idea in our minds and it is what I am calling:
The “Better Than” Principle
This is the simple Scriptural idea that what awaits us in heaven is "better than" anything we’ve seen before. How can I say that with confidence?
1. 1 Corinthians 2:9 - "No eye has seen. . ."
2. Hebrews 11:10 - ". . .the city. . .whose architect and builder is God."
3. 2 Corinthians 5:1 - "tent" vs. "eternal house"
To show how the "better than" principle shows up in what we know about heaven, let’s answer a couple of questions:
What will we do in heaven?
1. One thing we will do in heaven is worship.
We’re not talking about unending tedious church services. I want you to imagine the most glorious moment of the most glorious worship service you’ve ever been in. Feel the intensity of that moment. Now, multiply it by 10 times and expand it from just one moment to an entire time of worship. Are you interested now?
2. Another thing we will do in heaven is work.
Again, we’re not talking about something tedious. In this life, many people see their work as a necessary evil.
Rather, to get an understanding, think of the thing you most enjoy doing in this life. It might even fall under the heading of something you’d call play, because nobody pays you to do it now (example, the time the amateur woodworker spends Saturday morning in the workshop). Now, imagine getting to do something as fulfilling and perfect for who you are as your regular work.
This obviously is a far cry from the tedium of sitting around bored out of your mind for eternity.
3. A third thing we will do in heaven is party.
The official church word here is supposed to be "fellowship," but that doesn’t capture the joy and celebration of the gatherings we’re going to have.
The second question I want to look at to better understand the "better than" principle is this:
Why should I look forward to heaven?
1. We will have full knowledge.
Do you have questions you can’t answer? Do you have situations you can’t figure out? Do you deal with theological uncertainties you can’t unravel?
They’ll all be answered in heaven.
2. We will have our sin taken away.
I want you to think for a moment about that sin you have struggled with for so long: lust (pornography), greed (money), bitterness (lack of love), etc. Now imagine what it would be like to not have to deal with anymore.
Even though Christ is able to help us to overcome sin in this life, even when we gain the victory that problem is always lurking, waiting on us to let our guard down. Not so in heaven.
3. It will be more beautiful and vibrant than earth.
White puffy clouds aren’t much to look at. Heaven will be even more colorful, glorious, beautiful, and vibrant than the best this world’s wonders have to offer.