What will we do in heaven


(Timothy Loraditch) #1

We know there will be no weeping or mourning, and we will see Him face to face, but what will we do? Eternity is a very long time.


(Matt Western) #2

Do you enjoy catching up with friends? I certainly do. It’s sad when we have to constantly say goodbye to friends, family, and as life changes through the seasons we have a growing sense of what we are losing as we gradually get older - relationships with people. We were created for relationship - with God, and with people. Just on a simple human level, I’m looking forward to perfect relationships with people I have known in this life, catching up with them all and seeing how God has worked in their life. Then, can you imagine asking Elisha what it was like to have God’s power to be able to do miracles, like float an ax head on water by throwing a short piece of wood into the water? :slight_smile:

And of course, we cannot imagine what heaven will be like, it will be so good. Think of all the things we enjoy, beauty of music, artwork, creativity (just think of the imagination of people who create complete worlds such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc), the feeling you get as you enjoy a sunset over an ocean, or majestic cliffs and water falls, or consider the star-filled heavens. It’s going to be better than any human imagination. 1 Corinthians 2:9

Eye has not seen , nor ear heard , Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love.

Seeing Jesus face to face in worship will keep me busy for a few hundred thousand years (assuming that we even know what time is in eternity). If you think about it, we are living in the eternal present, but we see time passing as we grow old, as things decay (2nd law of thermodynamics), and friends and family pass away either through old age, sudden tragedy, or terminal illness. I’m tired of decay, of friends and family passing away and of relationships lost - and I’m only 41. :slight_smile:

CS Lewis put it pretty well: If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

I doubt that if God said, heaven will be better than our wildest imaginations, we’ll be bored with nothing to do. Not to mention, as it says we see [Jesus] through a glass darkly (in Paul’s illustration of a mirror of brass or bronze from that time period) then face to face, I will know even as I am known. We’ll be able to have our questions answered, and see the ‘why’ of the big picture and the answers to why we suffered.

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

2 Corinthians 3:18: But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Mate, I’m looking forward to it! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: But as the Apostle Paul put it in 2 Corinthians 5, we groan as our bodies get older and look forward to a recreated perfect body. A new body more ‘real’ that we experience here on earth.

1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

I’ll probably never meet you in this life, but will see you in heaven! Be good to compare stories! :slight_smile:


(SeanO) #3

@tfloraditch Personally, I think we will do all of things we enjoy here and more - music, writing, crafts, eating, fellowship - just without the sorrow and pain. And perhaps things we have never imagined. We will be in a New Heavens and Earth - not just spirits. We will have bodies. Who knows? Maybe we will even get involved in space travel.

Here are some thoughts:

1 - Heaven is not a disembodied existence - the Scriptures promise a resurrected body in a New Heavens and Earth. We will still eat food, dance, sing and many believe even have culture and civilization. Heaven is not about doing nothing - it is a new creation without the brokenness of sin, where we can labor without toil and rejoice without the threat of sorrow.
2 - If God created this world in which we have so much joy, why would we think Him incapable of creating a new world with much more joy in the absence of suffering?
3 - Where did all of the things we enjoy - friendship, romantic love, meaningful labor - come from? They came from God - every good and perfect gift comes down from the father of lights (James 1:17). Heaven will be the absence of evil and the presence of every good thing!
4 - God’s presence itself is joy - a deep and abiding joy that is beyond speaking of or understanding.

2 Peter 3:13 - According to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

2 Corinthians 4:17 - For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…

Romans 8:18 - I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Lewis in ‘Letters to Malcolm’

Here is a quote from C. S. Lewis talking about how our deepest joys here on earth - sitting around a campfire, dancing, laughing over a meal with friends - are only a dim shadow of the joy we will have in Heaven as we delight in God and one another.

“I do not think that the life of Heaven bears any analogy to play or dance in respect of frivolity. I do think that while we are in this ‘valley of tears,’ cursed with labour, hemmed round with necessities, tripped up with frustrations, doomed to perpetual plannings, puzzlings, and anxieties, certain qualities that must belong to the celestial condition have no chance to get through, can project no image of themselves, except in activities which, for us here and now, are frivolous.

For surely we must suppose the life of the blessed to be an end in itself, indeed The End: to be utterly spontaneous; to be the complete reconciliation of boundless freedom with order–with the most delicately adjusted, supple, intricate, and beautiful order?

How can you find any image of this in the ‘serious’ activities either of our natural or of our (present) spiritual life? Either in our precarious and heart-broken affections or in the Way which is always, in some degree, a via crucis ?

No, Malcolm. It is only in our ‘hours-off,’ only in our moments of permitted festivity, that we find an analogy. Dance and game are frivolous, unimportant down here; for ‘down here’ is not their natural place. Here, they are a moment’s rest from the life we were place here to live.

But in this world everything is upside down. That which , if it could be prolonged here, would be a truancy, is likest that which in a better country is the End of ends. Joy is the serious business of Heaven.”

–C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (San Diego: Harvest, 1964), 92-93.

Lewis in ‘The Last Battle’

In ‘The Last Battle’ by C. S. Lewis, here is a description of Heaven as the beginning of a never ending summer holiday - where every day is better than the one before. I highly recommend reading this book - he has some brilliant depictions of the joys of Heaven - ‘further up and further in’.

“You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be,” [Aslan said].

Lucy said, “We’re so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often.”

“No fear of that,” said Aslan. “Have you not guessed?”

Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them….

“The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”

And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them.

And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.

The Joy of God’s Presence

In Heaven God’s presence will be all pervasive and anyone who has approached God’s presence knows the joy of such an encounter - the hint of glory and beauty beyond human comprehension.

Revelation 21:23 - The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.

Psalms 27:4 - One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

“Then suddenly the Mole felt a great Awe fall upon him, an awe that turned his muscles to water, bowed his head, and rooted his feet to the ground. It was no panic terror - indeed he felt wonderfully at peace and happy - but it was an awe that smote and held him and, without seeing, he knew it could only mean that some august presence was very, very near.”
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

“Unattainability. The most intense joy lies not in the having, but in
the desiring. The delight that never fades, the bliss that is eternal,
is only yours when what you most desire is just out of your reach.” C. S. Lewis

Tim Keller - God Brings the Wine

Tim Keller points out based on the miracle of water into wine that God is the Lord of the feast.

Ravi on Fictional Good vs Fictional Evil

Oftentimes in fiction we are not shown the joy an delight of true goodness rooted in God. Rather, in fiction being good is portrayed as boring. That could not be further from the truth! In reality evil is monotonous and boring and goodness is full of life and beautiful and true. Heaven is Goodness - God Himself.

“Malcolm Muggeridge quoting Simone Weil said that in reality nothing is so beautiful as the good and nothing so monotonous and boring as evil. In our imagination, however, it’s reversed: Fictional good is boring and flat; fictional evil is varied, intriguing, attractive, full of charm.” -Ravi Zacharias

Hope some of those thoughts are helpful :slight_smile:


(Cameron Kufner) #4

This is something I ponder on a lot. Personally, I’m excited to meet my savior face to face. I’m excited to meet my Father for the first time. There’s so much more I can’t wait to enjoy. Talking with the Apostles, prophets, and other great men of God. Personally, I can’t wait to talk to Moses, Abraham, David, John and Paul. I will get to meet my sibling who my mother lost in the womb and a whole bunch of other family members, ones I’ve never met and one’s I knew from this life. I’m sure we will eat, fellowship, read, learn, just as Sean mentioned. I am also going to see which Presidents of the United States made it, considering I love American History. I’m pretty much 100% positive I’ll see Ronald Reagan there, considering he was a man of great faith in our Lord, but to just talk with them would be incredible. Anyway, just some thoughts of mine about it. God bless!


(Timothy Loraditch) #5

@CamKufner @matthew.western Meeting all those people again will be great. Not meeting ones we hope and expect seems tragic to me, but when that is all done there will be no less eternity to experience than when we first began. What will we do then?


(Timothy Loraditch) #6

@SeanO I don’t know for sure what your answer is. In the first paragraph, you say “we will do all of the things we enjoy here and more” but then in the quote, you added from CS Lewis he writes “It is only in our ‘hours-off,’ only in our moments of permitted festivity, that we find an analogy”.


(SeanO) #7

@tfloraditch Great point! So, for example, I think we will do work in Heaven. But to C. S. Lewis’ point (if I understand correctly), ‘work’ in Heaven will not be drudgery and struggle - it will be a joy - something that fills our hearts with gratitude and peace. So the quality of what we do in Heaven will be more like our ‘hours-off’ but the content, I think, will include many similar things. Of course, we will not need to have hospitals or deal with illness or any of those types of things. But regarding things that can be redeemed - like work and civilization - I see no reason why they will not be there as well. Of course, as Lewis said elsewhere, it is quite impossible to know for certain what lies beyond the horizon of this world.


(Timothy Loraditch) #8

@SeanO I think that Tim Keller’s thoughts you attached are interesting. What did you think of what he says?


(Matt Western) #9

Hi @tfloraditch

Can I ask how you conceptualize the difference between time and eternity?

In heaven, yes we’ll have resurrected bodies, but we’ll still be finite beings in the sense that we’ll not be God. Questions I might have about eternity would be:
Will we as finite beings, be always learning more about the wonder of what the infinite God has done ? We’re not just going to get a memory dump from God when we get to heaven, and suddenly have all knowledge.

And then, in the eternal state, new history will be happening all the time, as there will be events.

I have a further question - do we stop and ponder reality as it currently is ? We are flying at 67000 miles an hour on the little blue marble we call earth, around a blazing furnace of a fusion reactor we can the sun, in the midst of trillions of other stars and planets.

As John Lennox would say, we can describe gravity by what it does, but we have no idea of what gravity actually is.

In Revelation 21 it talks about there being no more sea, which when I read this was slightly disappointed as I like the sea with its relaxing waves and getting out on the water. I guess no more sea does not mean no more water…

Anyway, my question to you is why are you asking this question ? Just curiosity or something else ? :slight_smile:


(Timothy Loraditch) #10

@matthew.western I generally try to keep comments brief but there is so much good stuff here it’s worth the extra writing. My comments are in italics.

Can I ask how you conceptualize the difference between time and eternity?

Time is actually very hard to define, but it is directly connected to gravity, mass, and velocity. We experience time because of the universe God created. Eternity only exists in the new heaven and new earth that God creates at the end of time. This earth is passing away.

In heaven, yes we’ll have resurrected bodies, but we’ll still be finite beings in the sense that we’ll not be God.

I’m not sure I agree. It’s true we will not become God. We will not be omnipotent, or omniscient, but we will live with Him in eternity. That sounds to me like we will be eternal, but only because of Him.

Questions I might have about eternity would be:
Will we as finite beings, be always learning more about the wonder of what the infinite God has done?

Since God is infinite and we are limited there will be an infinite number of things we will continue to learn about God.

Since God is infinite We’re not just going to get a memory dump from God when we get to heaven, and suddenly have all knowledge.

When we see Him face to face we will know Him 1 Corn 13:12 we will also have our heavenly bodies, so I think there will be something like a “mind dump” as part of our existence in heaven. That doesn’t mean we will have all the l knowledge, but I think we will understand what He has done. That will be a lot.

And then, in the eternal state, new history will be happening all the time, as there will be events.

That is essentially my question. Will there be new history and what will that look like?

I have a further question - do we stop and ponder reality as it currently is? We are flying at 67000 miles an hour on the little blue marble we call earth, around a blazing furnace of a fusion reactor we can the sun, in the midst of trillions of other stars and planets. As John Lennox would say, we can describe gravity by what it does, but we have no idea of what gravity actually is.

This present reality is temporary. I think there is much value in learning and understanding what God has made because it reveals His true nature. The New Heaven and New earth may be very different and eternal.

In Revelation 21 it talks about there being no more sea, which when I read this was slightly disappointed as I like the sea with its relaxing waves and getting out on the water. I guess no more sea does not mean no more water…

Revelation does mention water many times in heaven. I doubt that you are going to be disappointed.

Anyway, my question to you is why are you asking this question? Just curiosity or something else

A few years ago, I prayed and asked God for a more intimate relationship with Him. He told me to do a study on time. I spent several years researching everything I could on time including biblical and secular sources. The topic is quite complex, but it did result in a much more intimate relationship with Him because I was able to see time and space from His perspective. As you can imagine it did not answer all my questions. Now I am trying to understand how all that will change in eternity.


(Joseph john la bianco) #11

I will keep this simple as i see it
For one we use time to measure
When to get up , when to sleep , when to eat , we measure light , distance , etc.
Time is a giving tool .
Do we need it in heaven ?
Does it have a place in heaven
Our minds cannot imagine a place with no time
I believe its not needed .
The thought of no time needed for now is beyond our thinking .