A few weeks ago the humanist’s contribution to the “Thought for the week” column in the Citizen posed the mocking question “What will we do in heaven anyway?” So here’s my 350 word answer…
Recently the humanists posed the question in this column, “What will people do in heaven anyway?” It’s a good question and most of us don’t have a clear answer. If we have, it may come more from cartoons (floating on the clouds playing harps!) than the Bible.
The Bible presents history as creation, fall, redemption and restoration. Firstly, God created the universe and it was good. At the Fall, evil came into the world and with it personal sin– Genesis tells us that Adam and Eve ignored the wide scope of permission to enjoy creation and broke the one rule God had made. We are all just like Adam. The Old Testament points towards redemption breaking in, when Jesus died on the cross for us and rose again. One day, God will restore all things – that’s what history is heading towards.
In between now and then, the spirits of Christ followers get to be with Jesus at death immediately but everyone else waits in “Sheoul” for the day of judgement. Jesus promised the repentant thief on the cross – “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
When Jesus returns triumphantly, He will restore all things. Revelation tells us there will be a new heaven and a new earth. Heaven will be on earth – a holy city coming down, described as big as London to Warsaw in 3D. Huge – a lot of people! But first Jesus will judge the living and the dead – and the gospels promise the only way we can come to the Father is through Jesus, because in ourselves we are not good enough for a perfect new heaven on a new earth.
God will wipe away every tear, there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain. This imperfect sin-sick world will have been renewed and restored. To answer what will we do? By trusting Jesus to save you from your wrongdoing, you will get to enjoy an evil-free, pain-free new earth with God forever. Me, I’ll probably explore and plant a big garden!