As a Christian, I have a reasonable expectation of Heaven, based on the clear teaching of Scripture and the logical consequence of God’s nature. I also anticipate a particular experience in Heaven based on the teaching of the Old and New Testament. I’m looking forward to what each of us will become when we are united with God. At the same time, I recognize there are some earthly pursuits I will abandon in the next life. While many of our cravings and desires will be satisfied once we are reunited with the One who has created us in His Image, some needs will simply vanish once we leave this world. As we think about the future with God, let’s remember what won’t be needed in Heaven so we can live differently while we are here on Earth:
The Need to Have Faith
Faith is the mechanism through which we are saved, and although the nature of faith (as it is described in Scripture) is not blind, it does require us to trust in the most reasonable inference from the evidence Jesus provided, even though we don’t have first-hand access to Jesus or the eyewitnesses who wrote the Gospels:
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
In this life, we are asked to trust in something often unseen (God), on the basis of something that was seen (Jesus as He was described in the Gospels) and for which there is sufficient evidence (as observed in our universe and world). God’s “hiddenness” requires us to draw conclusions and inferences from evidence, but a day is coming when we will see him directly. In that day, faith (as we understand and experience it here on earth) will no longer exist. We will simply know.
The Need to Study
We won’t find ourselves cracking the books in Heaven to have knowledge about God. We won’t be in seminary classes, trying to understand the complexity of the Trinity or the nature of God. In Heaven, our direct contact with the God of the universe will open our eyes to the mysteries we’ve been struggling to understand:
1 Corinthians 13:11-12
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Our desire to learn will be fully satisfied in Heaven. Much of what we spend hours trying to master here on earth will be available to us immediately once we are in God’s presence.
The Need to Comfort
We also won’t find ourselves crying on each other’s shoulder in Heaven. In fact, we won’t find ourselves crying at all. We won’t need each other’s comfort in difficult times because there won’t be any difficult times:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
Our current struggles with sin (and the consequences we often experience as a result of our poor choices) will vanish in the next life. Better yet, our search for mercy and justice will be fully realized in God’s presence.
The Need to Reach Others
We won’t be planning missions trips in Heaven. We won’t be trying to figure out the best way to witness to the lost or reach those who don’t yet know Jesus. Truth is, there is only one chance to place your faith in Christ, and that time will have expired by the time we get to Heaven:
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
We die just once, and then we are judged. There is no second chance in Heaven, even though there are so many chances for each of us here on earth. This is the place where we are asked to trust the most reasonable inference from the evidence; to place our faith in what cannot be seen. Once it has all been revealed to us, the opportunities to do this will be gone.
The more I understand about the nature of Heaven (what I can expect and what I cannot), the more committed I am to an intentional life here on earth. Some activities and pursuits will be unnecessary or irrelevant in Heaven; they’re only important while we are living our daily, temporal lives. As I get older, I’ve learned to do the things today I won’t be able to do later. Now is the time to run a marathon; I won’t be as physically able in the years to come. All of us have a “bucket list”; a series of temporal goals we want to achieve before the opportunity is lost forever. It’s time to rethink our “bucket lists” and embrace heavenly goals before we pass from this life and the opportunity is lost forever. Now is the time to reason from the evidence and trust, to learn and defend, to comfort those in need, and to share the Gospel.
For more information about the reliability of the New Testament gospels and the case for Christianity, please read Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels. This book teaches readers ten principles of cold-case investigations and applies these strategies to investigate the claims of the gospel authors. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Cold-Case Christianity DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.
J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, author of Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.
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October 12, 2020 at 9:39 am
I personally don’t think we have much longer on this earth. if you read the word it guide you to everything that’s happening rite now and for some that may be a comfortable key for them while others like myself are scared of the what’s to come next I love Jesus and I pray daily. but, i am still a bit shaken of the future. the unknown. I know God knows my heart and I don’t want to scare myself out of heaven if that make any sense at all to you. I am just a lil afraid of the unknown
March 8, 2021 at 10:07 am
Read the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn
October 17, 2020 at 10:02 am
I don’t want to go to heaven.
But I certainly don’t want to go to hell.
What will heaven not have that we have on earth?
My mind reels with things.
There will be no pleasure. For without pain there is no need for pleasure.
There will be no need to eat. Therefore there will be need for body waste elimination.
There will be no pleasure in going to sleep, waking up, living.
There will be no need for weather and the many aspects of weather.
There will be no need of rivers, lakes, oceans or a simple stream.
There will be no mountains or valleys. No cliffs not a flat plain. This is because all these features are created by the everchanging dynamics of the unbalances included in the planet we call earth.
There will be no star gazing. No planet gazing. There will be no sun to enjoy its radiant heat. There will be no moon.
There will be no friction. A property that influences everything ocurring in the universe. With both negative and positive ramifications.
There will be no gravity. A property that also influences everything in the universe. With both negative and positive ramifications.
There will be no need of fire. Which also affects the universe both in a negative as well as a positive manner.
There will be no need of so many other delights and sorrows.
But I grow weary of describing them.
There will be no need of any kind of transportation device even a skate board
June 26, 2021 at 4:41 pm
God prepared so many wonders that we are not capable to describe or imagine. All the pleasures you describe will not be worth mentioning. Read the Bible to see what God prepared.
June 26, 2021 at 4:38 pm
Satan destroyed his faith in God and now we have evidence of it for 6000 years.
We will not need to believe things that we know about from the prophecies now, but there will be many things that we need to believe will take place in the future like: will God be able to provide enough adventures to make us absolutely happy or it will end one day? Will God destroy us one day? Will He change to evil and torture us? Faith is equal to trust, will we stop trusting God? Is our faith in God or in things that are given by God?
November 15, 2022 at 9:38 am
No crying in Heaven? Not true! There will be plenty of water flowing freely from the fountain—except those tears will be of overwhelming gratitude and joy—not tears of sorrow.
I’m convinced of this because ever since my near-fatal auto crash on 3/31/22 I’ve been crying almost every day! They are tears of pure gratitude—and wonder at the inexplicable and overwhelming love and mercy of God.
Why would this suddenly change once I’m in His physical presence? If anything, I expect to be crying even more—and laughing with unrestrained joy. There will be no place for careful and cerebral responses to the One True and Living God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Maker of Heaven and Earth who shed His blood to bring us out of darkness and into the Kingdom of His Everlasting light.
See you on the other side and bring plenty of Kleenex. 😇