An incomplete list of what you?ll leave behind
A while back in church, I heard someone say,
?There are only two things that you can do on earth that you can?t do in heaven: evangelize and sin. Which one do you think God wants you to do now??
Not true. The last time I heard this, I started making a list.What else can?t I do in heaven?? It turns out that there?s a fair bit.
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Rev 21:8 ? But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
Yes, it is true. You will not have the opportunity to share your faith in heaven. It is one of the core reasons why God left you here. There is a time for witnessing to the lost and that time is now. In heaven, your chances are gone.
In heaven, you will not regret having not shared your faith more. But you may not have the same reward in heaven as someone who did obey God in this way.
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2) Rebel against God
Rev 21:27 ? nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb?s book of life
Do you struggle against sin now? In heaven, there will be no sin. I hate the struggle against sin that I feel day to day.
Though no longer enslaved, we are in the fight right now. I cannot wait for the freedom from temptation and influences and snares of sin, though I can barely imagine a life of that sort. There will not be one rebel in heaven, though heaven will be filled with forgiven and transformed rebels. All who are in heaven will be happy to submit to God as their Lord.
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Rev 21:4 ? and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; ? there will no longer be mourning, or crying, or pain
There is much to grieve over in this life. We experience loss ? of possessions, of loved ones, of health, even of our own intellect and sanity. A few weeks ago, I was listening to comedians discuss their craft. The consensus was that comedy is a coping mechanism for the pain of life.
Life is hard. We grieve over the pain that others inflict upon us and that we inflict upon ourselves. As King David would say, ?when I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long? (Ps 32:3). In heaven, the pain of life is over ? the grief we experience will have come to an end. There will be a day when tears will cease to flow and the darkness that cloaks your heart will never return.
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4) Get Married
Matt 22:30 ? For in the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage.
Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church, designed by God prior to the Fall and declared very good. Yet, according to Jesus, there will be no getting married in heaven. What will happen to our existing marriages? The answer is implied, though not explicit.
Try to picture the best marriage relationship you?ve known ? the raw enthusiasm of newlyweds combined with the intimate familiarity of an aged couple celebrating their 50th anniversary. The enthusiastic, sweet fellowship they share will exist among ALL believers in heaven. The reason is not simply that the effects of the Fall will be finished. The reason is that their love will not be for one another, but for God. And this common shared love for the ONE will join them ALL together.
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5) Have kids
Matt 22:30 ? For in the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage.
Though there?s little said explicitly in the Bible about this, it suggests that procreation is not a part of heaven. Consider that:
- Having kids was initially commanded in Genesis 1 so that the earth would be populated with people who know and love God. Though this went tragically awry after the Fall, the filling of the earth has been fairly accomplished.
- Marriage occurs on earth to provide us a picture of Christ and the Church (Eph 5:31?32). Marriage is instituted by vow and consummation (intimate relations). For now, Christ and the believer have made vows to one another. In heaven, the consummation of that relationship is completed and we no longer need a picture of something we now experience firsthand.
- God?s revealed Word encourages sexual union and procreation (having kids) as something for those who are married. As marriage has ceased in heaven (see above #4), so it appears that procreation would also. In fact, the joy of that sexual union appears to be given to us as a picture of the even greater joy that will come at the point when we?re united to Christ in heaven.
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6) Be ignorant
1 Cor 13:12 ? For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
There are many things that I will not know ? about the world, about myself and about my God. There is a time coming when my ignorance will cease. My partial knowledge of God, and of myself, will end. I will know Him more fully and will understand myself more fully as well.
Yet the removal of ignorance is not the same as knowing everything. Only God is omniscient. In heaven, your knowledge of quantum physics and jujitsu may or may not improve, but you will surely know the one true God more fully. In fact, we shall always and forever be learning more about our God! As He is infinite, so there are an infinite number of things to learn about Him and His ways.
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7) Hunt and Kill Stuff
Gen 1:29 ? Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you.
As much as I enjoy hunting and fishing, I see no evidence that those activities continue in heaven. Death will cease (see #8).
In the Garden of Eden, before the Fall, animals were not given as food for man. Death entered the world through sin and there is no evidence that animals died or were killed before the Fall, nor is there mention of their existence in heaven. While I?m no vegetarian and I love me a ribeye, all the evidence points to the end of hunting and other activities that bring death to God?s creation.
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Rev 21:4 ? and there will no longer be death
Death is more removed from us today than ever. It happens in hospitals and homes, but the body is quickly covered and removed. Rarely is the body left in state for mourners, nor do most people want an open casket service.
We know that death awaits us, but the reminders of its reality do not surround us as they used to. Hospitals have change the language of death to remove its harshness. And we shun the Bible?s counsel to spend more time in a house of mourning than a house of feasting (Eccl 7:2). Most people do not give regular thought to the brevity of life nor its course.
Yet from your twenties, if not before, you have known that there will be a day when you will pass from this world, if the Lord tarries. Praise God that there is only one death to undergo! When you arrive in heaven, death will cease to be. Christ has conquered it. He has removed its sting already and, one day, it will be crushed completely (1 Cor 15:54?57).
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9) Be distracted in worship
Rev 21:22 ? I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple
How many times have you sat in a worship, during the preaching or the singing, and your mind is far away ? thinking about something that happened earlier that morning or giving thought to your afternoon plans?
In heaven, you will be free from distraction. You will live in the presence of the Father and the Son. And there is nowhere else that you will desire to be. As Romans 12:1 describes yielding our lives to God as an act of worship, so this act will be complete and undistracted in heaven. You will not have something you would rather be doing or somebody you would rather be talking to. You will be completely and utterly enamored with your Creator.
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10) Get Bored
Ps 16:11 ? In your presence is fullness of joy; in your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Pop culture has etched into our minds a boring portrait of heaven. Most people picture harps and clouds, quiet and monotony. Many Christians know that they are supposed to be excited about heaven, but are more excited to avoid hell than they are eager for heaven. I can promise you this?heaven will not be boring! You will NEVER get bored there.
Picture the very best day you?ve ever had with your family. Now think of the sweetest time of prayer you?ve ever experienced. And can you remember a time when you read the Bible and it was like it was speaking right to you? Do you remember a day when you loved serving someone else and making them happy? How about a time when you gathered with other believers singing and you were almost transported by the powerful and vigorous lyrics and sound?
Wrap all those into one day, remove all the taints of sin that affected those times, and turn it up to 11. That is a shadowy representation of how great the first day of heaven will be. And from there, it just gets better!
Amazing, isn?t it! There is so much more to heaven than we often think about. Are you ready for heaven? Heaven will be filled with people who are excited to be with God, and not one person will be there who lacks this desire.
Rev 22:20?21 ? Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
Which should make us all say, WOW!!