Good news on heaven: There’s plenty to look forward to

Because we are small-minded, big-headed and have a too-small view of God, there is an idea that people sometimes hold that heaven will be boring. Think about it, that feeling that you’ve been there, seen it all and now are looking for the next big thing. Only, the problem is that there is no next thing because heaven is it. Somehow, there are people who are willing to risk an eternity in hell because they believe that heaven will somehow be unsatisfying.

After all, doesn’t Paul say in I Corinthians 13:12: “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known”? Yes, but we shouldn’t assume that just because we will be made perfect we will know everything there is about God. John Piper, as part of an article at the Desiring God blog, gives an explanation, based on other passages:

What Paul means [in I Cor. 13:12] is not that I will know exhaustively the way God knows me, but rather I will know accurately the way God knows me. The point is not that I won’t have limits to what I know, but rather I won’t have mistakes in what I know.

God is infinite and therefore inexhaustible in the complexity of his glory. His created universe, as the Hubble telescope shows, is big. His thoughts toward us are countless. And his ways are beyond finding out.

Part of what makes “eternal life” satisfying (and not boring) forever is that it will take an eternity for perfect, finite creatures like us to know God fully. He is perfect and infinite. We will be perfect and finite. He will enjoy increasing revelation of himself, and we will enjoy increasing jubilation in him—forever.

So, this idea that eternity in heaven can’t match up to a lifetime of sin and an eternity of punishment in hell doesn’t cut it.

3 thoughts on “Good news on heaven: There’s plenty to look forward to

  1. I’ve read Randy Alcorn’s book as well. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about heaven which, I think, have been based on a lot of art. I’m not bashing art by any means, but I think when you think of heaven and all you can think of are cute, pudgy little angels then you’re missing out on a whole lot.

    Alcorn does a good job looking at scripture and then forcing you to clarify your own thinking about heaven. I think a clearer understanding of heaven (and there is much yet to know) will help us see why it so much more appealing than anything we try to substitute. I also think that C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce is another good book to spur thinking about heaven.

    Thanks for the comments, and thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  2. An interesting and likely valid (thought I’m not enough of an art historian to know for certain) observation about art. Course, The Far Side — great as it was as a comic — is to blame as well, which Alcorn pointed out IIRC. NT Wright’s new book has gotten a lot of positive feedback as well.

    Artists have a certain responsibility that they have not taken very seriously, in general for the last century or so. Of course, part of the blame lies with the church itself, since it has failed to be any sort of useful participant and advocate when it comes to the arts. Again, generally speaking.

    And I’m always here, thanks to Google Reader!

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