When someone passes to the next life, many of the family and friends left on earth start thinking of an afterlife. Christians believe that if we have a relationship with Jesus we will go to heaven like He did. In the Bible He tells us we will be with Him after we die, but it’s crazy how our songs and sermons nowadays don’t talk about this very basic part of life much anymore. Down thru the Ages people of all cultures, even primitives, wondered about life after this world … why don’t we think that’s normal today? I think it would give us a better perspective in life!
If I was a non-believer looking for a belief system I’d want to find something that would hold and fulfill my personality forever. I’d want something more interesting than myself or the society I live in, or came out of. It would have to tie all of human history together in all it’s facets, in all of our human intricacies …. and more! I’d want a supernatural answer!
I believe the Christian God answers those questions. In the case of the afterlife, we hold that God created us to live forever. Wayne Grudem wrote in Systematic Theology: “It is difficult to think that God would entirely annihilate his original creation, thereby seeming to give the devil the last word and scrapping the creation that was originally ‘very good’ (Gen. 1:31).”
“God did not create the earth to be very good only to have Satan lead man in rebellion against God, causing God to destroy the world. Were that the case, Satan could claim a victory,” writes another author Enns.
In heaven, believers will worship God, judge and rule (I Corinthians 6:2-3), rebuild cities (Amos 9:14, Isaiah 61:4), compose music (Revelation 14:13), farm, raise livestock, and continue using their God-given talents they had on earth to honor God, according to Enns. But medical doctors and dentists will need to find new vocations, he noted, since the heavenly bodies will be perfect.
“Heaven is always better than earth – in every dimension. There is no realm in which earth is better. In no way will we ever be poorer in heaven than on earth,” writes Enns. “Everything will be better in heaven. That is an underlying principle that we must continually bear in mind.”
Believers will remember their life on earth and will continue their relationships with family and friends in heaven, according to Enns. But the relationships will all be much better, even if they were already good on earth.
“There is a continuity of who we were here to who we will be in our resurrected bodies. There is a continuity in our appearance, a continuity in our voice, so we will recognize one another even in the intonation of our voice,” said Enns. “So that is quite exciting.”
Many today are caught up with a Christianity that promises ‘a lifting’ service, a service that brings them answers to their stress, addictions, or one where they are swept up by an annointing. We need all those elements in a service but we need the basic teachings and ministry of people who walk daily in love with others! People who can show us how to bring heaven into this life for bits of time!
As it is in heaven, so be it here!