One of the biggest problems that I have is that of boredom. I often find myself sitting wishing I had some work to do, unable to relax and get myself down to some serious ‘chilling’. In a world which seems to have a dichotomy over its advice to ‘chill out’ or ‘be on the go to be alive’ its little wonder that most off us end up feeling guilty if we’re working too hard (workaholics) of if we’re relaxing (lazy).
Because of my need to always be thinking, planning or doing, I almost dread Heaven with its promise of eternal relaxation; “how on earth will I fill my time?” I’m mindful of the author, Adrian Plass, who wrote of Heaven in terms of one long cricket match, played on an idyllic English Sunday afternoon in a picturesque English village. To the likes of me that smacks more of Hell than Heaven!!
And yet Heaven remains that which is promised to us by Jesus; to the repentant thief on the cross he promised “This day you will be with me in Paradise” and many of his parables speak of heaven as a very real place. However Scripture does not say that everyone will be in Heaven when they die: indeed there are conditions. Jesus said that following him was the only way to Heaven and so logically those who do not will not receive the promise of Heaven. Notice Jesus places no restriction on when the person should begin to follow him. The repentant thief is granted access to Heaven right at the end of this life and no difference is made between him and Simon Peter or any of the Disciples who had journeyed for three years. John Wesley in his ‘Four Alls’ of Methodism declared that “All can be saved”, but not all would be saved (that is the doctrine of universalism). So Heaven is the reward for those who declare Jesus to be our Lord and Saviour but that still doesn’t deal with my original issue. What will Heaven be like and will I be bored?
Probably the best description of Heaven is the one which says it is “God’s rule over people, both in this life and in the next.” I don’t believe that it will be sitting endlessly on fluffy white clouds plucking a harp, nor do I think it is about watching over those who remain on earth. No, I believe that it is to be in Gods presence for eternity, living in the way he intended us to live when he first made creation; living with loved ones, enjoying nature, games, fun and friendship. The book of Revelation says that “there will be no more tears, sorrow or suffering for they were never part of Gods original intention. No, Heaven will be living life in the way God wants us to. As Jesus himself said “I have come to bring you life; life in all its fullness.”
Have a good summer and every blessing be with you.