He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed.
–2 Thessalonians 1:10
This week, we are looking at the top 10 questions people have about heaven and what the Bible says. The ninth question is this: “What are we going to do in heaven?” Some people say that in eternity we will do nothing except worship God forever. While worship will be a primary activity in heaven, it will not be our only activity. The Bible says in heaven we will not only worship but we will also work. Worship and work are not mutually exclusive. A perfect illustration of that is in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve, before the Fall, had perfect fellowship with God. But did they just sing hymns and pray all day long? No. Genesis 2:15 says God gave them a job: to cultivate the garden and to keep it. They worked and worshipped at the same time. And the same thing will be true for us in heaven. We will do more than sing hymns and pray all day. God has responsibilities for us. In Matthew 25, Jesus told the parable of the talents, which teaches us that based on our faithfulness in this life, we will receive responsibilities in the next life. Some will rule over planets, some will rule over stars, and some will rule over galaxies. Paul said one day we will judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3). God will give us responsibilities to carry out in eternity, and we will find fulfillment in doing that.
Question number ten: “Are Christians in heaven right now aware of what is happening on earth?” The Bible answers that question with an affirming yes–at least to some extent, people in heaven know what is happening on earth. Where do I find that in the Bible? In Luke 16, Lazarus was with the Lord, but he was aware of the rich man’s suffering. In Revelation 6:10, Christians who have died during the Tribulation because of their faith are in heaven, looking down at what is happening on earth during the Tribulation. They cry out, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” In other words, during the Tribulation, people in heaven will see the calamity on the earth and ask, “Lord, how long will You allow this happen before You bring judgment?” The Bible is clear, at least to some extent, that people in heaven are aware of what is happening on earth.
That brings up a related question: “Do Christians in heaven experience grief when they see loved ones being consigned to hell?” In 2 Thessalonians 1, we find an interesting description of what happens when the Lord returns. When the Lord was here the first time, He wept over the lost. But 2 Thessalonians 1 says when the Lord comes the second time, he will not grieve as he renders judgment to unbelievers. And when we witness Christ punishing evildoers, we won’t argue with Him or say He is being unjust; instead, we will marvel at what He has done. When we see life from God’s perspective, every bit of remorse will be wiped away. Knowing what awaits us makes this life more bearable. Living in anticipation of heaven is the strongest motivation I know for living a God-centered life beginning today.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Truth About Heaven” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.