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March 07, 2012

Will Heaven be an eternal naptime or will we have responsibilities?

Question from a reader:

Will heaven be an eternal naptime or vacation, or will we have activities and responsibilities?

Answer:

The idea of endlessly floating on clouds doing nothing but strumming a harp is nowhere in Scripture.

In heaven we will serve God (Rev. 7:15). Service is not passive, but active. It involves fulfilling responsibilities, carrying out duties, expending effort, and having energy and creativity to do work well. (This will be work with lasting accomplishment, unhindered by decay and fatigue, and enhanced by unlimited resources.) Heaven’s labor will be refreshing, productive and unthwarted, without futility and frustration. It will be like the work Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:15), before sin brought the curse on the ground, with its thorns (Gen. 3:17-19). Our work will be more purposeful in light of Christ’s redemptive work and the glory it will have brought.

In heaven we will exercise leadership and authority, making important decisions. We will reign with Christ in heaven (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 3:21; 22:5). This implies specific delegated responsibilities for those under our leadership (Luke 19:17-19). We judge or rule over the world and we judge and rule over angels (1 Cor. 6:2-3).

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