Both Nanci and I love a good cup of coffee. Actually, I like about three good cups of dark, strong coffee—preferably French Roast, with milk. I'm like one of my fictional characters, homicide detective Ollie Chandler, who drank enough coffee that Juan Valdez named his donkey after him.
Earlier this year when I wrote the new intro to our book Help for Women Under Stress, I had to confess that though I have lived well by the exercise chapter in the book these past 27 years, I have not been so strict with the nutrition chapter, particularly in reference to the warnings against too much coffee!
And yes, a question I’ve been asked is “Will there be coffee in Heaven?” I’ll address it in this blog not simply for the benefit of coffee lovers but because it’s a revealing test of whether we’re more influenced by biblical teaching or Christoplatonism. Someone may say, “I sure hope there’ll be coffee in heaven.” But it’s a statement that few would attempt to defend biblically.
But consider the facts. God made coffee. Coffee grows on Earth, which God made for mankind, put under our management, and filled with resources for our use. When God evaluated his creation, he deemed coffee trees, along with all else, to be “very good.” Many people throughout history have enjoyed coffee—even in a fallen world where neither coffee nor our taste buds are at their best.
God tells us that he “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). Does “everything” include coffee? Paul also says, “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5). Again, does “everything” include coffee?
Given these biblical perspectives—and realizing that caffeine addiction or anything else that’s unhealthy simply won’t exist on the New Earth—can you think of any persuasive reason why coffee trees and coffee drinking wouldn’t be part of the resurrected Earth?
Will the New Earth have fewer resources for human enjoyment than Eden did or than the world under the Curse offers? If you’re tempted to say, “But in Heaven our minds will be on spiritual things, not coffee,” your Christoplatonism detector should go off. It’s fine if you don’t like coffee, but to suggest that coffee is inherently unspiritual is . . . well, heresy. It directly contradicts the Scriptures just cited. God made the physical and spiritual realms not to oppose each other but to be united in bringing glory to him.
On the New Earth, we will “drink . . . from the spring of the water of life” (Revelation 21:6). God will prepare for us “a banquet of aged wine . . . the finest of wines” (Isaiah 25:6). Not only will we drink water and wine, we’ll eat from fruit trees (Revelation 22:2), and there’s every reason to believe we’ll drink juice made from the twelve fruits from the tree of life. So, along with drinking water, wine, and fruit juice, is there any reason to suppose we wouldn’t drink coffee or tea? Can you imagine drinking coffee or tea with Jesus on the New Earth? If you can’t, why not?
If for health reasons you shouldn’t drink coffee now, then don’t. But aside from personal preference, the only compelling reason for not having coffee in Heaven would be if coffee were sinful or harmful. But it won’t be. If drinking coffee would be unspiritual on the New Earth, then it must be unspiritual now. And unless someone’s a caffeine addict, under bondage to coffee and not to Christ, or if a person’s health is at stake, there’s simply no biblical basis for believing drinking coffee is sinful. Those who shouldn’t consume alcohol or caffeine now will be freed from addiction on the New Earth. Adverse health effects simply won’t exist.
Those who for reasons of allergies, weight problems, or addictions can’t regularly consume peanuts, chocolate, coffee, and wine—and countless other foods and drinks—may look forward to enjoying them on the New Earth. To be free from sin, death, and bondage on the New Earth will mean that we’ll enjoy more pleasures, not fewer. And the God who delights in our pleasures will be glorified in our grateful praise.