What about people who die before they can accomplish their goals and dreams on Earth? Will those people be able to fulfill them on the New Earth? (For example: someone who wanted to design and rebuild the Twin Towers.)
This is speculation, of course, but there is much that is not speculation—including that we will have real bodies and live on a real earth in a culture of redeemed people reigning over that New Earth and serving the King of Kings.
Whether that would include the designing and building of new Twin Towers, I don’t know. But since we know the New Earth will have buildings (Revelation 21), and we will still be made in God’s image, there’s every reason to believe we will be even more creative than we are right now, certainly not less creative. So might someone gifted as an architect or builder retain those gifts and use them to God’s glory on the New Earth? I think it’s likely.
If someone has a dream or desire on this earth that is of God, that means there is nothing inherently evil or sinful about this desire. Then what would prevent him from seeing this desire fulfilled on the New Earth? Not lack of time or opportunity or capacity, certainly.
I believe the New Earth will offer us opportunities we wished for but never had. God’s original plan was that human beings would live happy and fulfilling lives on Earth. If our current lives are our only chances at that, God’s plan has been thwarted. Consider the injustice—many honest, faithful people never got to live fulfilling lives, while some dishonest and unfaithful people seemed to fare much better.
But God is not unjust, and this is not our only chance at life on Earth. The doctrine of the New Earth clearly demonstrates that. Certainly, some of our dreams are unworthy, and they’ll be forgotten. But I think there’s every reason to believe that many of our God-honoring dreams that were unfulfilled on the old Earth will be fulfilled on the New Earth. If a young girl dies, will she miss out on doing fun and significant things on Earth she otherwise would have done? The standard response is, “To be with Jesus is better by far.” That answer is correct but incomplete. Why? Because God has a future for us not just in the present Heaven but also as resurrected people on the New Earth.
When the Curse is reversed, shrunken dreams, once mourned, will be revived and enhanced. Perhaps that’s part of what it means to become like a little child and why childlikeness is necessary for Heaven. Children aren’t disillusioned, hopeless, and cynical. Their dreams are great and broad. They don’t list a hundred reasons why their dreams can’t come true. Their dreams fuel their imagination and bring them joy. And eternal life on a New Earth means opportunity to fulfill every worthy dream.
For the Christian, death is not the end of adventure but a doorway from a world where dreams and adventures shrink, to a world where dreams and adventures forever expand.
For more information on the subject of Heaven, see Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven.