Doesn’t Imagining Heaven Tempt Some People to Take Shortcuts to Get There?

Question from a reader:

Isn’t there a danger in sharing hyper-imaginative concepts of Heaven? It makes sense to use our imagination, as it is God given; however, it is also destructive because people like me are desperate to escape the realities of everyday life, which is why some of us take our own lives.

Answer from Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff:

Randy writes this in his book Heaven:

The fact that Heaven will be wonderful shouldn’t tempt us to take shortcuts to get there. If you’re depressed, you may imagine your life has no purpose—but you couldn’t be more wrong.

As long as God keeps you here on Earth, it’s exactly where He wants you. He’s preparing you for another world. He knows precisely what He’s doing. Through your suffering, difficulty, and depression, He’s expanding your capacity for eternal joy. Our lives on Earth are a training camp to ready us for Heaven.

I know depression can be debilitating. Many godly people have experienced it [including Randy]. But if you are considering taking your own life, recognize this as the devil’s temptation. Jesus said that Satan is a liar and a murderer (John 8:44). He tells lies because he wants to destroy you (1 Peter 5:8). Don’t listen to the liar. Listen to Jesus, the truth teller (John 8:32; 14:6). Don’t make a terrible ending to your life’s story—finish your God-given course on Earth. When He’s done—not before—He’ll take you home in His own time and way. Meanwhile, God has a purpose for you here on Earth. Don’t desert your post. (And by all means, go to a Christ-centered, Bible-believing church, and get help to find a wise Christian counselor.)

Like anything, our imaginations can be used for good or for bad. Randy also writes, “The acid test of using our imaginations is whether doing so brings us back to the present world content and committed to deal positively with our circumstances. It should leave us refreshed and ready to better face the rest of our day.”

If you are suicidal, please reach out for help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Randy has also written about Is It Possible to Be Hyperimaginative in Thinking about Heaven?

Photo by Siddharth Soni on Unsplash

Stephanie Anderson is the communications and graphics specialist at Eternal Perspective Ministries.