Will My Music, My Life’s Work, Be Burned Up at Christ’s Return?

Question from a reader:

As a new Christian, I was stuffed full of messages of “All we do in Heaven is stand before God and praise him 24/7.” And teenage me always thought That sounds kinda boring though... I have no problem with worshipping God, but I don’t want to just sing for eternity. So you greatly opened my eyes to the reality that we will live lives on the New Earth, and that everything we do will be worship!

I do, however, have one question as it’s something I’m struggling with! 2 Peter 3:10 states that on the return of the Lord, the Earth and all works done on it will be burnt up. I’m a musician who cares very dearly about his music. My music isn’t sinful, but it’s not religious either. I would call it morally neutral music, as most of it is instrumental to begin with. But I’m having a bit of an existential problem: why should I put hours into music, if all my songs will be destroyed in the end? Or does God resurrect them into the new kingdom? 

Answer from Doreen Button, EPM staff:

I appreciate your questions and your honesty. You’re not alone in thinking sitting around, eternally singing “sounds kinda boring.” It does! I can’t think of any one activity I’d want to do nonstop forever. There is one thing I do want to do forever, and that’s to be with Jesus. And thank God, He’s not boring!

I love what Randy wrote in Heaven:

Our belief that Heaven will be boring betrays a heresy—that God is boring. There’s no greater nonsense. Our desire for pleasure and the experience of joy come directly from God’s hand. He made our taste buds, adrenaline, sex drives, and the nerve endings that convey pleasure to our brains. Likewise, our imaginations and our capacity for joy and exhilaration were made by the very God we accuse of being boring. Are we so arrogant as to imagine that human beings came up with the idea of having fun?

And to address your questions, here’s what Randy believes:

Because there will be continuity from the old Earth to the new, it’s possible we’ll continue some of the work we started on the old Earth. I believe we’ll pursue some of the same things we were doing, or dreamed of doing, before our death. …What will it be like to perform a task, to build and create, knowing that what we’re doing will last? What will it be like to be always gaining skill, so that our best work will always be ahead of us? Because our minds and bodies will never fade and because we will never lack resources or opportunity, our work won’t degenerate. Buildings won’t last for only fifty years, and books won’t be in print for only twenty years. They’ll last forever.

You mentioned that your work is “morally neutral.” God always looks at our hearts. Our behavior finds its roots in what we truly, deep down believe. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” So even though your music doesn’t make an explicitly biblical statement, what was your heart motivation for creating it? Was your goal to glorify God, or kill time, or become famous?

Randy asks (again in Heaven):

Will secular songs survive? Not if they dishonor Christ. But what about songs that cried for perspective and deliverance? We might recall and even sing such songs to remind us of when we longed for God and when he answered. Maybe other old songs, less deep but not sin-corrupted, will be sung just for fun. Which of your favorite songs will survive the fire? If there’s a specific reason why some won’t, why listen to them now?

And, I would add, why write them now?

At the end of the age, God will put our works through the furnace (judge them according to their lasting value) and the things that were done for our own pride’s sake, or any other reason that doesn’t include God’s glory as our foremost motivation, will go up in smoke. Everything we do as worship, honoring Him as our King and ultimate Lover, will last. “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward” (1 Corinthians 3:11-14, NLT).

God bless you as you continue to seek what lasts, and I pray that when you present your musical gift before the Throne that you will hear “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your Master’s happiness.”

Photo: Unsplash

Doreen is part of the Eternal Perspective Ministries staff, and helps Randy with editing and answering reader questions. She is a certified biblical counselor.