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Will Heaven be boring?

Published: 16 May 2015 (GMT+10)

Matt B., Canada, writes:

I have a question concerning life before the Fall. Everybody knows that all good things in life must come to an end. If life’s pleasures weren’t interrupted by work and/or difficulties than one would cease to enjoy them. In fact, problems, challenges, adversity can bring out the best in us and help make life meaningful. How does one reconcile all this with life in Eden or even Heaven? I’m sure my difficulty is directly related to my fallen nature and is a temporal problem that does not apply elsewhere but am still wondering. Furthermore, virtues such as courage seem to lose their meaning in a perfectly created world where dangers, conflicts and accidents don’t exist, so how did they (would they) manifest themselves in such an environment?

, CMI-US, responds:

Thanks for writing in; this is an interesting question! The fact that sometimes we think ‘good’ is ‘boring’ reveals our fallen sinful nature. Resurrected believers in Heaven will live continually in the presence of God—some people mistakenly think this is like a boring worship service; however, if one reads the descriptions of heavenly worship in Isaiah and Revelation, for instance, nothing could be further from the truth. In addition, descriptions of the New Heavens and Earth seem to indicate that there will be many of the best things about this earth with none of the bad things. In Heaven, we will be changed so that we will fully enjoy God and His goodness, as well as His perfect creation. We won’t be bored or want any adversity to make things ‘interesting’.

Would courage and sacrifice have any meaning in Heaven? I think so. For one thing, we can look back at our time in the fallen earth and remember the heroic actions of men and women of the faith, such as the ones preserved in Scripture—and of course, Jesus is our ultimate example of courage and sacrifice. Perhaps these virtues will also have meanings and applications in Heaven we can’t even imagine in this fallen world.

These are just some thoughts that might help you think through this topic. See also our article about the new earth.

C.H., United States, writes:

I have one quick question for you. First off I really appreciate the work you guys have been doing as it has helped me really understand Scripture and the world around me much better. Second, I would like to ask, where did the idea come from that homosexuality is not a sin, but is a misinterpretation of verses that actually condemn child sex slavery? I have heard this numerous times now and it is completely absurd to think that over the course of a few thousand years, that this “lost translation” suddenly appears when homosexuality is running more rampantly and openly in the United States than ever before. So if you have ever heard that before, could you tell me where that even comes from? Thanks!

, CMI-US, responds:

As many people are seeking acceptance for the homosexual lifestyle as well as other lifestyles that were seen very recently as sinful, it is necessary for them to reinterpret Scripture, which is the ultimate source for the condemnation of homosexuality as well as all other sin. So they looked back into biblical history, and realized that there was a lot of homosexuality centered around cult prostitution, both in Canaan and the Greco-Roman culture, as well as pederasty in the latter. Because homosexuality took a different form then than it does now (there was no concept of ‘sexual orientation’ then), they argued that the Bible only condemns the forms of homosexuality that existed then that were idolatrous or abusive, and that these condemnations do not apply to the sorts of committed, loving homosexual couples that exist today.

If the passages that condemn homosexuality were the only things the Bible ever had to say about it, they might be able to get away with such an interpretation. But the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality is much more than the verses that explicitly speak about it. First, when God instituted marriage, it was between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24). All positive portrayals of marriage are between men and women. Every single portrayal of homosexuality marks it out as a particularly heinous sin because it is an attack on this created order. When Jesus spoke about marriage, He affirmed the goodness of lifelong, monogamous marriage between one man and one woman—and called anything else sinful. Paul spoke of homosexuality as something very sinful, that could be forgiven through Christ.

In short, to reinterpret the Bible to allow for homosexual relationships, one has to selectively appeal to part of the context of the day while ignoring the rest, and exclude the rest of what the Bible has to say about marriage and sexual relationships.

I hope this is helpful. We have some other articles at Family and Marriage questions and answers, and we have written a booklet called Gay Marriage: right or wrong? that also goes into some relevant issues.

Helpful Resources

How Did We Get Our Bible?
by Lita Cosner, Gary Bates
US $2.00
Gay Marriage: right or wrong?
by Lita Cosner, Gary Bates
US $2.00

Readers’ comments

Morris (Mike) M.
It's interesting to note that the Bible says God will create a new heavens as well as a new earth. We can see the reason for a new earth. Even though the earth is like an "oasis in the desert of a hostile universe," it is still under the curse, so God plans to restore it back to an original paradise condition. But in time you would obviously run out of things to do on one planet. But what about the universe. Is He going to restore the stars back to their original barren, burning selves? I don't want to be dogmatic about this, but what if God turns the whole universe into an "oasis of beauty, majesty and splendor" like the earth. Then we would have plenty to do in exploring the entire universe without ever running out of things to do. Plus, learning about the infinity and eternality of God Himself. I don't see how we could ever get bored. 1 Corinthians 2:9
Grahame G.
I think the greatest joy in life is to praise God. A time of deep, focused worship of our great God (Creator) and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is astoundingly moving and enouraging.

I can envisage being able to do that for all eternity and it far surpassing anything here on this earth.

And when I have trouble envisaging the excitement of heaven, I agree that it is because of my sinful flesh that has a low view of God and a high view of sin, both of which will cause one to think heaven is boring.

No, we will be marvelling in the wonders of creation and the even greater wonder of God's love to pursue us and send Jesus Christ to be our atoning sacrifice and that will take all eternity (so to speak).
Jon S.
God invented fun, it is unreasonable to think that He can mess it up in the next world.

Psalm 16:11 "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."

The above verse shows that pleasure is not necessarily a sin, perverted pleasure is a sin.

This is an example of pleasure vs sin that I have seen in my own life: Whenever we try something new that is nice (e.g. a new type of dessert), it can be quite pleasant. If we try it immediately again, its pleasantness is diminished. Each time the enjoyment that it gives is diminished unless we wait a while before trying it again. IMO this is to remind us that only God truly satisfies. This also causes us to find out new things, to make new discoveries. However people can become so fixated on that one type of pleasure that they try it in excess or in perverse ways in an attempt regain that original fulfilment, this is how many sins are formed.
michael S.
I think the concept of joy and fulfillment from spiritual things, shouldn't be conflated with temporary pleasures. If God's kingdom is the home of righteousness, that will be wonderful because I don't know about you but the joy I get from doing the right thing is very fulfilling but I remember that when I was younger and sought pleasure from selfish gratification, this was a cheap kind of pleasure that never gave satisfaction, kind of like going around in a circle but the circle is so large that you think you are travelling in a straight line.
We tend also to forget that the creation has been subject to futility. A lot of the time we spend our lives, "killing time" for something to do. I don't think that will happen in God's Kingdom because there will always be meaningful things to do and true fulfillment. We usually attempt quick gratification rather than say, doing some work we know we are called to do, but I for one notice that when I do the work I am supposed to do fulfillment comes, but if I replace it with pleasures there is a dissatisfaction, as though I have not done what I was supposed to do.
I for one can sit in a country place and be content just sitting there. Imagine then what it will be like in an untarnished creation. I could watch the birds and butterflies and bees all day. A Christian should learn to UNLEARN what the buzy world tells us is joyous, and we need to find out what joy God offers. Look at His creation for starters, He is not a boring person is He? If you can't think what will fulfill you in heaven, don't worry - God's imagination has no limits, He knows our desires better than we do.
Neal P.
Your two "bored in Heaven" pictures are classic! May I add a thought: I believe that in our new bodies, the creativity that Adam had (being able to name and catalog all the animals in an hour or an afternoon), will be restored to us. Thus, I began to wonder what would I like to do to honor God? I enjoy symphony. Each star (or the new ones to be in the "new Heavens and Earth") emits a unique sound. I am going to ask God if I may write a concert titled, Symphony of the Stars. And, after a few eons of writing a score and practicing with them, with all of God's creation as the audience, I will mount the podium and conduct that Symphony! To the Glory of God! Might that be possible? Yes. Will I ever do it? Maybe—maybe not. But it helps me stretch my thinking to even try to imagine the glory of God and our privilege to be His kids! And what in His Plan for eternity we may be doing. ~~~NEAL
Douglas M.
I'm not sure you actually answered the original question which was where did the first misinterpretations of homosexuality as a non -sin originate? I don't think anyone can answer that for sure but it probably started with the first homosexual that wanted to believe in Christ but didn't want to leave their lusts behind. It seems to have gained real popularity in the last 40 years or so through the militant homosexual movement and their well organized attack on anything that is anti-homosexual.
Lita Cosner
Douglas, I think I answered from a different viewpoint. Rather than search to find the first theologian ever to twist Scripture in that way, I went to the motivations that cause people to twist Scripture.
G. J.
You wrote, "Would courage and sacrifice have any meaning in Heaven? I think so. " I think that statement is wrong with respect to both characteristics. Courage is generally associated with overcoming fear. I believe there will be no fear in heaven. Fear is of the devil. Sacrifice is generally associated with giving up something in order that someone, perhaps oneself, may gain an eventual advantage. I believe that in heaven there will be no need of sacrifice because everything will be the best that it can be. We will not need to trade of some sacrifice to get something better. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Your reference to Jesus' sacrifice and courage, and that of others, has nothing to do with what will happen in heaven. Their courage and sacrifice were related to the sin that exists/existed on earth. About being interesting: I’m a farmer and I can tell you that I don’t need adversity to keep life interesting. When God told Adam to tend the garden, I’m sure his life got interesting ;without the need for either courage or sacrifice. Interesting can be as simple as watching a new shoot coming through the ground and wondering at all that has happened to make that occur. We cannot even imagine how wonderful it will be.
Lita Cosner
George, I clarified my comments in the article. Please read what I said there.
David B.
For Matt B., I've had these same thoughts in the past - dwelling in clouds strumming harps - and I agree, that would be boring. As I researched what the Bible says about Heaven, I realized that it will be much more. Heaven will be a great time of service, edification, fun and a wonderful life that will be eternal. I'm really looking forward to it.
Peter D.
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
Lita Cosner
But don't stop there! Keep reading--"These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:10).
Jean P.
In Revelation 21:1-6, it says that Heaven and the new earth will be all of a piece. God will be visible to us in the form of Jesus Christ, as He was in Eden. Jesus also said that if we are faithful servants He will give us charge over cities. Exciting stuff! I used to tell my Scripture and Sunday school students, " if God made such a beautiful world with all the varieties of creatures that He knew were only going to last for a while, what do you think He will make for the new Earth? I found most children thought it eould be boring but then if they imagined having a riger for a pet, they soon changed their minds!

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