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heaven


heaven.
we have begun a new group in our youth ministry where the young people are asking questions about parts of faith and life that they don't understand or want to know more about. we get together each week after doing some personal study/reflection on these issues and then take a look at what the scriptures say. i think it is going to be a really interesting, lively group over the next few months. i am looking forward to it.
the question that was raised for our meeting tomorrow night had to do with the nature of heaven and what it will be like. the bible, of course, is relatively vague on this issue, and leaves a great deal of room for our interpretation and imagination. and so i am asking you to help me on this. i just want to take a bit of an informal survey of what people expect heaven to be like, so i can share this with the group tomorrow night. understanding that this is as much a wishful-thinking-thing as anything else, i wonder what your thoughts about heaven are....
is heaven individualized (for me it would be full of orange and music and have no bees)?
is heaven in the sky?
will we know one another in heaven?
will our pets be in heaven?
will we look the same in heaven?
please answer any of these questions and others. i don't need a treatise - just your brief thoughts. and i'm not interested in good theology here. i'm more interested in what you actually believe or hope.
and for those of you who are really ambitious, ponder this for a moment:
is real joy possible when there is no sorrow? is real love possible when there is no hate?
please take a moment and share your thoughts with us all today. what do you imagine heaven to be like?
grace and peace,
greg.

Comments

julid said…
heaven...i think there is enough in the bible about it to have us long for it here in this life and to hope for it but not enough detail for us to obssess and ignore our calling here on earth. heaven.. for me, being fully with god in his 3 persons. being with loved ones who are already with god. having my glorified body. having absolute peace, joy and purpose. working and playing to my full potential. having all my dead cats around me (not dead anymore). having an abundance of shoes with really spiky heels and not having them hurt my glorified feet. never having to dye my hair anymore. having a french fry fountain and not getting fatter. hanging out with mucky mucks like abraham, moses, joseph, paul, peter, john wesley, etc. being fully known by others. being fully authentic. i don't think i will lose my memory of this life, so i can remember sorrow and hate and evil. i just won't experience it as in the past. i think the full experience of joy is possible, because i don't think we get a total brain transplant and our lives here on earth and the fallen condition of the world are forgotten, just not part of our lives anymore. of course, i don't really understand what it means to be absent from the body and present with the Lord, but i know I will find out someday. come Lord Jesus.
Erin said…
greg,
I've always imagined heaven as sort of divided up into three activities, all of which are things i like to do: worshipping God, eating amazing food at the banqueting table, fellowshipping with other people, all of whom i know. 'cause what could be better than an awesome worship service during which you can actually SEE GOD, followed by the most amazing food you've ever had, followed by hanging out with your best buddies or people that you've been dying to talk to your whole life...
Well I the Bible keeps it vague for a reason. The reason is we shouldn't miss what we have here in anticipation of what is to come. Something many of us are guilty of often anyway.

I think heaven is about relationships. God's initial design that the fall screwed up is realized in fruition. Us in relationship with God, nature, and each other.

Will we know each other, absolutely, how does that play out ...no clue!


As to your questions:

is real joy possible when there is no sorrow? is real love possible when there is no hate?

I assume you are suggesting that we can't experience or know what joy or love is without there opposites and how could those opposites exist in heaven. I agree but with several caveats

First I do not believe the opposite of love is hate, I believe it is apathy.

Second, we all know what sorrow is and hate/apathy are. We have already experienced them. So somehow that will be in our psyches and God will sort out all the rest.
jasonsmommy said…
I've pondered this topic a lot in the last 2 months with the death of my father right before Christmas. I try to imagine what he's doing in Heaven. The mantra I had during the visitation of the funeral was that he's playing golf w/o any hazards and singing in the choir b/c those were his two favorite activities here on Earth. My thoughts are that we will have unimaginable joy when we leave this world. We will be face to face with our creator and we will reunite with the ones that have gone before us. As someone else said on here, we have known sorrow, hate and apathy here on Earth, so we will know what unimaginable joy is when we meet Jesus.

I'd love to be there for your study on this! It's something I'd love to talk about!
Blessings to you!
Eric said…
If I were designing heaven, it would be full of beautiful golf courses on which I always played well, and perfect sailing weather on open seas that were not too rough for my sailing ability.

However, I think the fact that I don't get to design heaven is important. The whole point is without the perfect righteousness of God, my desires are imperfect and I wouldn't even appreciate my design eternally because it would lack eternal perspective and probably would grow old.

I think of heaven as the restoration of the fallen creation--we see some of it here on earth and have to wait to see it completed.

I know this errors on the side of the theological, but would anything less be worth waiting for?
Emoly said…
that reminds me of the Simpsons episode (forgive me if I don't get it all right, Bill's not here to tell me which episode) where, I think Bart, goes to heaven. And it's split up. There's Catholic heaven and Protestant heaven. I don't remember which group is having fun, but the other is just sitting around. I don't think that is an accurate portrayal of heaven. what do I think it is going to be like? I think it is going to be beyond our wildest imagination. God gave us our imaginations and look at the books and movies we've created with them. It's going to be so much more, because we don't know what else is "out there".

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