This post is one in a series of posts on a Bible study I am doing titled Heaven by Randy Alcorn and Dave McCleskey. The focus of this study is to get a Biblical view of what heaven is really like.
Although today is not my last lesson in this study of Heaven, today’s lesson did cause me to think about the overall effect this study has had on me and my Christian spirituality. When a person has a view of Heaven that he finds exciting, it motivates him to live a very different life. When you see that you are going to live for eternity, it makes this present life seem small and insignificant. Taking risks for the cause of Christ aren’t a big deal – if you die for that cause, it will only mean you are that much closer to living in Paradise. When you see that Heaven is not boring, it makes the thought of going there appealing. It gives you a goal, something to look forward to, a hope. And we are more likely to share that hope with others when we are excited about it. Jesus commanded us to share this hope, this salvation through faith in Him, and getting excited about Heaven motivates you to do this.
So what about today’s study caused me to think about these things? It’s quite simple, really. The thought of sports in Heaven. I love sports – watching them and playing them. I love to play tennis and basketball, and the thought of getting to do this in Heaven excites me. Some people may argue that there can’t be sports in Heaven because there can’t be losers – they say that competition would bring sadness, anger, or spite out of people, and those emotions won’t be present in the eternal Heaven, right? Alcorn doesn’t think so, and neither do I. I think that when we get to Heaven, we’ll see all things from a new perspective, and playing sports will be enjoyable regardless of winning and losing. I enjoy playing tennis in my local men’s league, even though I have lost every match I’ve played so far. I think playing in Heaven will be just as enjoyable regardless of winners and losers.
Another point brought up by Alcorn is the fact that there will be music in Heaven. In Revelation 14:2-3, when speaking of the 144,000 Jews that had been redeemed, it says “And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders.” And Revelation 15:2-3 tells of those in Heaven who “held harps given them by God and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb…” We know from the Apostle John’s testimony here that there will be singing and music played in Heaven, and I believe it will be another area we will take joy in when we get there.
One last area I’ll write about from today’s study was that of telling stories. The people throughout Biblical times (especially Old Testament times) relied on story-telling to relay historical tales, since most couldn’t read or write. When I think about how much fun that must have been, gathering around to hear the stories of their ancestors and their pasts, it makes me a little sad that we are so oriented toward writing today. It’s better that we can write, in the sense that facts are better preserved, but I do think that we have lost some of the social aspects they had back then that were related to story-telling. When we get to Heaven, I believe we will still be able to read and write, but I think there will also be a lot of story-telling. We’ll be able to hear first-hand accounts of stories we always loved from the Bible, as well as stories we never knew about, perhaps even in the backgrounds of our own lives. And there will be so much joy in our social interactions that we will smile and we will laugh. Jesus promised that there would be laughter in Heaven – Luke 6:21 says “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”
I am truly looking forward to a Heaven like this. I am excited about the idea of sitting around hearing and telling stories, of laughing and enjoying the company of others. I long for a Heaven where beautiful music is played all the time, and perhaps I’ll even get a chance to learn to play music I was never able to play on the present earth. And I crave the idea of playing sports, of getting out on the tennis court and hitting some powerful serves, some well executed forehands, and some backhand slices with perfect form. I might still lose a lot, but I’ll have eternity to get better.
Click HERE to see the next post in this series.