Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Few Questions about Heaven - Part I

Our Eternity Series this past few weeks has been thrilling for me.  I have loved digging into scripture concerning Heaven and Hell.
As I finish my series, there are a few questions that came up, that we were not able to answer during the Sunday Messages.  Thus I have given some brief answers here.  Hope they are helpful.
Will We Be Capable of Sinning in Heaven?
Some people in the past have said “Heaven will be perfect, but a sinless environment doesn’t mean we can’t sin; Adam and Eve proved that. They lived in a sinless place, yet they sinned.”  Along with that, some also argue that being human demands free choice, and thus we must have the capacity to choose evil in Heaven. And if that is true, then we could experience another Fall.  But Christ promises that on the New Earth, “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Since “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), the promise of no more death is also a promise that there will be no more sin for eternity.  Christ died once to pay for sin and will never again need to die (Hebrews 9:26-28).  In Heaven we will have the very righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).  In other words, our characters change.  As God, being righteous, cannot go against his character and sin, we, having a righteous character, also can't sin.
Will We Have Free Will in Heaven?
On a card in our offering cup, I got the question "Will mankind retain free will in heaven? If yes, then mankind can potentially say “no” to God.  Not to say that they would, but they wouldn’t retain that.  If no, then the worship from mankind is not one of genuine love.  Mankind is but robots…”
Some people believe that if we have free will in Heaven, we’ll have to be free to sin, as were the first humans. But Adam and Eve’s situation was different. They were innocent but had not been made righteous by Christ.  Just as Christ could not sin, neither will we be able to, having His righteous character. The inability to sin does not change the reality of our free will.  Our very natures have changed, and we no longer will be prone to sin.  Theologian Paul Helm states, “The freedom of heaven, then, is the freedom from sin; not that the believer just happens to be free from sin, but that he is so constituted or reconstituted that he cannot sin. He doesn’t want to sin, and he does not want to want to sin.”
Will We Ever Be Tempted in Heaven?   
Will we ever be tempted to turn our backs on Christ? No.  Adam and Eve were innocent, but they were not righteous.  Mankind will not just be “Innocent” once again in Heaven, we will be “Righteousness.  We have God’s holiness, and thus we cannot sin.  The illusions of sin will no longer fool us, and will be completely unappealing to us. We can’t remember a time when we weren't sinners.  What true freedom it will be to not have to defend against our sin natures ever again!  Will We Know Everything?·    God alone is omniscient (all knowing).  When we die, we will see all things more clearly, and we’ll know much more than we do now, but we’ll never know everything.  Rather, God intended learning to be a part of our existence in Heaven.  Adam and Eve discovered and learned about the earth God created, I think we will continue to do that for all eternity!  We might even learn new skills in heaven that we never thought we could today!

In my next blog, I will answer "Is there Marriage in Heaven?"

No comments:

Post a Comment