Evangelist & Web Minister
Lamb & Lion Ministries
Heaven Described (Continued)
When we get up to Heaven, Jesus has rewards for us for the good works we've done in His name while on earth.
One tremendous reward is God gives us glorified bodies made in Jesus' image. We won't be like God and we can't be like God, but we will be like Jesus' resurrected body physically.
Jesus promises crowns as a reward to us. These crowns are physical representations of how our life here on earth was spent. What you are doing here and now on earth in making good use of your time and talents will be turned into physical manifestations that we can display eternally. This isn't to selfishly brag on ourselves, but to give back to Jesus. The 24 Elders who sit around God's throne in worship place their crowns in front of God and say, "Holy, holy, holy." Our works are an eternal reminder of our sacrifice to the Lord and a forever act of worship.
The Bible says we're also going to be given robes. They most likely will be white, but I'm hoping for a little style so that the clothes we are given won't be so toga party like.
What is just awesome is that we will be given new names. When I was a kid I hated my name. It was a nerd name I thought, though it has become cool now, but at the time it wasn't. I used to tell people to call me Jason. Kids would come up to the house and knock on the door and ask, "Can I play with Jason." My family would look around and respond incredulously, "Who's Jason?" So, finally, I will get a new name.
God puts your new name on a white stone, and it may very well be a marble stone. Revelation 2:17 tells us this. Our new names will be representative most likely of who we really are, so you could be renamed Bravery, or Power, or Faithful. Jesus was always renaming the people he ran across during His earthly ministry. What would it be like to have a name that represents you for the rest of eternity?
A great reward is living in a place like Heaven, a place of comfort with no tears, as Matthew 5 and Revelation 21 describes. You will never have to worry about crying or hurting anymore. The Lord will always be there to comfort us, to give us mercy, and to finally give us true justice.
Authority, that is anther reward we will receive. We will have ruling authority during Jesus' Millennial Kingdom. We will be administrators and teachers and executives and majors and governors, but not legislatures because Jesus Himself alone makes the law. When we are talking about authority, we maybe think of towns or cities, but don't forget that God has made a whole endless universe. Our solar system has planets and there are more stars and so even more planets, and there are even more galaxies just filled with stars and planets. Who's to say that we are limited to ruling a few cities on the New Earth? Maybe we will be ruling an entire solar system or two or more as people go out into the vast universe God has created. The possibilities put real meaning behind the verse that no mind can comprehend what God has prepared for us.
What do you think about salvation as a reward? The Lord will give us salvation from the Tribulation. He gives us salvation from what is called the Second Death in Revelation 2:11. We are saved from death into eternal life to have everlasting life. Salvation is a pretty impressive gift!
How about honor as a reward? Can you believe that God would give someone like me honor? We get the honor to live in Heaven, the very home God dwells in. I don't particularly like people living in my home, but God is going to have billions of us living in His home. There Jesus brings us up to the Father and says, "Abba Father, look who I'm giving the honor of visiting you today."
Matthew 10:32 and Revelation 3:5 tells us that we are confessed by Christ to the Father. God isn't sitting way up on some throne somewhere so we have to look miles up at Him and never get to talk to Him or be near Him. The Father instead comes and honors us with His presence and words, as John 12:26 tells us. Can you imagine getting honored by God the Father? Now, it isn't honor for us particularly, but it is honor for what Jesus accomplished and what we accepted in Him.
This always gets me, that we are loved and adopted as children as Romans 8:23 promises. That the God of the Universe would adopt us as His own children — wow — that is love!
Life in Heaven
What will life be like on the New Earth? What are we going to be doing throughout all of eternity? Are we truly going to be playing harps and singing all day long? I'm the worse singer in the world and I do hope that even with my new glorified body I'm not singing throughout eternity.
For one, there will be fellowship with Creator God. That is the very reason why we were created. As John 4:23 tells us, we were made to fellowship with God forever. But, it's a choice that we make in life if we want to spend eternity with God or not. He never forces us to have to live with Him forever.
I hate to tell some of you this but, yes, there will be work in the afterlife. We will have lots of work to do. But, what if it is work that is fulfilling and satisfying as Matthew 5:6 tells us, then it isn't really work at all, is it? We'll be in our sweet spot doing what we love to do. It may be work, but if you love to do it, then it just doesn't feel like work, does it? God will have some great works planned for us to do.
Think about the talents you possess. God has given each of us special abilities and gifts which enable us to achieve goals while we work here on earth. Think about augmenting those talents and making them better and better with no limitations made by our human bodies.
We will have eons of ages to learn the vast sums of God's library. When I was a middle schooler I played the violin until my teacher asked me to stop. I was that bad! Well, I would like to learn the cello. It's my goal to learn to play the cello, and it's probably going to take me a few thousand years to actually learn it, but we have forever to get really good. I could have ten doctorate degrees and still have forever to work on more. We could be studying all the riches and the knowledge of Christ, but since He is infinite, it'd be like chasing our tails. We could spend forever studying and we would still not learn it all. But, think about how smart we will be by then, and we will have a brain that's not just using 10% of it's capability, but all 100% is working. Just think of what number our IQ's will be!
We will also mature. I won't have stupid immature thoughts, or say stupid things, or react immaturely. It's not that we will become all stuffy and boring, but we will mature into the truly developed humans that we were meant to be. No matter how old you are on earth, in God's eyes you are a child who needs to rid yourself of that immaturity. We will have all of eternity to mature.
And, yes, there will indeed be worship. People get this strange idea that worship is just singing "Oh, Holy, Holy, Holy" endlessly, but that's just not true. True worship is thanksgiving. It's thanking God. When you've got all of this eternal blessing of life and rewards and honor and more, how could we possibly not be thankful? You will want to proclaim with all your heart, "Oh, Lord, Holy, Holy, Holy is your name!"
Speaking about a choir, I once went on a men's retreat and there were nearly 500 men attending. When you have 500 men singing, "A Mighty Fortress is Your God," it's strength just blows you right out of your seat. What power! Now, think about five million people all singing to the Lord. What a choir!
Do you know what else is exciting about our coming eternal lives? There is a great big universe out there to explore. God created so much, and we are only just beginning from our little pinpoint in the universe to fathom where it starts. We will have an eternity to explore what God has created.
Again, we will be kept busy reigning with Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom and the nations that Revelation 21 talks about, this group of nations that will exist. We aren't given any more information than that about those nations, but we know we'll be given ruling authority over them.
Can you believe that God would actually share His power? He's never been a selfish God, has He? No. So, it's an amazing, amazing future that we have in store for us.