For last week’s article Extra-Biblical Teaching: Christian Free-Will, click here.
So Christians will say a lot of things about heaven, all the joys and wonders that they can’t wait to experience when they get there. All of the people they will re-unite with and how it will be a beautiful place where all the joys in the world will be at their fingertips. For all that Christians speak about heaven, you would think that they know an awful lot about it. Yet the Christian idea of heaven and what the bible actually speaks about heaven are totally different thing.
First off is the idea that Christians go to heaven. While it’s true that the bible speaks of those who die today going to a resting place where they await the second coming of Christ and eventual creation of a new world from the one we currently inhabit, is this truly heaven? Christ is even quotes as saying:
“In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am.” -John 14:2-3
So Christ says he’s going to prepare a place for believers in Heaven. However when we look at the book of revelations we find that the saints, those that have gone to heaven, will return to Earth and here we will exist for all eternity, acting as kings and priests to those alive. So it seems like the bible itself is confused on the topic which is why throughout history, the idea of heaven has been quite a contentious topic for theologians and lay-men alike.
The bible does however speak of some of the things that those who have died as believers will do. Heaven is a place where christian’s will surround the throne of god and worship forever and for all eternity. If that sounds like fun, have at it. Heaven will also be a place where choice is completely removed from the equation. Suppose you are a contrarian like me? The idea of being in constant subjection to god without any choice in whether I continue to serve him or not would be a worse form of hell than anything dictated in scripture.
What enjoyment can be found in being reunited with friends and loved ones if you are never able to discuss anything with them outside of your love and adoration for Kim Jong God? We will also supposedly be like god having a perfect knowledge of all things. This means you will never experience anything new, never create anything better than that which has already been created. No innovations, no inventions, nothing to truly stimulate the mind whatsoever. Part of what makes us human is our want for new ideas and experiences. In a heaven, where all things are known, this ability will be removed from us.
Secondly on this topic, eternity is a long long time. Think of the 13.8 billion years since the expansion of the universe and realize that in regards to an eternity, that is just a drop in the hat. Part of what makes our lives so unique and special is that we are incredibly finite creatures. Usually living less than a full century and yet think of how much we are able to accomplish in that time. An eternity is simply life ad nauseam. It is an idea without any real purpose.
People often think of the idea of life to the atheist as being cold, one and done, yet what makes life better simply because you might have more of it? More life does not equate to a better life, a more fulfilling life, it simply equates to more. Regardless of the idea of heaven, an eternity, is either 100% a robotic form of survival, or an incredibly mind-numbingly dull experience.
Facts are, the bible actually speaks very little about heaven. It also speaks little on Hell, but we at least have a better idea of what hell would be. Yet this will have to wait until next week. The truth is, whatever you have been told about heaven, it’s almost certainly to fall in the lines of extra-biblical teaching. Even as a child, I found the idea of heaven to be incredibly boring, and today I still do. Add into that the idea of the constant servitude and leader worship that the bible does speak of and heaven becomes the hell that we are told to shun.