I personally believe that this series on life in Heaven is one of the most important topics I have written about. Everything about Heaven should change a Christian’s life. The place where believers will live for eternity is not some strange spiritual world where we will have wings, float on clouds, and sing songs all day long forever and ever. Heaven, instead, is this current earth and universe restored back to an Eden-like paradise. In the past three parts of this series, I have discussed our resurrection bodies, the environment of the New Earth (and Outer Space!), and the culture of our future home. In this final article, I want to write about what our daily lives will be like. I wrote about how we will have work to do in part 3. Today, I want to discuss other aspects of our daily lives, for example, how can Heaven be fun if we cannot sin, will we eat and drink, what about marriage, sleep, entertainment, music, and sports? Will any of these have a home on the New Earth? Let’s find out. (Links to the other three parts of this series are found at the bottom of the article). What will our daily lives be like in Heaven?
Will we be able to sin in heaven?
I would like to start with a simple topic: will we be able to sin in Heaven? Of course, the answer is no. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death.” Yet, death will no longer be a part of the world after Christ’s return (Revelation 21:4). Christ died once to deal with sin and death (Hebrews 9:26-28; 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18). Sin will not have any part in the new heavens and new earth.
The reason why I bring this subject up is that some people will ask how we can have free will when we cannot sin. Some people may take it as far to think that Heaven won’t be any fun if we cannot sin. First off, Scripture is clear that while we are under the Curse we are slaves to sin. It is only after Christ’s return that we will be truly free like we never have been before.
It is very difficult, especially for Americans, to understand how someone can be free and yet never sin. Doesn’t freedom mean that we will have to decide between good and evil in order to be free? Yet the Bible tells us plainly that Christians in heaven will be righteous (1 Corinthians 5:21), and that we will be resurrected “incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 15:52). The Holy Spirit will make us perfect to the point where we will never want to sin, and He will give us the power to never choose to do wrong. There will be no temptation on the New Earth.
Concerning the idea that Heaven will not be fun without sin is heresy (or very close to it). This idea basically says that life cannot be fun without drugs, sex outside marriage, alcohol, or a host of other things. This kind of thinking shows just how perverted and sinful civilization has become – God is boring, Satan is fun. Yet, God is the one who created fun. He is the one who made the universe, animals, meadows, oceans, and everything else. He created all the things that we have fun with. Neither Satan nor humanity created fun. Satan tempts us (sinners) to pervert God’s original design. Sin is not required to have fun. Writer Randy Alcorn sums it up well:
“We’ve fallen for the devil’s lie. His most basic strategy, the same one he employed with Adam and Eve, is to make us believe that sin brings fulfillment. However, in reality, sin robs us of fulfillment. Sin doesn’t make life interesting; it makes life empty. Sin doesn’t create adventure; it blunts it. Sin doesn’t expand life; it shrinks it. Sin’s emptiness inevitably leads to boredom. When there’s fulfillment, when there’s beauty, when we see God as he truly is – an endless reservoir of fascination – boredom becomes impossible. Those who believe that excitement can’t exist without sin are thinking with sin-poisoned minds. Drug addicts are convinced that without their drugs they can’t live happy lives. In fact – as everyone else can see – drugs make them miserable.”
What about Marriage?
Throughout this series, I have noted that a good way to think about Heaven is through the principle of continuity. Since Heaven will be a physical world, where we will live in physical bodies (and we’ll still be male and female), it is logical to think that many things from this world will continue on throughout eternity. However, the only clear thing that Scripture says that was a part of God’s original creation, but will not be a part of the New Earth is marriage. Jesus says in Matthew 22:30, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage…”
How can this be? Many cannot think of life without marriage and everything that it entails. However, Christians should not despair about this. We must remember that marriage was created by God before the Curse. It was pronounced as “very good.” It seems obvious that because of this, it is unlikely that God, who created us for marriage, would take something so important away from us without replacing it with something better. God is not going to remove something for no reason at all.
Will there be eating and drinking?
When thinking about Heaven most Christians do not typically think about whether or not we will eat and drink on the New Earth. Most assume that there would be no point. If we are going to have perfect bodies, then why would we need to eat? Besides there are a couple of passages that seem to say that eating will not be a part of the Kingdom of God.
Romans 14:17 says, “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” This passage, however, is not about Heaven. The context of the passage is concerning how Christians should not make other people stumble over what we eat and drink in this life.
A second passage is 1 Corinthians 6:13 which says, “’Food for the stomach and the stomach for food’ – but God will destroy them both.” This verse is once again about a Christian’s freedom and not to abuse it. It is in the general context of sexual immorality. It does not seem likely that it is referring to the New Earth (especially in regards to the following points that I am about to make).
However, there is some evidence that there will be food and drink in the Restored World.
- Jesus told the disciples that they would “eat and drink at my table in my kingdom” (Luke 22:30).
- Jesus ate food after his resurrection (Luke 24:42-43; see also Acts 10:40-41).
- In Luke 22:18, Jesus says, “For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Matthew 26:29 words it as “I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
- Revelation 19:9 speaks about Christians eating the wedding supper, and Matthew 8:11 tells us that Christians will eat with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
It is possible that Revelation 19 and Matthew 8 are speaking figuratively. However, Luke 22:30 specifically says that the apostles will eat, sit on thrones, and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 26:29, along with Luke 22:30, make the most sense if Christ is referring to his second coming, and not some other event.
Concerning Jesus eating food after his resurrection the famous evangelist Billy Graham says, “It wasn’t that Jesus was hungry, for He was no longer subject to human needs. I believe He ate with them for two reasons: to prove His bodily resurrection and for fellowship with His disciples. When He was last with them, they fellowshipped around the table and shared the Passover meal.”
Although I agree with what is said, I do not think any of these disprove that we will eat on the New Earth. Most people think we will not because of two reasons: 1) Heaven will be “spiritual,” which I have shown repeatedly is false; and 2) our bodies will be perfect. Yet, there is nothing evil about food. God created food before the Curse. Eating and drinking is one of the many pleasures that God created for us to enjoy. Yes, in Heaven we will not be overweight or underweight – we will be healthy. Yes, God has the power to give us unlimited energy. Even so, that does not mean that food will be taken away. Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world with perfect bodies, yet God specifically told them to eat (Genesis 3:2).
However, this raises an issue. It is clear that humans and animals were vegetarians before the Fall (Genesis 1:29-30). Meat eating was not given by God until after the Great Flood (Genesis 9:3). Yet, Romans 8:19-23 specifically says that the Curse will be removed from all of creation, including the animals. This is a good reason to believe that humanity and animals will once again be vegetarian. The issue that I alluded to above has to do with the fact that Jesus ate fish after his resurrection. Randy Alcorn explains the problem, and solutions, well:
“Jesus ate fish in a resurrected body. However, that was on an unresurrected Earth, still under the Curse. Hunting and killing animals is legitimate and sometimes necessary on the present Earth. However, to the degree that hunting animals involves their fear, suffering, or death, it wouldn’t fit with the biblical description of the New Earth, where not only people but also animals live in peace and harmony: ‘The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox…They will neither harm nor destroy’ (Isaiah 65:25). We’re told animals’ eating habits will change-why not ours?”
I believe that the Bible does teach us that we will eat and drink on the New Earth. And considering that the Curse will be removed, it is safe to assume we will no longer be killing and eating the flesh of animals, who will also be free from the curse. We won’t eat and drink because we need the calories – we will do so because it is a joy and pleasure that God created for us to do together.
Where will we live?
Will we live in homes? John 14:2 says, “In my Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you.” The Latin translation of the Bible, the Vulgate, used the word mansions in this verse, as did The King James Version. However, it is an improper translation. It should read as “In my Father’s house are many rooms…I am going there to prepare a place for you.” The point of this verse is that we will each have an individual dwelling place in Heaven. Although it is possible that the context of John 14:2 is the Present Heaven, it would be strange if God gives a place to live while there, but not on the New Earth. What these homes will be like, the Bible does not say. However, it is pretty safe to assume that our homes in Heaven will surpass anything the greatest kings have lived in during this life.
What about music, art, entertainment, sports, etc.?
In part 3, I noted that we will continue to have our individual gifts, skills, and abilities. This would naturally include music and artistic ability (for crying out loud there is an entire book of music in the Bible called Psalms!). What about sports and entertainment? Will we be able to play baseball or run track? Will there be movies and other forms of entertainment.
Why not? There is nothing inherently evil about any of these things. Is there any reason to believe that God hates play? Sadly, in this world we have twisted athletics and entertainment (think about violent video games and the arrogance some people have when they are very good at a particular sport). Yet, remember, that God will redeem not only humanity and the world, but human culture as well (see part 3). Sports and entertainment will remain a part of our lives, but with the sinful attitudes humanity has with them removed.
Will we sleep and rest?
This topic is similar to eating and drinking. If our bodies are perfect, then why would we need rest and sleep? There is a simple way to look at this issue – God rested on Day 7 of creation. Was God sinning when he did this? Of course not! Sleep and rest, like food, are a pleasure in life and something to enjoy.
Will we wear clothes in heaven?
Since God created Adam and Eve naked, it can be assumed by Christians that we will be naked once again in Heaven. However, Adam and Eve were innocent, not righteous as we will be (1 Corinthians 5:21). Also, remember that Adam and Eve did not even know of their nakedness before they sinned (Genesis 3:7). We will retain our memories in Heaven so we will know if we are naked or not. However, as I have noted more than once, there will be a continuation of human culture in Heaven, and Jesus presumably wore clothing after his resurrection (or was he running around in his birthday suit?).
Worship of God is central
Many Christians have the idea that all we will do in Heaven is worship God. Of course, that is true! However, most Christians think that the only way to worship God is to sing songs and show up every Sunday morning to a building we call church. However, this is not the only way to worship God. Using the skills and abilities that God gave us in a way that glorifies him is worship. Remember that God gave mankind the dominion mandate before the Curse entered our world. That was to be a part of our worship of God.
Some may think that the topics that I discussed in this series are a form of materialism. However, this shows that a person who has this kind of thinking has a huge misunderstanding about Heaven and everything in it. Everything that I have discussed in this series stems from our worship of God. Our lives on the New Earth only have meaning within the context of worshipping God, and that includes all his gifts – food, crafts, animals, friendships, etc.
“That Life will be one wholly devoted to the worship and service of God, an unending Sabbath of peaceful rest and joyful praise. The disruption and brokenness in the relationship between God and his people will be ended. All toil and burdensome [labor] will give way to gladhearted service of God. The life of God’s people will be one of unending, thankful worship. This worship will take place within the setting of the new heavens and earth.”
Will Life in Heaven be Boring?
Scripture uses imagery “that suggests that many of the ordinary pleasures of life in the body will characterize life in the new creation.” Anthony Hoekema notes that Heaven is pictured as a great city – the New Jerusalem. Cities are usually bustling with activity. How could Heaven be boring? We will live with God in a perfect world and have so many things to do and enjoy.
Challenging our Current Perspectives
Scholar Anthony Hoekema sums up Heaven very well:
“This all means a lot for us now. If there is continuity as well as discontinuity between this earth and the new earth, we must work hard to develop our gifts and talents, and to come as close as we can to producing, in the strength of the Spirit, a Christian culture today. Through our kingdom service, the building materials for the new earth are now being gathered. Bibles are being translated, peoples are being evangelized, believers are being renewed, and cultures are being transformed. Only eternity will reveal the full significance of what has been done for Christ here on earth. A scintillating future awaits us—not a future of disembodied existence (though this will be an earlier part of it), but everlasting life in glorified bodies on the new earth. Compared with the immeasurable span of eternity, this present life is but a passing moment, a fleeting sigh.We look forward eagerly to that new earth, which will far surpass in splendor anything that we have ever seen before.”
Randy Alcorn does the same:
“Without an eternal perspective, without understanding the reality that the best is yet to come, we assume that people who die young, who are handicapped, who aren’t healthy, who don’t get married, or who don’t________ [fill in the blank] will inevitably miss out on the best life has to offer. But the theology underlying those assumptions is fatally flawed. We’re presuming that our present Earth, bodies, culture, relationships, and lives are superior to those of the New Earth. What are we thinking?”
“The smartest person God ever created in this world may never have learned to read because he or she never had the opportunity. The most musically gifted person may never have touched a musical instrument. The greatest athlete may never have competed in a game. The sport you’re best at may be a sport you’ve never tried, your favorite hobby one you’ve never thought of. Living under the Curse means we miss countless opportunities. The reversing of the Curse, and the resurrection of our bodies and our Earth, mean we’ll regain lost opportunities and inherit many more besides.”
God is going to make up for all the heartbreak that has occurred in this life. We are essentially going to have a second chance to live the lives that we always wanted and were meant to have – a life filled with happiness and joy with God. The Apostle Paul says it perfectly, “In this way they will lay up treasures for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:19).
What do you think? Can you wait for Heaven, or are you too consumed with the problems of this life? Leave a comment and tell me what you think.
 Randy Alcorn. Heaven (Carol Stream: Tyndale, 2004). 311-314. Hank Hanegraaff. Afterlife (Brentwood: Worthy Publishing, 2013). 36-38.
 Alcorn, 410.
 Ibid., 352.
 Ibid., 301.
 Anthony Hoekema, in his book The Bible and the Future (p. 252), appeals to this verse to teach that our digestive systems will not exist in Heaven. Cornelis Venema, however, disagrees and does not believe that this verse, in this particular context, teaches this (The Promise of the Future, Carlisle: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2000. 474).
 Billy Graham. The Heaven Answer Book (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012). 64-65.
 Alcorn, 307.
 Venema, 475, 477.
 Ibid., 473.
 Anthony Hoekema. “Heaven: Not Just an Eternal Day Off,” Christianity Today (June 6, 2003), http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/juneweb-only/6-2-54.0.html?paging=off
 Hanegraaff, 30-31.
 Alcorn, 431.
 Ibid., 434.