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I think we need to remember that heaven is not our final destination.

I’ve gotta confess, I feel a little uncomfortable saying this.

Am I allowed to say this in a public forum? Is this going to be bleeped out, or am I going to be fined by the FTC or something? Maybe I should post this anonymously …

Oh what the heck, here I go …

A lot of times heaven sounds really boring to me. 

There, I said it. Phew.

Glad that’s off my chest. No more secrets. No more hiding.

I’m not that excited about heaven. When I think about heaven it all seems so … abstract. I know that we’ll be in God’s presence for eternity, I know that we’ll worship Jesus for eternity, I know that there will be hordes of angels, and I know that there will be no more pain, sorrow or tears.

And don’t get me wrong, all that stuff sounds great. But when I picture it in my head, it just sounds like one really long Sunday morning worship service.

I’m a worship leader, and even I can only sing Chris Tomlin for so long before I need to do something else.

I’m a preacher, and even I could only listen to myself preach for so long before I had to do something else.

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that heaven sounds boring. I think lots of Christians feel that way. And, as Randy Alcorn has said, not being excited about heaven is one of the main ways Satan keeps us comfortable here. So how do we become more excited?

I think we need to remember that heaven is not our final destination. 

So often we talk about heaven as if it is the final resting place for a Christian. When someone dies, we talk about them finally “going home,” and “being in a better place.” And they really are in a much, much better place. As Paul said, he longed to die and be with Christ, which was better by far.

But the reality is, heaven is simply the waiting room for the rest of eternity. When a person dies, they leave their body and go to be with Christ.

But that’s not the end.

Our final, glorious, exciting hope is not an abstract, bodiless existence. Our great end is not to float about the universe as bodiless souls. The end comes when Jesus returns, makes a new, physical heaven and earth, and gives us new, physical resurrection bodies.

I can’t relate to simply being a soul. I have no concept of that form of existence.

But I can imagine having a new resurrection body, and the prospect of that excites me! Our resurrection bodies will feast at the table of the Lamb! We will eat glorious meals! What sorts of flavors will our new bodies be able to sense and savor?

Our new bodies will sing to the king. How many different shades and shimmers of harmony will we be capable of producing?

What sorts of things will we do with our friends in heaven? Will we explore? Will we swim in heavenly lakes? Will we have heavenly competitions?

I don’t know all that we’ll do in the new heaven and the new earth, but I can imagine. I can think of all the God-given joys I experience in this life, and then amplify them by a million. I can think of the many gifts of God I experience in this life, then blow those up. It’s going to be wonderful. Astonishing. Breath taking.

Will heaven be good? Yes, it will be great.

But I can’t wait until I’m not in heaven. Heaven is just the waiting room.

I can’t wait until I’m in the new heaven and new earth, with my new resurrection body. That’s what I’m truly looking forward to.  

Stephen Altrogge Stephen Altrogge works as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, PA, where his main duties include leading worship, working with college students, and shining his dad’s shoes. He also has written a number of worship songs that have been included on Sovereign Grace Music albums. Stephen is the author of the book Game Day For the Glory of God: A Guide For Athletes, Fans, and Wanabes, which was published by Crossway Books in September 2008, and The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence, which will be published by Crossway Books in April 2011. When not shining his dad’s shoes, you can find Stephen drinking coffee or playing video games.

More from Stephen Altrogge or visit Stephen at http://www.theblazingcenter.com

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  • Rev. Dr. J. Bernard Taylor

    There is another viewpoint which says that we receive our new bodies at death. It is called the preterist view. I have been studying it for years. It has some good points. I suggest you do some research on it to see a different approach.

    • Ben

      Hi, Rev. J. Bernard Taylor, isn’t exciting some one expressed ones oping on how he felt about a subject,the here after. weather i agree or disagree It is his oping. Steven wasn’t afraid to express it. I just love it. Bernard I am having trouble with the word [preterist] does this word mean something about the past? what good is it that we have such a wonderful God and we cannot express our selves in a question and be afraid of begin thrown out of Gods presences, or being rebuke by a brother. Ben a son of God in Jesus.

      • Sam

        Ben,
        Rebuke is a biblical term and necessity in the body of Christ. If someone is teaching something false, even if it is ignorantly, someone should say something. I think the Rev. did the right thing in plainly asking hi to do some “research” on the matter. However, I would like to clarify that I in no way hold to the preterist view of end times and that it completely misses the mark on the coming days of judgment and Christ’s return. Sam, also a son of God I Jesus

      • Terry

        Ben, Steve was not being rebuked by Rev. Taylor in any way. It was a good suggestion and I’m going to google it right now. Blessings.

  • Joe Rhoads

    To the author, my suggestion to you is that you be very careful about what you say. You’re not that excited about heaven, between the time death and the time our resurrect bodies (the preterist view as suggested by the other commentator has been thoroughly discredited), because you view it from a wrong perspective. You assume that it will be one long worship service. I doubt that it is. Even if it is one long worship service, you will be in the presence of God and your perspective will radically change because you will be in THE PRESENCE OF GOD. I can only imagine that God takes offense at the idea that you are suggesting that to be in His presence before the time of gaining our new bodies, will somehow be boring.

    • Brad Watson

      Good comment, Joe. If we aren’t excited about being in the presence of our creator and savior, then our relationship with him probably has not matured as much as it should.

  • Jim a true worshiper

    Time is given for mankind God lives out side of time .
    I do not believe we will know from the time we die until we are there with Christ for eternity.
    All that have gone be for and those that will be raptured.

    If I could spend eternity praising the Lord for what he did for me it woundn;t be enoth.
    Heaven want be boring to say the least. We want set on clouds with a harp ,but we will rule and rain with Him.

    .If you fine the thought of heaven boring now I dout you will be there.

    Col_1:5
    For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

  • http://www.zachmalott.com/ Pastor Zach Malott

    I feel that biblical doctrine is something that is taking a back seat in the 21st century Laodicean church. Discipleship is another. It’s time to get back to the basics of our core, Christian beliefs and our primary duties as followers of Christ. I, for one, am not going to procrastinate on this until I become a lukewarm spew.

    Blessings to all,

    Zach

  • Terry

    To be honest I used to think the same thing. But…this was when I was a young Christian. I believed in the Trinity by faith only and did not have a personal relationship with God, the Holy Spirit. By God’s perfect grace, I can say that now that we are Besties. Perhaps when you grow as a Christian you will abandon this childish notion as I did. As far as your article goes, I read it because I was shocked by the headline and I suspect that was what you were trying to accomplish. But, I got nothing from the article other than the impression that you did not pray before and as you were writing. Please do not be hurt or offended by what I’ve written. We learn by our mistakes and I hope this is the case for you. May God bless you.

  • bored

    We can either say heaven, which to me is a generic term for glory be it paradise or the new heaven and new earth, or we can spend hours explaining this over and over to every person we meet and speak to about salvation. We can sit and talk to them about the difference the difference between heaven and the new creation or try to win them to Jesus. All this splitting hairs is what is boring.

  • Andrew

    There’s actually a Christ-honoring motivation for remaining on earth. To fill the earth with the glory of the knowledge of God, in the Person & Work of Jesus Christ. And there’s a Christ-honoring motivation to desire to be with Christ in glory. It’s has always been about the Person of Jesus Christ. Eternal life is to know God and the One whom He has sent, Jesus Christ. We think things are beautiful and wonderful right now? Wait until we behold the One who created and sustained them all. In the presence of Christ’s infinite glory and beauty, our worship will be fueled for an eternity of eternities. I love what the Apostle Paul expressed below.

    Philippians 1:21-26

    For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.

  • Cary

    You think heaven is all about you…you are most mistaken.

  • Maggie

    What is terrifyingly sad to me is the lack of understanding of what it means to be in the presence of Christ.
    Let me put it plainly: take every moment of joy u have ever experienced on earth (birth of a child, falling in love, music, art, climbing a Mtn, a sunset, Christmas).
    Distill this joy into a single drop.
    Then imagine jumping into a river of these drops.
    That is the Presence of Christ.

    Once you see Him – even for a nano-second – it is enough joy for eternity.

    I was an atheist. I saw Jesus & have met 37 others who did as well – compared to Jesus Christ nothing on earth is remotely interesting.

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