Faith Bible Blog

Information and Reflections for the FBC Family

What You Can’t Do in Heaven

Not AllowedYou’ve heard it said, “There are only one thing that you can do on earth that you can’t do in heaven: evangelize.” Not true.  The last time I heard this, I started making a list. What else can’t I do in heaven? It turns out that there’s a fair bit…

Some of the Things you can’t do in Heaven

1) Evangelize

Rev 21:8 – But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Yes, it’s true. You will not have the opportunity to share your faith in heaven. It is one of the core reasons why God left you here.  There is a time for witnessing to the lost and that time is now.  In heaven, your chances are gone.  In heaven, you will not regret having not shared your faith more. But, you may not have the same reward in heaven as someone who did obey God in this way.

2) Rebel against God

Rev 21:27 – nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life

You struggle against sin now? In heaven, there will be no sin.  I hate the struggle against sin that I feel day to day.  Though no longer enslaved, we are in the fight right now. I cannot wait for the freedom from temptation and influences and snares of sin, though I can barely imagine a life of that sort.  There will not be one rebel in heaven, though heaven will be filled with forgiven and transformed rebels.  All who are in heaven will be happy to submit to God as their Lord.

3) Grieve

Rev 21:4 – and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; … there will no longer be mourning, or crying, or pain

 There is much to grieve over in this life.  We experience loss – of possessions, of loved ones, of health, even of our own intellect and sanity.  As I listened to comedians discuss their craft last week, they argued that comedy is a coping mechanism for the pain of life.  We grieve over the pain that others inflict upon us and that we inflict upon ourselves.  As King David would say, “when I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long” (Ps 32:3).  In heaven, the pain of life is over – the grief we experience will have come to an end.  There will be a day when tears will cease to flow and the darkness that cloaks your heart will never return.

4) Get Married

Matt 22:30 – For in the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage.

Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church, designed by God prior to the Fall and declared very good. Yet, according to Jesus, there will no getting married in heaven. What will happen to our existing marriages? The answer is implied, though not explicit. If you can, picture the best marriage relationship you’ve known — the raw enthusiasm of newlyweds combined with the intimate familiarity of an aged couple celebrating their 50th anniversary. The enthusiastic, sweet fellowship they share will exist among all believers in heaven. The reason is NOT simply that the effects of the Fall will be finished. The reason is that their love will not be for one another, but for God. And this common shared love for the ONE will join them ALL together.

5) Have kids

Matt 22:30 – For in the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage.

Though there’s little said outright in the Bible about this, multiple indicators lead me toward the conclusion that procreation is not a part of heaven. First, having kids was initially commanded in Genesis 1, in order to fill the earth with people who know and love God.  Though this went tragically awry after the Fall, the filling of the earth has been fairly accomplished.  Second, marriage occurs on earth to provide us a picture of Christ and the Church.  Vow and intimate relations constitute a marriage.  For now, Christ and the believer have made vows to one another.  In heaven, the consummation of that relationship is completed and we no longer need a picture of something we now experience firsthand.  Third, in God’s revealed Word, he only encourages sexual union and procreation (having kids) as something for those who’re married.  As marriage has ceased in heaven (see above #4), so it appears that procreation would also.  In fact, the joy of that sexual union appears to be given to us as a picture of the even greater joy that will come at the point when we’re united to Christ in heaven.  (WOW!)

6) Be ignorant

1 Cor 13:12 – For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

There are many things that I don’t know – about the world, about myself and about my God.  There is a time coming when my ignorance will cease.  My partial knowledge of God, and of myself, will end.  I will know Him more fully and will understand myself more fully as well.  To be clear, that we lack ignorance does not mean that we shall know everything.  Only God is omniscient.  In heaven, I don’t know how your knowledge of rocket science and jujitsu will improve, but I know that we shall know our God more fully.  In fact, we shall always and forever be learning more about our God!  As He is infinite, so there will be an infinite number of things to learn about Him and His ways.

7) Hunt and Kill Stuff

Gen 1:29 – Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you.

As much as I enjoy hunting and fishing, I see no evidence that those activities continue in heaven.  Death will cease (see #8).  In the Garden of Eden, before the Fall, animals were not given as food for man.  Death entered the world through sin and there is no evidence that animals died or were killed before the Fall, nor is there mention of their existence in heaven.  While I’m no vegetarian and I love me a ribeye, all the evidence points to the end of hunting and other activities that bring death to God’s creation.

8) Die

Rev 21:4 – and there will no longer be death

Death is more removed from us today than ever.  It happens in hospitals and homes, but the body is quickly covered and removed.  Rare is the body left in state for mourners or the open casket service.  We know that death awaits us, but reminders of its reality do not surround us as they used to. We tend to shun the Bible’s counsel to spend more time in a house of mourning than a house of feasting, so that we would give strong thought to the brevity and course of life (Eccl 7:2).  From your 20s, if not before, you have known that there will be a day when you will pass from this world (if the Lord doesn’t return first).  Praise God that there is only one death to undergo.  When you arrive in heaven, death will cease to be.  Christ has conquered it.  He has removed its sting already and, one day, it will be crushed completely (1 Cor 15:54-57).

9) Be distracted in worship

Rev 21:22 – I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple

How many times have you sat in a worship, during the preaching or the singing, and your mind is far away – thinking about something that happened earlier that morning, or giving thought to your afternoon plans.  In heaven, you will be free from distraction.  You will be in the presence of the Father and the Son.  There is nowhere else that you will desire to be.  As Romans 12:1 describes yielding our lives to God as an act of worship, so this act will be complete and undistracted in heaven.  You will not have something you’d rather be doing or somebody you’d rather be talking to.  You will be completely and utterly enamored with your Creator.

 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Amazing, isn’t it!  There is so much more to heaven than we often think about.  Spend some time giving praise to God for what is, and isn’t, in heaven!

Rev 22:20-21 – Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.  Amen.

Author: John Pleasnick

John serves as a pastor and elder at Faith Bible Church

5 Comments

  1. Hello,
    First of all, I would like to thank you for writing this blog.
    Far too many days I am concerned about this life and getting everything done and forget that my focus should be on eternity.
    I read this a few days ago and number 7 has been chewing on my brain.
    I have just completed a study of Ezekiel which includes the final 8 chapters describing the sacrificial system and feast days in the future.
    Do you consider the millennium in your view of the future?
    I am certainly looking forward to heaven, but actually I personally, am more excited about the fulfillment all the promises in the Old Testament about the Kingdom, with Jesus reigning from Jerusalem, simply because it seems to have been promoted even more than “heaven” in the Scriptures.
    So many saints have died hoping for a Kingdom where righteousness dwells, a place here on this ball of dirt where the promised Messiah will rule. I think we in the church forget about all that in our eagerness to get to “heaven”. We would jump right over all the unfulfilled promises to those people. Skipping those prophecies which have not come true yet, in our desire for heaven.
    I am not really too eager to get to heaven, I just long to be face to face with Jesus, wherever He is.
    What do you think? Is “heaven” our next stop?
    May God bless you this day

    • Good questions, Nathan. You are right that, in this article, I am looking beyond the millennium to eternity in heaven.

      While I believe that it will be amazing to have Jesus physically return and rule for a thousand years on earth, I do not think that will be the best that life gets. After all, his reign here is temporary and is concluded by a worldwide revolt wherein all the armies of the world gather and encamp against the people of God, intending to attack and destroy.

      When Hebrews 11:13-16 says that saints of old welcomed the promises from a distance, it also says that they desired a “heavenly” land, not a country of their own here. While the millennial kingdom shall be very cool, it will pale in comparison to heaven – where the Father and Son dwell together and we serve them, free and undistracted by the rigors of this world.

      I’d ask you to consider this one question – what is the purpose of the millennial kingdom? It is not really about the church, though New Testament believers will be there. Nor is it about you living face-to-face with Jesus, though that may happen from time-to-time there. As you continue to study, ask this — why does Jesus return to earth to rule & reign for a thousand years? Its a very different purpose than why heaven exists.

  2. Thanks for the reply, I was kind of hoping to generate some more people interacting with what you took the time to write. đŸ™‚
    If I had to answer the question, “what is the number one purpose of the millennium?”
    I would have to say that it glorifies God by proving once and for all, that God is good. And, i might add, if I had been in Eden, I would have disobeyed as well.

    No one will be able to say,
    “It’s the corrupt environment”, (Creation is renewed)
    “The Devil made me do it”, (Satan is bound)
    “It’s the corrupt Government”, (Jesus is ruling)
    But, given the choice, (by Satan being released at the end) rebellion will happen. So sad.

    One final question, it seems to me that “Heaven” is still a ball of dirt according to Rev. 21:1, what do you think?

    • Yep – it’s amazing how sinful we are without any outside help!

      As for the new earth & the new heaven, Scripture is pretty clear that there is no sea, as you cited. (Nor may there be a moon to create tidal effects, Rev 21:23.) At the same time, to think of it as a big ball of dirt would ignore Rev 22:1f. Clearly there is water there, and the water is portrayed as life-giving (by its name, and at least to plants). The water is sourced at the throne of God. The question is, how far, deep and wide does that river flow as it spreads out into the new earth? Personally, I’ve got no idea…

  3. I have enjoyed the dialogue. Thanks for the reply. I didn’t mean to imply that there wouldn’t be water present on the new earth. I just like to remind myself (and others) that there is nothing wrong with the world God created, or the human body, etc.
    After all that He made, He said it was “very good.” So there is nothing wrong with a new earth. People have criticized me recently as I have been sharing the Gospel, by saying, “If God wants us to be ‘in heaven’ with Him, why didn’t He make things that way to begin with?
    I think that the lost world is confused about a great many things regarding heaven, but we often make it more confusing by our generalizations. đŸ™‚
    Have a blessed day,
    Nathan