It’s hard to get excited about living in a place forever that you can’t imagine. Yes, we know that in Heaven we’ll be with Jesus, and we won’t ever again experience sorrow, trials, or pain, but what will we be doing with all of that eternal time? Randy Alcorn puts forth some astonishing ideas about Heaven in his 2004 book by the same name. Although Alcorn’s ideas about Heaven were new to me, they struck a reassuring and comforting chord.
The first half of the book deals with the theology of Heaven–two Heavens—the present, or temporary Heaven, where we go when we die, and where God resides now– and the ultimate, eternal Heaven where God will dwell with his people on the New Earth. God intends to redeem ALL of His creation, including animals and nature.
The second half of the book answers specific questions about life on the New Earth. Whole chapters are devoted to such questions as, What will our bodies be like? Will we learn new things in Heaven? Will there be weather on the New Earth? What about eating and drinking? and Will we be involved in arts, entertainment, and sports? Heaven will surely be more than an unending worship service.
Heaven is a long book filled with Biblical documentation and interpretation, but its thrilling possibilities are hard to lay aside. I found myself asking, “why not?” with each new idea that was presented. Of course, many surprises await us in Heaven, but God has revealed some things to us. To quote Deuteronomy, those things “belong to us and to our children,” which is precisely why we should study and understand them now.