Haven’t you wondered what heaven will be like? I’ve never been there, but I’m pretty sure I know. So, read on, and then you will know too.
First of all, as N. T. Wright has so eloquently pointed about, there’s life after death, and then there’s life after life after death. In other words, what we think of as “heaven” is really two different things. First, there is the “paradise” of the afterlife. When the so-called Good Thief asked Jesus to remember him, Jesus told him, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:39-43). Whatever this is, it is what your loved ones who have passed on are experiencing right now. But the whole Church, those alive and those who have died, still wait for the resurrection. At the resurrection, there is the “New Heaven and New Earth” of the Book of Revelation – the “New Jerusalem” of eternal life in the presence of God. This is the real deal – no more waiting – the life of the resurrection. I’ll refer you to my book, Wedding of the Lamb, for more on interpreting the Book of Revelation.
Having said all that, it still begs the question, What happens when you die? My wife and I just finished watching the series LOST. I know, we’re behind the curve, but some dear friends finally convinced us to start it, and once we did, we were hooked. We’re kind of sad it’s over. It’s not my intention to turn this blog into an interpretation of LOST. Everyone has their theory, and I don’t even want to hear yours because we haven’t finished discussing it with all of our friends yet. But no matter what you think LOST was about, or what the ending meant, am I convinced they got one thing absolutely right: heaven is all about REUNION.
That’s right, in addition to being united with God, we will be reunited with our loved ones and friends who have gone before us. I’m certain of it.
Beyond that, I can only say what I believe. I believe that heaven will be like living in a musical, where everyone knows the songs and the dance steps. But not like A Chorus Line. More like a cross between the lunch room scene in the original FAME, and the opening scene of the movie HAIR.
That’s what heaven is like.
P.S. No Blog next week – have a blessed Thanksgiving – and appreciate your loved ones while you have them!