Will a Pain-Free Heaven Be Boring?

From an email I sent today answering a question that followed-up on a recent sermon.

I think you understood what I was saying exactly right. And, wow, that’s a good question. If troubles are valuable here for our growth, will we not have them in heaven?

I think it’s hard to figure out exactly what is going to happen in the world to come. On the one hand, the lion will lie down with the lamb, and God will wipe away every tear, and there is no more sorrow or pain or death. On the other, it seems to me that there will still be meaningful work to do (although what kind of work I really can’t imagine). Since the saints will reign with Christ, doesn’t that mean that they will be overseeing some kind of divine project? For a long time I’ve thought that the verses that say those who are faithful with few things will be trusted with many things imply some kind of continuation on the new earth–if we are faithful here, God will give us even more (and more meaningful) work to do there. Since human fulfillment seems to depend a lot on creatively overcoming obstacles to accomplish purposeful work, I have a hard time thinking that God would wire us that way and then the resurrected life would wind up being one enormous, overly long summer vacation. There’s more there, although the Bible only hints at it.

I guess my working theory is that in our incorruptable states, pain and loss won’t work any more as a means to growth. Peace can permeate everything. But somehow I don’t think that means we give up on excitement–it’ll just turn into the kind of excitement when things get gradually better and better, in surprising ways, and each new step forward is an unexpected delight. But I can’t provide book, chapter and verse for that! It just seems to be to be the overall trajectory of the scriptures.

Thinking out loud here,



Filed under Bible, Reflections

4 responses to “Will a Pain-Free Heaven Be Boring?

  1. veronicasmith

    That was really interesting.I too have wondered if we will be satisfied with happily ever after.Nevertheless considering burning in hell throughout eternity,I think I could be happy being bored!

  2. ericpompey

    Kirk, Thank you for “thinking out loud.” I’m in agreement with you. I believe we as followers of Christ (individually)may have different views of Heaven. I believe once we enter into this Eternity, we will be working. Our limited minds cannot fathom the type of work that God has for us but know this: it will be lovely beyond anything that we can ever imagine! God knows the plans He has for us (Jer. 29:11).

  3. K,
    This is a bit fuzzy in my mouth, but didn’t you once preach from Rev about the Word that is sweet in the mouth but sour in the stomach? I seem to recall walking away with the idea that perhaps we will become more like Christ like we can imagine, and end up being sacrificed (as it were) in the redemption of creation. My apologies if I’ve gotten in discombobulated, but I was thinking it ties into this thred.

  4. Karen Cowell Starkey

    I do agree that there will be some kind of work for us to do in Heaven. Having had a disability since birth, I am looking forward to having a whole new spiritual body. I once said that my first time walking unaided will be to the Lord on streets of gold! What could be better than that? In additon to worshipping the Lord and whatever spiritual works/tasks there may be, we will also have the opportunity to reunite with loved ones who has passed away. We will be able to enjoy whatever heavenly life has in store without the restraints of any negativity. Heaven will be anything but boring!! :)

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