Weblog of a Christian philosophy student

Weblog of a Christian philosophy student. Please feel free to comment. All of my posts are public domain. Subscribe to posts [Atom]. Email me at countaltair [at] yahoo.com.au. I also run a Chinese to English translation business at www.willfanyi.com.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Saturday, September 11, 2010

One of the disadvantages of sin is that we can't properly imagine heaven

There are some aspects to eternal life that people often find hard to understand. In this life we get bored and it can be hard to imagine how an eternity doing anything - even living with God - will not get boring if life in heaven is like life now.

Something that should comfort people on this issue is that, in the Christian view, one of the disadvantages of doing the wrong thing is not just spiritual death (being disconnected from God, Rom 6:23) but also that we don't experience the sort of joy and contentedness that God originally intended for humanity and this affects our ability to properly imagine eternal life with God.

Even when we are not suffering in any way it's obvious that there is something 'less than ultimate' about human happiness. And you'd have to imagine that God, it would seem likely, actually enjoys living forever (and in some sense has already lived forever). So we're probably missing something.

Surely whatever we're missing, that isn't as nice as what is the case for God, must be connected to our currently being either apart from or actually separated from God.

So we've always known a quality of happiness less than what God experiences, and this is why we can't imagine properly what life will be like once we experience "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" in the Kingdom of God (Rom 14:17). It will involve experiencing the peace and joy that God has (Matt 25:21). And our inability to experience this happiness now is why people think that eternal life with God will get boring and have problems.

Some good verses on this are:

1 Cor 2:9: "However, as it is written: 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him'"

Psalm 16:11: "You will make clear to me the way of life; where you are joy is complete; in your right hand there are pleasures for ever and ever."

Psalm 36:7-8: "How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights. For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see."

Rom 8:18: "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."

Just like sin can eventually cause someone to become separated from God, so in this life it causes problems even where there is no suffering.

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Blogger E. R. Lee said...

Great post. Very insightful.


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