Won’t heaven be a drag?
Think about it. Our greatest amusements are found in the struggle for supremacy and survival. Reading a novel, watching a movie, playing sports, riding a roller coaster. In each we find the greater the struggle the greater the thrill. Without conflict would a movie or sporting event be as great? Isn’t the excitment of a roller coaster the exhilaration of overcoming your fear?
No wonder the world delights in the thought of hell more than heaven. The nonchristian pictures heaven as sitting on a cloud strumming a harp. I remember one episode of the Simpsons where Homer pictures himself lying on a cloud that looks much like a hospital bed. He raises and lowers the cloud repeatedly. “Cloud goes up, cloud goes down” he says.
Contrast that with the worlds understanding of hell. For them of course hell isn’t the place of torment the bible describes. It’s the party place. It’s a place of all the exhilarating vices we find here on earth.
I’m sad to say the church hasn’t done much to conteract this perception. If you ask the average Christian what will heaven be like they’ll probably say worshipping God before his throne continuously throughout all eternity. Certainly there’s excitement in this. But for all eternity? I don’t know about you but even I occasionally get board singing in church.
So what’s the thrill of heaven? How should we respond to a world that scorns the notion of a perfect world?
We need to recognize that the thrill of heaven is the same thrill we experience when we watch a great movie, read a good book, watch an incredible game, or ride the scariest of rides. No I’m not saying there will be pain, suffering or conflict in Heaven. I’m saying pain, suffering and conflict aren’t the actual source of our amusement.
The greatest stories are nothing more than a riddle in narrative form. What’s going to happen next? Will the guy get the girl? How will he or she survive? Will the team make another touchdown? The questions compel us to turn a page or sit through another commercial.
Discovery, not conflict, is the basis of our enjoyment.
And what does God have to offer us more than discovery? Heaven is the grand unveiling of all the mysteries and questions of life. It’s the throne of He who is the creator of mystery and riddle.
Hell by contrast, is a place of the unanswered question. It’s the place where questions never find a resolution.
Have you ever had a question you thought you knew but the answer simply alluded you? There’s nothing more frustrating than that situation. Hell is that but on a more tormented scale. It nags and frustrates and never comes to an end.