What Will We Do in Heaven? – Not What You Think

What will we do in Heaven?

Every Christian who takes their faith seriously will one day ask themselves the following question

They tend to produce strange and selfish answers which look like this:

“We will do…what I imagine would be great.”

They’re just making things up that sound good. you shouldn’t listen to them. Most people don’t know what they want, and their vision of Heaven is marred by their lack of understanding.

Fortunately, those of you who are reading this chose to get a reliable answer from someone else. Here it is:

Christians will not do anything in Heaven. Heaven exists outside of time. So sequences of events do not occur there. Nothing begins in Heaven and nothing within ends either. People who go to Heaven will not do anything there. They will simply be, and they will be with God eternally.

Now, the fact that nothing happens in Heaven is a strange notion to many people. We live in an age in which right action is valued more than right being, and this emphasis on deeds over virtues creates ignorance of the nature of Heacen and God.

Here’s an explanation of how to think about Heaven.

What Is Heaven?

Heaven is perfect union with God. It is to be as close to God as possible. Those who are in Heaven are with God for eternity.

People who are not with God are not in Heaven. And people who are too far away from Him are in Hell.

What Is Eternity?

God exists in eternity. This does not mean that he always existed. God’s existence cannot be plotted on a timeline which has a beginning and an end.

God exists outside of time. He must have existed outside of time in order to create time.

Nor could God exist in a place. If He created everything, the He created all places and must exist in a placeless state in order to do so.

Moreover, God, lacking nothing, does not need to create a place for His own residence.

Heaven Can’t Be a Place

God exists in eternity. He exists as a Trinity. Nothing exists alongside of Him in eternity. This includes Heaven.

If Heaven were a place, then it would need to be the place where God exists. Otherwise, it would be a godless Heaven.

Therefore, if Heaven were a place, then it either exists alongside God in eternity, or God created it as a location within which to reside.

Heaven could not exist alongside God in eternity. Nothing in eternity has a beginning or an end. Therefore, nothing in eternity could have been created. Therefore, God could not have created Heaven in eternity.

If God did not create Heaven in eternity, then Heaven could not exist in eternity. No other force could create Heaven, and to say otherwise is to violate the First Commandment. So Heaven is not an eternal location.

Heaven does not exist outside of eternity either. If it did, then it would age. So God, existing in Heaven, would be subject to time.

No Christian can accept that God is subject to time. To do so is also a violation of the First Commandment.

So Heaven does not exist outside of eternity either.

And if Heaven is neither inside nor otuside of eternity, then it cannot be a place or a thing. It can only be a state of being.

Theosis and Salvation

The Orthodox view of man’s purpose is to achieve theosis. Theosis is a state of being in which one is in union with God. One achieves theosis by embodying the virtues espoused by Christ as well as possible.

This is the meaning of the common Orthodox statement:

God became man so that man could become God.

Now, some people espouse Christ’s virtues more effectively than others.
We are not all equally close to Christ.

So, some people have an easier time achieving theosis than others. The strength of one’s union with God is dependent upon their ability to follow Christ’s example of virtue. This difference produces unions of different levels.

Some people are closer to God than others.

So, in the final account, all people will have a certain relationship with God.

The ones with horrible relationships will be in Hell.
The ones with decent relationships will be in a mild form of Heaven.
And the saints will be in the higher tiers.

What Are Heaven and Hell?

Heaven and Hell are not places. They are words which we use to describe the ultimate state of our union with God.

People who destroy their union will be in the worst level of Hell, people who ignore it will be in a mild state of Hell, and those who nurture it will be in Heaven.

Why Do People Think Heaven and Hell Are Places?

Most people are not theologians. They’re not philosophers either. Their religious knowledge is too poor, and the mostly just go along with what other people are saying. Most Catholics and Protestants speak about Heaven and Hell as though they were places, and people repeat what they hear.

The reason why people began talkign about the two as though they were places has its root in Western Christian art and linguistics.

Medieval painters would often paint the Chrsitian afterlives. In order to do so, they tried to represent them as places. It is, after all, far easier to depict a lcoation than it is to depict a state of being. People would then look at these works and mistake the artist’s representation as an accurate display of what the afterlife was like.

Moreover, people often talk about Heaven and hell as though they were places because it eases conversations about the two. It is easier to call them ‘places,’ than it is to call them ‘descriptions about the state of one’s union with God’.

So people make a concession to the first term, and they accidentally pervert Christian theology when they do so.

Moreover, Dante Alighieri wrote The Divine Comedy trilogy, and these books had a massive impact on Italian culture. Therefore, they had a massive impact on Catholic theology. So Dante’s view of Heaven and Hell began to shape theologians’ understanding of the two.

This did not happen to the Orthodox. The cultures of the Orthodox Christians were unaffected by Dante, and Orthodox artwork tends toward iconography. Orthodox artists create lots of icons of religious figures, but they do not portray locations much. So Orthodox representations of Heaven and Hell are few and far between.

Common Questions

  • Will we be bored in Heaven?

    No. Heaven is a state of being that exists outside of time. Boredom is an attitude that develops over time, so you will be unable to become bored when time disappears.
  • Will we know everything?

    No. However, we will know a lot more than we do now. Human reason is a thing which combines pieces of information to produce new information, and this process happens over some span of time.

    There, time is not a factor. Therefore, our reason will be instantaneous. We will know everything that can be reasoned from the knowledge that we have, and it will happen instantly. Our knowledge on certain topics will become complete.
  • Will our relatives be there?

    All people will have some level of connection with God. These levels will differ for everyone. All our relatives will be there, but some may be in different tiers.
  • If my relatives are in Hell, then will I be sad in Heaven?

    Again, the timelessness of the afterlife will prevent you from feeling sad in response to this knowledge. You will not be able to respond to things there. This is because the loss of time includes the loss of sequences of events. You will not learn a thing and then feel sad after learning it. There will be no ‘after’.
  • Will we become angels?

    No. Your soul is human, and it will remain human. Angels are a different class of being with a different essence. Humans in eternity will, however, become more angelic because of their independence from time and all that this freedom entails.

Gene Botkin

Gene is the director of the Theosis Christian Project. He studied physics and military science before founding the Project. Gene is currently pursuing his doctorate in systems engineering at an engineering college in the Ozarks. The Theosis Christian Project is his attempt to expand Holy Orthodoxy in America.

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