Many Christians have a small view of their inheritance in heaven. They seem to believe that the only thing they will receive for their reward is three square feet in front of the Father’s throne, where they shall stand 24/7 for all eternity, ever and only engaged in formal worship. This view, I am happy to report, is contradicted by the plain teaching of the Bible. Consider the following five points.
One. Everywhere we look, we see diversity: in nature, in mankind, in culture, in arts, in natural gifts, in spiritual gifts, and in God’s dealings with man. This inclines the reasoning man—who loves God with all his mind as well as all his heart—to conclude that there will be diversity in eternity too.
Two. The Bible teaches that believers shall be seated with Christ in his throne (Rev. 3:21), where we shall enjoy pleasures forevermore at the Father’s right hand (Ps. 16:11). This is not the place of servanthood. This is the place of sonship and privilege. Once you understand the sonship of the believer, the 24/7 formal worship teaching is seen for what it is—a practical denial of the sonship of the believer.
Three. The original earth and heavens were made for man, the former to live on and the latter for him to measure time by (Ge. 1:14). What purpose do the new heavens and earth hold for man if we are going to be standing in the throne room of God for all eternity, never so much as once turning around to gaze at the stars? We wouldn’t even need the new Earth. But man will be intimately involved with the new heavens and Earth. Consider the fact that we are coheirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). This implies that we shall inherit the universe, which in turn implies that our original commission to subdue the Earth will be expanded to the entire universe—a breathtaking thought. And this expansive inheritance is plainly stated in Rev. 21:7 where the these in “He who overcomes shall inherit these things” refers back to the new heaven and earth, the New Jerusalem, the no death and sorrow, the no tears and pain, the all things new, and being the sons of God.
Four. The New Jerusalem is insanely large—each of its sides measures 3000 stadia or 375 miles. And it’s height is equal to its external dimensions—reaching far outside our atmosphere. This is tens of thousands of times larger than the area that would be needed if our only job description in eternity was standing together in front of the throne—packed liked sardines—worshiping the Lord in formal worship. The reality is, this glorious city will be the most bustling city in history, a city that will never sleep—the lights will never go out.
Five. Every believer has his own impeccably designed abode in the Father’s house in heaven (John 14:2-3). And this abode or residence will be huge—bear in mind the insane size of the New Jerusalem—and filled with “better and enduring possessions” (Heb. 10:34).
The thought of eternity should excite us … should fill us with giddy anticipation … we should be waiting for the arrival of that glorious day like kids waiting for Christmas, their birthday, and July 4th all rolled into one … we are getting far more than three square feet for our inheritance.
“Eyes wide open, brain engaged, heart on fire.”
Lee W. Brainard