Why the end of Scripture is just the beginning

No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:3-5)

The science-fiction writer, Isaac Asimov, once remarked that “whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.” I don’t know any Christians who would say those words out loud. But I suspect there are many who have quietly shared in this fear, which is rooted in this half-truth about heaven:

Half-Truth #4: We will worship for all eternity

Scripture is clear that we will indeed worship forever (see Revelation 5:13 as one example). But the reason this is a half-truth is because of our limited understanding of the word “worship.”

When we think of worship, we think almost exclusively of musical worship. But Scripture defines worship much more broadly. The Apostle Paul says it’s even possible to eat and drink to “the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). And when heaven comes to earth, we will be doing a whole variety of things in worship of our Lord, including work.

We see this explicitly in today’s passage! God’s “servants” (that’s you and me, believer) “will serve him.” We will “reign” with Jesus “for ever and ever.” In a parallel vision of the New Earth, Isaiah says we “will build houses and dwell in them…plant vineyards and eat their fruit….For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands. They will not labor in vain” (Isaiah 65:21-23).

You see, heaven coming to earth isn’t the end of our story. It’s just the beginning! It’s when Jesus will send us out from his throne to rule the earth perfectly on his behalf.

This makes even more sense when you study the opposite bookend of Scripture. In Genesis 2:15, when it says that “God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it,” the Hebrew word for “work” is the same word translated to mean “worship” in the Old Testament. Of course, we know that sin made work difficult. But when heaven comes to earth, working, singing, eating, and everything we do, will be perfect worship once again.

That brings us to our last whole-truth:

Whole-Truth #4: We will worship for all eternity by singing, working, and doing all things for the glory of God

Whether you love or hate your job today, may this promise fuel your hope. Because as Peter Pan once famously said, “To die will be an awfully big adventure!”


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