Eternal Perspectives

All the misunderstandings, hasty judgments, disappointments, resentments and hurts of the past that can happen in even the best of relationships, will be forgiven and forgotten. There will only be unconditional love and ecstatic joy at seeing each other again.

Records, detailed records, are kept in heaven on every person and family. You will be able to accurately trace your ancestry back to Noah and Adam. More than this, you will have the opportunity to meet and spend time with your ancestors that made it into heaven. What a fascinating experience to hear and see firsthand how God has worked down through the generations to you!

~ Larry Dick, [A Taste of Heaven]

Eternal Perspectives

Will we have ethnic and national identities? Yes. Hundreds of nations, thousands of people groups will gather to worship Christ. And many national and cultural distinctives, untouched by sin, will continue to the glory of God. The kings and leaders of nations will be united because they share the King’s righteousness; and they, with him, will rejoice in their differences as a tribute to his creativity and multifaceted character.

~ Randy Alcorn, TouchPoints: Heaven

Eternal Perspectives

The created order, which God has begun to redeem in the resurrection of Jesus, is a world in which heaven and earth are designed not to be separated but to come together. In that coming together, the “very good” that God spoke over creation at the beginning will be enhanced, not abolished. The New Testament never imagines that when the new heavens and new earth arrive, God will say, in effect, “Well, that first creation wasn’t so good after all, was it? Aren’t you glad we’ve got rid of all that space, time and matter?” Rather, we must envisage a world in which the present creation, which we think of in those three dimensions, is enhanced, taken up into God’s larger purposes, no doubt, but certainly not abandoned.

~ N. T. Wright, Surprised by Hope

Eternal Perspectives

“To him that overcometh will I give . . . a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it” (Revelation 2:17). What can be more a man’s own than this new name which even in eternity remains a secret between God and him? And what shall we take this secrecy to mean? Surely, that each of the redeemed shall forever know and praise some one aspect of the divine beauty better than any other creature can. Why else were individuals created, but that God, loving all infinitely, should love each differently?

If all experienced God in the same way and returned Him an identical worship, the song of the Church triumphant would have no symphony, it would be like an orchestra in which all the instruments played the same note. . . . Heaven is a city, and a Body, because the blessed remain eternally different: a society, because each has something to tell all the others—fresh and ever fresh news of the “My God” whom each finds in Him whom all praise as “Our God.”

~ C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Eternal Perspectives

Tribes, peoples, and nations will all make their own particular contribution to the enrichment of life in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 5:9; 7:9; 21:24-26). Daniel prophesied that the Messiah would be “given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him” (Daniel 7:14, ESV). Just as the church’s diversity of gifts serves the good of others (1 Corinthians 12:7-11), so our diversity will serve everyone’s good in the new universe.

Consider what it will be like to see the Masai of Kenya, the Dinka of Sudan, the Hmong, Athabaskans, Tibetans, Aucans, Icelanders, Macedonians, Moldovans, Moroccans, and Peruvians. Hundreds of nations, thousands of people groups will gather to worship Christ. And many national and cultural distinctives, untouched by sin, will continue to the glory of God.

~ Randy Alcorn, [Heaven]

Eternal Perspectives

We live in a culture that worships equality, but we err when we reduce equality to sameness. It’s illogical to assume everyone in Heaven will be able to compose a concerto with equal skill or be able to throw a ball as far as everyone else. In a perfect world, Adam was bigger and stronger than Eve, and Eve had beauty, sensitivities, and abilities Adam didn’t. In other words, diversity—not conformity—characterizes a perfect world.

~ Randy Alcorn, Heaven