Eternal Perspectives

That is the city promised to the captives whom Christ shall make free; that is the kingdom assured to them whom Christ shall crown; there is the light that shall never go out; there is the health that shall never be impaired; there is the glory that shall never be defaced; there is the life that shall taste no death; and there is the portion that passes all the world’s preferment. There is the world that shall never wax worse; there is every want supplied freely without money; there is no danger, but happiness, and honour, and singing, and praise and thanksgiving unto the heavenly Jehovah, “to him that sits on the throne,” “to the lamb” that here was led to the slaughter that now “reigns”; with whom I “shall reign” after I have run this comfortless race through this miserable earthly vale.

~John Bradford, [“A Sweet Contemplation of Heavenly Things”]

Eternal Perspectives

Thinking of Heaven will motivate us to live each day in profound thankfulness to God: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28).

In Perelandra, C. S. Lewis’s protagonist says of his friend Ransom, who has recently returned from another planet, “A man who has been in another world does not come back unchanged.” A man who gives sustained thought to another world—the Heaven where Christ is and the resurrected Earth where we will live forever with him—also does not remain unchanged. He becomes a new person. He’ll no longer fill his stomach with stale leftovers and scraps fallen to a dirty kitchen floor. He smells the banquet being prepared for him. He won’t spoil his appetite. He knows what his mouth is watering for.

~ Randy Alcorn, [Heaven]

Eternal Perspectives

You and I have never eaten food in a world untouched by the Fall and the Curse. The palate and taste buds were injured in the Fall, as were all food sources. The best-tasting food we’ve ever eaten wasn’t nearly as good as it must have tasted in Eden or as it will on the New Earth.

The person who’s eaten the widest variety of meals on Earth still hasn’t tasted countless others. How many special dishes will you discover on the New Earth? As yet, you may not have tasted your favorite meal—and if you have, it didn’t taste as good as it will there. The best meals you’ll ever eat are all still ahead of you on the New Earth.

If it seems trivial or unspiritual to anticipate such things, remember that it’s God who promises that on the New Earth we will sit at tables, at banquets and feasts, and enjoy the finest foods and drinks. And to top it off, our Father promises that he himself will prepare for us the finest foods (Isaiah 25:6). Don’t you think he wants us to look forward to eating at his table?

~ Randy Alcorn, [Heaven]

Eternal Perspectives

If we take literally the earthly depictions of life on the New Earth, we can make a direct connection between our current lives and our future in Heaven. When I’m eating with people here, enjoying food and friendship, it’s a bridge to when I’ll be eating there, enjoying food and friendship at the banquet table God has prepared for us (Revelation 19:9). This isn’t making a blind leap into a shadowy afterlife; it’s just taking a few natural steps in the light Scripture has given us.

~ Randy Alcorn, [We Shall See God]

Eternal Perspectives

Only two people lived before the Fall. This means only two people have ever eaten food at its best, with their capacity to taste at its best.

The great wine Christ made and served at the wedding of Cana was a foretaste of that best of wines he will provide for us on the New Earth. Even in this cursed world, Scripture is filled with more feasts than fasts. Who created our taste buds? Who determined what we like and what we don’t? God did. The food we eat is from God’s hand. Our resurrected bodies will have resurrected taste buds. We can trust that the food we eat on the New Earth, some of it familiar and some of it brand-new, will taste better than anything we’ve ever eaten here.

Food isn’t just functional. We could get nourishment, after all, by mixing everything together in a blender, with no regard to color or texture or taste. Food is also for our enjoyment—not only its consumption but also its preparation and presentation. Shouldn’t we expect boundless creativity in these as well? (If you’ve seen the marvelous movie Babette’s Feast, you know what I mean.)
~ Randy Alcorn, [Heaven]

Eternal Perspectives

When Jesus talked about the future, he pictured it most often as a party! Jesus was criticized regularly during his earthly ministry for having too much fun. The uptight religious people called Jesus a drunkard and a friend of low-class sinners. Even the followers of John the Baptizer were scandalized that Jesus didn’t require his disciples to put on sad faces and skip meals. Jesus enjoyed banquets and parties on earth because they reminded him so much of heaven—and because they provided wonderful opportunities to teach people how the social rules will change when Jesus is in charge.

~ Douglas Connelly, [The Promise of Heaven]