Is Heaven Boring? How God’s Purpose for Man is Relevant Today

cherubs bored in heaven?There’s a fundamental problem many thoughtful Christians have with the doctrine of heaven: it’s boring.

This problem – and its Scriptural resolution – surfaced recently here in Austin when Benjamin Chen, a well-established minister originally from China, visited from New York City.  It happened as he shared an anecdote from his childhood in Asia. Even as a youth, he said, he came to realize he had this problem with the Christian faith: the idea of heaven didn’t appeal to him. The New Jerusalem with its golden street and pearly gates as a physical heaven sounded nice but completely unsatisfactory.

He asked us to imagine entering the heavenly New Jerusalem for the first time. We’re told the gates are each made of one pearl (Rev. 21:21). Wouldn’t you want to take a good look at those gates? Wouldn’t it be amazing to actually walk on a street of pure gold? It sounds incredible, right?

…But how about after a year or a few hundred years? Could the New Jerusalem with its  golden street and the pearl gates still be interesting to even the simplest among us? Wouldn’t you eventually, ahem, get bored in that golden wonderland?

Bored or Burn? 

Such was Benjamin’s conundrum. Heaven seemed too boring for him. When he asked an older Christian whether it was true that heaven would be boring, his answer was disappointing at best. Yes, it’s true that heaven might be boring, he said, but if he didn’t believe in Christ, he would burn in hell, which would be much worse. This answer couldn’t satisfy Benjamin. He kept seeking the meaning of the Christian life.

God’s Purpose for Man Today

According to Benjamin it wasn’t much later that he heard an exegesis of Genesis 1:26 that began to resolve his problem. That message by Witness Lee in Taiwan showed that God made man in His image to express and represent Him on earth (not in heaven). There’s no good reason to say God created man merely to fall, to be redeemed by Jesus Christ and to thereby obtain a free ticket to heaven. Rather, His purpose in creating man is to regain the entire earth through man. He wants man to rule over His enemy, Satan, as signified by the end of verse 26, which declares that man should have dominion over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
Today God wants Christ in us that He may be expressed and represented in us as His testimony. God is satisfied when Christ lives in us, and conversely we’re only satisfied as God’s purpose is being fulfilled. Like Benjamin, who isn’t waiting to go to heaven, we can turn our eyes to Christ today, knowing God is focused on His testimony on earth today. If you want more on this, see chapter one of The Glorious Church by Watchman Nee. I also plan to follow up with a second post on God’s purpose.
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