We never think about this, probably.
Holy Pleasures that Will Not Be in Heaven.
When we think of HEAVEN we see the Lamb on the Throne, we imagine throwing our arms around Jesus and breathing a sigh of relief. We gulp, thinking about the White Throne Judgment, but know Jesus will be our advocate, standing between us and God. We anticipate him wiping the tears from our eyes, and our getting our harps and robes.
We imagine what life will be in this new civilization. We see streets of gold, a glassy sea, a city with jeweled walls and pearled gates. We know there will be a Tree of Life stretching over the river of life. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Pure bliss. Peace. Joy. Love. No desire to hurt others, on accident or purpose. No hurt we will receive from others. Just getting along with them, being always kind, always loving, always thoughtful. Being the ME I always wish I could be but never can attain to.
We sometimes look so eagerly to heaven that we forget that earth has pleasures Heaven never will.
We never think about what treasures we will have lost.
Some things that are precious and holy on earth will be absent and seen no more in Heaven.
I’d like to remind you of these things so you treasure them & enjoy them in this short life as you wait for GLORY.
There will be no more… Making-up After a Fight.
- When your child or friend or spouse hurts you, speaks disrespectfully, and your heart is broken. Or you get out of control and hurt one you love, and build up the courage to apologize, the coming-together in forgiveness and restoration–that will not be a part of Heaven.
- What this means for you today is this: make the most of it. Reconcile with others. Buckle your belt and swallow your pride and make it right. That kind of sensation of forgiving and forgiveness…that kind of making-up and making things right…THAT IS NOT GOING TO BE IN HEAVEN. Do it today and get the special blessing today. For this is your only opportunity to enjoy that kind of restoration with another sinner.
There will be no… After-Church Time
- You and your family go to church and fellowship with other believers. But you also sit with friends over coffee before or after the service and talk about life and difficulties. They tell you about their struggles, and you listen and put your arm around their back and tell them the Lord is sufficient to meet their needs. They close their eyes and tell you about their week. They moan and are burdened.
- You listen some more and then say comforting words, Scriptural truths, words from the Bible. And then you pray for them. This kind of balm is not in Heaven. Or maybe their story is one of joy, of answered prayer. And you share your joys and burdens and prayers with them.
- This fellowship is a taste of Heaven, but we will not commiserate with other believers and help them in their time of need. Its time is now. Enjoy the pleasure of comforting and encouraging one another while it is called TODAY.
There will be no… Socks on the Floor
- You know it’s the little things that wear and wear and wear against us. The socks on the floor, the box of toys dumped on the bed, the clean laundry in the dirty laundry basket again. These little annoyances that make up life will be no more in Heaven.
- The whiney kids, the hungry husband, the complaining wife. While we don’t like these things, at the same time, these are moments where we can meet the needs of another person. We can pick up the socks and toys. We can be patient where patience is due. We can do these things now, because we won’t be able to please God this way in Heaven. When we are enjoying our sweet reward, we will never need to restrain our temper and push forward into the frustration “yet again” tasks. This is your only chance for that. Do it well.
There will be no… Relief
- Little things relieve us. Food. Water. A hug. The toilet. A shower. While Heaven is ONLY relief from the suffering of this world, a place where our tears are wiped away–as a sign of full relief–the fact of the matter is that after that entrance into Heaven there is no more relief necessary. We will have arrived at the point of peace after the storm.
- So the little reliefs of this world–the drink of cool water after mowing the lawn, the mouthful of hamburger after a morning at the office, the sitting down on the couch with a sigh–these are things to be cherished. Because the pain will be done away with, the relief will be no longer necessary. When you drink that cool, refreshing water, consider Heaven. When you take a shower, enjoy the relief. These are passing pleasures.
There will be no more… Family
- In Heaven, we are family with everyone. It is only about family–the same father God, the same brother Christ, the same Spirit joining us in love and peace. But our husband or wife, our sons or daughters, our mothers or fathers, our brothers and sisters and cousins, these will no longer be joined to us in that relationship. It will be better, of course. But the family unit changes in orientation. You are no longer what you were here to them. They will have finally learned how to trust in Christ to be the giver they have longed for, they will not need you as a mediator.
- Which means, as it falls on you to be the strong one, to be the provider, to be the comforter, to be the rule-keeper, this world is where you get to raise and train those kids, comfort that spouse, honor those parents. In Heaven, those dynamics will be gone.
- In Heaven, your son will not throw his arms around you and whisper, “I love you Mommy!” You will no longer kiss and hold your wife. This world is where you get to show and enjoy these familial affections. (Matthew 22:29-30)
- Family in this broken world is a poor reflection of the True Family of God in Heaven. This world’s family is a foretaste. We said, “till death do us part.” The bond then will be to Christ and to each other as members of the Church. It will be better, it will be pure, it will be right. But it will not be like you have it here. So embrace one another and delight in that holy passing pleasure.
There will be no more… Prayer & The Lord’s Prayer will be Outdated
- No doubt about it, this world is hard. But thanks be to God who has given us the joys of prayer. “For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 5:4-5).
- The longing we have, the need for relief, the cries for help–these will be no more. We will talk with God, but it is not prayer like we have on earth.
- The Lord’s Prayer will be invalid: His name will be hallowed, his kingdom come, his will be fully done always and without hindrance. Heaven and earth will come together under one head, Christ.
- Our daily bread will no longer be under question as we feast with God: “On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined” (Isaiah 25:6).
- Our debts will be forgiven and no crimes will ever be committed against us so we will not forgive debts. We will not be tempted, all evil will be vanquished. The only thing of the Lord’s prayer left will be:
“Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever” (Matthew 6:13).
There will be no more… Faith
- “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1. In Heaven, our faith will be sight. We will no longer have to hope for the promised land, no longer have to struggle with believing God for the best, no longer have to cling to his promises against all nay-sayers.
- In Heaven all those things that have been promised will be realized. There certainly will be hope in Heaven. More promises and more surprises to take us through eternity. But no more faith, only knowledge.
- “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away… For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:9,11)
There will be no more… Unbelievers
- While we may feel a moment of relief considering this–no more hassles from co-workers over the existence of God, no more lawsuits over wedding cakes, no more struggles in front of abortion clinics–at the same time, in Heaven, there will be no more opportunity to share your faith with someone who has never heard of Christ. No one will turn from sin and repent because of God using what you say or do.
- If you know the joy of telling someone about Jesus, giving them a Bible, hearing the rapture of their first experience with God–this kind of joy of the harvest will be gone in Heaven. We will have no one more to tell about Jesus.
- “And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 31:34/Hebrews 8:11). So enjoy this great privilege. It too is passing away.
All this means–there will be no more need for Compassion.
- When sorrow and mourning “flee away” we will also lose the opportunity for showing compassion to those who sorrow or mourn. This world is the only chance you have for that. Use it well. Enjoy the gift of compassion. Develop it. Ease their pain.
- I don’t know how we will feel toward those in hell. Will we see them? Perhaps (Isaiah 66:24). But will we grieve for them? No. Our sorrow will have turned to joy, and no one can take that away. Jesus said, “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22).
- All this to say, “the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their head. They shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away” (Isaiah 51:11). The LORD promised, “I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow” (Jeremiah 31:13).
- When the perfect has come, we will have no need anymore for the temporary, shadow-joys of this world.
OTHER LOST PLEASURES
There may be no… Bacon, Eggs or Milk
- God, who is the creator of variety, of taste, of a sustaining environment, made pigs out of bacon, and created chickens to produce eggs and cows to produce milk.
- But Death will be no more, and the wolf lies down with the lamb (Isaiah 11:6), so for us, too, pork bacon will be done away with. And eggs and milk are a result of animal reproduction, so they may be no more. The former order is passed away, and animal use for food may be part of that old order. Food, too, is up in the air. We just don’t know the dynamics of heaven. We only know that it’s called a feast, but we will not die. So we will not need food for sustenance.
- But don’t worry. God is the inventor of color and taste. He has something greater in store. These may be a shadow of those bigger joys. Imagine that! A greater flavor than bacon! Meanwhile, enjoy the flavors of earth. These too will pass away.
There will be no more… Sun or Ocean
- We love to see sunrises and sunsets, especially over the sea. We love to hear the pound of the surf and the sliding of the sand against itself. In the New Heavens and the New Earth these will be changed. “The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light” (Isaiah 60:19) “and there was no longer any sea” (Rev 21:1).
- The heat of the sun that hinders the worker, the chaos of the sea that sinks ships. These will be taken care of. There will be steady pleasure and order in Heaven. But as man we have tamed many aspects of the sea. We do not hesitate to have a family picnic on the beach. We ride the waves on boogie board or surfboard. We sail with the wind on our face. We sit with our kids on the seashore and make sandcastles. That will not be in Heaven. These too are a shadow of the joys of Heaven.
- Certainly “joy unspeakable” will be better than making sandcastles or sailing. But these specific pleasures will be no more. Make the most of them to develop family memories and to glorify God by enjoyment of them.
There will be no more… Night.
- Looking up at the stars. Counting them. Finding constellations. Looking through telescopes. Bonfires at night on the beach. This world is where we get to do that. It is a kindness from God. The predictable nature of the stars, which comforted and guided journeyers of long ago, is here today for us to explore. “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1).
- The lessons of the stars, the glory and righteousness of God (Psalm 50:6), these will come to an end. We will no longer need them when the old order of things passes away (Revelation 21:4). So get all you can from the night and the stars while you walk this earth.
All this means–there will be no need for General Revelation.
- This world, though broken, has things Heaven will NEVER have.
- Use these opportunities in your ONE LIFE to glean the special holy pleasures this damaged world alone offers you.
- Comfort the grieving, seek comfort from others, hold your crying child, pray for your grieving friend, go out to look at the stars and think of the God you will see face-to-face.
These are passing holy joys, passing holy pleasures.
By doing these things now you are bringing honor and glory to God who wills you to comfort others and glorify him.
This world and your one life is your only chance to participate in these unique holy deeds. They will pass away.
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.”