Heaven (Part 19) - Will We Continue to Learn in Heaven?Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, March 19, 2023.
Heaven (Part 19) - To What Extent Do Those in Heaven Enjoy it Currently? 26. To what extent do those in heaven enjoy it currently? The thief would be in paradise on the day of his death (Luk 23:43). But the martyrs are crying out wanting to know how long God will wait to avenge their blood, so it appears that they are not completely happy (Rev 6:9-10). (Judy) A. The present heaven is an intermediate state between our lives on earth and our lives on the new earth after the resurrection. B. There is happiness there and no pain or sorrow (Rev 7:16-17). C. But all our desires will not be satiated there. D. Some desires will have to wait until the new earth to be fulfilled. i. Those in the present heaven still desire the new earth. a. Abraham had been in heaven for thousands of years when Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. b. He was still desiring (present tense) a better, heavenly country and the city God has prepared for them (Heb 11:16). c. This better, heavenly country and city will be possessed and enjoyed in the new earth after the resurrection. ii. Those in the present heaven still desire justice for their persecutors and murderers (Rev 6:9-10). E. We will not have our resurrected, glorified bodies in the present heaven but must wait until the resurrection at the last day for them (Joh 6:39; Joh 11:24; 1Co 15:52), so the pleasures associated with them will not be experienced there. i. This is why the Bible repeatedly says that the resurrection of our bodies is our hope (Rom 8:18-19, 23-24; Act 23:6; Act 24:15; Act 26:6-8; 1Pe 1:13). ii. Hope n. - 1. a. Expectation of something desired; desire combined with expectation. iii. We wait for it both now and in the present heaven (Job 14:12-15). iv. We will not be fully satisfied until the resurrection when our bodies awake with Christ's likeness (Psa 17:15; 1Jo 3:2-3). v. The extent we will enjoy the present heaven prior to having our resurrected bodies compared to the extent we will enjoy the new earth in our resurrected bodies may be understood by the following analogy. a. Imagine being physically separated from your spouse, children, family, or close friends for a time. b. At first while they are traveling you can't see or talk to them at all. (i) You still have a fondness for them, but you cannot see or speak to them. (ii) This would be the equivalent of when loved ones die and go on to heaven. c. After a while when they get to their destination you are able to talk with them on the phone or even see their image on a screen during a video call. (i) Hearing their voice and seeing their image on a screen is certainly better than not seeing them at all, but it is not to be compared to seeing them face to face in person. (ii) This would be the equivalent of the present heaven. d. When they finally return home or come for a visit you get to see them in the flesh, give them a hug, and interact physically with them. (i) Being with them physically far exceeds speaking with them on the phone or over a video call. (ii) This would be the equivalent of the new earth after the resurrection. e. The imaging the difference between a phone or video call and seeing a loved one face to face should give is a little window into the difference between our enjoyment of the present heaven when we are in spirit and the new earth when we are in our resurrected bodies. 27. Will we continue to learn in heaven? We won't know everything about Jesus upon our arrival there, will we? (Judy) A. Yes, we will continue to learn in the next life. B. Learning about God and our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the main purposes that God has designed us for (Mat 11:29). i. In this life we should continue to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2Pe 3:18). ii. We should continue to grow in the knowledge of Christ, ever moving toward the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:12-13). iii. Jesus said that His words will never pass away even after heaven and earth pass away (Mat 24:35), so we should expect to read and study the Bible in heaven and continue to learn more about God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. iv. "The first humans lived in process, as God ordained them to. Adam knew more a week after he was created than he did on his first day. Nothing is wrong with process and the limitations it implies. Jesus "grew in wisdom and stature" (Luke 2:52). Jesus "learned obedience" (Hebrews 5:8). Growing and learning cannot be bad; the sinless Son of God experienced them. They are simply part of being human." (Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p. 320) C. The only reason learning would cease in heaven is if we knew everything there was to know about God. D. This is impossible since God is in infinite and unsearchable (Psa 147:5; Psa 145:3; Rom 11:33-34; Eph 3:8; Job 9:10; Job 11:7-9; Isa 40:28; 1Co 2:16). i. We are finite creatures and will never be omniscient like God (Psa 139:1-6; Ecc 8:17). ii. We will therefore never stop learning about God, even after we get to heaven. iii. God will spend all eternity showing us the exceeding riches of His grace toward us (Eph 2:7). E. People in heaven do not know everything. i. The martyrs under the altar asked the Lord how long it would be until He avenged their blood (Rev 6:10). ii. This means that they didn't know how long it would be. iii. Therefore, they didn't know everything. F. We will not even know everything that it is possible for us to know when we get to heaven. i. It is reasonable to conclude that we will arrive in heaven with the same knowledge we will have when we die. ii. The reason for this is because there is continuity between our lives on earth and our lives in heaven. iii. This is apparent for the following reasons. a. We will be rewarded for how we used the talents God gave us in this life (Mat 25:21; Luk 19:17). b. We will be judged for the evil we did in this life (2Co 5:10). c. The saints in heaven remember their lives on earth (or at least some parts of it) (Rev 6:10). d. Paul comforted the Thessalonian saints by telling them that they will see their loved ones in Christ again (1Th 4:13-14), which means that they will remember them and their relationship they had on earth with them. iv. A person's identity is inextricably tied to his knowledge and memory. a. If we automatically knew everything that it was possible for us to know the moment we entered heaven, we would not retain our identities. b. We would not truly be the same people we were on earth. G. Therefore we will pick up learning where we left off on earth. i. If you have learned a lot about Jesus and the word of God in your life here and are therefore a mature Christian now, you will be a mature Christian when you get to heaven. ii. If you haven't learned much about Jesus and the word of God in your life here and are therefore an immature Christian now, you will be an immature Christian when you get to heaven. H. Those who were diligent in studying the scriptures and learning God's truth in this life will arrive in heaven with a greater knowledge than those who didn't spend their time learning the things of God and didn't apply those things in their lives on this earth. i. If a man was given "one pound" worth of understanding and he applied himself diligently and acquired "ten pounds" worth of knowledge in his life, he will be blessed with a great level of responsibility in heaven (Luk 19:16-17). ii. If a man was given "one pound" worth of understanding and he applied himself moderately and acquired "five pounds" worth of knowledge in his life, he will be blessed with moderate responsibility in heaven (Luk 19:18-19). iii. If a man was given "one pound" worth of understanding and he didn't apply himself and didn't gain any knowledge in his life, he will not be blessed in heaven (Luk 19:20-26).
|Heaven (Part 19), 3-19-23 - Will We Continue to Learn in Heaven.mp3