It’s pretty safe to assume that most every Christian looks forward to being in heaven with Jesus if they are faithful to their call of discipleship. While this can be an exciting and positively overwhelming prospect, it can also be a future that is filled with questions. What exactly will the faithful be doing when they get to heaven? How will they spend their time? Many say that the faithful will be continually worshipping God and His son, and there is truth to this. However, there is more. Much more. Understanding what Jesus’ faithful disciples will be doing in heaven requires first putting all of Jesus’ mission in order. If we know what he came to do and NOT do when he walked the earth as a man, we will then know what he has yet to accomplish and how his faithful followers will help him later.
Who goes there?
To understand the whole idea of being resurrected to heaven, we first need to understand a basic but potentially surprising premise. Simply stated, heaven is NOT the destination for everyone who says they love Jesus. Think about it - all of humanity was doomed to death because of the sin of Adam. Jesus satisfied justice by paying the price for that sin. This meant that all of humanity was now given a just right to a resurrected earthly life. Those who will go to heaven are invited to walk in Jesus’ footsteps and sacrifice their human will as he did. Heaven is not a result of justice; it is an unmerited gift of grace.
What is heaven all about?
While the answer to this simple question is not that easy, there are a few basic heavenly things we can be sure of. First, heaven will be the home of Jesus’ faithful followers. He emphatically taught us in John 14 that there are many “rooms” in his Father’s “house” and he was going to prepare a place for them. The idea of abiding in God’s figurative house is a staggering privilege to say the least!
But what do the faithful DO in heaven?
We learn the answer by paying attention to both Old and New Testament scriptures together. In 1 Peter chapter 2, Peter offers several titles given to the faithful, like “chosen race” and “royal priesthood.” These are not just empty accolades. They describe serious positions of privilege and responsibility. In Isaiah chapter 61, there are further descriptions of what Jesus’ followers will be doing. The Old and New Testaments combine to teach us about the extensive and profound heavenly work of Jesus’ disciples.
Check out our September 26, 2022 podcast, “What Will We be Doing When We Get to Heaven? (Part I)" for more. This is Part I of a three-part series that attempts to methodically put heaven’s privileges, inheritances and responsibilities in order. We analyze the titles and examine the responsibilities that go with them. What we find is a fascinating and unexpectedly clear picture of heavenly power, work and privilege!