What will heaven be like?

What will heaven be like?

One reason evil exists is because God grants us free will. But there’s supposed to be no evil in heaven. Will we not have free will?

What happens if I sin in heaven? Do I get sent back down? What about little sins, like cussing if my football team loses or telling dirty jokes with my pals? What about other sins, like having sex (if I don’t have a wife when I die)?

If I “won’t want to sin”, doesn’t that take away my free will?

When we go to heaven, do we go in exactly like we died? If I die at 90, will I walk around looking like a 90-year-old man? Wouldn’t it be better to go now, full of vim and vigor?

What if I make it in after getting in an accident tomorrow. Will I be able to watch my family grow up? What if my wife doesn’t want to be alone for the next 50 years and remarries? Will I know the love of my wife is with someone else?

Let’s say I don’t make it into heaven. But my wife and kids believe and get in. How much will they enjoy heaven knowing I’m not with them (or worse, roasting)?

What do we do all day? I know we’ll bask in God’s glory and I’m sure that will be fun for a while. But eternity is an awfully long time, won’t it get boring basking after 99 or 9,999 years?

What will Heaven be like?

72 degrees and sunny. You’ll always be on in regulation and you’ll never 3-putt.

Hardly the stuff of Great Debates - but Heaven nonetheless

Heaven, as conventionally described, is a place so inane, so dull, so useless, so miserable, that nobody has ever ventured to describe a whole day in heaven, though plenty of people have described a day at the seaside. – George Bernard Shaw
Heaven for climate, Hell for company. – J.M. Barrie
In Heaven: The police are British, the cooks French, the lovers Italian –
and it’s all organized by the Germans.

In Hell: The police are French, the cooks British, the lovers German –
and it’s all organized by the Italians. – Wall Street Journal, 11/21/88
Of the delights of this world, man cares most for sexual intercourse, yet he has left it out of his heaven. – Mark Twain

Does that answer your question? – Musicat, SDMB

Yer killin me. Great quotes. From where is the sig?

You mean the Una Persson sig? From Una Persson, of course. Sheesh. :wink:

Serially, Una Persson is a Doper formerly known as Anthracite, on the SD Advisory Board. She wrote this in a thread some months ago (I forget what it was, you’ll have to search) and gave me permission to use it.

If you’re into quotes, here’s a bunch more I’ve collected.

Of course, that depends on who you ask.

Well of course. How silly of me. Thanks for the link. It’s bookmarked.

This was my sister’s senior quotation, but it pretty much sums up the whole heaven-hell issue.

The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven. From Milton, Paradise Lost

IIRC, heaven is a state of complete and total union with God. The only people who would desire this are those who, by their own free will, do not want to sin.

There will be no beer.

I thought this was Mark Twain

Since according to chrisitan religion we are all sinners, and can’t avoid sinning, then it means that we would have to undertake drastic changes to become totally unwilling to sin. And I can’t perceive how these changes wouldn’t be the same thing as losing our free will if indeed free will is the reason why we’re sinners.
By the way, a real free will would imply the ability to not sin at all. Apparently we don’t have this kind of free will, since nobody is able not to sin. And apparently, we won’t have it either in heavens, since nobody will be able to sin. So, it seems to me that in both cases, we’re actually lacking free will, but in opposite ways.

Twain’s best quote on Heaven and Hell was that he was indifferent as to which place he went, since he had friends in both places.

“Heaven… heaven is a place… a place where nothing… nothing ever happens…” – Talking Heads

There was a short sci-fi story I read once that postulated an earthy Heaven in which the denizens were free to choose non-existence when they were good and satiated (or tired, bored, and depressed with their state of grace). The vast majority in Heaven eventually took God up on the nirvana exit strategy. As of circa 2000 A.D., very few “old-timers” from Old and even New Testament days remained, and not all that many more from the Dark and Middle Ages. The people with the greatest staying power turned out to be philosophers, academic-types, and other intellectuals (& artists, one would hope).

For most of Heaven’s citizens, the ideal post-life lifespan turned out to be around a hundred years, give or take a few decades. Sound familiar?

I remember a variation on that:

In Heaven, the police are British, the cooks are French, the cars are German, and the women are Italian.

In Hell, the police are German, the cooks are British, the cars are French, and the women are Italian.

But, as we say in the Church of the SubGenius: “The difference between Hell and Heaven is which end of the pitchfork you’re on!”


The version I heard:

In heaven, the politicians are British, the cooks French, The lovers Italian, and the Engineers German.

In hell, the cooks are British, the engineers are French, the politicians Italian, and the lovers are German.


In hell all the comedians are German

From some old Russian magazine:

Heaven is the place where 1. e4 always wins.

Heaven is this place except that we, collectively, have in general implemented as our organizing principles and policies the following political and social platform:

a) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

b) Share what you have; in fact, share it so openly that you do not bother keeping track of what you shared and make no attempt to obtain it back or receive its equivalent in return

c) When someone does wrong unto you, forgive them, do not attempt to retaliate or extract vengeance. Do not punish.

d) Do not parade your sanctimony and spirituality in public, nor make a public spectacle of how you share your stuff with others or forgive evils that others have done unto you. Do not declare yourself to be one of the holy ones, one of the Godly ones, one of the religious ones. Instead, do these things but do them privately, not trying to cash in on your doing of them as a means of enhancing your reputation.
Oh, and hell? Hell is here, too, of course.

Guess what? No one gets to go to heaven and snicker with smug satisfaction about the other ones who are going to hell. If “thy will [is to ] be done on earth as it is in heaven”, heaven shall be real for all of us. If not, well…we’ll all still be here, perhaps in handbaskets.

Oh, and guess what else? You will be reincarnated over and over again for all eternity, and the world into which you will reincarnated is a future that you and your actions in this life helped create. Or, if you prefer, the “self” of each of us, underneath, is God, and God is and shall be, each and every one of us – our lives are the verbs, God is the noun. You are God in disguise. Whatsoever you say and do unto the least of these my people you say and do unto me. The Buddha-awareness is that state of consciousness where you come to know that the Buddha is manifest in you as within all of us, not that state where you alone come to be one with the Buddha. Or, if you prefer, the higher sense of self that makes a person one with God is best understood by reflecting on the “we” – the plural sense of self which is real and valid even though it does not render illegitimate the “I” that it contains. The WEME3, the all-inclusive superplural sense of self, includes the All. I am that I am. I am that which is. As part of that, which is to be one with all lives that have ever and shall ever live, one is one with God.

As long as we’re offering variations on a theme, the version I know and prefer:

In Heaven, the police are British, the cooks are French, the cars are German, the lovers are Italian, and it’s all organized by the Swiss.

In Hell, the police are German, the cooks are British, the cars are Italian, the lovers are Swiss, and its all organized by the French.

Works better, IMHO.

By the way, is there a debate here? So far it’s a IMHO thread.

What is there to debate about a fictional place? Are we going to discuss how concepts of afterlife differ among the myths of various cultures? Therein possibly lies a debate.

knorf, I don’t think I have much to add, period…but it doesn’t seem to stop me… :slight_smile:

When I was a fundy, heaven was a return to Eden - the world would be transformed into an ‘Edenic’ paradise, and all would be restored as it was before man’s fall…of course, even as a kid I had some questions with this one…

So, after the fall, God tells Adam and Eve they can eat animals - ostensibly they couldn’t before - so, either God designed them originally with the capacity to eat/ digest animal flesh (which makes free will kind of sticky) or he poked around a bit under the hood and ‘gave’ them that ability (also confusing, since it would seem God was then purposely adapting man to a sinful life)…of course, the same question goes for childbirth, which God purposely ‘makes’ painful as punishment.

In one Bible verse, heaven is described as a lamb lying next to a lion in peace - so if animals are all herbivores in heaven (again, God would have to do some reconstruction), won’t there be gazillions of animals? If animals were still going around eating each other, living and dying, could that be heaven? Would humans be incapable of having attachments to animals?

And the whole remarried spouse thing. What if your brother was a total bastard on earth - would you suddenly -poof!- love him in heaven, or would he suddenly be changed? And if he changed, how is that free will?