Is Heaven an Eternal Retirement or a New Beginning?

Couple in retirement

From the beginning of the creation, God had a purpose – a master plan – in mind.  We see evidence in the creation as well as in the Scriptures that God is purposeful in everything He does.


When God created Adam and Eve, He instructed them to manage and maintain the Garden. Had they not sinned, they would have received eternal life without suffering the curses associated with sin, including death.


Jesus, the second Adam, said “My Father is still working, and I am working also” (John 5:17). His words are not only descriptive of the purposeful nature of God but also refer to His efforts to bring us into the glory of His eternal kingdom.


Further, as in the case of Adam, God has specific steps in mind that are part of His master plan. Today He hasn’t fully revealed the details of that plan:  “For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Further, the Bible tells us that it is beyond our human ability to fully grasp and comprehend what lies in the future of God’s children:


But as it is written:  What eye did not see and ear did not hear, and what never entered the human mind – God prepared this for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9).


One thing is certain: Heaven will not be a place of eternal retirement! That being the case, perhaps we can appreciate more fully how our present lives serve as a proving ground for the fulfillment of God’s master plan. God must know that we will trust His leadership in Heaven. For this reason, we must learn to trust Him now – with every aspect of our lives. And God has given us His Word to help us focus on the big picture as I explain in a principle in my Life Essentials Study Bible called “Spiritual Wisdom”:


When we study the Word of God, we are to rely on the Holy Spirit to open our minds to understand God’s amazing plan of redemption as well as His will for our lives as followers of Jesus Christ (Principle #6, 1 Corinthians, page 1569).


The previous points should help explain why salvation is the result of faith – abiding trust in Him – rather than our own meager efforts, and why Satan is so relentless in his efforts to create doubts in our mind about God.


In 1942 Winston Churchill said:  “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Similarly, I encourage you to think about this life as the end of a beginning, and Heaven as the start of a busy, purposeful existence that will last forever.

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