Your Picture Of Heaven

My wife and I were recently visiting one of our favorite burrito establishments called Blue Coast Burrito.  Part of the experience of this eatery is their fruit tea.  It is certainly most delectable.  While munching on my chips and salsa my wife said to me: “when I get to heaven, this fruit tea will abound.” 

My immediate thought was…“will this fruit tea even exist there?”

So many times I picture heaven as a beachfront with dinosaurs grazing behind me.  I’m there consuming endless cups of Mountain Dew with no detrimental repercussions on my health.  I don’t have to sleep, and if I want, I can strap on my laser and tactical gear and play others in a real life simulated role-playing game. Of course, I can leap tall buildings in a single bound and steak is for dinner. 

Now- where I contrived this idea-I have no clue.  Maybe a vivid imagination, or maybe someone once told me it’s whatever I want it to be.

Is this a healthy view of heaven? I recently set out to find what exactly IS heaven.  I’ve made some pretty interesting conclusions. 

First off Revelation 21:1-4 tells us that every tear will be wiped away with no morning, no death, and no pain.  But only after it says that God will dwell among men. 

That’s cool.  God will dwell among men.  I take this literally.  It seems as though the pain will disappear as a direct result of God’s immediate presence. 
All throughout this book angels, men, and every creature is declaring his glory!
John gets a glimpse of heaven which is lavishly decorated and guess what, everyone up

there is singing Holy Holy Holy. 

Day and night.

They. 

Ne. 

Ver. 

Stop.

It appears very clear that heaven is the eternal worship of God. That’s it.  Is that what my heart wants?  Is that worth it to me?  Can I lay to rest all my desires for eternal Mt. Dew and dinosaurs? 

As I was digging into the mystery of heaven I realized that the end goal of a religion will determine the nature of the religion.

Take for example Islam-
The Qur’an 37:40-44 says: Save the servants of Allah, the purified ones.  For them is a known sustenance: Fruits. And they are honored, in Gardens of delight, on thrones, facing each other. 

What?
They are honored?  Facing each other? 
According to Muslim belief, everything one longs for in this world will be there in Paradise.  The houri (beautiful counterparts of like-age) are there on arranged couches to embrace you and make you feel good.  The highest level of Firdaus allows those who were righteous to dwell in its gardens for “their entertainment.” (18:107)
And God?  You’ll have enlightenment of his presence. 

In the book “Doctrine and Covenants” by Joseph Smith (not the ex-member of Tenth Avenue North) one can get a view of the Mormon afterlife in chapter 132. 
Those mormons who are sealed in the eternal marriage ceremony expect to become gods in the celestial kingdom, rule over other planets, and spawn new families throughout eternity.  That’s just before the instructions on polygamy.

Hindus and Buddhists believe in “samsara” or an eternity of reincarnation and enlightenment.  Wandering forever ridding oneself of pain and suffering.  Every bad thing and thought should be eliminated therefore resulting in bliss for eternity either on earth or in “Nirvana.”  No one is quite sure if that’s a place or a state of mind. 

Bliss.
Pleasure.
Mountain Dew.

Why do I want to go to heaven? 
If all my desires were fulfilled and all my friends are gathered around in community and food but God were not there…would I want to go? 
If he were there but only as a mediator of my pleasure…would I want to go?
Perhaps I would tell God to dim his light for the next 2 hours so I can watch Lord of the Rings in my La-Z-boy recliner. 

And how long would my joy last being limited by the things I desired on earth? 

I can only hope that the very face I seek would be the very thing I desire for all eternity. 

Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” 

Sounds like He will give you Himself if that is the delight of your heart