Life.Church Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel identified three misconceptions people have about Heaven and highlighted why it’s important to have a proper understanding of the afterlife.
In a sermon titled “The Glory of Heaven,” Groeschel said the first misconception people have about Heaven is that it will be “boring.” One reason so many people believe this, the pastor contended, is because the devil is a liar and wants humans to believe that God is a “killjoy” who robs us of everything fun.
“I hope you'll understand — Heaven will be the opposite of boredom,” he said. “It is the absence of everything evil, and it is the presence of God. When you think about it, everything that you enjoy on earth is the result of a gift from God in Heaven.”
“When you go to Heaven, you will enjoy everything that you enjoy on earth, but there will be no sin, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more death,” he continued. “It is the absence of everything evil. It is a presence of everything good. It’s the opposite of boredom. It is the presence of God.”
Scripture tells us a little bit about what to expect in Heaven, the Hope in the Dark: Believing God is Good When Life is Not author said. First, believers will be reunited with lost loved ones who also followed Christ.
“You will be reunited with those that you love, and yet there will be no heartache, no rejection, no pain, only love,” he explained.
Scripture also says that Heaven will be a place of unimaginable beauty where we will see Jesus face to face.
“When you look Him in the face, you'll realize you never truly lived until you see the glory of the son of God,” he explained. “You'll see Jesus face to face in Heaven. You will have new and perfect bodies.”
Finally, in Heaven, Christians will have the “glory of working for Jesus in a way we enjoy and love.”
“In other words, whatever you're passionate about, it appears you'll get to do that maybe in some form of job serving Jesus,” the pastor said.
Scripture also highlights what believers will not find in Heaven: Groeschel stressed that “there will be no more death, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more sickness, no more fear, no more stress, no more depression, no more sleepless nights, no more anxiety, no more abuse, no more heartache, no more divorce, no more racism, no more injustices, no more violence.”
“Whatever you think of Heaven, it will be better,” he said. “No eye has ever seen. No mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
The second misconception about Heaven is that it’s not our eternal home — rather, the world is. Groeschel encouraged listeners to refrain from getting upset about the small, mundane things, and rather live for what matters most.
“I want to live [on earth] in a way that makes a difference [in eternity],” he said. “What matters is how I love. What matters is what I give. What matters is who I serve. What matters is what I say that gives life ... the things that we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
The third misconception about Heaven is that it is the “default destination” where most people are going — as long as they’re relatively good.
“Don’t forget what Jesus said — take it very seriously,” Groeschel warned. “He said this: ‘Broad is the road and wide is the path that leads to destruction and many people are on it. Narrow is the road and small is the gate that leads to life, and few people find it.’”
“The truth is, good people don't go to Heaven when they die,” he said. “Forgiven people go to Heaven when they die.”
Groeschel concluded his message by emphasizing that those who truly understand the holiness of God are “acutely aware of the sinfulness of mankind” and that all people fall short of God’s standards.
“But by the grace of God, anyone who calls on the name that is above every name in the name of Jesus, that person will be saved,” he said.
The pastor said he decided to preach on the afterlife to remind those who are in Christ that they don’t need to fear death, and to create a “spiritual urgency” —to allow the reality of Heaven to impact how we live today.
“The Glory of Heaven” was the third installment of Groeschel’s series on the afterlife titled “One Minute After You Die.”