According to Scripture, Heaven will be a place of rest. It will also be a place of service. We who trust in Christ will have meaningful, satisfying, productive work to do in Heaven. We will serve God and reign with Him.
“There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in [the new Jerusalem, on the new earth], and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face…and they will reign forever and ever.”
In Scripture, “work” is not a bad word. God the Father and God the Son (Jesus Christ) are both described as “working”.
Before the foundation of the world, God worked out a plan to redeem people from sin. He worked when He created the heavens and the earth, and when He brought His people out of Egypt. His mighty works continue to this day as He extends mercy and forgiveness, and as He teaches, corrects, guides, and comforts us.
Jesus Christ worked as a carpenter, then as a minister, while He was on earth. His works included healing, deliverance, raising the dead, and preaching the Kingdom. Jesus said, in John 5:17, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”
Jesus’ greatest work was His sacrifice for our sins on the Cross. God raised Him from the dead, and today, Jesus is still working. He is in Heaven, interceding for us.
God created us in His image. He never intended that we would be idle, but that we would lead productive lives. He gave us talents and the ability to create, organize, serve, and rule – all aspects of “work”. From the beginning, God gave man responsibilities and authority.
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image… male and female He created them.”
“Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them…”
In the beginning, the work that God gave man was pleasurable and satisfying. But then came the Fall, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Their sin led to the earth being cursed. Life became difficult and work was often drudgery.
“Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground…’”
God has promised to make “all things new”, and that includes making a new earth that is free from the curse of sin (Revelation 21:5). This is where we will serve God and reign with Him forever. Although the Bible does not specifically describe the work that we will do on the new earth, we can know, from looking at God’s original plan, that it won’t be a burden. It will be a joy. It will be satisfying.
“…In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
We will experience great joy as we serve the One who loves us, who gave His own Son to save us. We will experience great satisfaction as we use the gifts and abilities He has given us. We will always have energy and never grow weary, for our bodies will be like Jesus’ resurrection body (1 Corinthians 15).
Friends, a much better life is ahead, and we can look forward with anticipation to serving God for eternity. In light of these truths, how should we respond? We should be diligent to serve God with thankfulness and not complaining while on earth. As we work, our goal should be to bring God glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). We should look to Jesus as our Example and say with Him, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34).
We can be encouraged by this beautiful promise: “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21).
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