What Will We Do There?


Dr. John Hoole – December 21, 2014




Hebrews 11:8-10 NKJV


  8      By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

  9      By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;

10     for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.


Somehow, as Abraham began his journey from Ur of the Chaldees, he realized that the city for which he longed would not be of this world.  In his day, Ur was a fairly large desert city.  As he journeyed from there, he passed through many other large cities.  But, like Ur, these cities were incomplete and imperfect because they were the habitation of fallen men and women.


Like Abraham, each person that accepts the promise of God concerning eternal life, also becomes a citizen of another place – another place whose builder and maker is God.


Philippians 3:20 NKJV


20     For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,


Heaven is a very important place for the believer.  That is where we have taken up residency.


1.      Our names are written in Heaven.


Luke 10:20 NKJV


20     Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven." 


2.      Our treasure are stored in Heaven


Matthew 6:20 NKJV


20     But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 


3.      Our Eternal Home is in Heaven


John 14:2 NKJV


2       In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  


Heaven is the ultimate destiny for all who accept the salvation offered by Jesus Christ.  But Satan doesn’t like us to understand our destiny is heaven.  The old devil knows that Ecclesiastes 3:11 says God has put eternity in the heart of mankind.  Intuitively, men and women know they were made for something better than this world.  Unfortunately, Satan has garbled the right message.


The devil labors to give people an inaccurate view of heaven  Some of Satan’s favorite lies are about heaven.  Revelation 13 tells us that Satan’s beast – the Antichrist – will open his mouth.  Why?    What does he say?   Let’s read it.


Revelation 13:6  (NIV)


6       He [The Antichrist] opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.


This passage tells us that one of Satan’s favorite tactics is to slander God’s dwelling place, heaven.  He feeds people a distorted view of it.  He knows this will rob us of joy in anticipating our going to be with our Bridegroom.  He very much wants you and I to fall in love with this earth, as if it were our real home.


Satan would also like to have us think Heaven is unreal – more like an apparition.  No wonder so many people see heaven as a place of numbing boredom.


But the Bible tells us that heaven far surpasses the distorted image that Satan tries to feed people today.  I hope none of you have fallen for the line of:


                   •  the atheist, who claims that Heaven is the illusion of a spiritually intoxicated people.


                   •  or the scientist, who claims that Heaven is nothing but a medieval fancy.


                   •  or the liberal theologian, who views Heaven as a worn-out superstition.


                   •  or the philosopher, who states that the Christian idea of heaven is appallingly idiotic.


                   •  or the Eastern mystic, who states that Heaven is the absence of existence.


This is our fourth lesson on the subject of Heaven.  In our lesson three weeks ago, we took note several issues.


1.      Most people believe in Heaven, but also believe they are going their when they die.


2.      While most believe they will go to heaven, few of them are planning for the trip.


3.      The word “heaven” is used to describe 3 different heavens.


•  The first heaven is the atmospheric heaven – the sky.  This is where the birds, clouds and airplanes fly, and where rain falls from.

•  The second is the stellar or celestial heaven – outer space.  This includes the sun, moon, stars, planets, etc.

•  The third is the divine heaven, where God resides.


4.      Heaven is a real place – just like any place on earth – like Seattle or Tokyo.  We also noted that the Bible uses at number of other names of Heaven -- like House, Paradise, A Country, and Mount Zion (i.e., It is tangible, and beautiful.).


In previous lessons, we also discussed briefly what it is going to be like in Heaven.  We began by listing what was not going to be in Heaven --- No tears, death, mourning, crying or pain --- No sun or moon


Before we get into what we will do in heaven, let me discuss very quickly what we will not do in heaven.  The words of the hymn are very true:


“Our pain shall then be over,

We’ll sin and sigh no more;

Behind us all of sorrow

And naught but joy before.”


Imagine for a moment what it would be like never ever to have temptation confront you again.  Never to struggle with the flesh, the world, the devil.  Never to fall into sin, to be taken unawares.  Never to have that sense of guilt, having committed sin.  Never having ever again to confess our sins to God.


Children have their own perspective of Heaven.  Here’s how a few children responded to the question: “What do you do in heaven?”


•  “You can do anything you want, silly!”

•  “You can eat candy, and don’t get fat or cavities.”

•  “You water-skate all day long!” declared on squirmy first grader.  When asked, “What’s water skating?” she smiled and replied, “you’ll find out.”

•  “You can stay up all day and all night, and your parents can’t make you go to bed because there aren’t any beds.”

•  “You help people on earth be smarter.”

•  “You play the harp all day, whether you like it or not.”

•  “You have to paint clouds.”

•  “Most of the time you try to get dry because it seems like it’s always raining in heaven.”


Heaven is not going to be a boring place to live.  In fact, it is going to be the opposite.  There will be much activity – all without getting tired or bored.


I’m sure that there will be more things to do than we could ever imagine right now.  But the Bible does give us a hint about some of the things we will be doing.  The Bible reveals to us at least five main things we will do there.


These 5 things might provide a basic job description for us.


         •  singing & worshiping

         •  serving

         •  supervising / Reigning

         •  studying / Learning

         •  sharing / fellowshipping


How many of you know who Cliff Barrows is?  Barrows was the worship leader for the Billy Graham crusades.  One day he was thinking about heaven and turned to Billy Graham and asked this question:  “In heaven I will have a job, but what will you do?”  Cliff was inferring that as a worship leader, he would be able to continue that in heaven.  But Billy Graham, as an evangelist, won’t continue that in heaven.  That’s because in heaven there is no one to win to the Lord.


So, what will we do in heaven?  Eternity is a long time.


1.  Singing and Worshiping


Revelation 15:2-3  (NIV)


2       And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God

3       and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: "Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.


This is specifically speaking of Tribulation saints who were not overcome by the Antichrist.  They are singing songs of Moses and of the Lamb.


Revelation 14:1-3  (NIV)


1       Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.

2       And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.

3       And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.


Here we have another group of Tribulation Saints – the 144,000 evangelists mentioned in Rev. 7.  But it gives the impression that singing will go on in heaven as a part of our worship.  Heaven is a place of unending worship.  Even those who cannot carry a tune in a bucket here on earth will be able to sing rapturously in heaven.


There will be many songs that we sing now, that we won’t sing in Heaven.


                   •  When We All Get To Heaven”

                   •  When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder, I’ll Be There”

                   •  Cleanse Me

                   •  The King Is Coming

                   •  Come Thou Almighty King

                   •  We’ve A Story To Tell To The Nations


But I’m sure we will be able to still sing:


                   •  Great is Thy Faithfulness

                   •  The Hallelujah Chorus

                   •  All Hail The Power of Jesus’ Name

                   •  O Worship the King

                   •  Amazing Grace


Worship will no longer be an indefinable word or an indescribable experience.  It will not be manipulated or contrived.  With all its pretense gone, worship will be one of the first great  and continuous activities for the redeemed.


That is why Jesus said in John 4:23:


23     But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.


Just think – in heaven we will really worship the Lord forever in a constant disposition of adoration to our God.


John Newton’s hymns are wonderful, and in one of them he describes this great stress between worship down here, and how pitiful it is even in its best form, and what it will be in glory.


The song’s title is “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds.”


‘Weak is the effort of my heart,

And cold my warmest thought,

But when I see Thee as Thou art,

I’ll praise Thee as I ought.’


What a joy it will be to have our worship in heaven always pure, from pure hearts, with pure motives, and with no distractions at all.  That is how we will worship in Heaven.


In heaven music will be given a place as it was given in the Tabernacle of the Old Testament and in the Temple.  It was more than just melody – it was instrumentalism.  According to 1 Chronicles 25:1-7, there were at least 288 musicians engaged in the services in Solomon’s Temple.  In the Old Testament Temple there were choral and instrumental music that was added to the congregational worship.


Our worship will be spontaneous and genuine.  It will encompass the whole universe.  The hallelujahs and the praise the Lord and the amen will rise above other sounds in heaven and earth.  We will finally be able to lose ourselves in the joy of telling our God how much we adore Him.


2.  Serving


Heaven is revealed as a place of activity.  One of the most significant testimonies regarding the activity of the redeemed in heaven is a short but meaningful statement found in Revelation 22.


Revelation 22:3  (NIV)


3       No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.


While it is true that Heaven is a place of rest, “a rest for the people of God,” (Hebrews 4:9), it will not be the rest of inactivity or idleness.  Heaven will not be as one person had put on his tombstone, which read:


                   “Don’t weep for me now, don’t weep for me ever;

                     For I’m going to do nothing forever and ever.”


         Heaven would soon be monotonous if such were true.


Heaven is not an eternity free from work.  If you are wanting to be from work forever, don’t be going to heaven.  Some think that work is something that came from the fall after Adam and Eve sinned.  That is not the case.  Toil in work, the sweat of their brow, came from the fall, but God created work as something good in the original creation.


Revelation 7:15 says the saints “shall serve Him day and night in His temple.”  The word “serve” is prominent in the Book of Revelation.  On eight different occasions it describes our function in Heaven.  One of our jobs in Heaven will be to serve our Lord.


There is a story of a little girl who was happily humming a hymn as she dusted the furniture to help her mother.  In the middle of her task, she asks her mother, “Mommy, will I be dusting God’s chair when I get to heaven the way the hymn says?”  The mother looked up, surprised, and asked: “Which hymn says that honey?”


The girl responded, “The one that says ‘and dust around the throne, and dust around the throne.”  It took the mother a while to figure out she was quoting a line from the hymn We’re Marching to Zion, which says ”and thus surround the throne, and thus surround the throne.”  It’s not likely that dusting around the throne is going to be one of our jobs in Heaven.


It has been estimated that there are at least 40,000 different occupation in the United States.  Yet very few people are really satisfied with their jobs.  Personnel problems, inadequate pay, and wearisome hours of routine tasks are some of the reasons for the dissatisfaction.


The problems we have today will be behind us forever in heaven.  Every one of us will find full satisfaction as we serve the Lord in the various occupations He has for us in glory.  The precise areas of serving the Lord are not clearly spelled out in the Bible, but I think we can rest assured that God will have a job designed for each of us.


Of this, we can be sure: Heaven won’t be boring but it will be more fun than any activity you have been a part of here.


3.  Supervising (Reigning)


In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were to rule over the creation God had made.  In the same way, God’s people will reign forever over the new heaven and new earth.


Matthew 25:21 NKJV


21     His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' 


Again, there are no specifics of how this will be carried out.  We will have to wait until we get to heaven to get the specific job description.


Revelation 22:5 NKJV


5       There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.


To reign means that we will be given authority over other beings and things.  It could also included some territory.  One of the jobs of eternity will be the job of leadership, which would probably include some administration and decision making.


Just what form the authority given to believers is not fully stated.  We will be the undisputed, unthreatened rulers of something who will lovingly understand and administer the subjects committed to our trust.


4.  Studying / Learning


1 Corinthians 13:12 NKJV


12     For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.


This verse tells us that our minds will be much more powerful than they are here.  We are not, however, omniscient – only God is.  Therefore we will not know everything in Heaven.  But we will have a nearly limitless capacity to learn.  Eternity will be a time for every person to learn things they didn’t have the ability to know here.


When the human race sinned, a curtain was lowered, which has caused us to “see through a glass dimly.”  But, in Heaven, that curtain will be lifted.  “I shall know even as I am fully known.”


One of the great joys of Heaven will be that of taking all the time necessary to unravel all the mysteries about God, about man, and about the universe.


I have always liked music.  I grew up in a family of 7 where each of us played several instruments.  But there are many things about music I would still like to learn and know.  Before I retired from Boeing, I had a number of things planned to do after I retired.  One was to take piano lessons.  I guess I never dreamed my schedule would be as packed as it is right now.


Maybe that is something I will learn in Heaven.  Didn’t Jesus say that He would give us the desires of our heart.  God has given us more dreams and aspirations than we can fill in one small lifetime.  We were made for eternity.  I still have so much I want to learn about the fullness of the truth of the Word of God.  I expect that to happen in heaven.


Poets, artists and musicians will get the opportunity to express truth with a beauty and freedom never known on earth.  Every aspiration that God has planted in the hearts of men and women will motivate them throughout eternity.


Have you ever had a hankering to know more about astronomy.  Telescope have made it possible to see some of the great galaxies of the universe.  I believe that when we are in Heaven, we will have the opportunity to visit them all.  Yes, Heaven will be a time of learning far more than we ever could here on earth.


5.  Fellowshipping (Sharing)


Everyone whose name is in the Lamb’s book of life will be in Heaven.  We will have all eternity to get to know them all.  This fellowship will, of course, include Jesus.


Revelation 21:3 NKJV


3       And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.


                   Jesus is going to be the central part of our sharing and fellowshipping.


Just think about relaxing around the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to gather with Christ at the marriage supper.  We will be there with a myriad of angels, and an innumerable number of members of the church of the first born and with God.  This all suggests limitless opportunities for fellowship.


I pulled out my copy of the great classic, PILGRIM’S PROGRESS, written by John Bunyan.  It is a story of one person’s travels, including some detours, on his way to the Celestial City.  The main character’s name is Christian.


Christian is asked why he has such a strong desire to go to heaven – the Celestial City.  He responds, “Why, there I hope to see him alive that did hang dead on the Cross; and there I hope to be rid of all those things that to this day are in me an annoyance to me; there they say there is no death, and there I shall dwell with such company as I like best.”  Christian desired to go to heaven to be with Christ and enjoy the company of fellow believers.


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a member of a perfect church?  We will never find such a church on earth, but we will find one in heaven.  The fellowship in heaven will be sweet first with our precious Lord, as we share intimate communion with Him and then with one another.


Matthew 8:11  (NIV)


11     I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.


Jesus pictures the righteous as reclining at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  If you were to make up a list of the people you would want at your table at the great banquet in Heaven, most of us undoubtedly would put Jesus at the top of the list.  Heaven means enjoying the eternal company of the greatest and best people who ever lived.


Imagine the conversations.  If you relish stimulating conversation being around truly good and wonderful people, hearing exciting and intriguing stories, then you will enjoy heaven.


Just imagine hearing every detail of what happened in Egypt and the wilderness, from Moses himself.  How about learning the entire life of Adam and Eve or learning the Hebrew music that was set to the songs of David.


1 Kings 4:32 says that Solomon wrong 1,005 songs.  Are you intrigued to know what they sound like.


The last verse of the gospel of John – John 21:25 – says:


25     Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.


                   I would like to learn of all the things Jesus did that were not mentioned in the Bible.


The writer of the book of Hebrews lists, in chapter 11, a number of people that are going to be in Heaven.  They give us a good look at the kind of people we are going to fellowship with in Heaven.  Hebrews 11:38 tells us they were people “of whom the world was not worthy.”




Let’s review what the Bible specifically says we will be doing in Heaven.  We will be:


                   •  Singing & worshiping

                   •  Serving

                   •  Supervising / Reigning

                   •  Studying and Learning

                   •  Sharing & Fellowshipping


We may do most of these on earth in this life, but there will be a difference when we do them in Heaven.


                   •  We will worship without distraction.


                   •  We will give service without exhaustion


                   •  We will reign without failure.


                   •  We will learn without weariness.


                   •  We will fellowship without suspicion.


And I might add:  We will rest without boredom.




In Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian draws near to the Heavenly City.  He saw the gates opened to receive others.  He says, “I looked in after them, and behold, the city shone like the sun; the streets also were paved with gold, and in them walked many who had crowns on their heads and palms in their hand and golden harps to sing withal.  There were some that had wings, and they answered one another without intermission, saying ‘holy, holy, holy is the Lord!’  He goes on to say that having seen them, “I wished myself among them.”

If you also wish to be among them, all you need to do is take the hand of Jesus and let Him lead you on through the ups and downs of this life and finally through the gates into the city.


Are you ready for Heaven?