Growing In Godliness Blog

Growing In Godliness Blog

Author: Larry Coffey

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Will There Be Work in Heaven?

Friday, September 22, 2023

Will There Be Work in Heaven?

By Larry Coffey

In listening to Kenny Embry’s podcast, Balancing the Christian Life, he recently discussed the subject of “What is Heaven Like” with Wes McAdams, an evangelist from Texas. One segment of the podcast dealt with the subject of this blog, which I found to be quite interesting.

There are some things we know about heaven, some things we think we know but the figurative language used makes it hard to be sure, and many things we don’t know. We know God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit will be there. We know angels are there, and ultimately all those who have been obedient and faithful to God will be there. We know eternal life will exist and there will be no tears, death, mourning, crying, or pain (Rev. 21:4). We also look forward to other things not there, such as temptation and sin, because Satan won’t be there. We know it will be a joyous place beyond our ability to imagine.

What about work? Will it be there? Many people believe Rev. 14:13 teaches there will be no work. This verse states: “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Blessed indeed, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.” The word used here for rest literally means, “they shall be refreshed.” This leaves room for a different understanding than we may normally assign to it.

I’ll admit I have always thought we would be worshipping God and on vacation continuously. On the podcast Wes asked the question, Would you really want to be in a church service and on vacation throughout eternity? As I thought about that, my answer would be no. To worship and rest, yes. But only that, no. I want a job. I want to serve God, but I want Him to give me something to do. And now I believe He will. Why would I say that?

From the beginning of creation, God has always expected man to work. In Genesis 2, it says “God finished his work that he had done, and he rested” (Gen. 2:2).  In verse 15 of that chapter we read, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Gen. 2:15).  God gave man work to do even before He created woman. It seems his garden job was what we would call a good job. Not one with a lot of pressure and long hours. Then after the fall, we read in Gen. 3:19, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground.” This is a much different kind of work than Adam had in the garden.

In addition, we read in Matt. 22:30, “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” We know angels had jobs. They did what God and the Lord asked them to do. The Bible often speaks about angels and their activities. Since we are going to be like them, it only follows we will have work to do. I want the kind of job Adam had in the garden, or jobs like the angels have. All I have read and observed is that those who work have a far greater level of enjoyment than those who don’t. A sense of accomplishment yields a lot of satisfaction. God has always expected us to work and I don’t think that will change when we get to heaven. I hope not.

Gospel for All

Friday, August 11, 2023

Gospel for All

By Larry Coffey

The Bible clearly teaches the gospel of Christ is available for everyone who seeks it. While reading a book on the life of Walter Scott, a preacher in the early 19th century, I noted two good examples of this fact. Scott moved to Carthage, OH, a small village near Cincinnati and lived there 13 years. When he moved there, the village was described as flourishing with drunkenness, profanity, idleness, and neglect of the public and private duties of religion. The single redeeming feature was a Sunday school where an incident of interest took place on Scott’s first visit.

In one of the classes was a bright girl about 13 years old, who, along with others, had to find the answer to the question, “What shall I do to be saved?”  She searched her Bible and found the answer in Acts 2:38. When the day came for the class to answer the question, she was the only one with a ready answer. With a feeling of childish triumph, she quoted the passage: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Rather than receiving the teacher’s approval, she was disappointed to learn she had not given a satisfactory answer. Soon the class was over and the superintendent asked the same question. She rose and quoted Acts 2:38, but her answer was not approved again. She cried and wondered why her answer was not accepted. Just after this, Scott preached in the village school house and the little Sunday school scholar was present. To her surprise his text was the very passage she had read in Sunday school. Her response to his lesson was a request to be baptized. Her example caused six men to step forward and be baptized at the same time.

These proved to be the first fruits of a great harvest. Many more soon also obeyed the gospel. Among the converts was one who had long held in the village an unenviable notoriety—a poor fellow who was regarded as the most hopeless of an exceedingly irreligious and immoral population. He was a clever, dissipated good-for-nothing by the name of Parker. When it was announced in the village that a strange preacher was to be there to hold a series of meetings, for reasons unknown, Parker decided to attend. After a few nights of sitting on the back row, he came forward to be baptized. Needless to say, Walter Scott looked upon him with surprise and astonishment.

After Parker’s conversion, he made this statement: “I was as great a sinner as any of you; a drunkard, a gambler, poor, miserable, and wretched. But now I am redeemed from my former ways and have become a man.” As far as was known, both Parker and the 13-year-old girl remained faithful the rest of their lives. The cases mentioned show that the gospel can be brought to the comprehension of a little child and its power can be felt by one as wicked as Parker. Walter Scott’s labors resulted in planting a church that had 200 members within about two years from his first visit.

Bible Reading

Friday, July 21, 2023

Bible Reading

By Larry Coffey

David Norfleet preached a lesson recently entitled “Engaged with the Truth”. He emphasized knowing, teaching, and practicing the truth. In John 8:31-32 we read, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  This clearly stresses the necessity of reading the Bible often.

We all would acknowledge the importance of reading our Bible. What we know about God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, we learn from the Bible. Churches frequently offer annual Bible reading programs. Some have schedules for reading the Bible all the way through in one year. Many people who start the year with good intentions end up not continuing. So, churches reduce the amount to be read and schedule annual reading of just the New Testament. That works better, but still some Christians can’t seem to complete that either.

In reading a book on the life of Walter Scott, a pioneer preacher in the first half of the 19th century, I noted that bro. Scott taught and baptized a 23-year-old-man by the name of Samuel Church. He was a diligent Bible student and by the time he was 40 years old, he had read the New Testament through 150 times and the Old Testament 75 times. One might say they didn’t have as much to do then, since there was no television or internet service. We may forget about all the modern conveniences we have which they didn’t have such as electricity, heating and a/c systems, plumbing, etc. It is probable we have “more time” available for reading than did they.

Also, in February of this year, I talked to a man who had read the Bible all the way through in 20 days in that month. The man has a full-time job and a family. This causes me to think we are  making excuses when we say we don’t have time to read the Bible daily.

We do the things we consider to be most important to us. And there are many things that should be priorities. However, I suggest that letting God talk to us each day through the reading of his word should have the highest priority. A familiar scripture is 2 Tim. 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

Can your mind fully grasp eternity? Mine can’t. However, it can understand that knowing God’s will for us is absolutely essential for us to prepare for eternity with God. And for us to know God’s will, we must have a regular Bible reading habit to which we commit a portion of our time.


Friday, June 23, 2023


By Larry Coffey

A few weeks ago, a friend told me about a man she knew who had decided he no longer wanted to undergo kidney dialysis on which his life depended. As a result, he died in less than 24 hours. She further stated he had instructed his family to have Frank Sinatra’s popular song, “My Way,” played at his funeral services. That song always makes me think about humility, or the lack thereof.

The lyrics of the first stanza of that song are as follows:

“And now the end is here

 And so I face that final curtain

 My friend I’ll make it clear

 I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain

 I’ve lived a life that’s full

 I traveled each and every highway

 And more, much more

 I did it, I did it my way”

There are three more stanzas to the song all of which end with “I did it my way.”

A number of themes are found in the Bible such as faith, love, obedience, and others which include humility. The Bible clearly teaches no one can please God who is not humble in spirit. We see many Bible examples of those who were not humble, those who did it their way. In Ex. 5:2, Pharoah says, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, l will not let Israel go.”  God said to Pharoah, “How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me?” (Ex. 10:3) We know how that ended for Pharoah.

Nebuchadnezzar was the great king of Babylon. He rejected Daniel’s advice and said in Daniel 4:30, “Is this not the great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” He did it his way. While he was speaking, the kingdom was taken from him and he ended up in the fields eating grass. After learning his lesson, his kingdom was restored and his speech changed as recorded in Dan. 4:37, “I praise and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just, and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” In Acts 12, we have King Herod receiving praise and being exalted in pride, and he was eaten by worms and died.

The biggest threat to our efforts to be humble is success. It is hard for the Super Bowl winner not to think how great he is. Or, the CEO of a large corporation not thinking the success of the company is due to his unique skills. However, it is not limited to these kinds of successes. I have known gospel preachers who were sought out for gospel meetings across the country and being told what wonderful preachers they were, to allow that success to affect their humility. Dee Bowman told a story about a preacher friend. He said they were talking on the phone on a Monday and he asked how services had gone where the preacher spoke on Sunday. The preacher said great. He said it was probably the best lesson he had ever preached. When Dee asked the topic, the preacher said “Humility.” I suspect Dee was jesting. I do well remember Gerry Sandusky when receiving compliments for his preaching, always deflected the comments about himself by responding, “Isn’t God great?”

No one is exempt from the temptation to think highly of themselves. We all have degrees of success and it is easy to start taking credit for the abilities and opportunities God has given us. No matter what we may achieve, it is God that needs to be thanked. God said in Is. 57:15, “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit.”  Is. 2:11 says, “The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”

Of course, our best example of humility is Jesus. In Mt. 11:29, he said he was meek and lowly in heart. In John 13, he washed the disciples’ feet. In Phil. 2:8 we read, “he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” He said in Mt. 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

We must remember it is not “my way” that is important. Rather, it is God’s way to which we must humble ourselves and follow.


Friday, May 26, 2023


By Larry Coffey

If you google the word “angels”, you will receive a lot of information about the Los Angles Angels baseball team. This may not have happened in the late 20th century when television shows and many books and articles were about angels. I have no research available to support it, but my impression is that angels have fallen out of favor in our present society.

One who reads the Bible will be aware of angels since the NKJV Exhaustive Concordance states the words “angel” or “angels” appears 361 times in the Bible. Like many others, as I read the Bible, I noted angels mentioned a lot but I didn’t know much about angels until I taught a class on the subject about 10 years ago. Other DH members showed a lot of interest, so I repeated the class two more times.

Who are angels and what do they do?  W.E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words has this to say in part:

“An angel is a messenger sent whether by God or by man or by Satan, and is also used of a guardian or representative in Rev. 1:20, Mt. 18:10, but most frequently of an order of created beings superior to man, Heb. 2:7, belonging to heaven, Mt. 24:36, and to God, Lk. 12:8, and engaged in His service, Psa. 103:20.”

Michael Hardin in his class book on angels lists the following functions they perform:

  --Angels are helpers and protectors to God’s people in need, Psa. 34:7.

  --Angels come to give God’s people guidance and direction, Gal. 3:19.

  --Angels come to call men to special missions, Ex. 3:2.

  --Angels come to rescue people from great danger, Gen. 19.

There are many more things which could be listed that angels have done.

The Preceptor Magazine, October 2003 edition had an article on thoughts and questions about angels. It listed some things angels and men have in common:

  --Both angels and men are alive. Both have the ability to move about, speak and worship God.

  --Neither is deity. Both are of a lower order than God. Men are yet a little lower than angels.

  --Both can choose to obey or disobey God. Each is held responsible for their choice. Their final state will depend on the choice they make, Rom. 6:16, Jude 6.

  --Both have feelings or emotions. The angels shouted for joy when God laid the foundation of the earth, Job 38:4-6.

  --Men marry and are given in marriage, and by procreation populate the earth and continue the race, Lk. 20:34, Gen. 1:28. Angels do not marry and procreate, Mt. 22:30, Neh. 9:6. This implied that angels are sexless beings. As a result, there are no baby angels, no cupids with bows and no teen angels.

  --Men are visible to one another while alive. Angels, as spirit beings, are invisible to men. There are occasions when the eyes of the beholder have been opened so that he has the ability to see angels, Gen. 18 and 19, Lk. 24:4.

  --Men are mortal and subject to death, Heb. 9:27. Angels are immortal, not subject to death, Lk. 20:34-38.

  --Men have a Savior, Jesus Christ. Angels that sin are kept in Tartarus in chains of darkness until their judgment, Jude 6, 2 Pet. 2:4.

To me, one of the greatest things about angels is that they are sent here to help Christians. We read in Hebrews 1:13-14: “And to which of the angels has he ever said, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet? Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?”

Someone may ask, do we have a guardian angel? I don’t believe the Bible teaches we have a specific angel to help us. Why would we want one angel when we could have many? I will take the many and be thankful for God’s grace in providing angels to help and serve us.

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