Growing In Godliness Blog
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.