Author and pastor John Piper believes Christians will work in Heaven — but the work will be so “profoundly satisfying and sweet and enjoyable” that nobody in the world to come will say, “I need a weekend.”
“I think we will work in the final age to come,” Piper, founder of Desiring God and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, wrote.
“Whether we will do what we were gifted for here, or whether we will have wholly new giftings, a thousand times greater, or what kind of work John Piper will be doing, I leave in the hands of God, who planned the universe for the happiness of His people in Himself. We will not be disappointed.”
Piper weighed in on whether or not Christians will work in Heaven on his Desiring God website following a question from a reader, who asked if the Bible gives “any hints” about what work will look like in the next life.
“Will work be part of our experience of that eternal joy in God’s presence? I think the answer is yes. But I say that not because the Bible has decisive statements to that effect, but because there are significant pointers in that direction,” he said.
Parables also point toward future responsibility, the pastor said, and hint at continued responsibilities in the afterlife. He cited Luke 19:17, which speaks of servants being given authority over cities.
Christians are “born again” for good works, Piper continued, adding: “When Paul identified a purpose for the new creature in Christ — us — he said the purpose was work, ‘good works.’”
Finally, Piper said prophecies of the new creation include work. Isaiah 65:17-25, he said, gives a depiction of the new Heavens and the new Earth where humans are seen building, planting, and enjoying the fruits of their labor.
However, Piper expressed caution about being too definitive about the specifics of eternity. Drawing from various scriptures, he reminded listeners of the unimaginable and incomprehensible wonders that await believers.
“Perhaps (this is speculation) there will be sweet weariness of mind and body, the new body getting weary in the age to come such that it needs something different from its usual occupation — namely, rest and play. I don’t know, because work itself will be so profoundly satisfying and sweet and enjoyable that nobody will say, ‘I need a weekend. I’ve got to have some play time,’ because everything will be as happy and satisfying as play,” he wrote.
Though he acknowledged that some of his Evangelical peers may “disagree” with him, Piper said he believes Christians will work in eternity but left the exact nature of such work, and whether earthly giftings would play a role, in the hands of a providential God.
Piper previously shared that God created work to be a blessing, not a curse. Work in Heaven will be as it was before the fall: “thrilling, satisfying, creative.”
Piper cited Genesis 3:17-19, which describes a punishment for sin to be that the work of tending to the field would become what he described as “futile, burdensome, frustrating.”
“From the beginning, we were made for work — shaping, creating, subduing the world according to the wisdom and goodness and beauty of God,” concluded Piper. “This was not — it is not — a curse; it is a blessing. And I think it will last happily forever.”
The late renowned evangelist Billy Graham previously weighed in on the same topic, contending that the Bible says “God will have work for us in Heaven — and we ought to be glad for this!”
“After all, if all we did in Heaven was sit around with nothing to do, we’d get very bored,” he said. “But Heaven won’t be boring — and one reason is because God will have work for us to do.”
But here is the amazing thing: In Heaven, we’ll never grow weary or tired, like we do here. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, from that moment on work became a burden for the whole human race (see Genesis 3:17-19). But in Heaven, that curse will be lifted, and work will no longer be a burden. Instead, it will be a joy! The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what it will be, but we’ll be serving God — which is the highest honor imaginable.”
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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