We were nearing the semester's end in Religion 1O1. My students--most of them secular college freshman--were bright, inquisitive, and painfully honest. I expected to hear a few protests when we got to the Book of Revelation. Even so, a remark from one student did catch me off guard. He was bothered by the unceasing worship in Heaven (spoken of in Revelation 4).

"Why do they have to worship all the time?" David challenged. "Who would want to spend eternity doing that? If God demands that everyone worship Him forever, He must have a tremendous ego!"

Perhaps for David the most important hurdle was getting over the mistaken notion that we would spend eternity in Heaven as flattering sycophants around a powerful tyrant, saying tediously again and again: "Well, God, you sure are big. Yes, you're certainly powerful. And you've got everything figured out, too."

When I told him in class that day that I viewed Heaven quite differently, he challenged me to explain. The class listened intently; it was a question that intrigued them all. If there is a Heaven, they wanted to know, what will it really be like?"

"Think back," I told him, "to the time when you first fell in love. Do you remember what it felt like?"

His smile told me that he did.

"Do you remember how beautiful she was?"

He nodded.

"Did you ever tell her so?"

"Of course!" he said. "I couldn't stop telling her."

"Did you enjoy telling her?"

"It was a pleasure."

"Now take that pleasure, and the beauty that inspired it, and multiply it by infinity," I said. "Take those words of loving admiration, and multiply them by eternity. That's how beautiful God is, how delightful it will be to praise Him, and how long you'll want to do it. That's Heaven."

The class burst into applause, David's eyes filled with tears, and a lump rose in my throat. He was on his way to knowing firsthand what it means to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever."

Jamie Lash                     

(assisted by Brent Wallace)






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