John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

The Person You'll Be In Heaven -- Part 4

We live with a curse. There was a time when good people lived in a good environment and being bad was just a theory. But now we know badness. We know disappointment. We know dissatisfaction. Desires go unmet. Dreams go unfulfilled. We have a tendency to believe that if we could just have "more", then we would be content. But we move heaven and earth to get more, and it's never enough. Our lives have become a constant battle for, a striving after contentment. Because we're also deceived by the idea that the key to contentment is "more", we know futility.

We're even tempted to pursue "more" in a way that does not honor God. We violate sexual boundaries because we think that will bring satisfaction. We go into debt. We overeat. We cheat. We steal. We mortgage our future for the sake of getting a little more now in the hope that we can fill this void.

But it never works -- not for more than a fleeting moment.

At some point in time we must all realize that saying "yes" to God will mean saying "no" to our own appetites for a while. It's not that God doesn't want us to be satisfied; it's that he wants us satisfied in legitimate ways. And he wants us to understand the value of saying "no" to something small now so we can say "yes" to something big later.

That's the promise of God:

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. (Revelation 22:1-2)

Clear water and fruit. Personally, I was hoping for some really good deep dish pizza, but still.... This isn't really about what's on the menu in heaven. This is about being fulfilled, being satisfied.

He [who was seated on the throne] said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life." (Revelation 21:6)

Thirst in the Bible usually means some sort of unfulfilled desire. There's a day coming when the only desire you'll have will be for that which is true, good and beautiful. And every day that desire will be fulfilled.

Theologian Karl Barth had a great definition of salvation: fulfillment -- the supreme, sufficient, definitive, indestructible fulfillment of our being. And that includes the longing that is buried deeply within every heart that has ever beaten: the desire to connect with God.

In heaven you'll be thoroughly joyful, amazingly productive, morally perfect and completely satisfied -- because you'll be connected with God in a way you've never known before.