John Piper asks this question (Paraphrase), “Would you be satisfied in heaven with streets of gold, seeing all your friends and family, a big mansion, plenty of food, having all your tears wiped away, and being happy all the time… but God Himself wasn’t there? Would heaven still be heaven without God?”
He suggests that most people would be satisfied. But the truth of the matter is that heaven without God is not heaven, it is hell. It is the presence of God that makes heaven, heaven… and it is the absence of God that makes hell, hell. All God does when it comes to eternity is give people what they want now on earth. He never sends anyone to hell against their will and no one is ever forced to go to heaven agaainst their will either.
Eternity is simply a contiuation of what people choose in this life… carried out to the maximum degree for all of time. And that is why what we choose now is so important. It exposes the inclination of our heart. If a person chooses now to God Himself as their strength, joy, and life… God will honor that in eternity. If a person chooses life apart from God now… He will also honor that for all eternity.
Thomas Watson (A Puritan Divine) wrote: “God never intended that we should dig happiness out of the earth which He cursed.”
Consider the following Scriptures. Compare them to what you seek to bring joy into your life. See if these texts expose an inclination in your life that… if carried out into eternity… would result in greater joy or deep sorrow.
Psalm 16:5, “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot.”
Psalm 73:25, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth I desire besides You.”
Job 22:25, “The Almighty will be your gold and your precious silver.”
Genesis 15:11, “The Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your very great reward.'”
Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.”
Where are you digging for gold? What is the source of your precious silver? Who (Or what) is your very great reward? What do you look forward to most about heaven?