Answer the Christian: How will Heaven mitigate our suffering on earth?
Short Answer: Heaven will dwarf our suffering into insignificance.
It is useless to respond to the suffering in this world without looking at Heaven. If this earth is all that we have, and there is nothing to look forward to, then this suffering is all there is. Without Heaven, we are born into suffering, will suffer most of our lives in different ways, and then we will perish; never knowing a world without suffering. However, a view of Heaven mitigates our suffering on earth and puts things into perspective. For example, if we say the average person suffers for twenty years out of their eighty year long life, they suffered for about twenty five percent of their life. However, if that same person suffers for twenty years and then spends an eternity in Heaven, they have suffered zero percent of their life in comparison. Even a billion years of suffering out of an eternity is zero percent effectively.
Many people do not spend time thinking about Heaven because they do not understand how great it will be. “Some of the devil’s dirtiest deeds regard his doctrinal distortion of Heaven. He’s made it sound like a place no one would want to go. After all, who wants to sport flightless wings, sit on a cloud, strum a harp, suffer amnesia (one devilish distortion is we won’t remember anyone), and sing endless choruses?” If you come to the place where you are not looking forward to spending an eternity in Heaven with God, then the devil has succeeded.
It may also be hard to have a heavenly perspective because heaven is so far beyond our comprehension. It is hard to imagine what we will do for all of eternity. Even though we are not able to comprehend everything about Heaven, there are many things that we can know. We will be living with the all-loving, all-compassionate, all-forgiving, all-powerful, peaceful, good God. There will be no pain or suffering. That is absolutely incredible to think about after living in this broken world. “The Creator of stars and moons and planets and the Milky Way Galaxy and of yellow, orange, pink, and purple sunsets will be there.” We can only imagine that Heaven will have many things from this world as well as things that are far greater. This understanding should help us put our life here on this world into perspective and know that the suffering we endure is only temporary, but life with God is eternal.
This is one part in a series of posts on why God allows evil. Look below to read previous posts that you missed and see what is coming up. Each section will be posted weekly in the order they appear below.
- Why do people suffer for a sin Adam committed long ago?
- Why does God let a child die?
- How might it be fair that God ordered the killing of Canaanite children?
- Why do bad things happen to good people?
- Why is eternal punishment fair?
- If conscious belief in Jesus is required for salvation, how is that fair to those who have never heard the gospel?
- Free will isn’t so valuable for God to permit so much suffering.
- What good is the suffering I endure?
- How will Heaven mitigate our suffering on earth?
- Why does God allow evil?
 Clay Jones, “Why I Look Forward to Eternity,” Clay Jones, January 30, 2012, accessed December 7, 2015, http://www.clayjones.net/2012/01/why-i-look-forward-to-eternity/.
February 24, 2016 at 11:29 pm
“We will be living with the all-loving, all-compassionate, all-forgiving, all-powerful, peaceful, good God. There will be no pain or suffering.”
I wonder though. According to Wikipedia ,roughly 95% of all people ever born will end up in Hell . Presumably at the same time the 5% in heavan will be aware of the dire predicament of their fellow human beings. Then how will there not be much heavanly suffering in the form of mental anguish at the thought that loved ones are burning.for eternity.? I also wonder if those in heaven will feel perhaps god isn’t quite the all-loving, all-compassionate, all-forgiving, all-powerful, peaceful, good God that you present in your piece.
February 25, 2016 at 4:03 am
Thanks for the comment James.
First of all, I would like to know how Wikipedia knows the percentages of people going to heaven or hell. Are they the ones making that decision or is it that they know what God is going to decide? There is just simply no way that anyone could know what is happening inside of anyone else at the point of their death to determine their eternal destiny. However, Matthew 7 does make is seem like more people will enter hell than will enter heaven. We just can’t put percentages on it with our limited knowledge.
Second, I was very recently asked this question about the knowledge of loved ones in hell while we are in heaven. I am convinced that when we enter the presence of God and experience true love, compassion, forgiveness, and see his perfect justice, we will have a better understanding. We will see what it really means to love someone completely. Right now we are looking at our eternal destiny with a very limited understanding and part of it don’t make sense. It should be our goal now to understand that we don’t want anyone, especial a close loved one to spend an eternity in hell. This should encourage us to do everything possible to help them understand the hope that is only found in the name of Jesus.
February 29, 2016 at 12:12 pm
This really spoke to my heart. Thanks for a great read.
February 29, 2016 at 1:36 pm
Thank you for sharing.