Updated: Jul 25
Heaven: A Never Ending Church Service?
There are many verses in Scripture that indicate that those of us who have trusted Christ as Savior; those of us destined for eternal life/heaven, will spend eternity praising [worshiping] God. People are often led to associate the entirety of praising or worshiping God with a Sunday morning church service or something resembling it. Pastors have even made such statements asserting this from the pulpit, saying such things to the effect of “this is just a warm-up for what Heaven will be like for all eternity!”
Now, I generally like going to church; I get a lot out of it and I feel like I have contributed to it significantly over the years; I have been and am still being blessed very much by going to and being involved in a church. However, to me (and probably most unbelievers) the idea of a never-ending church service sounds more like a painfully indefinite prison sentence than an eternal reward. I will confess that I have looked at my watch in anxious and/or irritated anticipation of the conclusion of more than one church service during my tenure as a Christian. I am guessing that this is true of other born-again folks. To the more traditional church going Christian; the hymn lover, the idea of eternally repeating choruses of the modern contemporary Christian songs with people standing in front of them jumping up and down and waiving their hands probably sounds like eternal punishment. The same is probably true of the more charismatic lover of the modern praise and worship music as they ponder the singing of a traditional style hymn that is just getting warmed up as its 2 billion and sixth verse begins. Even as a church musician who has performed and written many styles of music, and enjoys many styles of music, eternally being in a church building and hearing and singing, and even performing/leading, eternal church music as I know it here on earth, does not sound the least bit heavenly. I very enjoy hearing a well thought through, scripturally based, and inspiring sermon. But if it runs much more than 45 minutes, I am more than ready for it to be summed up wound up, and wrapped up, especially when said sermon hasn’t started until after 30-40 minutes (or more) of pre-sermon features, such as said worship music, with announcements and such, perhaps a baptism, dedication, etc., not to mention the closing song that is likely to follow the sermon, and perhaps even communion on top of that.
Some Christians may have even had to resort to stifling their minds from thinking that if Heaven were going to be an eternal church service, that they maybe would just rather not go, or at least ask for another option. Well first off, even if this were the case, I think that it goes without saying that sitting in a padded pew and periodically standing up for eternity is much better than perpetually sitting IN a perpetually extremely well stoked bonfire for eternity, but I really don’t think that the eternal pew in the church building is what awaits the believer (PRAISE GOD!! 😊). Here on earth, we are, and need to be commanded to do things such as to love our neighbor, love God, give praise and worship to God, etc. As all of us [hopefully] have experienced, there are times when no one needs to command us to love someone else, to love God, or to praise and worship God; we CHOOSE to do so because we want to; the situation is such that we are naturally moved and motivated to feel and express love and/or to offer praise and/or thanks to God or someone else. We however need the command when we don’t feel loving or thankful toward God or others because we may feel disappointed, irritated, angered, or in some other way negatively affected by them, maybe even bored with them, or we may simply dislike [part of or all of] them. We need this admonition, because here on earth, there is something wrong with every[thing]one, including ourselves, thus continually perpetuating these situations. There is of course nothing wrong with God, but due to our sinful flesh, our relationship with Him is flawed (on our end NOT HIS). This will not be the case in Heaven because there will be nothing wrong with anyone (including us) or anything! There will be no need for a command to love one another, to love God, or to praise Him; it will just come naturally; it will be the perfect order of things. Here in our fallen state, the failure or refusal to love or praise is often the path of least resistance, in Heaven the opposite will be profoundly true.
Think of some of the greatest moments in your life, especially how you were emotionally elated when you learned that something wonderful had happened to you. You WANTED to talk about it; no one was going to get you to stop talking about it. You wanted to give praise and recognition to the situation and/or person(s) who was/were responsible. You wanted to smile; perhaps you couldn’t help but to do so. You wanted to dwell on the situation. You didn’t want to stop thinking about it, and you weren’t about to or let anyone stop you for that matter, because it felt so good. You may have been so strongly compelled to shout and raise your hands in elation that you did so, regardless of what anyone else may have thought about it. You didn’t want to get back to whatever it is that you had just been doing or thinking about, because what you had been doing or thinking about paled in comparison, at least in a positive sense, in every respect to what had just happened to you. No one had to force your joyful response, it was completely natural.
In the second chapter of Ephesians, we are told:
Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
To say that God loves you and has done, and continues to do, more for you than any mortal man ever could, would be the understatements of all understatements. Through the ages; throughout eternity, He is going to continue to reveal more of His eternal love, grace and wonders to us; He can never run out of these things. This is His essence. He is eternal. He is infinite. He is perfect. We are going to go through eternity with Him continuously revealing things new to us that are infinitely more wonderful and more of a blessing than the best thing that could ever happen to or be revealed to us here on earth in our flesh, that we wouldn’t want to stop talking about and giving praise for. The wonders that are going to perpetually be getting revealed to us are going to be anything but boring, empty, and mundane. We are going to want to talk about them and who they are from; that of course is God. Praising God will not by any means need to be forced, it will be the natural response to what will continue to happen for the believer throughout eternity; we won’t want to stop and we won’t have to, EVER. Again, God is infinite and He is not going to run out of love and wonders EVER.
Because of His infinite love, power, etc., God alone is worthy of praise and worship. This is why we are all eventually repulsed by idolatry of any kind, even when it is us doing the idolizing or being idolized. When we become like Jesus and see Him as He is, as we are promised in 1 Corinthians 13:12 and 1 John 3:2, we will experience the ability and the understanding to perfectly praise and worship of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) for the first time, and again, it will just come naturally.
If you have trusted Christ as Savior, this is what awaits you. If you have not, it can be what awaits you as well, but it doesn’t yet. The Gospel; the good news, is that Christ died for your sins, according to Scripture, that He was buried, and rose again on the third day, according to Scripture (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). When we believe (commit our trust to) this Gospel, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise unto this wonderful eternity (Ephesians 1:13).
We read in the Gospel of John:
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
You can cross from belonging to the last part of the verse directly above to the first part right now, if you haven’t already, by simply trusting; believing and embracing what Christ did for you on the cross and in His Resurrection. There is a great deal more written about this wonderful truth on this website, as this is this site's main purpose. Please have an unhurried look at it and reach out to me if you would like to. Please be sure to click the button directly below for the free e-book as well; I believe it will be a blessing to you.