Have you ever wondered what will happen when we pass away and if we will go to heaven?
Out of curiosity, after pondering such a question myself, I recalled the conversations of several Christian friends over the years on what they felt would happen after we pass away.
I recall a mixed bag of responses but the most common was a response along the lines of, ‘We will go to heaven and worship our Lord forever in the clouds and get those Ferrari/house/things we always wanted!’
I feel Hollywood has actually changed the way people might interpret Heaven and what happens after we die. Video seems to have more impact than reading text and so, our minds recall back to scenes of heaven which we have seen on TV or the movies. Such viewings I think can co-mingle in our minds with the truths—and that’s not a good thing.
There is indication of heaven being a paradise—Jesus so told the criminal hanging next to him on the cross. ‘Soon you will be with me in paradise,’ Jesus spoke. (Luke chapter 23 verse 43) He said this to him in current tense and was not necessarily referring to us being there in the future or forever.
Heaven is referred to in several places in the Bible, but nothing I would consider specifically relating to us residing in this place in the clouds.
In the book of Revelation Verse 21, Chapters 1 to 5, we find reference to ending up in a ‘New Jerusalem’ which comes down from Heaven, complete with a new Heaven and earth and God dwelling with us in this new place.
What would we do in Heaven?
One theory which stumps me is the belief we will all be permanently standing in a circle all holding hands around our Lord on the throne, worshipping him for all eternity. There are references to the Angels doing this albeit not in a circle, but not man—quite to the contrary in fact as the books of Genesis and Revelation detail.
While I believe we will be worshipping him for all eternity, we should actually be striving to do this now in everything we do, as we are commanded to do so in Colossians chapter 3, verse 17: ‘And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’
Back to the garden
I think back to the garden of Eden—God walked with them before the fall.
Reading Genesis gives the impression the Lord enjoyed walking with Adam and Eve, even bringing animals and plants to him in order to name them.
God enjoys interacting with us and including us. He even includes us in the joy of his creation by designing us to be able to have children.
Revelation chapter 21, verse 3 as mentioned earlier has a similar theme: ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.’
I find that quite exciting to know we will personally dwell with him! Of course we will worship him, but I feel it will be so much more than just a constant church style hands in the air eternal worship.
I look at the diversity of the world even in its fallen state, and it is full of marvels.
It would be my joy to sit and listen to our Lord talk about his designs.
I don’t think we can truly comprehend what it will be like although I don’t believe the emphasis will be on ourselves—what material things we can have which we missed out on earth.
Before the fall, do you notice Adam and Eve seemed to lack self-awareness?
Being self-aware is a precursor to being selfish as you have the ability to focus on yourself if you are aware of yourself.
Have you ever noticed if you put an animal in front of a mirror it does not understand it is a reflection of itself and thinks it is another animal? I can’t help but wonder if that’s what it was like for Adam and Eve.
After the fall, the first thing they noticed is they were naked, and covered themselves. How did they not notice they were naked before? There is no mention of them being clothed and God taking their clothes away.
We are commanded to deny ourselves as in Luke chapter 9 verses 23-24, to take up our cross and follow him. It makes sense we would need to strive to be like this to break away from the fallen nature of selfishness. The un-controlled sin of selfishness can get quite ugly—the nature of narcissism comes to mind and is something we need an active mind against.
So while you have your beliefs on what happens after death, I just challenge you to do your own biblical research and not take the word of the guy next door. You might be surprised what you will find!
Michael Dahlenburg is an electronics technician currently working in the ATM industry. He is non-denominational and has previously been involved in church plants and assisting those in ministry. His interests include; enjoying family, home DIY, gardening, most things tech-related and driving his wife crazy with a constant stream of inventions!
He lives with his wife Michelle and three children in God’s own land of Southern Adelaide, Australia.
Michael Dahlenburg’s previous articles may be viewed at