Christians supposedly spend their mortal lives doing things they hope will secure them eternal life in heaven and avoiding things they consider detrimental to that aim.
The things Christians do include but are not limited to attending church, reading the Bible, praying, pursuing “good works”, avoiding sin, repenting sin, studying theology, obeying doctrine, and so forth. The things Christians try to avoid comprise the full spectrum of known and declared sins.
Thus, mortal life for most Christians is readily reducible to living by some invisible balance sheet, with all hopes pinned on being in the black on the day mortal life ends.
For the sake of argument, let’s suppose Johnny Q. Christian’s balance sheet is totally in the black the day he chokes to death on the chimichanga he happens to be eating at his local Taco Bell. Congratulations, Johnny! You made it to the Big Time! Now, wipe that guacamole from your chin and . . .
And what? Well, that depends on the kind of Christian Johnny happens to be. If he’s a certain kind of Christian, he may be lucky enough to experience the beatific vision. If he’s another kind of Christian, he won’t get to heaven immediately but will have to wait for the Last Judgment. If he’s another kind of Christian, his in-the-black balance sheet doesn’t mean anything because God determined Johnny was destined for heaven well before He created Johnny. And so on.
But what will Johnny do for eternity? Well, he’ll be in bliss, that’s for sure. And he’ll live in a special community in heaven; a community that no longer experiences death or suffering and rejoices in its love for God who is within the community. And he won’t have to worry about sinning anymore, which means he won’t have to worry about “doing the right thing” because he will be free to do the right thing all the time.
Okay, but what will Johnny do? What is the right thing in which he will invest his eternal energy and effort? I mean here he is – sin-free, eternal, beyond death, on God’s VIP team. What will Johnny do? More significantly, what does God expect Johnny to do for eternity?
Well, I hope God expects Johnny to do something creative. After all, eternity is a long time.
But why wait for eternity? Perhaps God would have liked Johnny to be creative in mortal life – and we are not speaking about writing poems or painting pictures; we are talking about spiritual creativity -- creativity based on aligning with God through freedom and love and generating something new and original into Creation that God could not have generated on His own.
That new and original creation could be a thought, an unconventional approach to a conventional challenge, or an unexpected non-reaction or counter-reaction to an incident begging reaction. Something, anything that adds newness to Creation and expands it.
And in heaven, I would hope that God would be open to working with Johnny because He knows there are things Johnny can add to Creation that He alone cannot add and that Johnny would be motivated to work with God knowing that God wants nothing more than the continued expansion of Creation.
Putting the woefully playful tone and Johnny aside, Christians must think about what they will do in heaven and what God wants them to do in heaven.
After all, they supposedly dedicate their mortal lives to getting there.