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Why Christians will grow Holier and Happier in Heaven

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Perhaps most Christians have it in their heads that once they die and enter the presence of Christ, or once they receive their glorified and resurrected bodies and are forever set free from both the presence and power of sin, they will never become more holy or more happy than they are at that moment. I think otherwise. Continue reading . . .

Perhaps most Christians have it in their heads that once they die and enter the presence of Christ, or once they receive their glorified and resurrected bodies and are forever set free from both the presence and power of sin, they will never become more holy or more happy than they are at that moment. I think otherwise.

I suspect that part of the reason for this is that we often speak of our condition in the eternal state as one of “perfection.” And how can you improve on perfection? The failure here is that whereas “perfection” may suggest deliverance from sin’s presence and power (and it does) it need not require that the “perfected” person is as knowledgeable and happy as he might ever be.

Jonathan Edwards argues that our experience in the age to come is one in which we grow in our knowledge of “God wondrous providences with respect to the world” and thus also in our delight and joy in beholding all that God has done in redeeming sinners and in making known his own glory and grace. By the way, whatever led you to believe that everything that could possibly be known about God and his ways would be “downloaded” into your brain at the moment of death or of glorification of the body? So, if the knowledge of the redeemed will increase throughout eternity, so too will their holiness. Says Edwards:

“For as they increase in the knowledge of God and of the works of God, the more they will see of his excellency; and the more they see of his excellency, . . . the more will they love him; and the more they love God, the more delight and happiness, . . . will they have in him” (Miscellany 105, Yale, 13:275-76).

Edwards’ reasoning is clear and convincing: Since we are finite (and always will be, God alone being infinite), we will always be capable of growth (in goodness and knowledge); and if our knowledge grows, so too does our happiness, as we see more and more of God’s beauty and the majesty of his saving mercy in Christ and the awe-inspiring intricacies of his providential government of all creation.

1 Comment

Thanks Pastor! This thought is so exciting and comforting to my restless (and sometimes board) soul. I often consider this glorious prospect when reading Ephesians 2:7.

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