5 Surprising Ways You’ll Stay Busy in Heaven

Whitney Hopler

Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Updated Jun 24, 2024
5 Surprising Ways You’ll Stay Busy in Heaven

Have you ever wondered what eternity in heaven will be like? While popular culture often depicts heaven as a place where you won’t do much more than relax on clouds, the Bible describes heaven as a dynamic and exciting place. Forget worrying about being bored in a place of eternal rest. The reality of heaven is much better than that. You can glimpse what heaven will really be like in the Bible, which describes heavenly activities you can enjoy. Let’s explore five surprising ways you’ll stay busy in heaven.

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Senior man joyfully praying at Thanksgiving dinner

1. Eating and drinking.

You may think that you won’t eat and drink after you leave your physical body and go to heaven, but the Bible says otherwise. In 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, the Bible describes resurrected bodies as imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual. Your earthly body will be transformed in ways that are perfectly suited for the eternal joys of heaven. Revelation 19:7-9 offers a surprising glimpse into souls in heaven enjoying a wedding supper in God’s presence together. While eating and drinking may seem like only earthly experiences, in heaven you will enjoy a feast to celebrate the union of Jesus and his bride, the church.

Imagine yourself seated at a banquet table, surrounded by fellow believers, as delicious food is served in abundance. Every bite you take and every sip you savor will become a tangible expression of the joy you experience with God. The true beauty of eating and drinking in heaven lies not in satisfying physical hunger and thirst, but in the joy of being together with God. As you gather around the heavenly table, you’ll find yourself united with believers from every place on earth, sharing stories and laughter as you delight in God’s goodness.

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a girl reading in the grass, Christians should strive to have a quiet life

2. Continuing to learn.

You won’t stop learning once you reach heaven. In fact, you’ll likely be surprised by all the great knowledge God will reveal to you there. As 1 Corinthians 13:12 points out: “Now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Prepare to discover the truth about all sorts of mysteries and be continually inspired by what you learn! Every moment will be an opportunity to expand your understanding, as you explore the intricacies of creation and contemplate the majesty of the Creator. But knowledge in heaven is not just intellectual; it’s deeply spiritual, based in a close relationship with God, the source of all wisdom.

As you walk with God in heaven, you’ll learn much more than you ever could on earth. There will be no limits to what you can find out – from the secrets of the cosmos to the depths of the human heart. You will truly be a lifelong learner, since your adventure of learning will never end. There will always be something new for you to discover about God’s boundless creativity. Revelation 21:5 declares: “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” Picture yourself traveling through heaven, with all of your senses fully alive to God’s glory reflected in everything and everyone around you. You will experience wonder with every new discovery and be in awe of God’s wondrous power and love.

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Parent and child gardening

3. Continuing to work.

Contrary to the common notion of heaven as a realm of eternal rest, the Bible says that heaven includes work. Revelation 22:3 mentions people working in meaningful service: “… The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.”

Work won’t feel stressful like it can here on earth, since Revelation 14:13 says that people in heaven “will rest from their labor” and labor refers to the stressful aspects of work. Instead, heavenly work will be fulfilling work that has a sense of purpose. Imagine doing work you truly enjoy, motivated purely by love for God and your response to God’s complete love for you. Every task you do will become a sacred offering. Your service work in heaven won’t come from a place of obligation, where you feel pressured to work. Instead, your work will be a joyful response to God’s love. Picture yourself engaged in work activities that each line up perfectly with your unique passions, gifts, and talents.

Whether you’re tending to heavenly gardens, caring for the needs of fellow believers, or participating in the administration of God’s kingdom, your work will give you opportunities to glorify God and bring joy to his heart. You’ll also experience God’s gratitude for all the good work you faithfully did during your earthly life, as Jesus tells you: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21). So, don’t worry about being bored in heaven. You will have plenty of fulfilling and important work to do. Get excited as you anticipate all the contributions you can make to heaven. 

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Praise and worship

4. Worshiping with unity in diversity.

While you probably expect to worship God in heaven, you may be surprised by how different that worship will be from earthly worship. Worship in our fallen world is too often marked by divisions among believers. Conflict and exclusion unfortunately happens in earthly churches sometimes. But in heaven, there are no divisions between people – only the communion of souls bound together by God’s love. So, when you worship in heaven, you’ll do so while enjoying true unity in God’s family.

Revelation 7:9-10 reveals that people from everywhere on earth, of all different backgrounds, will worship God together in heaven: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”

Revelation 5:11-14 describes the heavenly throne room, where different beings – angels, living creatures, and elders – all worship God in distinct ways. This suggests that worship in heaven won’t be a monotonous repetition, but a creative party of praise, with everyone participating in their own unique ways. Imagine joining the heavenly chorus and singing to God from your heart, then hearing the beauty of your voice blend harmoniously with others to create music that is better than you’ve ever heard on earth. You will bring your own unique journey of faith, story of redemption, and expression of worship that reflects your distinctive story. Your worship in heaven will be unlike anyone else’s, yet still perfectly harmonious with the whole as you all celebrate together. 

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Woman holding a black globe

5. Ruling the world with Jesus.

Incredibly, after you go to heaven, you will also rule the world with Jesus someday. Revelation 5:9-10 says that Jesus has made “persons from every tribe and language and people and nation” to be “a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Jesus says in Revelation 2:26-28: “To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations – that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’ – just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star.” Romans 8:17 reveals: “Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

As a co-heir with Jesus, you will participate alongside Jesus in his reign. That might involve bringing the principles of God’s kingdom – such as love, peace, and justice – to fruition. Imagine standing beside the King of Kings, entrusted with the responsibility of helping to administer God’s divine plan and playing a vital role in fulfilling God’s purposes. Since you will no longer struggle with sin in heaven, you will be able to handle that incredible power well. You’ll help rule with humility and integrity, reflecting the holiness of Jesus, who has called you to this high calling. Every decision you make will be guided by the influence of God’s pure love in your life. 

In conclusion, the real heaven that the Bible describes is much more exciting than the boring place of eternal rest that popular culture presents. Heaven will be a realm of infinite wonder and joy! You will stay busy in ways that fulfill you, help others, and serve God. While you can’t anticipate everything you’ll do in heaven before you get there, you can be confident from what the Bible reveals that you’ll have a lot of heavenly activities available. You’ll be surprised by everything God has waiting for you there.

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headshot of author Whitney HoplerWhitney Hopler is the author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). She has also written the young adult novel Dream Factory. Connect with Whitney on X/Twitter and on Facebook

Originally published Thursday, 23 May 2024.