Will Heaven Be Boring?

Will Heaven Be Boring? July 16, 2023

Is Heaven Boring? What perceptions do we have about eternity? In intriguing chapters in Why Does God Allow Evil? professor and apologist Clay Jones (D. Min.) tackles such questions. He suggests that we will have “free will” in heaven, and this provides a reason for why we suffer on earth—“so that God can release us in His eternal kingdom to do what we want to do and yet not sin… but will heaven be worth it?” (p. 160).

To arrive at a resounding yes to this question requires first that misperceptions and objections about eternity be addressed, and then he provides reasons why heaven will not be boring. I will mix in some of my own reflections with some of his responses.

Cherub angels boredom in heaven
“Raffaello-Sanzio-CC-BY-SA-3.0” via wikimedia.org

Misperceptions, Objections, and Responses about Heaven

Jones writes that “if all we’re going to do is sport wings, sit around on clouds, and play harps while singing the same song forever and ever, that’s not attractive me…” (p. 161). Nor should it be—the Bible never claims that such things are to resemble the fully realized kingdom of heaven. Some of the other misperceptions he lists are as follows:

  1. We will not recognize others and thus be lonely in heaven?

But the Apostle Paul can affirm that he will boast of the Corinthians on the day of the Lord (2 Corinthians 1:14), which presupposes his memory of them will still intact. Also, eternal life will involve our own resurrection when the Lord returns (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:12–28). When Jesus rose from the dead his disciples recognized him; we could thus expect similar recognition when we rise again.

  1. We will have too many upsetting memories in heaven?

According to Scripture, the light and momentary sufferings believers currently experience prepares them for a far more valuable eternal weight of glory related to the coming age (2 Corinthians 4:17). There is also the promise that God works all things for the good of the believer in Christ (Romans 8:28).

Jones brings up the illustration of a five-year-old child getting a polio vaccine. The pain she cries over for about five minutes lasts her a lifetime of protection, making the momentary pain incomparable to the far greater benefit received. Paul assures that the sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed (Romans 8:18). This suffering obviously includes the bad memories.

  1. There will be too many dull and boring people in heaven?

Imagine a place where there are innumerable people like Saturday Night Live’s “Church Lady”! Jones responds, however, that there will also be murderers (Moses), adulterers (David), and hookers (Rahab) in heaven, too; the difference is that they will be repentant. This is a rather tongue-in-cheek answer, but for me the objection is itself silly. If you love God and love other people, how could you not love relationships you will have in heaven when all human flaws have disappeared? Frankly, I feel sorry for the skeptic who has not experienced such love. But they could, if they will dare to trust in their Creator…

  1. It will be boring doing the same thing forever?

This objection brings out that some things we find pleasurable and entertaining in this life we will end up growing tired of doing. So, even the things that we may find pleasurable in heaven, after doing them year after year, century after century, we will finally find them to be tiresome. This puts an interesting spin on the problem evil: “How could a good God bore us forever?” (p. 175)

Jones responds in a number of ways. Among them he asserts that even in this life there are certain things he cannot ever imagine himself growing tired of, such as love, the beauty of nature, and prime rib with a stuffed, baked potato. From this we could infer—how much more will we enjoy a place where we do not have the current limitations we do in this life, and there is endless variety?

Expanding on the thoughts of Oxford professor Richard Swinburne, Jones suggests that in eternity there will be worthwhile happiness along with supreme meaning. We will also have friendship with God who is powerful enough to hold our interests and show us “new facets of reality” along with His own nature (p. 176).

An Exciting Eternity

With an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful creative God who desires to love us and takes pleasure in our joy, can we honestly think that eternity will be boring? I don’t know exactly all I’ll be “doing” in the age to come, but if it includes love, joy, peace, and a relationship with the Eternal One, I can’t imagine it will be dull!

About B. J. Oropeza
B. J. Oropeza is Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies at Azusa Pacific University and Seminary. Among his many works include Perspectives on Paul: Five Views (Baker Academic), 99 Answers to Questions about Angels, Demons, and Spiritual Warfare, The Gospel According to Superheroes: Religion and Popular Culture, and commentaries on 1 and 2 Corinthians through Cascade Books and SBL Press. You can read more about the author here.

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