When discussing or debating Biblical texts, I tend to apply logic, adopting a literal interpretation despite its passages being mostly allegorical. I do this because, in my experience, religious people tend to view the Bible this way until inconsistencies, contradictions, or inconvenient content is exposed. They usually refute these revelations with defenses like, “It’s God’s word corrupted by man,” or, “Man is incapable of fully understanding God’s meaning or intent,” which I’m certain will be used when countering this article. Regardless, after reading the Bible several times and viewing it in a literal context, I have concluded that heaven sounds lame.
Know that I am not trying to bash Christians or those practicing other religions—we all have our own image of what heaven might look like—but I do want to point out how heaven is described in the Bible and expose why it might not be all it’s cracked up to be.
Verses to Consider & Discuss
1.) He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (Revelation 21:4)
On the surface, this sounds nice. However, what will become of the feelings/memories of those who don’t make it into heaven? I, like several friends and family members, probably won’t make it to the pearly gates. Will the ones that do forget about us? Will they be indifferent to our eternal damnation? Or will God force heaven dwellers into a state of ignorance? Obviously, he’ll have to repress our ability to think and feel certain things.
2.) There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance (Luke 15:7)
I assume jealousy will be eradicated in heaven so someone possibly having more joy than you shouldn’t be a problem, right? I guess we won’t all be equal in heaven either.
3.) And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; fand there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads (Revelation 4:3)
How many entities, saints, or beings will there be in power that we have to be subordinate to? I didn’t think there would be hierarchies in heaven since other verses mention how we will be like the angels.
4.) (3 Verses): The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass (Revelation 21:8); The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald (Revelation 21:19); The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass (Revelation 21:21)
I’m not impressed by your golden toilet, Trump…I mean, um, “God.” I don’t think God has a reason to show off by the time people enter heaven. I mean, at that point, I think most people will get it…he is god. I also wonder if God has superficial tastes or if he simply likes representing his glory and majesty with expensive items. Regardless, earthly riches and shiny things seems kind of tacky, if you ask me.
5.) Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood (Revelation 22:15)
No dogs!?!? Heaven is definitely not for me (I’m sure the authors meant dog-like people)! I’m also a smidge perverted so I’ll offer up another no thanks. The rest makes sense, unless they accepted Christ and begged for forgiveness…(in this previous article (and this one), I argue against eternal damnation; no matter how terrible the sinner was. A lifetime of sin should not result in an eternity in hell for a God who “loves his children”).
6.) (Two Verses): Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:27); The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him (Revelation 12:9)
Ancient folklore mentioned dragons horde gold and virgins; following it down sounds like more fun. Plus, it sounds like all the other cool people might be headed down that way as well.
7.) After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen (Revelation 21:9-12)
This reminds me the scene from The Mummy when all the brainwashed followers, after being pummeled with plagues and covered with boils, chant “Imhotep (video link here).” I have a few questions: are the robes mandatory? What about memorizing the chants? I have a bad memory, will I be punished if I forget the words? Also, I assumed (and hoped) we’d be naked in heaven, returning to a natural state like in the Garden of Eden.
8.) (Last One): No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever (Revelation 22: 3)
Similar to the previous passage, I wonder if service is mandatory…? Do we rotate being servants? Below you’ll find a link to a source explaining all the wonderful ways heavens patrons will get to worship and serve God, for all eternity.
Lastly, why do I have to be branded? Unless I can accidentally wander into another god’s herd of followers, it seems unnecessary.
Everybody’s version of heaven is different. Most people believe in it because it is comforting, knowing there’s something after this life, and the possibility of seeing lost loved ones again. I know this article was sarcastic in a lot of ways, but in all honesty, I kind of hope for those things as well (definitely not the Hell parts because I am definitely screwed!), but I won’t count on it. I’ll try to spend my life finding a little heaven on earth, just like Belinda Carlisle suggests.
Anyway, I’d like to throw my religious friends a bone and share a verse that may restore your hope/faith a bit: But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Before You Go!
What are your thoughts? Do you believe in heaven? Do you believe it is as the Bible describes? Do you think heaven sounds lame like I do? Let me know what you think in the Comments Section below!
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