Will We Learn in Heaven?

Will we still be learning in heaven? (image courtesy of pixabay.com)

Will we still be learning in heaven? (image courtesy of pixabay.com)

I have recently discovered a previously unknown fear of mine: I fear Not having enough knowledge because I feel like having a lack of knowledge leads to a wasted life in some way.  My thirst for knowledge about many things is insatiable. This is why I currently have somewhere between 900-1200 volumes of books in my personal library.  I want to know more than I currently know and I am finding that I am never satisfied with what I do know. I am always wanting to learn more and to expand and improve my knowledge. However, I’ve come to realize a very sobering, and even, somewhat depressing thought: I’ll never read even half of the books in my library should I die even at an old age. My time is short and my ability to read and understand is slow. I’ve come to realize that I have many questions that will remain unanswered on the day I die due to my lack of time and ability to read everything I’d like to read. However, some bit of information has recently come my way that has brought me great comfort, namely, that we will continue to learn in the next life! (see Randy Alcorn’s article here for more info. about this topic: http://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Mar/6/heaven-chapter-32-what-will-we-know-and-learn/). One basic biblical argument that I believe can be given to support this notion is the fact that God is eternal and infinite and man is finite, and it will always be this way in some measure. Psalm 147:5 says that God’s “understanding has no limit.” Likewise, Isaiah 40:28 says that God’s understanding is an “understanding no one can fathom.” Is it even logical, or biblical, to say that we could we mine all of the inexhaustible knowledge of God after even 15 trillion years in eternity with Him? Is it even logical, or biblical, to say that we could we mine all of the inexhaustible knowledge of God after even 15 trillion years in eternity with Him? Click To Tweet There’s nothing that says we won’t still be finite in some way in the next life, but it seems quite certain that we won’t know as the infinite God knows in eternity. What does this mean for my life now?

I CAN BE CONTENT WITH LIMITED KNOWLEDGE NOW

I can be content not knowing everything now because I won’t know everything after I die. It seems sensible that my unanswered questions will still be unanswered in heaven. I think that it’s also sensible to assume that maybe there are more resources in heaven (talk with Jesus & Paul, Augustine, etc.?) to help me better bridge the answer to my questions. This seems plausible, but even if I did chat with Jesus or Paul, would I still know absolutely EVERYTHING just as God Himself Knows Everything? This seems quite unlikely. Therefore, I can be content now with a lack of knowledge now since a lack of knowledge will always exist within my mind.


I CAN BANISH THE GUILT AND ANXIETY ASSOCIATED WITH HAVING LIMITED KNOWLEDGE

Since it seems quite plausible that I will have limited knowledge for all eternity, what this means, then, is that I can chill out (a little bit!!) when it comes to learning all I desire to learn while alive on earth. I don’t have to live with a constant low-grade guilt because I’m not learning all I can now because I’ll still be learning in heaven. I can take the questions I have now WITH ME to Heaven! This is a tremendous comfort to me & it really helps to ease the anxiety I can sometimes feel to know more and more. I can rest content in my finiteness knowing that I’ll always carry my finiteness with me, even into eternity. This means that many of the great theological and philosophical quandaries that we have now will carry over into the afterlife. Matters of the trinity, predestination/man’s responsibility, the existence of Satan, God’s glory arising out of evil, the hiddenness of God, & a thousand other questions, will remain quandaries in heaven. We will STILL be learning about the Trinity in heaven. IN FACT, you could say that once we’re in heaven and we actually meet the Trinity, face to face, that the issue will get even MORE complex at that moment!

Christian Books and Bibles


I CAN BE FREE TO FOCUS ON PARTICULAR AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE NOW

Since I don’t have to put so much pressure on myself to know everything now because many questions will go with me when I die, I am free, therefore, to pursue a few areas of knowledge really well to make my life count for Christ and to make a difference as much as possible. I do not have to feel obligated to pursue a thousand avenues of knowledge and spread my knowledge so thin to be a mile wide, but I can now focus my life on a few avenues of knowledge that best fit my gifts and passions and calling.


I CAN REJOICE: WE WILL LEARN FOR ETERNITY!

For me, personally, it excites me that we will be learning forever in heaven. I love learning and learning is exciting to me. Will there be books in heaven? I don’t know, but we will be learning, & this is exciting. So, this limit of knowledge that I now have is actually a gateway to a portion of joy for eternity, namely, the capacity to learn and assimilate knowledge forever. This should not be taken as a negative that we don’t (& won’t ever!) know it all, but it’s a great, eternal positive that we can rejoice in!

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I CAN BE DILIGENT NOW TO LEARN WHAT I CAN AND NOT BE LAZY

The fact that we won’t know it all now, or in heaven, is not an excuse for us to not use our lives for God’s glory in deep study and reflection on at least some areas of life. Sloth is sin and living a shallow life, theologically, will result in a life that is lived at a shallow level. Wrong theology is dangerous and damning, therefore, we must correct wrong theology with right theology, and that requires reading and studying. As it has been often quipped: We are all theologians, but will we be bad theologians or good theologians? Click To Tweet We must not heap false guilt on ourselves if we are at a difficult point in our lives to read and study deeply (many young children at home, invalid, etc.), but we must also push ourselves to learn more when we can. Tim Challies has given us a chart here to assist us in being more disciplined with reading more.


WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I’d love to hear any questions or comments you have in the “Leave a Reply” section below.

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