1. Death will be defeated.
2. Righteousness will be established forever.
3. Our bodies will be full redeemed.
4. All past offenses and wounds will be healed.
5. Our needs will be forever and fully met.
6. Conflict will cease.
7. Relationships will be loving, peaceful, perfect.
8. Our work will be meaningful, joyful, successful and fulfilling.
9. God will dwell among us openly and manifestly.
10. We will be utterly satisfied forever in God and His goodness to us.
11. We will be fully “glorified.”
12. Christ will be eternally glorified in us.
13. We will experience the fullness of mercy.
14. Will enjoy the final safety of all we’ve entrusted to God.
15. We will receive “the unfading crown of glory.”
16. We will receive: “the crown of righteousness.”
17. We will receive “the crown of life.”
18. We will shine forever to God’s glory.
19. We will finally and fully be conformed to the image of Jesus.
20. God will wipe every tear.
21. There will be no more death or pain.
22. We will experience “fullness of joy.”
23. We will be invited to the joy of our Master.
24. We will be welcomed to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
25. The Kingdom of God will have come.
26. Rewards will be distributed and enjoyed.
27. The curse will be reversed!
28. We will be free from indwelling sin.
29. The “world” system will be destroyed.
30. The devil defeated and his demons defeated.
31. Jesus will receive us to Himself that we might be with Him.
32. All things revealed for the truth of what they are.
33. We will receive the lives we “lost” for Jesus.
34. We will be manifested fully as the sons of God.
35. Jesus will be fully vindicated before all creation.
36. We will be vindicated in our faith.
37. We will see mighty angels securing Christ’s final triumph!
38. Relief will be given to all who have been afflicted.
39. We will receive our inheritance.
40. It will be a day of joy and gladness.
41. All the promises of God will be fulfilled to the nth degree.
42. The “deposit” of the Holy Spirit will be paid out fully.
43. What we’ve known in part, will be fully known to us.
44. Our waiting on Jesus will be vindicated.
45. Our labors to bring back the King will be rewarded.
46. All nations united in worship of God.
47. God will be all in all.
48. Things you can’t even begin to imagine.
49. We will come into possession and experience of “all things” …
50. We will behold how “all things [have worked] together for good.”
Now take your Bible and see if you can find 50 more!
Can you recall the first time you … ate pizza in a restaurant? Went to a professional baseball game? Laid eyes on the one who would become our spouse? Held your child? Went to the emergency room?
Do you have a recollection of your first … day of School? Car? Date?
Add up all the “firsts” in your life; plot them along a timeline of your life. Where do you find the greatest concentration of “firsts”? It’s probably in the first portion of the timeline.
Here are a couple of lines from Scripture. Tell me on which end of the timeline of life do you think the author was when he wrote this.
“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new?’ It has been already in the ages before us.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)
If you guessed him to be an older man, I’d say you are correct.
When we are young our orientation to life is generally future oriented. We are facing forward. We imagine and anticipate great things.
As we age our orientation to life becomes more and more oriented to the past. We are facing backward. Anticipation has been replaced by experiences and the memories that go with them. We no longer engage life according to the possibilities, but more and more interpret it through our experiences.
But here’s my question: Does it have to be this way?
I don’t think so. Hold the aging Solomon’s cynicism with life against the hopeful view of the future that gripped the aged Apostle John. To him God said, “Behold, I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:3).
Note, He does not say, “I will make all things new.” Nor does He say “I will have made all things new.” Nor yet, “I made all things new.” It is, to be technical about it, a present tense verb. That might simply mean that at the moment of speaking it God would be in the midst of making all things new. But there is also the legitimate possibility that this is descriptive of what God might ever and always say and do in the eternal future of what we call “heaven.” Forever—for all eternity—God will continuously be making all things new.
Is not this what God is doing in this very moment in time (2 Cor. 3:18; 4:16-18)? So what’s to say that heaven won’t be made up of a continuous, ongoing renewal … so that everything, each time will be always be a “first” time?
We concluded that most of the “firsts” of life are front-loaded on our timelines. But maybe that isn’t accurate. And maybe it isn’t how we are supposed to live life. Answer this: How many times have you lived this specific minute on this specific day? Only once! You may be doing it in a place you’ve been many times; surrounded by people you’ve known all your life. But you’ve never before lived this day in this place with these people in this specific set of circumstances. This is the first time you’ve ever lived this day, this moment! You’re in the midst of a “first time”!
I leave you with three challenges that I hope will aid you in learning to live all of life’s “firsts” with imagination and anticipation. I think they bring the fabric of heaven down to earth: