Will There Be Mulligans in Heaven?
June 30, 2014
My daughter asked me such a good question the other day. She wanted to know, if Adam and Eve did not sin, would we do everything right on the first try? Would there be mulligans and mistakes? Would everything we do be just right? Would everything we create be perfect? I found myself wishing she would have asked something about the dinosaurs, or about pets in heaven. This one had some hairs to split. So I began with the reaffirmation about sin and all the consequences of sin: our minds are depraved, we are constantly tempted to usurp God’s glory, to disobey his law, and to sin against one another. There is pain, decay, sickness, death, sadness, and yes, interference in our work. I talked about the new heavens and the new earth, where all temptation to sin will be removed and we will have eternal health. There we will joyfully serve God without all the intrusions and interferences of sin. But still, is sin to blame for everything we don’t do well on the first try? Are we all going to be experts at everything in heaven, all equally gifted and equipped? Will there be no more striking out in baseball? Will we automatically know how to solve difficult math equations without making mistakes? Will everyone be artists and every work be a masterpiece? While the Bible doesn’t give us details here, I don’t think that’s the way it works. There will certainly be no error that is a result from sin on the new heavens and the new earth. And I guess a pitcher will never have to worry about throwing out their arm. But I don’t think we are all going to magically become experts in every field. I know God is a worker of miracles, but he has given me no clues that my husband will ever be an exceptional chef. I believe we will still be gifted with different capacities to serve in our vocations, although we will be able to grow in our knowledge and sharpen our skills. We are different from God in that way. I’m confident that there will still be learning in heaven. For one thing, we will always be learning about God. How could we ever exhaust our knowledge about the almighty, eternal God? I look forward to forever learning about his Person and his work without error. This is hard for us to comprehend because we are finite beings. Our capacity to learn will be like nothing we can fathom in the state we are in now. Think about the new creation. As I look forward to beholding the beatific vision of Jesus Christ who is our great reward, I’m also in wonder of the beauty that he has shared with us now. One thing that is apparent is that beauty is diverse. We are not going to all look the same in our new resurrected bodies; we will all be different. And I believe that just as God has equipped us to serve differently now, he will do the same for eternity. We will have eternity to discover and explore God’s great artistry as we serve alongside one another. And if we will still be serving God and one another with our gifts, fulfilling the great commandment, how can we do this without further growth? As we learn more about God, more about our brothers and sisters in Christ, and more about the new heavens and the new earth, I would think we will become even better in our vocations. And what if I wanted to learn something new, like how to play the harmonica? Will I just pick one up and automatically know how to play it well? Or will I have to learn from scratch with much practice to become good? I think the latter will still be the case. There is joy in learning, putting in the time, and being rewarded with improvement. So while I do not believe that there will be mistakes on the new heavens and the new earth in the sense that we will have clear minds and bodies that can function without the interferences of sin, I don’t believe everything we do on the first try will be as good as it can be. I think we will be able to improve upon our work as we learn and grow. What do you think? And what about mulligans?