What Use is Imagination in Heaven?

Will we use our imaginations in heaven?

I’ve pondered this for a little bit now. Heaven is on my mind a fair amount, of course. I’m in God’s Word, and sin is constantly around me and in me. I long to be free of this tainted life and join my Father and my Friend Jesus in a place that is free of every defect – a place where I no longer am tainted with sin myself.

It’s also a place where our various talents and treasures will be freed from every sinful impulse, where we can praise God to the best of our abilities with nothing holding us back.

But what if one of the gifts God has given is imagination? Is it even possible to use imagination in heaven?

Think about what we use our imaginations for today. We consider how something could be better. Isn’t that half of science fiction? Better medicine, better travel, better worlds! Yet, there will be no need for that kind of imagination in heaven. It will be better already!

We can consider how things will be worse. This, hand-in-hand with the last purpose of imagination, pretty much sums up a lot of science fiction. Usually the two work together to create most fictional landscapes. Yet, with no sin in heaven, will we even be able to consider that, except as memory?

But in both those uses of imagination, I am forgetting the purpose of imagination. The purpose of imagination is to praise our God: to bring him honor and glory! Regardless of how we use our imaginations now, in heaven we will use our imaginations in the purpose for which God intended.

Revelation 19 reports that in heaven, a voice from the throne of heaven will declare, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!”

The response? “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.’”

Imagine that: all of eternity to think up new ways to praise our Savior! What could imagination unshackled from sin produce? We’ll know when we’re in that New Jerusalem. Perfect poetry? Yes, you will make it. A story that fully communicates the grace of God? Yes, you will be able to write it. A song that expresses the depths of the love of Jesus? Yes, you will sing it.

And that is more than I can imagine now, but it is what God promises: a place where we will be free to praise him without sin, beyond our wildest imaginings now.

And I look forward to it.

3 thoughts on “What Use is Imagination in Heaven?

  1. This is a thought I’ve had before myself. I sometimes imagine pulling out a guitar in heaven and using my gift of music to praise God alongside some of my favorite musicians who have already gone to glory. But what about picking up a pen and a piece of paper and writing a story? Every time I ponder that, I wonder. Because we live in a sinful world, I simply can’t imagine a story that doesn’t hinge in some way on sin and its influence in our lives. Yet, God has, by his grace, authored a story far greater than any I’ve ever come up with.

    Would remembering the sinful state of our lives now be an evil, though, in the New Earth where we’ll see how fully it’s been absolved? I don’t think so, but will I be writing about something like that?

    I guess we don’t get to know the answers yet, but I think you’ve struck on a truth: Our imaginations are gifts from God to glorify him. We will still be glorifying him in heaven. We’ll just have to wait and see how.

  2. Brandon, you hit on part of what I was wondering: Is it possible to tell a story without sin? I’d argue yes — else we would be missing two chapters in Genesis! On the other hand, like you, I just can’t imagine any story without sin!

    And, yeah — I imagine finding out how all our gifts work without sin will be one of the joys of heaven!

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