Are there jet skis in heaven?

October 10, 2006 | By | 19 Replies More

This morning, I was watching one of the local religious television stations, listening to a preacher describe his beliefs about what heaven will be like.  He described “walking hand-in-hand with Jesus and having Jesus answer all of my  questions about how he created the Universe.”  I was dumbfounded.  Walking hand-in-hand with Jesus?  Exactly how does that happen, given that there will (presumably) be hundreds of millions of other people also in heaven, also wanting to walk hand-in-hand with Jesus, and also wanting to ask Jesus their own questions?  Will there be a “Take-A-Number” machine in heaven, so all of Jesus’ eager followers can remember their respective positions in the queue waiting to see him?

Then I got to thinking…what will that preacher do in heaven after Jesus has answered every imaginable question he has about how the Universe was created?  What will that preacher — and the hundreds of millions of other Believers — do with themselves for the rest of eternity after Jesus answers all of their questions? 

That’s when I wondered:  are there jet skis in heaven?  Hundreds of millions of jet skis, so everyone can ride together if they want?  And will the jet skis all have screaming engines, like the ones that are so popular here on earth? 

Then I thought:  what about NASCAR?  NFL football?  Bowling?  Professional wrestling?

And are there video games in heaven?  Violent video games, which are very popular, even among Christians?

We can be confident there will be music in heaven, but what kind of music?  Gospel?  Country?  Rap?  Punk rock?  Christian rock?

Speaking of music, will there be parties in heaven?  Big, raucous parties of Believers celebrating their good fortune at being admitted to heaven?  Will there be party hats (halos?) for everyone?  Will college-aged men paint large letters on their chests, so when they stand in a row they will spell out “JESUS” or “GOD?”

And what will happen to the different Christian denominations in heaven?  Will Catholics congregate at the bar, while Puritans protest that alcohol is a sin?  Will the Shakers be shaking and the Quakers be quaking?  Will Pentecostals be speaking in tongues?  Will people even need to speak, or will communication be telepathic, the way Christians claim that God speaks to them now?  Indeed, will people even be able to speak, given that speaking requires the movement of air, and we don’t actually know if there is air in heaven?  What use do eternal beings have for air?

And will people still have emotions in heaven…in particular, anger?  After all, God has had many fits of ranting, raving anger, so human emotions, including anger, seem likely to exist in heaven.  What form will human anger take?  Will Believers who were formerly angry redneck bigots on earth still despise homosexual Believers?  Will pro-life Believers still oppose pro-choice Believers?  Will Jewish Believers who died in the gas chambers of Germany’s death camps join hands and sing songs with the Nazi Believers who put them there? 

Will heaven really be one big happy family?  Or will the Believers on jet skis still annoy the Believers who want peace and quiet?

Keep in mind:  heaven (“New Jerusalem”) is a cube, about 1400 miles on a side and 200 feet high (see Revelation 21:16-17).  If just 200 million Believers make it into heaven (a very low estimate given that some evangelical Christians claim America’s population of Believers already exceeds that number), that’s about 100 people per square mile (about equal to the population density of Wisconsin).  If a lot more Christians are “saved” (and they all seem to believe they will be), then heaven could be very a crowded place.  You’d better bring deodorant.

Share

Tags: , ,

Category: American Culture, Humor, Religion

About the Author ()

Grumpypilgrim is a writer and management consultant living in Madison, WI. He has several scientific degrees, including a recent master’s degree from MIT. He has also held several professional career positions, none of which has been in a field in which he ever took a university course. Grumps is an avid cyclist and, for many years now, has traveled more annual miles by bicycle than by car…and he wishes more people (for the health of both themselves and our planet) would do the same. Grumps is an enthusiastic advocate of life-long learning, healthy living and political awareness. He is single, and provides a loving home for abused and abandoned bicycles. Grumpy’s email: grumpypilgrim(AT)@gmail(DOT).com [Erich’s note: Grumpy asked that his email be encrypted this way to deter spam. If you want to write to him, drop out the parentheticals in the above address].

Comments (19)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Grumpy: You post reminded me of my earlier post: whether there is sex in heaven (a topic that was seriously addressed on Christian talk radio back around the time this blog was created).  I also wrote a post mentioning the proclamation (by another radio host) that your reward for going to heaven is that you will stand around praising God for eternity. Nothing else happened. No jet skis.

  2. Skblllzzzz says:

    I think you hit on a nice point here: Believers try their utmost to portray everything as not changing. And when they can't deny changes, they try to limit time to a rediculously short span (6000 years or so). They fantasize a static world with static people and imagine purpose in nothing happening. The whole point of this exercise is of course to reject responsability for ones own actions; God and the Devil did it all and we are not to blame for anything.

    Boring would sum up that world for me.

    And then there is heaven, onto which you can project any silly thing you like, because nobody will ever prove you wrong. Of course it has to be a static environment also, again preventing exposure to responsabilities and obligations.

    This has to be the ultimate in boring, the Kingdom of Boredom.

    I am willing to bet my vast non-existing capital that heaven is a place full of inescapable evolution, from which even a retreat in Hell will not give solace. Hehe….

  3. grumpypilgrim says:

    Further to Erich's comment, I also wrote a previous post about the elusive meaning of life that Jesus offers his followers: http://dangerousintersection.org/?p=362.

    BTW, I pointed out, above, the challenge of getting through the queue to walk hand-in-hand with Jesus. If Jesus gives each person one day of such one-on-one contact, and if heaven has 200 million people, then Believers can expect to wait 200 million days between meetings. That's more than 500,000 years.

    Of course, if Jesus shortens his visits to just one hour per person, and if he works continuously without ever taking a break, then Believers can expect to wait more than 22,000 years between meetings.

    In other words, spending an eternity in heaven would mean that each Believer would spend 22,000 years praising God, then spend one hour chatting with God, then spend another 22,000 years praising God. After a million years of this routine, each Believer would have accumulated less than two days of face-time. For Christians who believe God will have nothing better to do than go on long, leisurely strolls with them, they're probably in for a rude awakening.

  4. Dan Klarmann says:

    Can you imagine being the poor deity/demigod/trinity who has to answer the exact same inarticulately expressed questions over and over and over for all eternity? Or at least as many years as the Earth exists times the number of people who get there to ask in any given year times the amount of time for each former mortal to get satisfaction. Close enough to eternity.

    Is Heaven Jesus' punishment for something?

    Note: "True Christians" know that time is "different" there than here, so it isn't an issue for them.

  5. gina says:

    This piece is hi-larious. Love it.

  6. Erich Vieth says:

    What if the citizens of heaven start squabbling over who gets to sit next to Jesus or who gets the cushiest cloud? Mustn't there be some sort of Celestial Court System to sort these things out? If so, does that mean at least SOME lawyers will be allowed into heaven?

    I have a hard time imagining a meaningful heaven. Yet I've heard dozens of versions promulgated by those who base their Earthly good deed on the expectation that they will get to go "there." (This really is a strange version of morality–even stranger than buying all those boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to "help the Girl Scouts." It's an overwhelmingly and intentionally selfish form of morality that I discuss here). Really, what kind of God would sit around soaking up constant worship for eternity? Why would anyone allow such a thing to go on?  The thought of such a Being creeps me out. Omnipotence and Omniscience can certainly do better than this.

    I'll end with this quote by George Bernard Shaw:

    Heaven, as conventionally conceived, is a place so inane, so dull, so useless, so miserable, that nobody has ever ventured to describe a whole day in heaven, though plenty of people have described a day at the seaside.

  7. Justin says:

    You silly heathens… what makes you think time is linear in Heaven or that there couldn’t be an infinite number of dimensions in which everyone essentially had their own personal Jesus to walk hand in hand with? Of course it must be this way, Depeche Mode figured this out back in the 80’s and Johnny Cash verified it for us just a few years ago.

    My God I’ve just had the most divine vision… The “Man in Black” hand in hand with Jesus on a jet ski at a party cove in the sky! I must commit this image to canvas.

  8. spyder says:

    Talking Heads from 1979:

    Everyone is trying to get to the bar.

    The name of the bar, the bar is called heaven.

    The band in heaven plays my favorite song.

    They play it once again, they play it all night long.

    Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.

    Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.

    There is a party, everyone is there.

    Everyone will leave at exactly the same time.

    Its hard to imagine that nothing at all

    Could be so exciting, and so much fun.

    Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.

    Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.

    When this kiss is over it will start again.

    It will not be any different, it will be exactly

    The same.

    Its hard to imagine that nothing at all

    Could be so exciting, could be so much fun.

    Heaven is a place where nothing every happens.

    Heaven is a place where nothing every happens.

  9. Erich Vieth says:

    Grumpy, you got me thinking: What IS heaven like, just in case I make it.  Is there a brochure for heaven?  I'd like to know more about heaven before I commit to a certain lifestyle. More specifically, in heaven:

    Will I be able to eat (and therefore enjoy my favorite foods)?

    Will I be able to play racquetball?

    If a woman gets pregnant up there, is the baby "naturalized," like the babies of illegal aliens in the U.S.?

    If I mess up in heaven (by getting in a fight or saying or thinking something offensive to God), is it possible that I could be expelled?

    Will I need to be sycophantic toward God, or can I try become his buddy?

    Will I have to be cordial to everyone else there, or may I be hang more with the people who share my interests?

    Will there be periodic meetings of any sort?

    Is there such a thing a private property? Can I have my own space to live or, at least, locker?

    Will I be able to check out what's going on on Earth and purgatory? Hell? Will I care? How can I not care about the poor people in hell? How can I EVER enjoy heaven knowing that ANYONE is stuck in hell forever?

    Will the inhabitants have clothes of any sort? Loin cloths? Will I care?

    Does everybody get a halo? Will everyone's halo be equal in size and luster? Or do some guys get personalized status halos?

    Will I have a body? Will it still have a belly button?

    Will reading material be available? Will it be available free of censorship?

    Let me know . . .

  10. grumpypilgrim says:

    I'll do my best to answer some of Erich's questions, based on what little I've read in Revelation and what I can recall hearing from preachers on the various religious television channels.

    Heaven, a.k.a., "New Jerusalem," doesn't exist now, but will be built right here on earth, after Jesus destroys our planet in his Second Coming, so there will presumably be gravity, water and food. Presumably, your favorite foods will be among the offerings, but I doubt there will be any "unclean" foods; i.e., no pork, no oysters, no lobsters, etc. People can presumably be able to eat what they want, but it is unclear whether or not they can do so without gaining weight and/or without eliminating.

    If they are able to gain weight, then exercise (e.g., raquetball) would seem necessary, but this seems contrary to God's purpose in heaven (which is discussed further below).

    Being that heaven will be finite in volume, and its occupants will have eternal life, there likely cannot be any pregnancy; otherwise, the population would grow exponentially and eventually fill all of the available volume.

    Given that there won't be any procreation, and given that God considers sex to be solely for procreation, it follows that people will probably not have sex organs. OTOH, ancient paintings depict male and female angels, and cherubs with sex organs.

    The sun will shine continuously, so I'm guessing people won't be doing any sleeping. That means no lurid dreams involving blonde cheerleaders (or, if any Congressional Republicans get into heaven: underage male pages). Of course, without sex organs, there's not much reason to have lurid dreams.

    Yes, we must assume people could be expelled from heaven for disapproved behavior, just as Lucifer was. Also, being that God is omniscient, he probably won't need informants or secret police to monitor for disapproved behavior; i.e., as Stalin did.

    Being sycophantic probably wouldn't hurt, given God's propensity toward jealous wrath. Also, if church services are any indication, God seems fond of rote flattery.

    Yes, people can undoubtedly enjoy spending time with friends and family, as that seems to be among the promises of heaven.

    I don't imagine there will be any periodic meetings, because people in heaven appear to have only one approved activity: praising God forever and ever. As long as the praise is continuous, God doesn't seem to have any goals or objectives for such prayers, so meetings would seem to be redundant.

    The private property question is a tough one. People in heaven appear to have no property of any kind and, thus, no need for private space. However, evangelicals in America seem to believe that communism is evil, so any system of shared property in heaven would presumably be evil…which suggests that if there is any property in heaven, then it would involve private ownership.

    Opinions greatly differ over the extent to which people in heaven will know things about others who are not in heaven. Some Christians are taught that the Lost will burn forever in a lake of fire, while others are taught that the Lost merely are not resurrected and, thus, cease to exist. Some Christians find comfort in the notion that the Lost wouldn't enjoy heaven anyway, so there is no reason to lament their not being Saved.

    Clothing will likely be unnecessary if the Saved have no sex organs, plus it could be a sign of status and, thus, of envy, which would be sinful.

    I don't know about a halo, but I heard one preacher declare that everyone will be able to play the harp. God, apparently, enjoys harp music.

    Yes, people in heaven will have bodies. They will be "perfect" bodies, not the broken bodies they had when they died, so they probably won't have belly buttons.

    I can't imagine there would be reading material in heaven, because people in heaven have only one task: to praise God. That activity requires no learning. Furthermore, in heaven, the "news," "weather," "sports," "opinion," "politics," "fashion," etc., will never change, and both fiction and non-fiction will cease to exist.

    Keep in mind: many Christians eagerly look forward to this existence.

    Of course, Muslims and Jews have a different view of heaven. Some Muslims, for example, eagerly look forward to having perpetual sex with scores of virgins.

    It's interesting how different religions each have their own share of the theological market, based on the benefits they promise.

  11. Dan Klarmann says:

    From what I've heard from those who expect to go there, heaven is like a never-ending opium trip (I've read about the latter in medical accounts as well as some descriptions in Victorian novels by authors who _would_ know). You are always happy, time is meaningless, and you find satisfaction from just being. No need to strive, no need to think.

    It is not designed to be a human place.

  12. gatomjp says:

    You all have already been to heaven. It's where you were before you were born. THAT'S what heaven is like, remember?

  13. Kat says:

    In Heaven, there is eternal joy and freedom from sin and temptation. There will certainly be music and praising of God. The Bible does not tell us whether we will be playing harps or guitars or tambourines or drumsets and whatnot. (It does mention angels blowing trumpets and elders playing harps.)

    It does not describe to us what *exactly* we will be doing for our eternal lives…but it certainly will not be dull or monotonous, for we will be filled with joy and peace..whatever we'll be doing, we'll be liking it. God obviously likes variety (just look at all the different kinds of plants and animals and people He created!), so my guess is that there will be variety of activities in Heaven. There will be no sun, for the Lord will be our light; we will not need the sun (though we *do* need the Son!), and there will be no pain or sorrow.

    On earth, we can talk to God anytime we want and He can talk to us anytime He wants…I see no reason why there would suddenly be limitations of such conversation in Heaven. 1 Corinthians 9:12 says, "Now we see but a poor relection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." God has always fully known us, for He created us. On earth, we cannot fully know God, but in Heaven, we can, for we will be in His presence, face to face. Perhaps we'll ask Him questions and He will answer them, or perhaps He will just impart His wisdom and knowledge to us automatically upon arrival…who knows, til we get there?

    As for how can we enjoy Heaven if we know there are people in Hell…I've often wondered that myself, but I am pretty sure that because there are no tears, pain, or sorrow in Heaven, there will be no lamenting over the lost. Perhaps the joy of being in the Lord's presence simply takes up all our thought and we don't have room to think of it, or perhaps because we are finally able to love God perfectly, we can also hate sin perfectly and we feel no sorrow in sin being justly punished.

    There is a difference between the New Jerusalem, which is on earth, after Christ's Second Coming, and the Heaven of all eternity. Heaven is the place where our souls go… 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 describes the "ressurection body" as opposed to our "earthly body." Our earthly bodies are perishable, our eternal bodies are not. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. "We will all be changed–in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable and we will be changed."

    The important thing is that, if we believe in Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we will be with God, who is love and goodness and holiness and perfection, for all eternity. And if we do not, we will be eternally *separated* from love and joy and goodness…which is great torment in itself, whether the lake of fire is literal or not. And so the various descriptions humans give to Heaven (we'll all have halos and be playing harps, etc) don't really matter because 1)we don't know of any humans besides Jesus who have been there and back to tell about it, and 2) it is promised to us to be a place of joy, so if we don't like something, chances are we'll either not be doing it in heaven or else our attitude towards it will change and we will suddenly like it.

    The eternal glory of God is something we can't really understand fully until we reach it. We just don't know all the specifics of Heaven, which I think is kinda cool. Some of my friends think heaven *must* have certain things (jazz, tacos, beta fish, for example), while others think it'd be terrible to have those same things… I think that God is amazing and loving and kind and He will take care of us…and we will praise Him. Like I said before, God enjoys variety, so perhaps the responsiblities accounted to us will be tailored to our talents and pleasures. At any rate, nothing will be bad in Heaven. It's the good place to be.

  14. Erich Vieth says:

    With regard to the comment immediately above, we ought to have some sort of shorthand designation for such things.

    They all go something like this: A) The Bible is absolutely true because I say so or it says so or my paster says so; B) The Bible says X, so X must be true, even when creatively spun by me, the reader, therefore, X.

    Q.E.D. via bootstraps/appeal to authority/etc etc.

    Kat: I hope you're right, for your sake, but I don't buy any of it. Your argument is convincing only for people who already believe it.

  15. Dan Klarmann says:

    Sounds like heaven is a synonym for a perpetual opium trip. Happy no matter what, with no sense of loss or of time. Whoever provides the drug is the only light we need, the only thing we need think about. For ever and ever.

    Very fulfilling, indeed.

  16. grumpypilgrim says:

    Kat writes: "…Perhaps the joy of being in the Lord’s presence simply takes up all our thought…so if we don’t like something, chances are we’ll either not be doing it in heaven or else our attitude towards it will change and we will suddenly like it."

    Kat's fantasy of heaven sure involves a lot of brainwashing. Here's my question: if the "joy of being in the Lord's presence simply takes up all of our thoughts," then to what extent will anyone retain his or her individuality? To what extent will Kat still be Kat, if everything about Kat is replaced with "the joy of being in the Lord's presence?" If we are each afflicted by Original Sin, and the Lord washes that away, then what will be left?

    Moreover, what exactly is all-consumingly joyful about being in the Lord's presence? I'm with Dan: just sitting on your heavenly butt all day, every day, for all eternity, oblivious to anything but the "joy of being in the Lord's presence" sounds an awful lot like a perpetual drug-induced fog.

  17. gatomjp says:

    All of Kat's ranting boils down to this…

    "I won't ever die! It says so right here!", Kat said, pointing to a thick book of fairy tales and propaganda.

  18. grumpypilgrim says:

    Kat needs to put the cup down and step away from the Kool-Aid. She (or he) is so convinced that Jesus is our savior, that she (or he) should play the Miracle Challenge to win $1 million:
    http://www.pixwit.com/Miracle_Challenge.html/.

    Then again, maybe Kat isn't as full of faith as she (or he) claims to be. That's a pretty disturbing thought, actually: that someone who is as (ostensibly) consumed with faith as Kat is, is still far short of the faith needed to play the Miracle Challenge. Makes it kinda hard to comprehend the amount of faith that would be needed to get into heaven, since even Kat appears to fall short.

  19. Barbara says:

    Heaven is so, how you believe it is, and if you like some Jet-skis, there will be there.

Leave a Reply