Q. I am having difficulty explaining to my 12 year old daughter how much better Heaven will be than the world we are living in now. I am familiar with 1 Corinthians 2:9, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him.” (NASB) What other Bible references can you provide that may help me explain the vast difference and calm her fears?
A. I’ve found that many teens and young adults are turned off by talk of heaven in general and a soon coming rapture in particular. To them Heaven is a place you go after all of your earthly dreams have come true and your life is behind you.
This is our fault, not theirs. Almost since birth we’ve encouraged them to dream about, plan for, and work toward a successful future on Earth. They’ve also learned this by watching us live our own Earth centered lives. Now that they’re beginning to clarify their dreams and plans they don’t want us saying there’s a possibility that none of them will come true.
Also, there aren’t any specific examples in the Bible of what heaven will be like for the Church. I think this is due to the fact that it would be too wonderful for us to comprehend as 1 Cor. 2:9 explains. But through advertising and entertainment we’re bombarded with specific examples every day of what an ideal life on Earth looks like. You can’t blame them for being confused.
I’ve come to the conclusion that only the Holy Spirit can change their perception, so instead of focusing on talk of an after life I think it’s better to emphasize the benefits of having Jesus in their lives right now and wait till they start asking questions about heaven. As long as they believe in Him now, they’ll go in the rapture anyway, and you won’t risk turning them off in the mean time.