Matt Chandler, lead pastor at the Village Church, Texas, argued in a recent video why some Christians have a wrong impression of what happens in the afterlife.
The video, published last week by the Village Church on YouTube, is entitled “Why We Don’t Go to Heaven in the End,” with Chandler admitting that he had the wrong impression himself when he was growing up.
“I grew up with an understanding that when I died, I would go to Heaven, and that was the end of the story. That I was in Heaven, and was gonna be in the presence of God, and we were gonna sing and there were going to be streets of gold, and there’s going to be a crystal sea.”
He said that he believed that in the afterlife, he was going to be in a “disembodied, ethereal environment, where the Spirit of God was there, God was there in His fullness.”
What is more, he thought that he would be “like an angel or some sort of ethereal body,” rather than a being with a physical presence.
The pastor said that, according to the Bible, “although there might be this time in which we are in Heaven,” 1 Corinthians 15 shows that people “will have resurrected bodies” on a “new Heaven and new earth,” as earth will have been remade.
“You and I will have resurrected bodies and will reign and rule alongside Jesus Christ forever,” he said.
“So it’s not disembodied, but [a] resurrected body. It’s not out there, but it’s actually a place that will be. It’s not as ethereal and ghostly as I think many of us have been taught.”
Chandler said that he has been “really encouraged” by the beauty that he sees in the present world, knowing that “it is a shadow of what will one day be.”
“When I look at the strength of the human body and the weakness of the human body, and [how it] will be remade. When I think about reality with all its heartbreak and all its brokenness, I think that will also be remade into this new Heavens and new earth, where [there will be] unfettered access to God Almighty,” he continued.
“The vocation that God has given His people in a world not stained and broken by sin and death will be enjoyed by his people forever.”
Other big name pastors, such as Greg Laurie of Harvest Fellowship Church in California, have also given suggestions of what Heaven will be like in sermons.
Laurie said in 2016 that some believe Heaven to be a place beyond the galaxies, or something like another dimension.
“Of course, we will be worshipping,” Laurie said. “One of the reasons for this is that we will know all things. Finally, our questions will be answered and pains will be gone.”
But there will be more to do besides worshiping, he added. “We will also be serving the Lord,” the pastor said, referring to Revelation 22:3. “We will be productive in Heaven.”
Many dreams that are unfulfilled on earth will be fulfilled in Heaven, Laurie added. “God’s gonna make it up to people.”
Watch Matt Chandler’s sermon below: