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God's Not Mad at You
“Will we sin in heaven?”

“Will we sin in heaven?”

SEPTEMBER 10, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “Will we sin in heaven?”

Steve Brown:
Will we sin in heaven? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Key Life exists to communicate that the deepest message of Jesus in the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. Life’s hard for everyone, so grace is for all of of us, but there is a lot of confusion about how grace applies to real life. So here’s seminary professor and author, Steve Brown and Pete Alwinson to answer your questions.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. I can’t wait to talk about that question. That’s going to be good.

Steve Brown:
Well, you know, there used to be a song that Gatlin Brothers sang about the Midnight Choir, if there wasn’t any Mogen David in heaven, they didn’t want to go. So I don’t know if a person who asked this question is disappointed, if he can’t,

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
or looking forward to the fact that he won’t. But we’ll see, we’ll talk about it when we get to it. That’s Pete Alwinson, by the way, he comes in, if you’re new to Key Life every Friday, And we sit down and answer questions, and we love your questions. You guys are so thoughtful. You are so thoughtful in your questions and we take you seriously. You can ask a question anytime by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE and record your question. And sometimes we put your voice on the air. Or you can write to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

If you’re in Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can e-mail us at Steve@keylife.org. And if you can help us financially, please do. We’ll rise up and call you blessed. And we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. You can charge it on your MasterCard, include it in your envelope and we’ll use it properly and be honest with it. And our books are always open. If you can’t, we understand that too. Or if you’re not led to, we understand that too. So pray for this ministry and we’ll be glad that you do that too. Pete lead us in prayer and we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Yes, let’s pray. Father, thank you, as we come to you at the end of this day, that we can call you the God of the universe, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that we call you Father. And that we are your beloved children, because Jesus, all of what you have accomplished on the Cross on our behalf. And so, we do you as our as our Abba, as our Father. We thank you that you poured out your wrath on Jesus and not on us. And Lord that just motivates us, your grace, your unmerited favor, just motivates us to follow you, to worship you, to love you in return. And we just ask that you would enable us to do that. Lord, you know, our hearts, you know, the pains, the sufferings of each person who is listening right now. Lord, thank you for the Key Life family that is out there listening. And Lord, we pray that you would, you would bless, you would draw each one closer to you, that they may experience your grace and your glory. And meet their needs, Father, whatever they may be, as we head toward worship this week-end, we ask that you’d be with our leaders, in every way to prepare, to bring to us the Word of God and bring us into your dynamic presence. So, we commit this Q&A as well as this week-end to you, as we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Pete, this first is from a letter, when man was created, he was created with freewill to do right and wrong. When we, as Christians die and go to be with the Lord in heaven, will we not be able to sin? Lucifer was created perfectly and yet he sinned.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, that’s a great question. So, Adam and Eve were created perfect with the capacity to sin, and they did. In Christ, we are created, we are made righteous with the, but we still have the old nature inside of his fighting away. And we have the potential by God’s grace to be holy. And we are holy.

Steve Brown:
We are holy.

Pete Alwinson:
But to become more righteous, but when we die and go to heaven, we will be able to escape that old nature completely.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. You get, when you get to heaven, you’ll be able to be what you, in your heart of hearts want to be.

Pete Alwinson:
Absolutely.

Steve Brown:
Listen, I sin, but I don’t want to. I really don’t. I mean, I don’t, I sometimes say before I go to bed, Lord, I know, I didn’t, I am so sorry, how could I do that after all you’ve done for me? And when I die and go to heaven, I’ll never pray that prayer again, because I won’t have to.

Pete Alwinson:
You won’t have to, I John 3:2.

When we see him, we’ll be like him, for we will see him as he is.

Steve Brown:
How about that. And again, back to whoever wrote this question, I don’t know whether you’re disappointed or looking forward to it. You mean I can’t get drunk in heaven?

Pete Alwinson:
I know, right.

Steve Brown:
No, you don’t want to be drunk and that’s what hurts people.

Pete Alwinson:
You know, it is, it is in one sense, a challenge to think in terms of, and this is not this question, but it’s crazy to think. What would life be like without evil and good people to fight against evil or advancing God’s kingdom? What is the narrative of the future going to be? Heaven’s going to be great though. And it’s going to be, it’s going to be a lot more than we expect in terms of accomplishing God’s will.

Steve Brown:
Elyse Fitzpatrick’s book on heaven was so good, because she just said the things we couldn’t get around to, but were good and wanted to, but couldn’t, we’ll be able to do and heaven. So, I’m going to play golf. I’m going to have hair. And I’m going to be able to sing, when I get to heaven.

Pete Alwinson:
You could sing. You sang when you were in our choir, the deepest voice there.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, well they had to work at teaching me the part. And I made up for a lot of basses, once I got it. I believe in prayer and I know God does answer our prayers, but if something terrible happens on earth, does God get involved and help us to stop evil?

Pete Alwinson:
Yes.

Steve Brown:
Of course.

Pete Alwinson:
Of course.

Steve Brown:
Alright. There, then, but why doesn’t he? I mean, how come evil isn’t stopped?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. You know, you know, again, back to this question, why doesn’t God do something about it? Well, he has, in Christ. And so, he’s energized and deployed us as his people to be involved in fixing problems and solving problems. But ultimately, we are never going to be culture regenerators. I mean, it is going to be Jesus to come back. And as you so often said, come and clean the mess up. Ultimately, he’s the only one that could do that. However, we are to be a part of the solutions, rather than the problem.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. And sometimes, and God’s the one who decides, sometimes there is a direct answer to prayer that can’t be explained in any other way, than God saying, yes, I’ll do that for you. And, and sometimes we pray forever and don’t think we ever get any answer and God is still listening and he’s still working all things for his glory. And for your benefit. And it takes a lot of believing to believe that, and that belief is a gift of faith and the fact that we do believe it, is a suggestion that it’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. That’s good. That’s good. He often answers our prayers in ways that surprise us. And sometimes we don’t even see that it was him, that did it.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Will there be a rapture?

Pete Alwinson:

Yes. The question is when?

Steve Brown:

I knew you were going to say that.

Pete Alwinson:
My view is, it happens when Jesus comes back. I think you, you might have a slightly different view and, and both of us might be wrong. So, there it is.

Steve Brown:
No, I think we’re both in the same.

Pete Alwinson:

We’re close.

Steve Brown:

Yeah. I’ve given up and I take your position. I’ve heard you teach from the pulpit all those years you were my pastor and I finally decided, okay, Pete’s right. And I’m wrong. So, I’ve changed my views. So, I just want you to know that. Did Eve tempt Adam?

Pete Alwinson:
Well, what do you think?

Steve Brown:
Well, in a sense, but he was open to being tempted. Why was not Eve blamed?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Well, because Adam was the one in charge.

Steve Brown:

The federal head.

Pete Alwinson:

The federal head of the human race. You’re exactly right there. And that’s, that’s good. So yeah, I think there was a sense in which, she tempted him, I think, more so, the bigger question is that Adam did not step into his leadership role and you know, Larry Crabb’s book, The Silence of Adam.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
And I think it’s been renamed now, but that was a great, he should have talked and he didn’t, he should have led.

Steve Brown:
And he should have done something.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
But he just went in, everybody doesn’t know it, people think that was an apple tree, it wasn’t, it was okra.

Pete Alwinson:

It was okra. It tasted good back then.

Steve Brown:

Yeah, well, yeah, and it grew trees back then. And then, I mean, things have changed a lot. Snakes walked around on legs, you know,

Pete Alwinson:

Okra was good.

Steve Brown:

It was, I’ve prayed about this and I got it down. It was okra. And, God changed his mind. He was gonna use liver, everybody thinks it was apples. And that fruit is never mentioned, that way.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s true.

Steve Brown:
What do you mean by radical grace and freedom? Freedom from what?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, well go for it, man.

Steve Brown:
Well, I mean that in the normal sense of that, go out and play. You know, Fred Smith used to say that God had, was like all of these toys, that he puts on the floor. We keep saying, all right, which one do you want me to? And God says, play with them and choose and enjoy it. So, there’s a real freedom in that kind of way. And I believe there’s freedom to do it wrong, to even sin, if you do that. Or it’s not real freedom, but basically freedom is freedom to do what you couldn’t do before. There’s some people, that I just can’t love.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
I mean, they just, I look at them, and I just want to, I just, leave me alone. I can’t be your friend. And since Jesus came along, I have the freedom to love some people that I couldn’t love before. And to be obedient in areas that I couldn’t be obedient before. What’s that old joke about the man who was having his hand operated on, and he said to the doctor, when this heals, am I going to be able to play the piano? And the doctor says, of course you can. And he said, gosh, that’ll be great, I could never play the piano before. But God gives us freedom, to be what he wants. We have a freedom to do and follow and be obedient, that you just don’t have until God’s Spirit comes in.

Pete Alwinson:
Oh, that’s good. That is, that’s, and that’s how I sum it up too, some of what you said is, we in Christ, we are free from sin’s condemnation, and we’re free from sin’s control.

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
The two C’s. So we’re set free to live, really live, like you said, radical grace.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. And you want to, but on the other side, you’re free to mess it up too, you know, we want to make it only free to be good. And that’s not real freedom. You’re a free person, and sometimes you’ll choose right, and sometimes you will choose wrong, and you’ll choose right more and more, and that’s called sanctification.

Pete Alwinson:
Right, right. Good.

Steve Brown:
That works for me.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. And, and it, it, it takes away the bight.

Steve Brown:

Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:

Because no Christian that I know wants to sin intentionally.

Steve Brown:
Exactly. Exactly. All right. Good way to end the program. And Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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