What Will God’s People Be Doing With All That Time?
The Bible indicates at least three significant roles which redeemed sinners will play throughout eternity. They will be kings, priests, and scholars. 1) Revelation indicates that redeemed sinners will join God in rulership over the universe (Rev. 3:21; 7:15-17). Sitting with Jesus on His throne means that they will be part of the government of the universe. Jesus said at the conclusion of one of the parables, “You have been faithful in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things” (Matt 25:23). What would count as “many things” with God? A star cluster? A galaxy? Think of the privilege and responsibility. Think of the many exciting things to get involved in.
2) The redeemed will serve not only as kings but as priests. In the ancient world there were two kinds of high status people. The highest status in the political realm was the king. And the highest status in the religious realm was the priest. Power corrupts, but those who have been humbled by suffering can be trusted with power. To be a priest in eternity includes taking an active lead in worship (Rev 5:9-13) and bearing a unique testimony based on earthly experience with sin and its consequences (Rev. 14:3). Those who have been redeemed from sin will have a testimony that even the angels could not have. God will use them to safeguard the universe against a second rebellion.
3) While school can sometimes be a chore, real learning is never a chore. God has ingrained curiosity into the core of our being, and there are few joys as meaningful as the joy of discovery. When we learn at our own pace, when we learn in our areas of interest, when our curiosity provokes our attention, learning is the most joyous possible experience. And there are so many things in the universe to learn. We will spend an eternity learning and growing, and it will be truly a delight.
Yes, eternity could be boring, if we were simply doing the same thing over and over again. But God is creative. And He plans to include us in that creativity. In the words of inspiration: “Every faculty will be developed, every capacity increased. The acquirement of knowledge will not weary the mind or exhaust the energies. There the grandest enterprises may be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized; and still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of mind and soul and body.”
Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, page 677