What happens when you go to Heaven?

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manthony121's picture
What happens when you go to Heaven?

Perhaps some of the theists here can help me out? According to Christians, humans committed Original Sin because we are sinful by nature, and have been given Free Will, so we can act on our sinfulness. Also, accepting Jesus does not eliminate our sinful nature, but we are forgiven for it. Also, there is no sin in Heaven.

So, what changes when a born again Christian goes to Heaven? Do they lose their Free Will? Or do they lose their sinful nature? If someone loses their sinful nature, which is part of what made them human, what have they become? They certainly aren't anything like the being that was alive! Seems like the only choice is that you would be like someone who has had a lobotomy, so you still, technically, have "free will", but no desire to act on it.

This does not sound very appealing to me.

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Daniel's picture
I like your logic. I have

I like your logic. I have often wondered the same thing. Should be interesting to see what people post.

xenoview's picture
I believe according to the

I believe according to the bible your suppose to worship and praise god all the time your in heaven. That doesn't sound like free will, that sounds like a slave serving it's master.

David_Holloway's picture
Fascinating point of view I

Fascinating point of view I have never considered before.

mykcob4's picture
Since there is no god and

Since there is no god and there is no heaven and no hell the point is moot.

MCDennis's picture
Agree. Its like how many

Agree. Its like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, and the answer to me is: Who Gives a Shit??

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I feel as though you're

I feel as though you're merging a few theological points together, that shouldn't be.

For example, idk how strongly my particular denomination holds to the "Original Sin" idea. Yes Adam sinned and we're his offspring, so in many ways we do have original sin. But we also have our own individual sins "The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself." -Ezekiel 18:20.

Its basically the nature vs nurture debate, are we born sinners, or is sin a learned? The answer is different from denomination to denomination.

Secondly, the free will concept isn't held by all Christians either. Calvinists, Baptists, Puritans, maybe Lutherans and Catholics, all lean towards determinism. The rest, including me, lean towards free will.

I think a lobotomy is probably a good analogy, though not as blunt. But I also think sin is still possible in Heaven, we just won't do it. Perhaps much like right now, you have the option to murder your mother, but you hopefully won't and never will.

But my advice is that you choose a single denomination and study what they teach. Because it seems as if you're conflating points held by different churches into a single system.

manthony121's picture
The doctine that humans are

The doctine that humans are sinful by nature, and must be redeemed by salvation through Jesus Christ, is the foundation of many sects of Christianity. As there are many, many sects of Christianity, I suppose it is possible that some have found a way around this problem. However, for the majority of the most popular sects, Original Sin, salvation through grace, the need to accept Jesus, lack of sin in Heaven, and the existence of Free Will are all essential components. However, as I posted, I don't see how they can all be reconciled.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Then I'm afraid you're going

Then I'm afraid you're going to have to substantiate that claim, because the only big denomination I can think of that holds to free will are the Methodists.

Look over this link, because most Christian churches fall into one of the two camps: https://www.thoughtco.com/calvinism-vs-arminianism-700526

manthony121's picture
Interesting link. Lots of

Interesting link. Lots of good information, on a wide variety of topics. The topic of free will has occupied philosophers for centuries, and continues to do so today. However, most of the people I talk to are not philosophers, but ordinary people. Many of them invoke free will as the explanation of why God didn't just make us sinless to begin with.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Next time you talk to them,

Next time you talk to them, just kindly ask what denomination they belong to. You'll start to notice a pattern between the answers and the church.

Nyarlathotep's picture
John 6IX Breezy - Then I'm

John 6IX Breezy - Then I'm afraid you're going to have to substantiate that claim, because the only big denomination I can think of that holds to free will are the Methodists.

I'll start it off with the largest denomination:

Catechism of the Catholic Church - - 1731: ...By free will one shapes one's own life.

1730:...Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.

1993: ...and yet, without God's grace, he cannot by his own free will move himself toward justice in God's sight

1701:...By free will, he is capable of directing himself toward his true good...

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
That's actually good to know.

That's actually good to know. The free-will vs determinism debate occurred in Protestantism, so I had no idea which side Catholics took, if any.

Nyarlathotep's picture
I'm not familiar with Eastern

I'm not familiar with Eastern Orthodox sources, but a cursory review of Eastern Orthodox sites makes it obvious that they believe in free will as well:


Nyarlathotep's picture
Having attended Methodists

Having attended Methodists churches, I can assure you they endorse freewill.


ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Got anything on the

Got anything on the determinists? Properly known as Calvinists.

algebe's picture
Heaven is a giant cube.

Heaven is a giant cube. People in heaven will have no will other than to serve the will of the ruler. Their minds will be constantly integrated into the mind of the ruler, basically eliminating their existence as individuals. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

ImFree's picture
Algebe: “People in heaven

Algebe: “People in heaven will have no will other than to serve the will of the ruler.”

Sounds too much like North Korea and worshiping the “Dear Leader”. Another kind of hell.

Alembé's picture
And here is a NASA photo of
Nyarlathotep's picture
I heard heaven has a stripper

I heard heaven has a stripper factory and a beer volcano.

Kataclismic's picture
Twin brothers live polar

Twin brothers live polar opposite lives, one is a pit boss at the casino going home with different women and bottles of drink every night while the other lives by the Good Book praying to his holy father every night. The bad brother dies in a horrible case of 'drug deal gone wrong' and years later the good brother dies peacefully in his sleep.

On his way up to the pearly gates, the good brother looks over at a pink cloud and sees his brother on it, a keg of beer on one side and sexy stripper on the other. When Peter greets him (and with an excited look in his eye) he says "Wow, if that's what my brother gets for his habits I can't wait to see what's in store for me", to which Saint Peter replies "I wouldn't get too excited, the keg has a hole in it and the girl doesn't".

I've refined the joke over the years but my step-father (a devout Catholic) told me that one when I was like twelve (1988), I didn't know what the hell he was talking about. Your single sentence brought it all back. =D

Randomhero1982's picture
I like to imagine getting to

I like to imagine getting to the pearly gates and there being no St Peter to greet me... also it is surprisingly dark and fairly silent albeit apart from some distant muffled noises of people trying to covertly go about their business..

Like a surprise part for me perhaps?

I walk through the gates and become startled by two flashing lights that appear similar to that of headlights?!

Cautiously walking closer and closer I start to make out distant shapes and the mumbling becomes louder with the odd chuckle and the sound of hands high fiving.

Just then the full majesty of what is going in is unveiled before my eyes as the lights are coming from the headlamps of a Nissan Cherry and the muffled chatter emanates from what appears to a full on heavenly dogging orgy.

With god laughing at how his beard got in the way as he was going to town on Whitney Houston and left a little skidmark on it... a medal of honour nevertheless...

Sky Pilot's picture


According to the biblical fairy tale Paul preached that Adam was responsible for original sin. Paul said that people were stuck with always being sinful and that Yeshua could forgive their sins.

Yeshua preached that sin is a voluntary action and that people could stop sinning if they took proper actions, such as cutting off body parts or plucking out their eyeballs. He said that people could remain sinless if they gave up their sinful ways.

As it says in John 16:7-9 (CEB) = "7 I assure you that it is better for you that I go away. If I don’t go away, the Companion won’t come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will show the world it was wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment. 9 He will show the world it was wrong about sin because they don’t believe in me."

LogicFTW's picture
The whole heaven idea always

The whole heaven idea always seemed to me to be one giant logic flaw.

Usually in a theist debate, you try to pin down the specifics of this heaven concept, and you get nothing. It frequently boils down to just a: "have faith, god works in mysterious ways, but, if you are 'good' you get to go to this loosely defined 'heaven'."

I reject that, I do not take things on faith. I do not take it on faith if I give some random scary looking dude on a street corner 5000 dollars cash, that he will give it back to me a day later.

Sky Pilot's picture
Based upon what you know

Based upon what you know about various religions, which one do you think has the best after life (heaven/paradise)?

manthony121's picture
Atheism (though it is not a

Atheism (though it is not a religion)

Stu. K.'s picture
"Is free will a by product of

"Is free will a by product of sin? Then if there's no sin in heaven, then there's no free will in heaven" -Some dude on Youtube debating with a street preacher.

Also yay! They fixed the spam problem. I like their math problem solution.

jonthecatholic's picture
I'll try to chime in here.

I'll try to chime in here.

Free will doesn't ever leave us. We are by our nature, open to committing sin. Temptations from the devil are what gives us the choice to commit sin and it is by God's grace that we reject sin.

In heaven, the devil is absent thus it's impossible for us to even consider committing sinful acts. Everything else, however, can still be done and we can choose to do them or not do them. An analogy I can think of would be, when you wake up one day in heaven, you have the choice to pray for your family still on earth, or to ask Jesus about his life on Earth, or (I'm not sure about this) play a game of basketball that was scheduled by St. Peter, or read a book. All these options are available to you. With the absence of the devil, he can't tempt you to say, blow everything for the day to do drugs.

Conversely, in hell, you cannot reject sin as you've already freely rejected God, He won't interfere with your sinning and thus you can't even say no to the temptation to cuss and curse at the person beside you who also can't stop cussing and cursing.

This is a very very vague picture though. No one can ever know what awaits us after death.

algebe's picture
@Jon the Catholic:

@Jon the Catholic: "Temptations from the devil are what gives us the choice to commit sin"

I thought the choice (free will) was a gift from god.

And I absolutely reject the "devil made me do it" defense. It's the last resort of cowards who can't even own up to their own misdeeds. I hope I never see another blubbering evangelist whining that Satan made him take drugs or dally with prostitutes. The devil has no part in our sins. Like god, he's too busy not existing.

jonthecatholic's picture
I never made a case for

I never made a case for "devil made me do it". The devil tempts. God calls us not to sin. We make our free choice to follow God's command or reject it. In heaven, there would no longer be any kind of temptation as he would be unable to do so. In other words, committing sin is completely off the table in heaven. What is on the table, which we can freely choose from would be everything within God's commands.

You might say, where's the free will in that. But you see, we won't even have the desire to do these things. I'd be like you saying I don't have the free will to kill a puppy for fun now. I don't even see it as an option. I have knowledge of it. I'd know how to do it. But there's no desire whatsoever for me to do such a thing.

LogicFTW's picture
Even if only 1% of people

Even if only 1% of people that has died, make it into a particular heaven idea, that is over 1 billion people. I imagine lots of those people would want to talk to "jesus." in this heaven idea. Even if Jesus spent every minute of every day talking to people that want to talk to him, and say he spent 5 minutes per person, that is only 100k people per year.

These days; 55 million people that make it to birth, die each year, (If you count life/soul at the moment of fertilization, double the death rate numbers, as this "god" changes its mind a lot.)

Again with the 1 percent idea, that is 550k people admitted into heaven every year. Even if only 50% wanted to get on the waitlist to talk to jesus, Jesus will never "catch up" even talking to people every second of every day without rest, for centuries. My guess the wait list for a 5 minute conversation with jesus for the lucky 1% that got into heaven is at least several decades, short in terms of eternity, but it is likely most of the person's family will be in heaven (or not) long before the person gets a sit down with Jesus.

I suppose if you give jesus god like powers in heaven he could talk to everyone easily enough using magic, but having genuine conversation with a billion people with no end in sight sounds horrifying, even to a son of god.

Also, a 1% chance of getting into heaven? Thats some pretty shit odds for living a life of piety and "finding god." As theist always like to say a vast majority of people are theist over atheist. If you want to change the odds, then the problems of the sheer numbers of people in heaven only compound greatly.


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