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When one considers the example Jesus set during his time on earth, and compares it with how individuals often treat each other, the sharp contrast between "how the world works" and "how things should be" becomes visible -- and, at times, rather tiresome.

While we don't know how many people will get to heaven, it seems that it will certainly be "a lot" -- far more than could reasonably expect to have extensive conversations with Christ on a regular basis, for example. And I imagine that the Son of God probably will be (or "is") quite busy with very important matters.

So, will (or "do") individuals, or groups of, say, ten or a dozen people in heaven have an opportunity to interact with Jesus, independent of massive crowds? Is there some equivalent of going fishing with Christ? Or will he be like a celebrity who, under normal circumstances, often finds it necessary to maintain a certain distance, because of the crowds? Will there be something like "town hall meetings," where he stops by different parts of heaven every so often and talks with the local residents? Will those who lived more righteous lives and so "stored up more treasure in heaven" have preferential access to God's time? Or is there some other alternative?

Edit:
Clarification: This question assumes: 1) Christ, in heaven, will / does exist in a resurrected body; 2) Many people will vie for his time, resulting in frequent crowding.

  • If the assumptions are wrong, what makes them so?
  • If the assumptions are correct, would Christ somehow still be able to regularly interact with his followers, independent of the crowds?

/Edit

I hope that some responses will include citations of historic authors, exegesis supported by substantial commentators, etc., but all thoughtful responses are welcomed and heartily encouraged. Thanks.

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@DavidStratton The question in the title is misleading, and the content has a lot of fluff. But I think the real question here is: "Will individuals in heaven have an opportunity to interact with Jesus?" -- which, IMO, is appropriate for this site. –  Matt Aug 9 '12 at 5:29
    
@DavidS: The Bible contains a wealth of material that describes heaven. If you think that there is "no Scriptural reference on this," then the reasonable, adult response would be to create a response to that effect. I think it's a legitimate question that's appropriate for the site. –  Philip Schaff Aug 9 '12 at 5:33
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and that was enough. slight, but enough. –  David Stratton Aug 9 '12 at 6:11
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God is not limited by time (cf. 2 Pet 3:8). I don't think that God would let neither time nor space hinder him from spending "time" alone with his beloved in heaven. :) –  Shathur Aug 9 '12 at 9:14
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I would suggest splitting your edit off into a new question. Your original and your new one are definitely separate enough that there would be no problem with putting the new one in its own question. –  El'endia Starman Aug 9 '12 at 9:30
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2 Answers 2

According to the christian soterology, not only in heaven you can interact with Christ, but also here, on earth. We know from the lifes of saint Silvan of Athos or saint Seraphim of Sarov that they have seen Christ himself.

Of course there are people who believe that this form of interaction isn't a real interaction with God. It is only some created thing that we can see from the God's will. This view was however condemned by saint Gregory Palamas. So this is at least what Orthodox Christians firmly believe. If you are not Orthodox, you may not accept it.

On the other hand - if we are unable to interact with Christ in heaven, then what kind of heaven it would be? Why would it be desireable for us? Imagining heaven as full of bodily pleasures is rather muslim thing not christian. For a christian the main goal is always Christ and his love.

Two quotations from Bible to support the idea:

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23, 43)

For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better (Philippians 1, 23)

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The basis and inspiration for this answer is a great book named Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge. This book delves into the personality of Jesus by taking well-known stories in the Gospels and bringing them to life. We tend to think of Jesus as being too Holy for us, when in fact people flocked to Him and He was the most human man ever (He was fully God and fully man, and emptied Himself of His divinity).

Jesus was just as human as the rest of us. He dealt with our temptations, He cried, He got lonely, He felt the need to be by Himself after the death of His cousin, He got angry, He was joyful, He was playful, He was capable of surprise, and He took shortcuts.

Crowds flocked to Jesus wherever He went, to the point that even going across a lake didn't keep them back. People with disabilities were constantly seeking Him out and going to Him for healing, like the two blind men that called out, the woman who had been bleeding internally for twelve years, and the blind and lame immediately after Jesus clears the temple. The guy that denied Jesus three times (and then had Jesus look straight at him) was the same guy that put on his clothes, jumped into the water, and swam at least a mile to shore to Jesus. Jesus was also willing to get up in the middle of the night to talk to a true seeker.

Jesus was extravagantly generous (what else do you call 605-908 bottles of the best wine?) and loved everyone equally (even the children!). Jesus was also quite personal and intimate and will personal and intimate be in Heaven as well (the white stone engraved with a name that only two people know).


While we don't know how many people will get to heaven, it seems that it will certainly be "a lot" -- far more than could reasonably expect to talk to Christ on a regular basis, for example. And I imagine that the Son of God probably will be (or "is") quite busy with very important matters.

So, will (or "do") individuals in heaven have an opportunity to interact with Jesus? Is there some equivalent of going fishing with Christ? Or will he be like a celebrity who, under normal circumstances, maintains a certain distance? Will there be something like "town hall meetings," where he stops by different parts of heaven every so often and talks with the local residents? Will those who lived more righteous lives and so "stored up more treasure in heaven" have preferential access to God's time? Or is there some other alternative?

First off, Jesus is God. If He wants to talk with multiple people in person simultaneously, nothing's stopping Him. Also, given what I've pointed out, there's NO WAY that Jesus would let "very important matters" keep Him from interacting with the people He loved (and loves) SO MUCH that He died for them. I don't see why Jesus wouldn't go fishing with someone who loved fishing, and He definitely wouldn't be distant like a celebrity. Nor would He spend more time with people who had been believers longer (cue this parable about vineyard workers). Ha, if anything, He'd spend more time with those who weren't believers all their lives! (Finding that one lost sheep was cause enough for great joy.)

Finally, Jesus Himself is preparing a room for us and we'll get to live there for eternity!

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+1. Great answer, thank you. Do you know if the Bible says whether Christ will exist in a resurrected body, the way I think it says believers will? If so, would that prevent him from being in more than one place at a time? Maybe I should add that to the question. –  Philip Schaff Aug 9 '12 at 9:14
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@JBunyan: John 20:19,26 Jesus didn't let piddly things like locked doors keep Him from appearing to the disciples in His resurrected body... –  El'endia Starman Aug 9 '12 at 9:19
    
Interesting. Is there any record of him appearing in more than one location at the same time? –  Philip Schaff Aug 9 '12 at 9:23
    
@JBunyan: Not to my knowledge. Then again, He's God. What part of being God prevents Him from being in two places at once? :P –  El'endia Starman Aug 9 '12 at 9:25
    
I'm not sure; that's why I'm looking in the Bible and asking among a group of people that describe themselves as "experts," in order to avoid the emotion-laden, self-important vitriol that is often provided by people that call themselves "Christians." –  Philip Schaff Aug 9 '12 at 9:36
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