The Church Together: Living Forever in God’s Presence

You know what puts a skip in my step? The thought of heaven. Yet I don't think we meditate on the impending glory of heaven enough. But get this: a day is coming when we will forever and always be in the perfect presence of God and each other. God will no longer be an afterthought—He will be the forethought. Our flesh will no longer wage war on our souls, and community living will far surpass all previous experience. 

We will truly be the church together forever with God. 

In heaven, God-centered worship will naturally flow out of each of us in all that we do. Our motivations will arise from holy living; our desires will coexist alongside God’s. We will advocate the beauty of fellowship with God the Father in every breath we take. Our corrupted flesh will no longer barricade His goodness; in eternity, we will fully and consistently reflect His radiant image the way God intended. 

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12). 

A day is coming when we will fully know God. No more guessing; no more wondering. Jesus said in His prayer to the Father, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). This kind of knowing is not just knowledge but experience. It’s intimate and vibrant and involves a personal relationship. 

In Christ, we all have the same future ahead: intimate fellowship in heaven with God. A fellowship that will abolish all previous difficulties and one that will reveal the excellencies of God in splendid fullness. This is the hope of the church together.

Pain and Suffering Cease to Exist 

Life in heaven with God is the greatest reward in existence, and it is ours to claim through faith in Jesus Christ. Already it sounds amazing, and yet, there is more. 

It’s difficult to imagine a world without pain and suffering, but a day is coming when misery and discomfort will cease to exist. Partly because we will no longer sabotage our own well-being but will instead make choices that prohibit pain and escalate peace, enriching our lives with Christ-centeredness instead of self-centeredness. 

Pain implies that something isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. But with God, all things will be exactly as they are meant to be. Not one cell or chromosome or blade of grass will wander out of place in eternity with God, and nothing will manifest itself that should not. Doctors will be out of a job, and they will not mind. 

The book of Romans says we are not the only ones awaiting the day that pain and suffering cease to exist. Creation is also waiting with great anticipation (Rom. 8:21). “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” (Rom. 8:22).

And we see it, don’t we? The invasive thorns and thistles. The cosmic shifts causing destructive earthquakes. The tsunamis and droughts and hurricanes and tornadoes and harsh winters and extreme summers, wreaking havoc on both land and people. But God will untangle the mess. He alone can reverse the curse, and He has promised to do it. 

The Joy of Work Returns 

In eternity, the exquisite union between God’s created beings and God’s creation is set to return. Work will no longer ignite within us dread but will pave the way for immense joy as the created world and its redeemed inhabitants work together in perfect harmony to accentuate the glory of God. 

Work is not part of the curse; work is part of the blessing. Before the fall, Adam and Eve enjoyed their work. It did not frustrate them—it satisfied them. And a day is coming when we will forever experience the same. 

As a farmer’s wife, one of my favorite passages about eternity is Amos 9:13–15: “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed.’” Under the blessing of God, in a world free of sin and constraint, the land will produce so much that letting the ground lie fallow will not be necessary. 

Farmers will no longer wait until the weather is right to plant. Immediately after the ground is worked the sower can sow, and the reaper can reap whatever time of year it is. In fact, the crops will be so abundant the sower and reaper will overtake each other. It’s hard for me to fathom those kinds of yields, but what a joy it will be to work God’s land and share it with others as the glory of Jesus shines upon us (Rev. 21:23). 

We Live Securely in Christ

Speaking of sharing, in eternity with God, we’ll relish the idea of sharing with great enthusiasm. Fear of a shortage will not exist, and hoarding will no longer manifest as a gut reaction. And the need to regulate distribution will be a way of the past. 

We will drink from the spring of the water of life free of charge (Rev. 21:6). And on either side of the river, the tree of life will flourish “with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month” (Rev. 22:2). Anyone can take, and anyone can eat; the supply is endless for all. 

And yet, no one will take more than they need. We will not worry about anything. God will forever supply every single one of our needs, and so much more. Psalm 16:18 says that in God’s presence, “there is fullness of joy” and at his “right hand are pleasures forevermore.” The church today has barely scratched the surface of all that is in store. 

“No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9). The body of Christ—the church together—is in for something special. Our hope is not in this world; our hope is in the assurance of an absolute brilliant eternity. 

So Church, when the world feels as though it is caving in, remember, a bright and beautiful day is coming when we will forever dwell in the perfect presence of God. 

About the Author

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery is a farmer’s wife and mother of four—or as she likes to say, “President of Home Operations.” Stacey loves teaching women the Bible and along with her family makes her home in the cornfields of Indiana. For more, … read more …

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