Will some of us be embarrassed when we get to heaven?
What do you say to a believer who does not want to go to heaven? Let's say that someone says, “I do not want to spend my time thinking about going to heaven. I am saved and its going to happen when God decides it will. So what difference does it make what I think? Besides, I shudder to think about the Judgment Seat of Christ. I will probably lose most, if not all, of my rewards. They will most likely be judged to not be good enough to be turned into gold or silver when they are tried. Why should I want to go to a place where I will suffer such public humiliation in the presence of other believers who will have far too many rewards to count? Why would I look forward to spending an eternity with millions of others who will be walking around with multiple crowns on their heads while I have none? Why should I wait in anticipation for the day when I will walk into my shack of a house while someone next to me will have a humongous mansion? Heaven will not really be THAT good for every believer - just for some of them. For the rest of us, including me, it will simply be the lesser of two evils, as compared to hell. Please do not give me the old, worn out, pre-packaged answer to this question. I want a REAL answer.
There are two issues here. The first is a misunderstanding about the judgment of believers and the second is the nature of heaven.
There are two types of judgment: the Great White Throne Judgment and the Bema Seat Judgment. The first judgment occurs at the end of the world when God judges all the non-Christians.
And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it . . . And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire . . . And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (NASB) Rev. 20:11-15
This is a judgment that no one wants to attend. The verdict has already been determined at this judgment because God knows the heart of each person who comes before Him. These people have rejected God and Jesus Christ. There will be negotiations, discussions, or opportunities to convince God that they are good people, but the sentence has already been determined before they stand before God.
The second judgment, the Bema Seat Judgment, is for Christians. This judgment deals with our good works. This is the one you are referring to. It is described in 1 Corinthians 3.
Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire. (NASB) 1 Cor. 3:12-15
Here God will determine why we did what we did – that is, our motives (1 Cor. 4:5 ). He will also review our deeds to see if they are good or worthless (2 Cor. 5:10). But every person will receive at least some rewards. Crowns are given to Christians just because we are believers.
Nature of Heaven
Are there other rewards? Scripture does not give us the answer. Do we receive mansions? The passage you refer to is found in the gospel of John. You appear to believe that some Christians will live in large mansions and others may live in shacks. Here is the passage.
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (KJV) John 14:2
But the King James translation from the original Greek is very poor. Both the New American Standard and New International Version give us a better sense of the original Greek.
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. (NASB) John 14:2
In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (NIV) John 14:2
The Greek word for “mansions” is MENA. This is not a large multi-million dollar home but a room within a large Oriental house. Only God has a big house. Scripture never teaches that Christians will live in small or large homes. Jesus has said only that we will live with Him.
Did you know that when we get to heaven there will be no crying, sorrow, grief, anger, sadness, or suffering?
. . . there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. (NASB) Rev. 21:4
Sin will not be present in heaven. There will not be any jealousy or competition between people. There will be no competition for position or honor, so there will be no humiliation.
There is a quality which Jesus admires in His saints. Jesus calls us to believe in Him. He asks us to have faith, love, and hope. He wants us to be obedient, but there is one quality that is almost lost in this world of ours. Listen to Jesus.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted. (NASB) Luke 18:13-14
You younger men . . . clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. (NASB) 1 Peter 5:5
This applies to older men too! The important message in these verses is that God seeks humility in all of us.