I love kid’s birthday parties. Its not just because of the joy, the fun, the smiles of little boys and girls running chaotically with seemingly no care in the world. I love them because of the treats they have. I’m actually not being completely truthful when I say I love all kids’ birthday parties. I love birthday parties where candy apples are involved. In fact I recently celebrated a birthday where I gobbled 3 candy apples.Not in one sitting, but at various times of the day. There’s something about that red candy shell combined with sprinkled nuts and the sweet tart of a green apple that makes my mouth water. If I could have funnel cake, Candy apples, and Thai Food every day I’d swear I was in heaven. I know that is a weird mix, and I wouldn’t necessarily eat them together, but when it comes to my weakness, those items get me every time. I want you to excuse me because this post will probably go in all kinds of directions, and yes I will eventually get to my point, but as I was up in the middle of night meditating on the wonders of creation, pondering my life’s purpose along with the nature of the apocalypse I got a little hungry. One of my other favorite snacky friends was handily available; the crumb donut. My body and mind needed a shot of energy so I took one of my mini friends and let him ride on the red wave only to be crushed by the the white rocks above and below. It was a glorious ride. Their remains were tossed in the acidic sea below, but their memory will be preserved in this blog. Fairwell my little friend.
So back to the topic at hand. As I was eating that delicious crumb donut, I began to think about food in heaven. I actually don’t like to use the word heaven. I prefer to use the new earth. The biggest reason I prefer using the new earth is because heaven seems too ethereal, to lofty and is harder for us to relate to whereas earth is something we are more familiar with. Though we often think of us going to heaven when we die,which is mostly true, the primary place for those saved by Christ will be on the new earth. The new earth will be a glorified version of pre-fall earth, think of a greater Eden. The new earth will have many similarities to the old earth but also some glaring differences. We are currently living in the Beta version of earth, one that that has been infected with a virus. The new earth will have all the kinks out of it, and be so much better. So the big question or basic question that underlies this blog is this.
To what extent has the fall affected the quality of all our activities, but specifically things such as eating? The next one that is somewhat similar but slightly different is whether the quality of activities in heaven will be better than that of activities on earth. The first is looking at things from a sin issue, the next from a design aspect. I’ll use a simple description of steak as an example. . Will a steak if there are steaks in heaven, taste better in heaven than on earth? If the fall has effected our ability to taste or enjoy food I could say eating steak will be better in heaven because my taste buds are no longer deadened by sin, or because my body is able to process the food better. If I were to look at it from the other point of view, I could say that in the new earth God will design it to where our tongues have an extra sensory input. Think of it as HD eating to where all of the elements that compose the steak are so much purer resulting in a richer product and experience.
I personally believe that may activities that we do now will be more enjoyable and pleasurable in the new earth than on the old. The first reason is because I view the fall has effected our quality of life and experiences in ways far beyond what we have imagined and secondly, because scripture points to the surpassing glories of the new earth. I preface my argument with activities that we can still do, because there are some things that we won’t do on the new earth that we do on the old; lie, cheat, kill. Then again there’s more awesome things like sex, that probably won’t occur and if they did they would be drastically different. I mentioned that briefly in my post marriage after death.
So lets talk a little bit about food. One of the things I love about God is that he truly is good. We know God is good, simply by looking at the tongue. I know James gives the tongue a bad rap, but that’s because James couldn’t freestyle. Some of you will get that. In all reality though the tongue does really set things on fire. If you’ve ever eaten one of those Chinese black peppers, you would know that the tongue truly does send a fire throughout your whole body. God could have made it to where eating food is a bland process where we simply intake food to give us energy. Yet we all know that our tongues are marvelous creations that make eating good food one of the most pleasurable activities ever. Think about it what do most cultures do when they have big celebrations of any kind? They eat, and most of the time its not just eat. They throw down the biggest smorgasborg of all, and its not just things like cereal, toast, and rice cakes. Its good things, like greens, yams, mango sticky rice, lamb, smoked turkey. What do we do when we vacation well? We eat well. Many of the people who don’t eat or enjoy eating don’t partly don’t due to religious reasons. They are trying to get closer to God. Well when God is with us in heaven, guess what? No more fasting. It’s like Jesus said when he was asked about why his disciples don’t fast, Jesus said you don’t fast at the bachelor party. That’s a pretty American translation of the verse, but the context is this, during times of joy and celebration you don’t fast you Dine.
When God made the tongue on the 6th day, it was good. Ask any chef, and they will tell you that they are charged by the awesome combinations of experiences that they create that is all based on the tongue, and in part the nose and eyes, but chiefly the tongue. God has enabled us to experience sweet, salty, and sour, and I would add a fourth category spicy. These all are the chief variables that allow us to love food. So if there is eating in heaven my basic logic will tell me that if eating here is good, eating in the new earth has to be at least as good, or so much better. If you believe God is good, and God developed the tongue for us to experience his goodness in the act of eating, it would be foolish of us to think that God will not make eating an equally pleasurable activity. In fact we are commanded to eat to the glory of God. That does not mean become gluttaneous, but it does mean more than just being thankful for food. It means, be thankful and praise God for making eating a pleasurable activity. When you taste something great, you realize God enabled that to happen. He designed for us to experience the flavors and combinations that make eating enjoyable. Now when you get a hold of this concept and realize that God is the greatest food engineer and has allowed the greatest of men as chef’s to explore different combinations of tastes, textures and smells , temperatures as something that would make God happy and bring him glory you realize if there is eating in heaven there is potential for even greater amazing combinations.
Let me break this down. What makes a candy apple a candy apple? It is partly the visual aspect, but more importantly the taste, texture that the individual products bring. The apple brings its own taste and texture. The product that is nutritious is broken down and processed by my body, but it is the tongue and nose and eye that bring out its glory.
Do you realize that God can engineer it to if we eat in the new world we can experience a greater combination of tastes, textures, and inputs, he can redesign the tongue to experience a deeper dimension of taste. Food is just a combination of different inputs and the new earth can provide so much more greater sights, smells, and textures that the combinations could be endless.
So the only thing really to know is if there will be eating in heaven or as I like to say the new earth?
There are many descriptions of there being some good eating and gasp “drinking” in heaven. In Luke 14:15 A man tell’s Jesus Blessed is the man who eats at “The Feast” in the Kingdom of God. Jesus then tells a parable describing a great banquet that the King is giving in preparation for a great wedding. The parable is about responding to the call of the messiah. But notice one of the other incentives for coming. That other incentive is being part of the feast. Notice what Jesus says in Luke 14:23-24. When people reject the kings invitation.
“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
Man oh Man, If your mouth isn’t watering by reading this. Jesus is talking about when he comes in the new earth, there is going to be the spread of all spreads. Thanksgiving don’t got nothing on this meal here. I don’t know what kind of food it is, I do however feel that there will not be bacon, or pork. Sorry bacon folk I just don’t see God even allowing pigs in heaven. But guess what he can create a cleaner version of an animal that looks just as cute, but tastes so much better. We can’t put God in a box. Back to the parable however. When you read this passage, don’t you get the feel that these guys are going to miss out on something good? They will not get a taste. You can see that he’s hinting of something grander than they can imagine. Oh my goodness, if you are not getting excited about this, let me get excited for you. There is going to be some good cooking and eating in heaven. Its not even to where you only get one plate. Man its going to be buffet style, Jesus has an unending supply of resources. The kitchen in heaven never goes bare. But wait, hold up. There is one item for sure that I know we will have, I don’t know what color it is but I’m sure it’ll be good and that’s wine.
I think it will be kind of funny for all the Nazarites and teetotalers when they get to heaven and God is like “Drink up”. I’m sure there will be an awkward pause and Jesus will have to announce, “Didn’t you know my first miracle was to create wine. Not just any kind of wine, but it was the best, and when I made that I wasn’t even trying. Look what I got for you”. Now I’m not saying we are going to get drunk in heaven, but I’ll let you know one thing, we sure are going to be drinking something stronger than grape juice. Man some of us Christians are so wound up on earth, I don’t know what we are going to do when we get to heaven. This is off topic, but I just have to say this too. You know heaven is going to have the greatest music. There’s going to be this great music, this awesome food, with good drink. It really is going to be a great feast. Have you heard the angels sing? I’m going to be grubbing, while looking at the angels and hearing them and at the same time asking them if they want some of this chicken wing I have in my hand. I don’t know how far I will be from Moses, but if I was sitting close enough to him I’d be like hey Moses stop hogging all of the cake. Another side note, This table is going to be a long table, because its a family dinner with well over a billion people. We will just be smiling and singing, everyone is happy and eating and having a good old time as we eat and break bread with our Lord.
There’s other passages that mention eating in the new earth. Luke 22:14,30. Luke 13:29, Matthew 8:11 Here’s another cool one that Jesus uses as a motivation. Revelation 3:20
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Just trust me on this, this meal that we eat with Jesus will be amazing.
I want to conclude with one passage that really sets the stage for what the meal will look like. We get a glimpse of this with the gospels and the disciples eating with the Lord, but there’s this passage in the old testament that is really random, but awesome. In Exodus 24 after Moses delivers the law to the people, he’s called up to a mountain with 70 of the ruling elders to see God. This is what Moses writes.
9Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.
Though I have talked about food alot in this blog, the real highlight of the experience in the new earth to eat with Jesus.If Jesus is not there then the food is pointless, but Jesus will be there. We will see him in his glory. We will see him a little like us, and we like him in glorified bodies where we can eat glorified food. I can’t wait to experience that. I don’t know how often we will have these family gatherings and feasting, but I can tell you its something you don’t want to miss. So are there candy apples in heaven? Probably not, and in a way I don’t care because I know Jesus is going to be there. If I had a drink in hand I would make a toast: Here’s for the feast in the kingdom of heaven when we will feast with our God. Blessed is the man who will feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen.