Several years ago I spoke at the Canvas Conference, which was a great two-day conference on human creativity and beauty with biblical, gospel-centered theology. In this video clip, I answer a question about whether we will have creativity and use it in eternity:
Here are some related thoughts:
God gave people creativity in their unfallen state, which remained but was twisted when we fell. He will surely not give us less creativity in Heaven but more, unmarred by sin, unlimited by mortality. We will compose, write, paint, carve, build, plant, and grow.
The first person Scripture describes as “filled with the Spirit” wasn’t a prophet or priest; he was a craftsman, “with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts—to make artistic designs . . . and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship” (Exodus 31:1-3).
God gifted and called Bezalel to be a skilled laborer, a master craftsman, a God-glorifying artist. Bezalel and Oholiab were not only to create works of art but also to train apprentices to do so. The gifting and calling were from God: “He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them master craftsmen and designers” (Exodus 35:35).
If you don’t believe craftsmanship will be an important part of the New Earth, read Exodus 25–40. God tells His people in exquisite detail how to sew clothing, what colors to use, how to construct the furniture for the Ark of the Covenant and Tabernacle, what stones to put on the high priest’s breastplate, and so on.
The Master Designer goes into great detail in His instructions for building the Tabernacle: the veil and curtain, the Ark of the Covenant, the table, the lampstand, the altar of burnt offerings, the courtyard, the incense altar, the washbasin, the priests’ clothing. The design, precision, and beauty of these things tell us about God, ourselves, and the culture of the New Earth. Those who imagine that spirituality is something ethereal and invisible—unrelated to our physical skills, creativity, and cultural development—fail to understand Scripture. God’s instructions and his delight in the gifts He imparts to people to accomplish these tasks make clear what we should expect in Heaven: greater works of craftsmanship and construction, unhindered by sin and death.
It wasn’t an accident that Jesus was born into a carpenter’s family. Carpenters are makers. God is a maker. He’ll never cease being a maker. God made us, His image-bearers, to be makers. We’ll never cease to be makers. When we die, we won’t leave behind our creativity, but only what hinders our ability to honor God through what we create.
For more on the New Earth, see Randy’s book Heaven. You can also browse our resources on Heaven and additional books.
Photo by Fatih Erkan Akay on Unsplash
By Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries, www.epm.org. Used with permission.