In heaven, we will see God face to face. Does that mean that we will not study the Bible anymore once we are in heaven?
Some Christians believe that the Bible will be irrelevant when we get to heaven because we will have direct access to God and learn everything directly from Him. For at least seven reasons, I disagree with that view.
1. Biblical Statements about the Eternal Permanence of God’s Word
Several statements in Scripture teach us that God’s Word is forever settled in heaven and it will endure forever:
Psa 119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
These statements imply that the Bible, which is the only inspired collection of God’s words, will forever be relevant.
2. Endless Future Teaching by God
God is going to show us forever the endless wealth of His gracious kindness toward us in Christ:
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Because Scripture is the word of His grace (Acts 20:32), it makes sense that God will continue to use His inspired eternal Word to bestow unending grace upon us throughout the ages to come.
3. Divine Use of Written Records in Heaven
Some argue against the need of the Bible in heaven because they think that direct fellowship with an omniscient God obviates the use of anything that is written. Scripture, however, shows that this is invalid reasoning by informing us that God will use what is written in certain books to judge human beings even though He has no need to resort to any written records of anything:
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Because God could just as readily cause each person being judged to view on a screen all their works in video form instead of basing their judgment on a written record of their works, yet He chooses not to do so, we understand that these written records will be vital in heaven. Since we know with certainty that there will be divine use of written records in heaven, arguing against the use of the Bible as a continuing source of information because it is in written form is untenable.
4. Many Saints Will Have Never Had Access to the Whole Bible in Their Lifetimes
Except for the many believers who have lived in the past two to three centuries in certain parts of the world, the vast majority of saints who have lived throughout history have never enjoyed access to the whole Bible in their lifetimes. It is unthinkable that God will not give them finally the blessedness of reading and studying the entire Word of God someday.
5. Correction of Wrong Interpretations of Scripture and Failures to Understand It
Believers in God have puzzled over how to understand and interpret many parts of Scripture throughout much of the history of their having that written divine revelation given to them (cf. 2 Pet. 3:16). Undoubtedly, we all have misunderstood and have misinterpreted Scripture in various ways.
God will surely correct all the failures of all His people to handle His word accurately and explain to them the truths that they have failed to understand (cf. Jesus’ dealing with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus [Luke 24:13-27]). His warning that all teachers of the Word will give a stricter accounting of themselves implies that God will especially show them where they have failed to handle His word accurately (James 3:1-2).
6. No Access to the Original Autographs in Our Day
For most of its history, the Church has not had access to the original inspired autographs of Scripture. Studying the original autographs in heaven will provide us with understanding that we are unable to have certainty about now, such as what was the original ending of the book of Mark.
Having access to the original autographs will also clear up many supposed contradictions in Scripture for which we can provide reasonable but not definitive explanations now. Such study of Scripture will heighten our eternal appreciation for the perfection of God’s eternal Word.
7. Further Illumination of the Perfect Book Authored by the Holy Spirit
Even the most devoted students of Scripture of all the ages have hardly scratched the surface of the infinite perfection of the work of the Holy Spirit in authoring His perfect Book (cf. Ps. 119:96). Holding that we will study our Bibles throughout all eternity is consistent with what fully understanding a perfect book authored by the Holy Spirit will entail.
For at least seven solid reasons, we can be confident that we will study the Bible in heaven. Let us devote ourselves to intensive careful study of our Bibles now in anticipation of the glorious future that we will have studying the eternal perfections of God’s eternal Word!