If anybody can ask hard questions, the award has to go to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
She knows how to ask a question and, more importantly, when to ask a particular question.
Throughout our marriage, she has become an expert in the area of questionology. There is not a question I can think of that she hasn’t asked.
On the other side of the parsonage, my expertise has been in not correctly answering questions. It is not that I cannot answer a question; I do not answer in a way that fits her expectations. That is important when it comes to my wife. Her expectation is quite high.
Even though we have been married for such a long time, I have yet to master the art of hearing the question the way she wants it heard. My experience has taught me that if I do not answer the question correctly, I can be in deep trouble. Believe me, I have experience in this.
We were watching the news the other night after supper, and as you know, the news is terrible these days. All they seem to be able to show is the devastating depravity that is going on in our country. At times, I get a little weary of all this dreariness.
During a commercial, I heard my wife clear her throat and then say, “Do you think there will be television in heaven?”
I must confess that that question caught me off guard. I thought for a few moments and did not quite understand precisely the context of her question. I have learned by experience that if I do not understand the question from her point, how in the world can I give the correct answer?
I glanced her way, cleared my throat, and said, “Excuse me, what did you say?”
Looking at me, she simply said, “You heard me. Do you think there will be television in heaven?
That is a hard question to answer because during the last few months when we could not go out anywhere, we would stay home and watch a Hallmark mystery movie. It is good to watch them and forget about what’s happening out in the real world. They always have a happy ending.
For example. While watching the news, it gets very discouraging. Just when you think nothing can get any worse, it does!
For quite a while, I have not really believed what I hear and see on any news station. Sometimes the local stations get something right, but the national media is another story. They will do and say anything to get ratings.
Then, of course, there are the politicians. I think if a politician ever consistently told the truth, their body would drop over dead out of sheer shock. I do not understand why people just cannot tell the truth these days.
However, my wife’s question was very thought provoking. We are so accustomed to television in our society today that we cannot imagine anywhere without it. I know there are places where you cannot get a television signal, but for the most part, television has really conquered our world.
I remember a famous quote from Will Rogers; “All I know is what I read in the newspapers.”
If Rogers were alive today, he would edit that quote to; “All I know is what I see on television.”
Unfortunately, that is all people know today. And they allow that to control their lives and their attitude and so forth.
Although I cannot imagine our society without television, I cannot imagine heaven with television. After all, there is a special place for “all liars” (Revelation 21:8).
Consider, for instance, the reality shows on TV. There is absolutely no reality to any of those shows. The only reality they have is making money.
Also, on the news, we only see the worst side of humanity, for the most part. After watching the news, it is hard to trust anybody.
I then asked my wife, “I’m not sure, what do you think?”
“I’ve been thinking about that,” she said very thoughtfully, “and my conclusion is simply, I hope not.”
There are times in which my wife and I do not always agree, but on this point, I think we agree 100%. That is a rarity, and I want to remember this for quite a while.
If there were television in heaven, what shows would actually be allowed to be shown? And, would there be any celebrities or personalities?
I cannot imagine a television program I would like to watch if I was in heaven. I think there are many other things more satisfying than watching something on television that has no relationship to reality whatsoever.
Finishing our little conversation, I asked my wife, “If there was television in heaven, what program would you want to watch?”
That started a very long and serious conversation, and I began to find out some of her likes and dislikes.
After our conversation, I began to think about what the Bible said along this line. “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts” (Psalm 10:4).
My conclusion was this; anything that keeps God out of my thoughts is something I need to get out of my life. Heaven will be so full of the thoughts of God that nothing else would ever get in.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, Fla.; www.whatafellowship.com.