Question: I recently listened to the August 2019 audio newsletter and praise God for it, but one of the questions had to do with what would stop the saved from sinning in heaven, and the answer given didn’t satisfy my curiosity. We know that God created Adam and Eve “very good” (i.e., perfect), and their “pre-sin” environment was perfect (much like heaven will be for the saved). So, if they had the capacity to sin/do evil (because love can’t exist without choice), would the saved still have the power to choose to sin in heaven as well? If not, then will it be because: 1) There’s nothing in heaven to tempt us to do evil (as Satan did in Eden) and, if that’s the case, and there are no opposing options, how will we exercise our free-will power of choice to serve God out of a desire to do so rather than only doing so because there’s no other option? Or, 2) Because even though we’ll be perfect like pre-sin/pre-Fall Adam and Eve, we won’t have free will in heaven to choose to sin, which will essentially make us robots. What do I not understand?
Response: The first paragraph of the answer from last month clearly pointed out the reason why there will be no sin from the righteous in heaven. It reads, “We are given great assurance that the scenario you wonder about will not happen. According to 1 Corinthians:15:51-52, we read: ‘Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.’”
Furthermore, the new nature that we were given when we were first saved will no longer have to compete with the “Old Man.” Not only will we no longer be subject to death and decay, but we will also have received a new “nature.” Since we will be changed in ways we cannot comprehend, the magnitude of this change is really beyond us. Certainly we have free will, and we will also have free will in the eternal state. But we will have been changed.
Regardless of how one theologically views the concept of free will, the certainty of Scripture tells us that the following will be true of the redeemed inhabitants of heaven: 1) The saved will be changed to a state of being far better than the one in which they currently exist (Romans:8:18, 2 Corinthians:4:17). 2) The saved, now glorified, will no longer sin throughout eternity (Revelation:21:4,27).
In Genesis:1:26 we’re told that “God said, Let us make man in our image….” In Titus:1:2 we learn that one aspect of the nature of God is that “God cannot lie….” Notice, it’s not that He won’t lie, but He cannot lie. It’s not part of His nature. Can we possibly argue that God doesn’t have “free will?” Certainly not! Romans:8:29 tells us that, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Consequently, concerning being created in the image of His Son, we see that the final conformity to the image of Christ will be fulfilled when we are changed.
In short, speculating about whether there are no opposing options upon which we may exercise our free will overlooks the simple fact that we will “be changed” in ways that our limited perspective cannot comprehend. Certainly the Lord created Adam and Eve without sin, but they had the potential to sin. Sin was already there in the person of Satan and those who followed him in rebellion.