Immortality and the Boredom Problem

One common critique of immortality in religion or otherwise is that living forever, a person will eventually run out of things to do. They will get bored and wish they were dead. Should Christians be concerned about this if they really are going to be resurrected and live forever?

Matthew 22 quotes Jesus as saying, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

What does this have to do with anything? A lot. Jesus isn’t just saying that we should do these things. He is saying that love of God and other humans is the reason we should be doing anything. It is our reason for living.

We as humans get bored of doing things, but we don’t get bored of people. People are unending sources of relationship and joy. Unless something destroys the relationship or gets in the way of it deepening.

This won’t happen, though. It is difficult to imagine, but those who are raised from the dead are made like Christ. We will be immortal, but we will also be sinless. Our relationships with every other person will be perfect. There will be no arguments or hurt feelings. All there will be is endless fascination and ever-increasing love. And of course, the most fascinating, most loving person of all, Jesus Christ, will be in the middle of it all.

The truth is, people matter most. People provide meaning in life. And they certainly aren’t boring. That is the reason Jesus is coming back to raise his people from death.

This should inform the way we live now as well. It is easy to fall into the rut of thinking our worth as people is measured by how much stuff we get done. What if we looked ahead to the resurrection and realized that our eternal destiny in Christ is to hang out with a bunch of people?

So put that book away and talk to a person. Stop writing dumb internet articles and call your mom. Watch the football game with someone else. Sneak up behind your spouse for a tickle-bomb run.

Or, as you work on the stuff that you absolutely have to do, talk to Jesus. You’d better get used to it now, you’ll be doing it a lot. The good news is it won’t ever get boring.

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