“Will we get to play sports in heaven?”
The first time I heard the question asked was in a Bible class in the eight grade. The boy that asked it was being serious. Basketball was his life. He wanted to go pro one day.
Our teacher was from Nigeria. He had had a much different life growing up than people from the eastern United States, much different than his Bible students. A life in professional sports was not possible.
He answered the boy with a firm, quick no. He told him that in heaven we would not care about such things. Putting a basketball through a hoop ten feet off the ground would be the furthest thing from our minds.
The boy never showed a serious interest in Jesus, that I know of. He died of a drug overdose before he was twenty-five. And he never went pro. I’m sorry that our teacher didn’t take his question more seriously.
I don’t pretend to know for sure if there will be sports in heaven. The Bible isn’t clear. But, it does say that all things will be made new. There will be a “new heaven and new earth.” In other words, we will not just be floating on clouds and playing harps. God loves His children too much to bore them for all eternity.
“The Biblical view of things is resurrection,” Tim Keller writes in The Reason for God. “[It is] not a future that is just a consolation for the life we never had but a restoration of the life you always wanted.”
If Keller’s statement is applied to sports, then there just might be basketball in heaven. But, please know basketball fans that every team will be a “Dream Team.” Every dunk attempted will be made. Every block will be performed without chance of a foul. And, there will be no worries at the free throw line—oh yeah, it’s going in.
Which begs the question: “If everyone plays a perfect game in the life to come, who will win?”