I have a question from I Corinthians 13 about faith, hope and love with the greatest of these being love. I have led public prayers in which I prayed something like this "to bless us with faith, hope and love. For one day we will close our eyes in this world and sleep, but when we awake faith will be sight for we will see Your face, hope will become reality for we will be in Heaven and what will remain is love."

I have come somewhat under fire from the pulpit that faith and hope will still be needed in Heaven. I think they are fulfilled in heaven because faith will be sight and hope becomes reality. Why hope for something you already have? I have read a few posts on the Internet giving support to both viewpoints, but I lean to the side that these will be "laid to rest" so to speak. I do reserve the right to change my mind.


"For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance" (Romans 8:24-25).

When one speaks of hope, it is not a vague notion, there is something for which a person longs to have. You cannot hope for something that you already have because you already possess it. When Christians talk about hope, they are referring to being saved, having a home in heaven, and going to live with the Lord. These will be realities when we are there, so they will no longer be hopes. I guess if your preacher thinks hope continues, the question should be: "What to expect to be hoping for in heaven that you won't already have?"

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).

Faith is closely tied to hope. Faith is what gives hope substance. We hope for heaven, but it isn't an empty hope. We have full trust that God fulfills His promises. That trust is so strong that we don't demand that we have to see something to believe it. "So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord" (II Corinthians 5:6-8). This is not a claim that faith is blind or acts contrary to evidence. Rather it is a confidence and trust that grows from the evidence.

"Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil" (Hebrews 6:17-19).

The characters listed in Hebrews 11 are all people who acted in trust regarding what God told them, even though they had not yet received what was offered. Some did not even live long enough to personally see the promises fulfilled, yet they went about their lives with a certainty that it would happen.

The Christian's faith is in regards to God's promises of salvation, heaven, and even the existence of God. "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). But in heaven I won't need faith to say God exists, that will be a statement born of direct knowledge. I won't need faith to say God fulfilled every promise He made because I will know that for a fact. Paul alludes to that when he said, "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known" (I Corinthians 13:12). Things will change when we reach heaven.

Might there be future things promised after we are in heaven, which we will have to trust God in regards to their fulfillment? Perhaps. But that will be a different trust regarding different things. It will not the faith talked about in Hebrews 11:6. There is an end to the Christian's faith:

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith -- the salvation of your souls" (I Peter 1:6-9).