I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I started thinking about inequality but, as I often do, I wandered and stumbled into something new. Those who trust in Christ will, I believe, inhabit the new heavens and earth (more specifically the new earth) and that new earth will be full of good things for us to do and that includes work. I don’t think we’ll be bored in these new lands, there will be lots to do and it will be deeply satisfying. Rewarding, creative, fulfilling – work as it was intended to be.
Then I read this post, jobs you can do forever. But of course not all professions will be needed in this new reality and as a result there could be a lot of people learning new trades. Fortunately for them they’ll all have the time in the world to do it.
- Undertakers: Anyone currently employed in the mortuary, cemetery, crematorium, undertaking, grave-digging, coffin manufacturing, headstone carving and wreath making business will all be first in line for new job training, after all ‘death shall be no more’ (Rev 21:4)
- The Medical Profession: That’s right, no need for the skills of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, surgeons, opticians and so on. If I’m not going to die and there’ll be no ‘pain any more’ then these skills will be surplus to requirements.
- The Pharmaceutical Industry: No headaches, no illnesses, no depression, no addictions, no health related problems. Say goodbye to the pill makers.
- Arms Manufacturers: Absolutely no need for tanks, destroyers, missiles, bullets and bombs. Same goes for those in army, airforce and navy.
- Politicians: Heaven is an absolute monarchy, sorry theocracy, and I don’t suppose there will be too many disappointed to see the pollsters, lobbyists and the general gravy train of government, largely disappear.
- Charities: Obvious but slightly surprising one this, no need for Oxfam or Tearfund, no need for Shelter or Cancer Research. Illnesses gone, poverty gone, famine gone, war gone, death gone, old age gone. If you work in the charity sector there’s a good reason you’ll need all that treasure you’re storing up. No job!
I feel on solid theological ground with those predictions but there are some other industries and jobs that are I think by implication are definitely time-limited.
- The Beauty Industry: No need, nor desire to have cosmetic surgery in the new heavens and earth, I suspect. With a complete understanding of what beautiful means, without waking up and feeling your self-esteem on the floor, and no peer pressure that rather kills the demand side of things. I rather think that anyone setting up shop in this area will find eternity with no customers rather dull.
- All forms of law enforcement and security: No need for police, judges, prisons, guards and burglar alarms
- No insurance industry: I have to say this one thrills me, but really insure against what? Can you imagine that sales pitch?
- Banking: This might also prove to be a popular idea, but certainly in the realms of high finance and the business of making money from money it’s not a heavenly notion. Seriously, can you imagine anything more pointless? The pavements are made of gold, for crying out loud.
Here’s a couple more to throw out especially if you take a few other verses at face value:
- Nothing to do with the sea! Rev 21 says the sea disappears before it says death does (Rev 21:1) so that means no sea fishing, no sailing, no surfing, no scuba diving….hold on that can’t be right can it?
- No wedding industry: Not according to Jesus anyway (Mt 22:30), no being or getting married so no need for the whole ridiculous extravagance that has become weddings. It’s just as well this is the new heavens and earth because having taken away funerals and weddings there’s not much left for Anglican vicars to do!
- No baby business either: Logical really, if the above is right then this one is too – heaven’s population will be eternally static and no need for midwives and pre-natal clinics.
- No divorce lawyers: No marriages, no discord, no divorce.
Other professions not to make the cut: social workers, adoption agencies, self-help authors, hypnotists, private detectives, murder mystery authors, counsellors and therapists and I suspect many more. Suggestions?